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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media and students in Toronto on Oct. 23 regarding his government's new federally imposed carbon pricing.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here:


Carbon pricing

Re Ottawa To Announce Carbon Rebates In Four Provinces (Oct. 23): Now will you stop calling it a tax? If the money goes from polluters to people, it is a price on pollution, not a tax. This is not semantics. Even George Schultz, a senior Republican and a former U.S. secretary of state has said that “it’s not a tax if the government doesn’t keep the money.”

It’s very simple to come out ahead on this deal – pollute less than average.

John Stephenson, Toronto


What possible significant effect can a new tax of 4.3 cents a litre have on fuel consumption? How can all the tax collected be returned, given the administrative costs associated with collecting and redistributing it?

Once more, I plead the case (with no personal involvement) for governments immediately to invest heavily in carbon capture. This would involve no new taxes, create jobs and be a positive rather than a negative approach to solving the emissions problem.

Bernard Downes, Stouffville, Ont.


Bravo to the federal government for announcing a fee and dividend-type carbon pricing mechanism to cover provinces that refuse to implement carbon pricing on their own. The annual increase in the price of fossil fuels will send a signal to the market to find and develop clean energy alternatives to high-carbon energy and products, helping Canada’s clean tech sector.

The incentive cheques to families will help them in the transition to a clean energy economy. It is smart policy that will stimulate our economy, while reducing carbon pollution – a great beginning in demonstrating global leadership on the most pressing problem of our time.

Cheryl McNamara, Toronto

Pardon, not expungement

Re Pot Pardons Just Won’t Do (editorial, Oct. 22): Once a record is pardoned, it can only be disclosed in exceptional circumstances, and not for routine purposes such as applying for a background check for employment, housing, a passport or a loan.

Expungement, by contrast, is slower and more costly. It is an extraordinary measure intended to be used only where the law itself – not its uneven application, but the law itself – was a violation of human rights and never should have existed. Such was the case with sections of the Criminal Code that deliberately discriminated against LGBTQ2+ Canadians because of their sexual orientation. That is unconstitutional. Those records were expunged because they should never have existed.

The effectiveness of pardons is protected by the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against an individual for a conviction that has been pardoned. Prospective employers, landlords and others are prohibited from asking if someone has been convicted of an offence for which a pardon has been granted. They are required to ask “have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence for which a pardon has not been granted?” In such cases, applicants who have received pardons can reply “no,” giving the same response as someone who has never been convicted.

The bottom line is that the benefits of expungement that some are touting either don’t exist or are achieved by pardons.

Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, MP Kanata-Carleton

Ranking satisfaction

I am sending this letter to the editor before knowing the results of the municipal election here, so as not to let the outcome colour my perspective.

But I must say that the ranked ballot system used in London to select municipal leaders actually made voting enjoyable.

After all, in most cases (and for most voters) decisions are usually not black and white (love this candidate, hate that one).

Instead, it’s more likely a case of prefer this one, that one’s not too bad, could tolerate the third one – with, of course, the option of selecting just one (or two), depending on how strongly one feels about those competing.

So to the rest of Canada (and to the federal Liberals, who broke their promise to scrap FPTP in federal elections), I would say: Try it. You’ll like it!

Gino Nicodemo, London, Ont.


Re CBC Decides What’s News – You And I Just Pay For It (Oct. 22): We’ve all seen it. Forty per cent of the voters elect a majority government and, in the glare of the TV lights, some slightly desperate talking head looks at his colleagues and earnestly announces that the electorate has sent a clear message that it wants a move to the right, or left, or whichever way it’s gone. Meanwhile, 60 per cent of the voters have sent no such message at all.

You can’t really blame the pundits. They’re paid to be there; they have to say something to earn their money. So they flounder around and spout nonsense.

So, with all due respect to John Doyle (and that’s a lot of respect as far as I’m concerned), three cheers for CBC and The National for not subjecting us to hours of drivelling punditry as the results trickled in from municipal elections. They showed the results, they showed the acceptance speeches and then they got out and moved on to the retreat of glaciers in the Yukon. (They have dust storms in the Yukon now. Think about that.)

Tom Sullivan, Toronto


Re Surrey Mayor-Elect’s Demands Spark Regional Battle Over Transit, Threaten To Upend 10-Year Plan (Oct. 23): The mayor-elect for Surrey, B.C., is pushing for an elevated SkyTrain extension instead of the previously agreed upon light-rail project. The reason given is that the LRT will take up too much space needed by automobiles.

This is the reason the City of Ottawa spent a ton of money on a tunnel that has caused implementation delays when surface options were available. I thought one of reasons for improving transit was to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Silly me.

Ken Duff, Vankleek Hill, Ont.

Discomfited by race

Re No, To Kill A Mockingbird Shouldn’t Be Taught In 2018 (Oct. 22): Racism in literature can be an uncomfortable talk.

Andray Domise mentions Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes, originally released in Canada under that apt and accurate title. In the United States, however, the book got euphemistically retitled as Someone Knows My Name.

Uncomfortable, indeed.

Mel Simoneau, Gatineau, Que.

Hmm …

Re Snore No More (First Person, Oct. 22): I am happy to announce a snoring breakthrough.

Research conducted by myself, with no government grants, or donations from Big Pharma, has shown that snoring can be stopped. The conclusion flowing from my efforts is that if my wife takes out her expensive hearing aids, I do not snore any more.

You are welcome.

John Cocker, Stouffville, Ont.

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