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Did I do that?
Re PM Hires McLellan To Address Western Discontent (Oct. 30): Jason Kenney is making a big fuss about the unfairness to Alberta of equalization.
It should be noted that the formula is examined every five years by Ottawa, and substantive one-off modifications were made in 2007 and 2009. The formula was left basically the same in 2014, and again this year. Who was in power from 2006 to 2015? Stephen Harper, with Jason Kenney as a prominent member of his cabinets.
The equalization formula that Mr. Kenney complains so much about is, technically, his own doing.
Jim Burke Woodstock, Ont.
Re Like Father, Like Son (Opinion, Oct. 26): When Andrew Cohen described Pierre Trudeau’s patriation of the British North America Act as “the single greatest act of nation-building in the history of Canada,” he does not note that it was done without Quebec’s consent. Lest the rest of Canada deceive themselves, it wasn’t just the separatists that rejected the proposal; the National Assembly, federalists included, voted against it. Subsequently, two referendums on separation nearly ripped the country to shreds.
Today, Justin Trudeau stares down the abyss of a revived Bloc Québécois. We now have a party in Ottawa dedicated to tearing the country apart. Is anyone paying attention?
Alexandra Phillips Vancouver
In his 15 years as prime minister, Pierre Trudeau ran massive deficits, leaving his successors in a financial bind. Brian Mulroney had to introduce the GST and Jean Chrétien had to slash spending and raise taxes to keep the country fiscally afloat.
Justin Trudeau also plans to run deficits every year – why not, it seemed to work for his dad. Let’s hope he doesn’t last 15 years as well.
T.S. Ramsay Guelph, Ont.
Justin Trudeau would be well advised to take his father’s advice. In particular, Pierre Trudeau refused to be “headwaiter to the provinces.” Consequently, he did not pander to the premiers of any province.
Our constitution clearly grants certain powers to Ottawa, including interprovincial commerce. We need a federal government that will stand up for Canada, not regional satrapies.
Joe O’Brien Halifax
For Justin Trudeau to equal his father’s legacy in nation-building, it is vital for the Prime Minister to tackle the big issues.
His next mandate should not be about fulfilling middle-class economic promises or even improving health care. Rather, it should be about addressing climate change and doing what is right for our First Nations. If he can correct these wrongs, then he will equal his father’s legacy. Without this, I fear we face a future of shame and unfulfilled potential.
Marilyn Raymond Toronto
Power to the informed
Re No Endorsement This Time Was A Good Thing (Oct. 26): I disagree with Public Editor Sylvia Stead’s suggestion that it might be better for The Globe and Mail to discontinue endorsing political parties at election time.
Although the editorial staff may have differing opinions, in 50 years of subscribing to this newspaper, I have never caught it in what I know to be an outright lie – unlike the online trolls or hackers trying to destabilize democracies around the world. A newspaper can be held accountable for what they publish, while these other entities are very unlikely to be sued for libel.
Most educated readers have busy lives and don’t have the time to investigate every important issue on their own, and need to rely on ethical news sources for detailed and credible information. After all, isn’t that the very reason they read newspapers in the first place?
Frank Foulkes Toronto
Re BoC Holds Interest Rate Steady As U.S. Fed Makes Cut (Report On Business, Oct. 31): The Governor of the Bank of Canada seems correct in sounding a note of caution.
The amount of household debt and people who are living beyond their means should be troubling for everyone. The Liberal government should recognize that they must be more balanced in their approach to spending. We shouldn’t continue to play Lord Bountiful when the cupboard looks bare.
Anne Robinson Toronto
A round of applause
Re A Thin Blue Line (Oct. 26): Police are indeed dealing increasingly with people with mental-health issues. One action worth highlighting is the work of Hamilton’s Crisis Outreach and Support Team, run by the police in partnership with St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.
The COAST service, which provides police units trained by doctors and nurses in mental health and addiction issues, has saved many lives. I know this, having seen their work up close in the treatment of a loved one. I believe these specialized members of the Hamilton police deserve credit and respect for their service to the community.
Christine Minelli Hamilton
Yours to discover
Re The Road To Nowhere: Claims Ontario’s Ring Of Fire Is Worth $60-billion Are Nonsense (Report On Business, Oct. 26): It is shameful to me that financial non-viability, rather than ecological significance, was the death knell of the Ring of Fire.
The James Bay Lowlands are a boreal paradise, one of the last such intact ecosystems left on Earth, a vast area of rivers, wetlands and forest that is Ontario’s Serengeti, not Ontario’s oil sands. The mines would have been, first, an ecological disaster.
Frank de Jong Huntsville, Ont.
That was easy
Re Green Screen (Opinion, Oct. 26): Contributor Margaret Munro writes that travellers should be able to simply plop down a few dollars toward carbon offset credits on their next luxury vacation. Bing! Your conscience is cleared. Do we really think that adding a few dollars to the cookie jar of a “trusted government organization” will turn the climate catastrophe around?
Heidi Dischinger Calgary
Bedtime stories 2.0
Re Go Go Gadget (Pursuits, Oct. 26): Luka, the AI reading robot, can narrate 50,000 books, but does it provide body warmth and a trusted voice? Will it laugh at the funny bits with a child or give hugs when the story is scary? Will it indulge in delightful sidetracks into the meaning of an ambiguous word or a detail the illustrator has snuck in just to make one wonder?
What I imagine Luka does do: not take notice when a child has abandoned the book it was “teaching” them to read. It may go right on reading to an empty room.
Isobel Raven Toronto
Re Quebec Moves Ahead With A Controversial Values Test For New Immigrants (Oct. 31): I hope the first question on the new values test is: “In Quebec, are you allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion?” If anyone answers “No," they fail.
Brian Kearns St. Albert, Alta.
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