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Please don’t go
Re May Steps Down As Green Party Leader (Nov. 5): The resignation of Elizabeth May as Green Party Leader should be a sad day for all Canadians.
I believe Ms. May was truly someone rare: a party leader who didn’t insult our intelligence. Her crusade has been long, from opposing then-New Brunswick premier Richard Hatfield’s decision to spray insecticide on millions of acres of land infested with spruce budworm, to eventually serving the country as an MP and leader of her party.
She has shown herself to be a politician dedicated to the greater good. It’s going to be difficult to mark my ballot now that she’s gone.
Moses Wuggenig Toronto
Being a prophet is often a lonely, thankless job, regardless of whether you are calling for climate action as Green Party leader or a Swedish teenager. I would like to thank Elizabeth May for her years of leadership. I am happy that she is not retiring.
Richard Grover Winnipeg
Re RBC Part Of Aramco IPO Despite Saudi Diplomatic, Trade Rifts With Canada (Report On Business, Nov. 5): Royal Bank of Canada has long held itself as a paragon of virtue in finance and commerce. How disappointing it seems, then, that RBC will be part of the underwriting group for Saudi Aramco.
Andrew Bishop of Signum Global believes this IPO is “simply too important to politicize with petty squabbles.” Is the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi among those petty squabbles?
W. Selby Martin Toronto
Re Ottawa To Decide On Alberta, Ontario Proposed Carbon Pricing Plans By End Of Year (Oct. 31): With about 98 per cent of carbon emissions still arising outside Canada, a federal carbon tax could worsen the climate. The price of Canadian manufacturing would likely rise and consumers may turn to cheaper, imported goods – goods that may be produced in countries with higher levels of pollution.
There is one way to combat this side effect of carbon pricing: higher targeted tariffs. This would level the playing field for energy producers, and place an onus on consumers who would still prefer imported goods with larger carbon footprints. Does Canada have what it takes to grab the climate bull by the horns by imposing such tariffs?
Sant Bawa Edmonton
Re Lost Years Of U.K.'s Long Goodbye Likely A Foretaste Of A Drawn-out Decline (Report On Business, Nov. 2): Columnist Eric Reguly warns that if socialist Jeremy Corbyn becomes the prime minister in Britain’s December election, he would engage in “mass nationalizations of trains, water and other utilities." If that happens, Britain will find itself in the same shape as … Canada?
Michael Poulton Halifax
Views on Turkey
Re For Civilians In Northern Syria, There Is No Escape (Nov. 1): Turkey deeply sympathizes with the suffering of all civilians in Syria, and my country is not trying to block asylum seekers.
Since the Syrian civil war started, Turkey has taken in 3.65 million refugees at an expense of $50-billion. This is a huge burden on our budget, education, health and social structures. Still, it is our humanitarian duty to look after our neighbours in their difficult hour, and we will continue to do so as long as it is necessary.
We are also doing our best to stabilize the country. The first meeting of a Syrian constitutional committee was recently held in Geneva, under the auspices of the United Nations and with our encouragement through the Astana Process. Previously, operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch help created 4,000 square kilometres of secure land. Now, through Operation Peace Spring, we are trying to create more safe conditions for the voluntary return of displaced Syrians.
Kerim Uras Ambassador of Turkey to Canada, Ottawa
Re One Nation, Under Turkey (Opinion, Nov. 2): In discussing the history of Turkey in the context of its current war on the Kurds, I believe contributor Cinar Kiper correctly warns against the government’s campaign to make Turkey “more religious and more anti-Western.”
However, another significant threat should be noted: genocide. While Mr. Kiper mentions the Turkish War of Independence, “waged mostly against the Greeks,” there were many other victims – especially Armenians.
These victims were highlighted last week when the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to formally recognize the 1915 mass killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide.
Given the U.S. abandonment of its Kurdish allies in Syria, the international community should stand with the Kurds in this dangerous moment.
Peter Prontzos Professor emeritus, political science, Langara College, Vancouver
Re Goodbye F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hello Rita Joe: Thunder Bay’s Schools Introduce Indigenous Stories Into Classes (Oct. 29): As a retired English teacher, I have observed with interest the recent moves by various Ontario school boards toward Indigenous works, and away from Shakespeare and other foundational authors of the Western canon. In response, I offer the words of Maya Angelou: “Shakespeare was a black girl.”
The great poet understood the power of great art to lead humans to o’erleap the many barriers we construct. These latest curriculum changes may address current concerns, but only in the short run.
Discarding and replacing great literature should not be the answer; genuine inclusion, driven by extensive reading and academic enterprise, should be the best way to affect positive and perpetual progress.
Andrew Milner Peterborough, Ont.
Re Help Wanted (Letters, Oct. 31): The looming tsunami of elderly patients, in a country sadly short of geriatric doctors, could be attributed to the excellence of the Canadian health-care system.
Those of us born in the first half of the 20th century saw our grandparents decline and pass away normally. Well, at least we thought it was normal for most people to die at some point. Today, when something goes wrong, we make an appointment and we get it fixed. The result is an army of octogenarians being dragged kicking and screaming into their 90s.
In my day, old people died building schooners in bottles with tweezers. Today, they die running marathons. It’s our own fault. We’re just too dang good at what we do.
Hugh McKechnie Newmarket, Ont.
Give or take
Re (Don’t) Turn Back Time (Letters, Nov. 5): I fully support moving away from changing our clocks twice a year, but I am amazed by the intensity of the debate about Daylight Savings Time versus Standard Time. Humanity progressed along with so many compromises; why doesn’t anyone consider splitting the difference and setting the time at Standard Time plus half an hour?
John Cihal Calgary
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