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Make it so
Re ‘Moderate Livelihood’ Isn’t For Canada To Define (Oct. 23): Condemnation is easy, but does little to resolve a problem. Negotiation is hard, but too often fails when the prize is large and both sides are entrenched. After 21 years of negotiations in this dispute, that avenue looks to have failed.
My solution is proclamation: Government should unilaterally draft a competent set of laws, based on strong research and input from knowledgeable sources, and enforce it. Both sides would howl, but is that not what they have been doing for decades?
John Budreski Vancouver
Re Without Political Courage, Site C Is On Track To Be B.C.'s Muskrat Falls (Oct. 21): Relative to Site C and Muskrat Falls, we should stand back as a country and get our strategy straight.
On one hand, we are on an endless crusade to fight climate change, with no strong realization of what it takes financially and physically to replace our current energy sources. On the other, we bemoan the financial impact of what happened in Ontario with green energy and on these two projects, and claim they are not needed. Meanwhile, politicians wax poetic about net-zero emissions and low-carbon economies, and protests are a constant roadblock.
Government is set to embark on another set of such projects, seemingly not learning from the past. Perhaps those in charge should map out a rational and time-sensitive approach.
Chris Tworek Calgary
Re How Biden’s Carbon Tariff Plan Would Challenge Canada (Report on Business, Oct. 17): I believe columnist Adam Radwanski is right: Canada’s economy is too small to impose border carbon tariffs unless other countries also do so. However, when carbon pricing around the world gets high enough, it’ll be worthwhile for countries to protect domestic industries from the unfair competition of others who are less conscientious about the climate.
Carbon border adjustments could be designed to be compliant with the World Trade Organization, and they don’t have to be complex: Fees could be levied according to the “carbon content” of goods. I don’t look on such a system as punitive; I think it’s fair.
Those who won’t help to solve the climate problem shouldn’t be able to take advantage of our businesses. No matter which side of the border it occurs on, pollution shouldn’t be free.
Cathy Lacroix Toronto
The hour for carbon border tariffs may soon arrive. Those proposed in the European Union make the spread of such policies more likely, given the heft of that market.
If Democrats win big in the U.S. election, carbon pricing also becomes more likely there. Imagine the impact of nearly 330 million Americans paying a respectable carbon price. Emissions would fall quickly, and Canadian consumers would catch a welcome break. Wouldn’t that be a dream?
Andy Kubrin Calgary
Stephen Harper’s Throne Speech of October, 2013, promised “polluter pays,” though never went beyond the words. Sweet irony to have Justin Trudeau fulfill Mr. Harper’s promise; maybe appropriate for the kind of year it has been.
Tom Cullen Toronto
Re You Don’t Get A Halo Just Because You’re A Mom (Opinion, Oct. 17): As a teacher, my successful-childless-career-woman halo was frequently dented by colleagues with children. They remarked that parenthood made for more understanding and compassionate educators. After I had my only child in my late-30s, I soon realized those much-resented comments bore strong elements of truth.
When a student arrived on a cold day with their jacket open and one mitten missing, I understood the challenges of getting everyone out of the house on time, morning after morning. When a mom unexpectedly burst into tears during a parent-teacher meeting, I sympathized with her, recognizing that parenthood is so often overwhelming. I had indeed become a better teacher and a better person.
Motherhood, as columnist Elizabeth Renzetti points out, does not make a woman morally superior. But it does present her with a perspective that can make a more thoughtful and empathetic person.
Wendy LeBlanc Picton, Ont.
Day to day
Re Pining For Prepandemic Life? Our ‘Normal’ Was An Anomaly (Opinion, Oct. 17): I fully support contributor Ken Cuthbertson’s assertion that most of us born in the decade after the Second World War had falsely come to expect domestic peace and a constant upward curve of prosperity. This belief dovetails with Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” argument, which has proven inaccurate.
A more appropriate framework might be the work of economic historian Fernand Braudel, who wrote about the longue durée – the opposite of short-term thinking. To him, the progress of civilization concerns everyday life, not simply great events and people. This historical lens might better steer us through this pandemic.
Suzette Blom Toronto
Re Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic, A New Model Without Tipping Emerges For Restaurant Workers (Online, Oct. 20): St. Lawrence, a small, well-regarded restaurant in Vancouver, has another method.
Because of COVID-19, it has gone to a prix fixe menu. When a diner makes a reservation, they pay for the meal, an 18-per-cent gratuity included. When a diner shows up to eat, they still pay for drinks (and gratuity on that) but that’s all. Works well.
Jane McCall Delta, B.C.
Made in Canada
Re Remaking Canada’s Literary Memory (Arts & Pursuits, Oct. 17): Canadian literature doesn’t need to be European in origin. If the story has a Canadian locale, or some Canadian connection, then there is a Canadian literary aspect to it.
Canada is a bed-and-breakfast country: People come, people leave, but the country never really leaves them.
Douglas Cornish Ottawa
Trick or treat?
Re Cancelling Halloween Is Downright Ghoulish (Oct. 20): There is much debate about cancelling trick-or-treating, and there is one group that is particularly vulnerable: those of lower income living in crowded conditions, in multigenerational families and in high rises, which are also areas where the virus is prevalent. It would be difficult for kids to distance themselves in corridors and from candy dispensers, and easy for them to carry the virus home to their families.
For those privileged to live in street-level homes, likely in areas of lower virus prevalence, maybe it is time to cancel trick-or-treating in solidarity, and reflect on how fortunate they are.
Andrew Chong Toronto
Columnist André Picard is right on the money with his comments in support of outdoor trick-or-treating. How do we get him on Doug Ford’s advisory panel?
Lynda Langdon Thornhill, Ont.
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