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Something in the air
Re Let’s Clear The Air: Vaping Holds Great Promise For Smokers (Opinion, Oct. 5): Physician and researcher Mark Tyndall suggests that vaping is a good alternative for smokers, so long as the products are properly regulated. But how does that view square with an outbreak of vaping-related lung disease and a number of deaths?
There doesn’t seem to be a way to clear the air for vaping: The only promise it holds, like cigarettes, looks to be smoke-related illness.
Mike Hillis Port Williams, N.S.
Canada, meet Sweden
Re Canada Lags On Climate Action. But We’re In Good (Bad) Company (Oct. 4): Rather than Germany, France or Britain, Canada should look elsewhere for examples of what is politically possible in the fight against climate change. Take Sweden.
The country first introduced a low-level carbon tax in 1991. After staged increases, it now sustains one of the highest rates in the world at an equivalent of more than $150. This has been offset by income-tax reductions for low- and middle-income households, as well as increased social transfers.
During this period, Sweden says its economy has grown 75 per cent, while greenhouse-gas emissions have shrunk by 25 per cent. And according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Sweden now has the second-lowest carbon intensity of its membership. This is impressive for a country that, like Canada, has cold winters, a large natural-resource processing sector and a relatively small but highly urbanized population.
Ken Klassen Winnipeg
A clear election issue
Re From Coast To Coast, 21 Key Ridings To Watch (Oct. 4): The Globe reports that in the Northern Ontario riding of Kenora, NDP candidate Rudy Turtle, chief of the Grassy Narrows First Nation, is running “because he is frustrated by the federal government’s response to mercury poisoning in his community.” Mr. Turtle should not have to run in an election for the basic human necessity of clean water. For any Canadian to not have ready access to it is a stain on all of us.
Jonathan Usher Toronto
About that, Mr. Scheer…
Re Scheer Holds American Citizenship, But Says He’s Renouncing It (Oct. 4): I don’t care if Andrew Scheer holds dual citizenship – it’s legal. I don’t care if he renounces his American citizenship, either – it won’t magically change any of his long-held political views. But I do care about the hypocrisy of someone who criticized former governor-general Michaëlle Jean over her dual citizenship while being fully aware of his own.
I’d also question the leadership ability of someone who has turned a simple to-do – filling out a set of renouncement forms after becoming Conservative Leader – into a two-year ordeal, and counting.
Bruce Mason Toronto
On the verge of an election where Andrew Scheer could become prime minister of Canada, he now promises to dispose of his American citizenship. But he has had a lifetime to get rid of it.
In 1933, my father renounced his dual citizenship when he turned 21. Asked why many years later, he just said that he loved Canada.
I know loyalty is an old-fashioned idea. But it is perhaps the single most important virtue one might seek in a national leader.
Mary Lazier Corbett Picton, Ont.
Re Scheer Says He Is Anti-abortion But Won’t Reopen A Debate In Parliament (Oct. 4): So, Andrew Scheer won’t reopen the abortion debate. Here is why that should be: The law is clear.
In R v. Morgentaler, 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada found that the abortion law in Section 251 of the Criminal Code was inconsistent with Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof. …" The decision was released on Jan. 28, 1988 – more than 30 years ago.
Debate away, if one must, but know this: Canada is not about to go the way of the United States. Women in Canada have the right to security of the person, including the right to have an abortion, and will not be deprived of it.
However, each woman is entitled to make her own decision in this very personal matter. To those who oppose abortion, I say this: Don’t have one; that’s your choice, guaranteed by the Charter.
Suzie Scott Hamilton
Re A Conservative Plan To Shake Up Foreign Aid (Editorial, Oct. 3): Andrew Scheer should join me in my humanitarian travels to the developing world, where my Rotary International group is implementing hundreds of projects to help the poor gain access to safe water and sanitation – keys to better education and health.
He could witness what the world would look like with less foreign aid: women and girls still trekking six kilometres a day to fetch water; pregnant women walking for three days to reach a clinic for a safe birth; children interrupting their classes to walk two hours to bring water back to school.
If Mr. Scheer proposes to change Canada’s foreign aid, it should be to increase funding so we can better meet our obligation to a world where millions of people, through no fault of their own, lack the basics of life.
Ron Denham Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group; Toronto
About that, Mr. Trudeau…
Re Despite Continued Pressure, Main Parties Won’t Implement Handgun Ban (Oct. 1): Given the recent increase in gun homicides in Canada, Justin Trudeau’s proposal for municipal authority to ban handguns seems myopic.
Picture, say, neighbouring Vancouver and Burnaby, with guns allowed on the east side of Boundary Road, but forbidden on the west. That’s before even considering Richmond bordering to the south. A similar quagmire would await every urban centre across the country.
Guns should not be treated as a municipal problem; they are a cultural problem. Regular citizens should never need one. Period.
P.D. Graham Kamloops
Shine a light
Re Researchers Call For Further Study Of Financial Abuse In Canada (Oct. 1): The story of intimate-partner financial abuse is a hidden narrative usually buried deep within the subterranean fissures of society.
However, I believe this new research – which shows that financial abuse, like other forms of violence against women, is used as a tactic for harm and control – is merely the tip of the iceberg. Canadians should not sidestep or ignore this ugly and uncomfortable intersection of money and abuse.
Laurie Campbell CEO, Credit Canada; Toronto
Re Despite WeWork’s Turmoil, Office-sharing Locations Grow (Report On Business, Oct. 2): The picture of two people sharing one table at a WeWork office in downtown Toronto, along with news that co-working space across Canada is expected to jump to 7.4 million square feet in 2020, has persuaded me to invest in companies that manufacture ear plugs, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer and especially air fresheners.
It might be like working on public transit – but much more expensive.
David Honigsberg Toronto
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