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Re How Much More Pain Must We See? (Oct. 9): Columnist Tanya Talaga speaks true: Canadians should tell politicians and public servants to act now against racism entrenched in institutions and attitudes directed at marginalized communities, starting with Indigenous peoples.
Fire people, dismantle systems where others are demeaned because of the colour of their skin or their beliefs. Reward people, rebuild systems where values embrace differences and serve without prejudice.
No more studies. Justice should not wait.
J.C. Sulzenko Ottawa
Cracks in the pavement
Re COVID Challenges (Letters, Oct. 8): A letter-writer believes that private health care can shorten wait times for everyone. I am always puzzled by this logic: If my doctor, along with many others, decides to move to a private system, how will it be easier for me to receive treatment?
To use the letter-writer’s highway analogy, we should imagine the BMWs and Mercedes, as those drivers head to a toll road, causing the main route to have fewer and fewer lanes – until it becomes an unpaved country trail.
Olga Eizner Favreau Montreal
Re Alberta To Diversify Economy With Big Bet On Hydrogen (Oct. 6): Evidently, Alberta’s plan is to produce hydrogen using natural gas. Alas, it seems the province’s plan is not a shift from fossil-fuel usage, but rather a different way to use a fossil fuel abundant in the province.
The source of hydrogen production is key to its net environmental benefits. Alberta’s efforts are laudable. But if an economic case could ultimately be made for producing hydrogen from renewables, even better.
Either way, the recent opening of hydrogen gas stations in Vancouver and Victoria are encouraging signs of a cleaner transportation future.
Randall Mang Sidney, B.C.
Re Alberta To Expand Geothermal As Part Of Diversification Push (Report on Business, Oct. 8): Canada lags badly in the use of geothermal energy, an inexpensive, reliable and clean source of electrical power with large concentrations in Alberta. The province has a surplus of well-drilling capacity and the engineering expertise to implement a rapid conversion from coal and gas, and to be a net exporter of electrical power.
Instead of converting its economy to plastic production and recycling, Alberta could become the electric powerhouse of Canada.
Norman Paterson Geophysicist; Clarksburg, Ont.
Re Dean Shuts Down Questions Over Rescinded Job Offer (Oct. 8): I find it a pity that some law students and professors are unable to distinguish between fact, and allegations of fact.
The dean of the law school has denied allegations that a job offer was made. Only he can make such an offer. He has also denied that concerns expressed by a judge had any influence on his decision. It is also a pity, therefore, that very little, if any, credence has been given to what he has averred.
Are the members of the hiring committee, in purporting to make an offer, on a frolic of their own?
David Nathanson Toronto
Stand on guard for thee
Re Canada Also Needs To Safeguard Its Democracy (Oct. 5): I believe Canada cannot safeguard its democracy when it does not exist. How many times do we need to learn that, under a first-past-the-post system, it takes about 35,000 votes for a candidate from Party X to win a seat, while it takes hundreds of thousands of votes for Party Y’s candidate to do likewise? In most Canadian elections, more than 60 per cent of us will not have voted for the party that gains 100 per cent of the power.
Contributors Peter Donolo and Jason MacDonald refer to “the very foundation of democracy – the right of all citizens to vote." Rather, the foundation of democracy should be every citizen’s right to a vote that counts toward a fair representation of their values; Canada’s voting system is in dire need of change.
Debra Rudan Kingston
Those who would force people to vote likely do not consider that to not vote is a legitimate form of democratic expression.
People may not care, or may be willing to accept the decision of those who do. They may also not have enough information to make a reasonable decision. It is not useful for people to vote as if at a horse race and choosing the name that sounds best.
I believe in voting and do so in every election. But I’ve stopped voting for municipal school trustees, because I can’t find any information beyond candidates' names.
Keith Conover Mississauga
I appreciate contributors Peter Donolo and Jason MacDonald’s concern to ensure a vibrant democracy in Canada. However, the United States, in comparison, is a republic where everyone can vote directly for a single office. I can’t think of any serious threat to Canada’s system.
Canada’s main safety barriers are the history, politics and social values that developed our parliamentary democracy. So far, these pillars seem intact. Of course, we should keep our heads up.
John Krauser Mississauga
Re U.S. Turmoil Gives Us Much To Be Thankful For (Oct. 7): Many Canadians are not “overcome with a certain smugness” as we watch the deterioration of the United States, as columnist Gary Mason writes. We are saddened, shocked, fearful.
We are so fortunate to have the U.S. as our neighbour versus China or Russia, for example. Regardless of the country’s faults, of which there are many, it has at least historically made efforts to be guided by a stronger moral compass than most, and strived to a higher idea of the “shining city upon a hill.”
Even more important than geography, economics or politics, many Canadians are tied to the U.S. by friends and family. There is no smugness.
Brendan Flynn Toronto
Re Intolerant, Or Inquisitive? (First Person, Oct. 8): When I welcome strangers to my church, I soon get to the question: “Are you from Vancouver?”
Not many people of any age are, so the question is never taken amiss. Of those who came again and stayed, I see people of 14 or so different maternal languages, something we should all take delight in.
My children were born in Britain of English, Irish and goodness knows what other ethnic origins. In Canada, they have married spouses of Slavic, French-Canadian, South Asian and East Asian origins. It makes for an interesting life.
I am sorry if some people find questions of origin intrusive. They should be taken, as they almost always are, as expressions of good intent.
Leslie Buck Vancouver
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