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Re Scheer Can Choose To Go Out On A High Note (Nov. 28): Is the performance of Andrew Scheer really an issue of leadership? Or is it time to acknowledge that the values and interests of many voters, especially those who consider themselves progressive conservatives, are not represented in the Conservative Party?
One solution: Create a new party for those members with Red Tory, centre-right inclinations. It could be a winner.
Mark Seasons Peterborough, Ont.
In my view, Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives did not lose the election because of his views on abortion and gay marriage, although his positions are not exactly prudent politics. He lost because his vision of national energy conduits, oil pipelines, lower taxes, balanced budgets and help for Alberta were presented as hubristic notions that were not backed up by any truly practical strategies for implementation.
Richard Bingham Toronto
Re How Denmark Went From Black To Green (Report on Business, Nov. 23): Denmark has had impressive advances in its quest for increased renewable energy. Yet it is also the home of A.P. Moller-Maersk, the largest container and supply-ship company on the planet and one of the country’s largest employers. It is estimated that if the shipping industry was a country, it would be the world’s sixth-largest carbon emitter between Germany and Japan.
And Norway is home to the world’s largest per capita electric car usage thanks to abundant cheap hydroelectric power, significant subsidies and waived sales taxes, among other factors. Yet it is also the world’s fourth-largest oil-producing country per capita, and growing.
I applaud the impressive efforts of these two countries to green their economies. At the same time, they have also recognized that thoughtful economic balance must be achieved so that all of their citizens, regardless of industry employment, can benefit toward a cleaner future. Is it truly impossible to do this in Canada?
Daniel Topolinsky Singapore
European bureau chief Eric Reguly provides an inspiring example of a Danish company’s rapid shift from “black” oil and gas to “green” energy production. However, it did require major investment by a foreign bank. In Canada, rather than relying on foreign investment, our own rich endowment in hydrocarbon resources could fuel a longer-term move to less-costly energy production.
But until we have developed the infrastructure for reliable renewable energy, Canada should support, not hinder, our oil and gas industry. Doing this would foster national unity and a healthy economy that would be well prepared for the transition from black to green.
F.S. Carpenter Ottawa
During the last third of my 30-year career at an Ontario gas utility, I was in a strategic management role trying to think through new technologies and new business models. That included everything from renewable natural gas to smart energy networks. The majority of senior management, quite frankly, was more interested in the status quo.
All that said, what bears mentioning is the price of energy. Energy is inexpensive in Canada and the United States, and that seems to be how the majority want it to stay. In Denmark, current electricity rates are about 31.23 euro cents (about 45.4 cents) a kilowatt-hour; Germany is at 30.88 euro cents (44.8 cents) – Ontarians freaked out at 13 cents. Imagine if we doubled, tripled or quadrupled those rates.
Reducing carbon-emission levels by the amounts required, in the time required, is not very compatible with inexpensive energy. But does anyone think Canadian and U.S. voters would elect governments who promised to honestly address this? Because until they do, we shouldn’t expect the largest North American energy companies to lead the fight against climate change.
Ed Seaward Georgetown, Ont.
Re Does Language Really Matter? When It Comes To The Mentally Ill, It Does (Opinion, Nov. 23): Everyone I know uses words such as “crazy,” “insane” and “lunacy” without considering the sensitivities of the “one in five” among us. I like to think I’m enlightened and considerate, but contributor K.J. Aiello revealed to me that I’m guilty of using these words thoughtlessly, and far too often. Since I was a child, no one pointed out that they might be offensive.
I will choose my words more carefully.
Mike Osterholm Coquitlam, B.C.
After reading contributor K.J. Aiello’s essay, my first thought was to write a not-quite-snarky note asking why everyone had to be so sensitive, and lauding the English language for its vast vocabulary. Then I read the Wikipedia article on ableism – and changed my mind.
Words such as “lunatic” or “crazy” have an emotional effect and little precise meaning. If I am using them to imply that I find someone tiresome, or worrying or even frightening, I might do better simply to say so, rather than use words that may have as many different connotations as there are listeners.
We can admire the English language for its vocabulary and at the same time accept that, at any moment, some words will grow obsolete. Jonathan Swift was very wise when he wrote that "whoever makes the fewest persons uneasy is the best bred in the company.”
Brant LeBaron Coaticook, Que.
Bye with an E
Re Cancelling Anne With An E Reveals Weakness Of CBC And All Canadian TV (Nov. 28): Many thanks to television critic John Doyle who, with his usual perspicacity, points out the absurdity of CBC cancelling Anne with an E.
This Canadian classic was splendidly mounted, with an amazing cast. Contrary to some of the reasons posited for its cancellation, the “older audience” of my friends and I were actually delighted by having Anne so cleverly brought into current times, while maintaining the look and feel of the original.
Shame on the CBC.
Dvora Levinson Toronto
Re Grey Expectations (Letters, Nov. 23): It is all very well to suggest, as one letter writer does, that beauty “comes from inside.” The billions spent on cosmetics and plastic surgery would indicate that most people value physical beauty and are ready to pay for it.
Myself, I let my hair go grey from an early age because I found artificial colour made me look sallow. I’m vain. I’m also lazy: I get an expensive, low-maintenance haircut once a year. Women seem to look older when they dye their hair; dark hair emphasizes wrinkles.
So does makeup. Darkened eyes are beautiful and sultry – when one is young. Instead of makeup, I decided on an eyebrow tattoo as well as some cosmetic dentistry. It’s amazing how some good groundwork can alleviate the need for daily maintenance.
My advice to friends is always to defer to the specialists whose guidance is invaluable. And, of course, eat right and exercise. Now let’s talk about spandex …
Kerry-Lynne Wilson Ottawa
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