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Alberta vs. everybody?
Re Liberals Fire Up Anti-oil Rhetoric Despite Risk To National Unity (Report on Business, Oct. 15): It seems Canadians do not have to imagine what it is like to have the Liberal Leader loudly proclaim that, under his continued leadership, he will stand up against Alberta’s Premier – one who was recently elected with a decisive majority.
While it is a fact of Canada that there are disparate regional strengths, needs and political leanings, this feels like the first time a political leader has resorted to the divisive strategy of driving a wedge between a province and the rest of the country to win re-election. This is a line that, now crossed, may be difficult to walk back.
In the event that the Liberals retain power, they stand to govern a severely broken confederation. To me, attacking Albertan interests is one tactic too far.
David McClurg Calgary
Re Singh Opens Door To Coalition To Keep Tories Out Of Power (Oct. 14): Professor Donald Savoie believes “it’s inappropriate for the leader of any party to talk coalition before Canadians have spoken.” While the election is too early to call, I believe it’s not premature for party leaders to acknowledge current electoral trends, one of the most notable being the NDP’s recent spike in The Globe and Mail’s Nanos poll.
By casting an eye to his party’s possible parliamentary role after election day, Jagmeet Singh is acknowledging a scenario that could rightly occur. A potential kingmaker’s plan of how to govern, publicly laid out, should be important for voters to know prior to election day.
Canadians ultimately get final say in how the next Parliament is composed, but we need to be informed beforehand.
Hedley Myers Kingston
Vote with your heart
Re Give Thanks For Our Annoying Democracy (Editorial, Oct. 14): In our democracy, can Canadians really “vote our conscience?” I know several people who say, “I don’t want X in power, so I’m going to vote Y, because it’s the best chance we have of stopping X."
If Canadians voted with their heart in a truly democratic system, we would have a minority government made up of parties X and Y, but also Z and maybe one or two seats occupied by the far-right or far-left. Then Canadians would have a government that represents the disparity across the country and our politicians would have to compromise to pass any legislation.
Tony Burt Vancouver
Re The Problem With Ottawa’s Stand On ESOs (Report on Business, Oct. 9): Early in their last mandate, the Liberal government attempted to increase the tax rate on stock options. Their plan faced resounding opposition from high-tech companies and venture-capital firms, which argued that it would severely disadvantage Canadian companies competing in the global marketplace.
It seemed an odd move by the Liberals, given the history behind stock-option taxation. In the late 1990s, then finance minister Paul Martin astutely took action to lower stock-option tax rates to urgently tackle the very real brain drain from Canada to the United States. That change, combined with other measures, helped significantly to stem the exodus.
In this election, economists supporting Liberal policy argue that stock-option tax rates should be significantly increased. This is a worrying proposition, because it would take Canada backward to the days when our best and brightest talent readily took their skills elsewhere.
Nicholas Swart Kelowna, B.C.
Re Christian-Canadian Voters Are At A Crossroads (Oct. 14): When I was 24, there was a federal election in Canada. A blind neighbour asked me to drive her to the polling station.
When we got to there, I went into the voting booth with her. She told me how she wanted to vote. I marked the ballot accordingly – the only time in my life I “voted" for this party. But it was okay, because I was voting for my neighbour.
I have carried that memory with me all my life: In my imagination, I take people with me to the polls, casting a ballot with them in mind. As a religious person, I am offended by campaign appeals to my self-interest. I want to express my love and concern for my neighbour in all aspects of my life, including when I vote.
Tom Sherwood Ottawa
Dying and the law
Re Standing Down (Letters, Oct. 15): I will scream this until the day I die: Our political leaders are out of order to not appeal the Superior Court of Quebec’s decision that lifts restrictions on assisted-dying laws.
Before anything else, Canada should pass a bill to make elder abuse a crime. Only then should government be able to decide whether to allow people with dementia the right to an assisted death.
Canada should protect us before planning our deaths.
Andrea Marcus Toronto
Re A Chosen Death, In The Nick Of Time (Oct. 12): My wife died of early onset dementia at 61 after being gripped by an irreversible eight-year trajectory toward her demise.
Along the way, she was stubborn, uncontrollable, incontinent, non-ambulatory, non-verbal, and wound up breaking her hip, requiring surgery. At the end, the coroner decreed that she starved to death, unable as she was to chew solid food or swallow liquid nutrients. In short, her quality of life in her final months was nothing anyone would want to endure, despite stoic efforts by her care team.
I assure University of Toronto professor Trudo Lemmens, who finds it worrisome that "we try to focus on ending the life of people with Alzheimer’s, rather than improving quality of life,” that I’ve seen the futility of his perspective: Death, drawn out and undignified, patiently awaits. The best way to reduce the worst suffering, which comes in the patient’s final months, is to fully implement assisted-dying laws to provide true compassion, sparing them from the horrific hallmarks of a lonely, natural death.
Bruce Rhodes Richmond Hill, Ont.
Call me by your name
Re What’s In A Name? (First Person, Oct. 11): Contributor J Morgan Dick wrote that she had never met a Dyck before and implored, “Dycks, do get in touch!” So here I am.
We, too, laugh about filling a conversational pause with spelling our name out, something all in the family do instinctively. My spouse was even good enough to take on our last name in marriage!
In southern Manitoba, my birthplace, Dycks are quite common. But even there, naming a child “Harry” is only done by those well outside contemporary culture. In Ontario, people often pronounce it like “dike,” which I don’t bother correcting.
It has occurred to me that I could change my name, maybe to something indicative of my profession as a bookbinder. But so far, it is still an issue of pride I can’t shake.
Timothy Dyck Durham, Ont.
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