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The value of education
Re Survey Says: Helping Your Child Pay For Tuition Is A Canadian Value (Report on Business, Nov. 20): The fact that all 300 respondents to the Carrick on Money newsletter said that parents should contribute to their children’s postsecondary expenses indicates that the newsletter may not be reaching low-income or poor parents.
From my early teens, I knew that I would be paying my full way without parental help. The consensus columnist Rob Carrick is referring to may be middle-income parents or higher, as opposed to the population at large. In my neighbourhood, one other student went to teachers college immediately after high school and then completed her degree through part-time study. My sense is that she took this approach largely for financial reasons.
Bruce Couchman Ottawa
Re The Fix To Wexit Runs Through The Arctic (Nov. 19): In looking to the future, contributor Irvin Studin seems to show an ignorance, or perhaps willful neglect, of Canada’s colonial past.
There are, in fact, people living in Canada’s North. People who have been living there since time immemorial and who have an inherent right to sovereignty over their traditional territories. People who have, for the past several decades, been leading innovators in the slow progression toward Indigenous self-government. People who cannot be brushed off as a mere population of 115,000 spread across an area “as large as the entire European Union” to justify exploitation of their resources and marginalization of their way of life. It is 2019, not 1819. Mr. Studin’s colonial dream of manifest destiny should belong to another time entirely.
Richard Farthing-Nichol Vancouver
Re Playing With Fire and The Great, Green Transformation (Opinion, Nov. 16): Contributor Kenneth Whyte focuses on the Trudeau government as the cause of Alberta’s angst and separatist threats, due in large part to his pro-climate, anti-oil stand preventing pipelines and causing economic hardship. On the next page, contributor Jeremy Rifkin attacks Ottawa and the “economic consequences” of “misguided federal policies to keep the fossil-fuel spigot wide open.” Which is it? It cannot be both.
Does Mr. Rifkin understand that his own country, the United States, has increased its oil production in the past three years by an amount that exceeds all oil sands production in Canada? And that rather than Canada leading the oil pack, it is in fact his own country – by a very wide margin?
I spend every day working on the complex intersection of climate policy and energy system transition in Canada. While I agree with Mr. Rifkin’s assessment of what needs to happen, the details on the how are entirely missing, aside from a too-simple “leave it in the ground” mantra. If that is the case, perhaps Mr. Rifkin should focus his attention where it will really make a global difference: leaving it in the ground in his own backyard. Or maybe that is too hard to do.
Bruce Lourie Toronto
Contributor Kenneth Whyte focuses on the Western alienation of Alberta and Saskatchewan politicians, suggesting more support for fossil-fuel-based expansion in order to appease them. Yet flip over the page and there is contributor Jeremy Rifkin commenting on the extent of the climate crisis and the Green New Deal needed to respond to it.
Why not deal with Western alienation with a bold federal program to transition Alberta and Saskatchewan away from fossil fuels and toward renewables and a diversified economy?
Alvin Finkel Edmonton
Contributor Jeremy Rifkin speaks to technology and lightening our carbon footprint. As I’ve been reading articles on climate change and ways to help our planet, I’m wondering why we aren’t focusing more on exploring the travelling wave reactor that Bill Gates and his company TerraPower have created?
I realize there are obvious fears about nuclear energy, but Mr. Gates claims that his company’s nuclear energy would be safe and would also use the nuclear waste lying dormant in parts of the United States. He also says that it could provide safe energy to the U.S. for more than 125 years. Isn’t this worth exploring further in Canada?
Heather Keenan Victoria
It seems ironic that contributor Kenneth Whyte places blame for Alberta’s economic woes on the former federal environment minister, “who can link any change in the weather to the energy industry,” yet he never once mentions climate change.
Ion Buicliu Victoria
Streets are for …
Re Road To Ruin (Opinion, Nov. 16): I would like to endorse the opinions expressed by Toronto’s former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat. As a former mayor of Ajax, I spent a lot of time developing more complete streets that provided safe routes for cyclists. With the advent of e-bikes and e-scooters, this is even more important.
Unless the proper infrastructure is provided, these vehicles will use sidewalks, and the safety of all pedestrians will be compromised. I got to see this firsthand on a recent trip to Berlin, where e-scooters look to have already compromised the safety of walking.
In my view, this new technology will force government to regulate and build infrastructure to safely accommodate all users. Failure to do so will result in chaotic and unsafe streets – and the huge cost in money and lives that goes with it.
Steve Parish Ajax, Ont.
Contributor Jennifer Keesmaat correctly suggests that we need to reconfigure urban transportation corridors to accommodate climate-friendly modes of transportation. That said, it seems to be pie-in-the-sky optimism to suggest that e-scooters, e-bikes and bicycles “might just be the hook on which we can hang the future of transportation.” Why? Where to begin: inclement weather, group transportation, long-distance and high-speed travel, commerce – the list goes on.
Until I can buy a reasonably priced flying car, I’ll keep my gasoline-powered SUV, thanks!
Peter A. Lewis-Watts Barrie, Ont.
Re Grey Zone (Pursuits, Nov. 16): Kudos to contributor Aileen Lalor for choosing to quit using hair dye. I, too, am a woman who chose to stop dyeing my hair when I was in my 40s. I have talked to many women who hate dyeing their hair but continue to do so because they feel going grey would make them look old and ugly. This is the message the fashion industry has told women for a very long time.
I prefer to think that a person’s beauty comes from inside and not from a box of hair colour. I would rather spend my time and money on eating well and being physically active, because in the long run, this will help me age better.
Let’s set a good example for our daughters, as well as our mothers, on how women can be beautiful at any age. A woman with grey hair can still be sexy, smart, competent and interesting.
Donna Brooks Kamloops
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