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One reader compared Greta Thunberg's time spent in Alberta to that of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, seen here on Oct. 19, 2019.

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Alberta vs. Thunberg

Re Why Jason Kenney Is Afraid Of Greta Thunberg (Oct. 18): Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon says that Greta Thunberg “doesn’t understand” the province. How can a 16-year-old from Sweden know a Canadian province better than a grown man who has lived there all his life? But maybe, with the benefit of a distant viewpoint, she really does.

Either way, Mr. Nixon and Jason Kenney’s reaction to Ms. Thunberg’s visit to Alberta, along with the “we love oil and gas” posters pasted on the legislature windows, seems to show a lot less maturity than this precocious young woman.

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Luke Mastin Toronto

For more than 30 years, I have never missed voting in a federal, provincial or municipal election. I may not vote this time. I want to, but I am struggling to see why Alberta matters.

Greta Thunberg has just spent multiple days here. That’s about as much or more time than our federal leaders have spent in the province this campaign, including Andrew Scheer, who is confident of Alberta’s Conservative base.

What does it say about the province’s place in federal politics when a famous anti-pipeline climate activist has upstaged those seeking election?

Dan Petryk Calgary

Under fire

Re Ex-Dragon Cranks Up Heat On Oil Sands’ Critics (Report On Business, Oct. 18): It astonishes me that Brett Wilson and his fellow Alberta oil boosters keep raising the idea of separation. If Alberta is having problems building the interprovincial infrastructure needed to transport oil and gas, do they think those prospects would improve if the province became a sovereign entity? Separation would make the environmentalists’ day.

Moreover, if the fossil-fuel industry collapses, Alberta would likely need the support of a broader confederation to transition its economy.

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Leonard Baak Stittsville, Ont.

Oh, Obama, oh

Re Oh, Obama (Letters, Oct. 18): A letter-writer credited Barack Obama for the quality of drinking water that Canadians and American share. One should ask the people of Flint, Mich., how they feel about Mr. Obama’s response to their water crisis.

But I believe we do share much with our U.S neighbours: We too have a leader who has flouted the rules, yet still seeks re-election.

However, it would be on Canadian voters if we do not hold our politicians to a higher standard.

Shawn Leasa Stratford, Ont.

Real capitalism requires stewardship of public and private capital. Democracy depends on reasoned consensus forged from respectful dialogue. Conservatives have traditionally exemplified these values, but on both sides of the border they have more recently shown disdain for science, equitable capitalism and rational leadership. Society needs to rise above the tired frontier of economy versus environment, partisanship versus citizenship.

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There is prosperity in building sustainable economies to meet the challenges of climate change and the care of our planet. I believe Barack Obama was right in voicing support for a prime minister who is more attuned to that challenge.

Gordon Cartwright High River, Alta.

A minor detail

Re The Major Facts To Consider With Minority Governments (Oct. 17): The salient fact behind a minority government in Canada is that Canadians themselves have not voted to support a majority government. It reflects political diversity among the people themselves and must be respected.

A minority government is not an aberrant form that requires rectification. On the contrary, it demands that the political parties themselves work together in a way consistent with the popular will. Under those conditions, some form of co-operation or coalition is not a sign of failure, but a duty to the electorate.

Larry Hannant Victoria

The scientific evidence on climate change now tells us that Canada must not only meet its targets from the Paris Agreement, but surpass them. This election may deliver the means to accomplish that goal: a coalition government whose left-of-centre leaders may just have the fortitude to more seriously address the climate crisis.

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As such, it is my fervent hope that such a coalition would understand any government’s foremost obligation should be achieving a consensus on an issue that, if not prioritized over the next four years, may become an irreversible disaster.

Leone Pippard National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, 1989-1994; Fredericton

Re Scheer Makes Minority Leadership Pitch (Oct. 18): Andrew Scheer says that if the Conservatives get more votes than the Liberals in a minority election outcome, he should have the right to form government. Is he trying to change the rules of Parliament?

It’s a sitting prime minister who has that right, and in Canada it’s about the confidence of Parliament – not the number of votes one party gets. Mr. Scheer seems to be thinking like an American.

Elizabeth Fernandes Toronto

Ban them all?

Re The Parties’ Takes On Guns And Crime (Oct. 18): Those who fight the banning of handguns ignore their biggest use: suicide. The great majority of suicide deaths are by handgun, including two in my extended family.

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If banning them prevents even one suicide, it is worth it.

David Chalmers Ottawa

Would a handgun ban include the police? Like the theft of a handgun from a store that was then used to kill people on the Danforth in Toronto, a stolen police handgun could be used for the same purpose.

Why should the police be given the privilege of self-protection when I would not be extended the same? Yes, let’s have a ban, but it must include all of society – otherwise, there would always be a group with better access to safety than everyone else.

Alex Doulis Toronto

Garneau’s record

Re Worried Canadians Urged Garneau To Halt Max Jet (Oct. 18): Transport Minister Marc Garneau is an accomplished Canadian who has been an astronaut and head of the Canadian Space Agency, and holds a doctorate in electrical engineering. The catastrophic accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet seemed to be one where a prudent minister would want further information prior to taking any action – like Mr. Garneau did in seeking a briefing the next day – or possibly none at all.

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The plane was not built in Canada. The accident did not involve a Canadian airline. It did not take place in Canadian territory. I believe Mr. Garneau’s behaviour was entirely appropriate for the circumstance.

Brenda Dunbar Waterloo, Ont.

Do not talk about it

Re Moment in Time – Fight Club Makes Its Debut (Oct. 15): I quote: “There’s probably not a person alive older than the age of 20 in the Western world who doesn’t know what the first rule of fight club is.”

For my benefit, since I am older than 20: Could someone please tell me what it is?

Linda Lumsden Peterborough, Ont.

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