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Oh brother, where art thou?
Re Andrew Scheer Must Go (Oct. 24): Columnist Konrad Yakabuski suggests the Conservatives need a more inclusive message. That seems to imply that Canada needs a Conservative Party that doesn’t represent conservative views.
We have three parties that represent progressive views. The Liberals, NDP and Greens seem to have similar objectives, just differences of opinion on how to get there. The Conservatives have a completely different view of how society should work. They believe government is bad and taxes are bad. They represent a minority of Canadians, but those Canadians deserve a party that represents their values.
Two-thirds of Canadians generally have three parties to choose from. Progressive voters don’t need a fourth that only pretends to represent their values.
Bob Brews Toronto
Perhaps the time is right for the Conservatives to drop the Reform Party baggage and bring back the Progressive Conservatives – the party of John Robarts and Robert Stanfield, the party of Bill Davis and Brian Mulroney (yes, the same one who led the PCs to two successive federal majority governments). A party that was built on pragmatism and centrism – the same place where most voters reside.
I miss that party.
Michael Kaczorowski Ottawa
I was around during the reigns of John Robarts and Bill Davis in Ontario, and I am embarrassed to say that I had to be reminded that they were Progressive Conservatives, because what I remember about them both is not the party that they led, but that their leadership for the most part seemed pragmatic and wise, each issue considered on its merits.
A leader of stature can sway many voters.
Cassandra King Clementsport, N.S.
Re Trudeau Will Work With Any Party, As Long As It’s On His Terms (Oct. 24): Many of us will recall that when Paul Martin led a minority Liberal government, he sought the support of the NDP. Among the things that then-NDP leader Jack Layton asked in exchange was an increase of $500-million to foreign aid.
I hope that the NDP will put forward the same condition for their support of the Trudeau government, and I hope that this increase would be a down payment of sorts on a long-term commitment to restore the share of our national wealth allocated to aid. When Mr. Layton made his demand, Canada was giving 0.3 per cent of its national income to international aid. This figure has since dropped to 0.28 per cent under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
If we need to make trade-offs to make the new government work, they might as well save lives.
Jean-François Tardif Gatineau
My perspective: The emphasis for Justin Trudeau should switch from saving the planet to saving the Confederation – something he has the ability to directly influence.
Don McLauchlin Toronto
Re Analysts Say SNC Shares Surged On Settlement Prospects (Report on Business, Oct. 23): I hope the Liberals understand that while they have a limited mandate to govern, they do not have a mandate to override prosecutorial independence in the SNC-Lavalin case, whatever the Bloc Québécois may think. I really do not want our judicial system to be corrupted by politicking.
Jim Paulin Ottawa
Winter is coming
Re In Canada, Disunity Comes With The Territory (Oct. 23): Those Albertan “Wexiters” losing their minds after the federal election are the very same people who gloated about the results of the last provincial election here.
I would remind them that nearly the same percentage of Albertans, about 33 per cent, voted NDP provincially as Canadians voted Conservative federally, about 34 per cent. We NDP supporters, in our long winters, have always found ways to cope, contribute and even thrive. So, perhaps, should they.
Virgil Grandfield Lethbridge, Alta.
How the West could be won
Re The Liberals’ Challenge In The West (Editorial, Oct. 24): Having resided in Alberta for more than 30 years, I see how difficult it must be for the rest of Canada to feel sympathy for the province. Going forward, two things should happen.
First, Alberta and other fossil-fuel producing provinces should accept that climate change is real; that the burning of fossil fuels is a primary cause; that transitioning to carbon-free energy sources is necessary.
Second, the rest of Canada should recognize that the world is still going to be burning fossil fuels for many decades; that it should be in our national interest to burn Canadian fossil fuels; that any clean energy initiatives and investments should be directed to the fossil-fuel producing province, which will be most impacted by an energy transition.
Mark Roberts Calgary
Re Westerly Winds (Letters, Oct. 24): A letter writer suggests building a pipeline north through the Northwest Territories to Alaska. I have often thought that the more logical route would an eastern pipeline through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the port of Churchill.
I realize Hudson Bay is susceptible to freezing over, but I suspect, as we experience more climate change, that even this problem would likely be resolved.
Kelly MacGregor Toronto
A letter writer believes that building pipelines is pointless as the internal combustion engine may soon become a relic. Maybe so, but approximately half of every barrel of oil still goes to petrochemicals. To those who would hasten the demise of the oil industry, I ask how they would replace the feedstock used to produce the plastics in phones and computers, the carpet for homes, the fertilizer for gardens, the fabrics for clothes, the ingredients for cosmetics and medicines – the list goes on.
Something to think about.
Mark Thomas Cochrane, Alta.
A letter writer observes that he has never seen hard times anywhere in Canada like he sees now in Alberta. Has he never wondered why there are so many Newfoundlanders working in Alberta?
Dave Sanderson Carleton Place, Ont.
I have fantastic news for those who were distressed by the lack of leaders’ debates in the recent campaign: A new set of debates is about to begin.
Parliament will soon convene, and in the coming months and years, every new law will be debated extensively, often quite thoughtfully, either by the leaders or by ministers and their critics. In presidential systems such as in the United States, no such mechanism exists by which citizens can assess the government of the day in direct, sustained debate against entire teams of governments-in-waiting. It is citizens of those countries who have had to contrive the much inferior mechanism of televised campaign debates.
To Canadians who think their ability to cast an informed vote was compromised by the number or quality of our televised leaders’ debates, I warmly recommend you pay attention to the splendid institution that is the Parliament of Canada between now and the next election.
Grant H.P. Smith Victoria
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