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Ontario Premier Doug Ford attends Question Period at the Queen's Park Legislature in Toronto on Nov. 14.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Past practice

Re Smith Scraps Alberta Health Services Board, Installs Sole Administrator (Nov. 18): After finding little about Jason Kenney or his policies to admire or support, I am now surprised by my feelings of gratitude and nostalgia. Although his response to the pandemic was often late, he did eventually respond and had by his side a competent chief medical officer.

Alberta now has a premier in Danielle Smith who is critical of public-health measures that Mr. Kenney brought in. It could be speculated that, in comparison to him, Ms. Smith would have done little to reduce sickness and death.

Albertans need a leader to help steer them, particularly those with young children, through the present crisis. But if Ms. Smith views simple mask-wearing as so detrimental to children’s mental health, they could be waiting a long time.

Suzanne Evans Calgary

Think on it

Re The 1.5 C Climate Goal Is Dying, But The UN Seems Determined To Keep It On Life Support (Report on Business, Nov. 18): If we’re not going to listen to climate scientists, maybe it’s time that behavioural scientists take the lead on climate change.

Now that there are eight billion of us, what can we realistically expect when it comes to altering our collective behaviour for the good of the planet? If we’re not prepared to wear a simple mask when out in public to protect the health of children in our own communities, how prepared are we to sacrifice for people who live on an island nation that no one can find on a map?

Michael Winward Hamilton

No way out

Re Mortgage Lenders Allow Unpaid Interest To Be Moved To Principal (Report on Business, Nov. 21): Such an arrangement is only feasible if rate increases are temporary, which seems unlikely, and the drop in housing prices is only a temporary correction and not a reversion to the mean.

For banks, such an arrangement makes sense. They can delay the recognition of loan losses until the market hopefully recovers. The loans will likely fail anyway, so they reduce their losses.

For borrowers of high-ratio mortgages with long amortization periods, it only buys time. Until earlier this year, rates were the lowest in several decades. They are likely to go higher as inflation reduction drags on for months, if not years.

For some recent buyers, allowing them to walk away from homes with partial loan forgiveness would be more merciful. If they made, in retrospect, a mistake, they can get on with their lives.

John Shepherd Richmond, B.C.

Those opposed?

Re Doug Ford Is Bad For Democracy (Editorial, Nov. 21): Ontario has another democracy deficit that I believe receives little attention: the lack of credible opposition.

Both of the traditional opposition parties feel like they have been missing in action for all of Doug Ford’s time in office. While news organizations continue to report on the Ford government’s poor performance, the consistency of daily review by a competent opposition is sorely missing.

Frank Malone Aurora, Ont.

Being green

Re It Ain’t Easy (Letters, Nov. 17): It’s horrifying to me that, in 2022, a letter-writer regards conservation authorities as just one of many “interest groups” to be offended in the quest to build housing, apparently comparable to homeowners’ associations worried about shadows on lawns. Conservation authorities should be viewed as the guardians of our food and water supplies, not to mention the environment in which we live.

He describes Toronto spreading outward for the “needs of the many.’' In the case of Ontario’s Greenbelt, it looks more like the needs of some developers and a few thousand people who can afford single-family homes and cars to commute.

Tom Sullivan Toronto

A letter-writer seeks the federal government’s disallowance of Ontario’s Bill 23, the flip side of Doug Ford’s recent use of the notwithstanding clause. So no need for judicial review nor engaging in public debate, just straight to the nuclear option.

The federal disallowance power was last used in 1943 and the preponderance of expert opinion is that it is a spent constitutional force. What’s next: a petition from Ms. Prescott’s Grade 7 class seeking disallowance of homework assignments over the holidays?

Peter James Vancouver

A letter-writer complains that the fuss about the removal of a mere 5,000 hectares (out of 810,000 hectares) from the Greenbelt that surrounds Toronto is out of proportion.

There is an age-old theory usually known as “the thin edge of the wedge.” Put another way: “Give them an inch and …”

Colin Lowe Nanaimo, B.C.

Haunted past

Re African Unions’ Bid For G20 Seat Fails (Nov. 17) The ghosts of imperialism and colonialism are out of the closet when the voice of a continent is denied.

Diane Duttle Kingston


Re Why I Won’t Watch The World Cup (Opinion, Nov. 19): An avid soccer fan, I attended a 2006 World Cup match in Germany. This time around, I will be joining contributor Declan Hill in not viewing any games from Qatar.

Further, I will boycott the products and services of World Cup sponsors during the tournament, and have communicated this to some of those corporations. It’s the least I can do to honour those who have suffered and died in setting the stage for this scandalized tournament.

Bruce Rhodes Richmond Hill, Ont.

Re World Cup Alcohol Ban Might Be Reaction To The West’s Criticism (Sports, Nov. 19): In 1991, following the invasion of Kuwait, I travelled to Doha, Qatar, with a team from CBC’s The Journal.

Qatar really is in the desert when it comes to alcohol. It took a few days of sniffing around before we found an expat businessman who knew of a stash. But how to smuggle it into the hotel?

Several cases of beer were packed into camera bags and loaded into our van. The next step involved hoodwinking unsuspecting members of the Royal 22nd Regiment in the lobby. They, as polite Canadians, were more than willing to help carry the heavy load to our office space. Clink, clink, clink and away we went past the front desk to the elevators.

I’d be lying if I said I recalled the soldiers joining us in hoisting a few, but I do remember the shock and smiles on their faces when we opened the boxes.

Kevin Tibbles NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (retired); Chicago

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