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People shopping at a grocery store in Toronto in November, 2022.CARLOS OSORIO/Reuters

Cross Canada

Re In Time and Something’s Gotta Give (Letters, Jan. 12): I found it somewhat ironic that one letter-writer supports the “just transition” of fossil fuel workers to more sustainable occupations, while the very next writer is blessed to live in Quebec because of “amazing” programs such as one for Alzheimer’s care.

Perhaps the first letter-writer can explain to the second how that program (let alone countless others) would continue once Alberta is no longer able to contribute billions of dollars in equalization payments to Quebec.

With the pace at which the federal government wants to speed up what would otherwise be a natural and market-driven transition, I see no amount of “just transition” that is going to make up for the tax revenue, exports and overall GDP provided by the fossil fuel industry.

Dave McClurg Calgary

Please hold

Re To Meet The Moment, The Transport Minister Needs More Ire – Not Apologies – For Airline Executives (Jan. 13): During summer and fall of 2022, Air Canada customers wishing to speak with an agent faced wait times of two to three hours. This is when there were no adverse weather events or nationwide flight cancellations. Where was the Transport Minister back then?

When business-as-usual wait times exceed one hour, what should Omar Alghabra think will happen during a severe winter storm? How can he be surprised, offended and shocked when hundreds of flights are cancelled and three-hour wait times stretch into forever?

This is not a problem confined to airlines. Callers to the city of Toronto can wait for an hour, listen to profuse apologies for the delay, then be treated to a choice of music while they wait more.

We should welcome events that cause our communication systems to collapse. It would force the folks in charge to do something about the abysmal service their organizations routinely provide.

Patrick Cowan Toronto

Don’t fight it

Re When Can You Start? (Letters, Jan. 11): A letter-writer suggests that “the central bank should implement a sound fiscal plan and stop the rate hikes.” While one may criticize the Bank of Canada for action or inaction falling within its powers, those powers do not include fiscal policy.

Fiscal decisions fall in the federal government’s domain, where current policies do not prioritize inflation-fighting. So the dirty work is left to the BoC, whose tools are largely limited to the blunt, painful and slow-acting force of rate hikes.

Torben Andersen Red Deer, Alta.

When the economy is decimated by events like COVID-19, demand for goods and services starts to build. This demand reaches a tipping point where it has no choice but to satisfy itself with supply. The supply period is relative to the degree the economy has been deprived; today we are witnessing an extended period.

The Bank of Canada seems to misinterpret this by deploying its own devices to cool the supply issue which, in its opinion, is fuelling inflation. But inflation should be considered a natural byproduct of this cycle, and no amount of fighting will end it prematurely. The cycle will end, as will inflation, when supply deficiencies are met.

The BoC is taking action that will likely have a nil effect on its intended purposes and a negative effect on the business culture, from which many will not survive.

Neil McLaughlin Burlington, Ont.

Re U.S. Fed Shouldn’t Get Involved In Climate Policy, Powell Says (Report on Business, Jan. 11): This position suggests that central banks are not involved in climate policy and should keep it that way. However, in view of the fact that corporate asset purchases in recent years by the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Canada have significantly propped up the fossil fuel sector, central banks should be already be seen as climate policy makers.

The powerful instruments of modern monetary policy have unintended consequences, including for the climate. While central bankers are right that climate considerations are not currently part of mandates, it is fair to ask whether they should be.

On this issue, North American central banks and regulators lag behind some European counterparts, who have decided to tilt any asset purchases in favour of green assets.

Peter Dietsch Victoria

Food for thought

Re The Conspiracy To Inflate Food Prices (Editorial, Jan. 11): We’re told that supply management leads to higher prices in Canada. With supermarkets now listing everything online, it’s easy to find out how high they actually are.

In Norway, a high-cost country known for its agricultural tariffs, one litre of milk costs about $3. At Britain’s Waitrose (whose mere presence indicates a rich neighbourhood) it’s $1.93. In France and Sweden, I found prices around $1.70.

At last check, Loblaw’s No Frills is listing one litre of milk for $3.39. Poor Canadians are being charged almost twice as much as King Charles.

David Arthur Cambridge, Ont.

First, before any price increases are instituted, the proponents should be obliged to come before the appropriate parliamentary committee to justify their position.

Second, supply management organizations should be prohibited from using our money on expensive advertising to keep telling us how fortunate we are that they exist.

John Sutherland Calgary

One question: Why are we the only Western country still using supply management?

David Pollack Toronto

Not the same

Re Inundation Of Visitors Prompts Parks Canada To Close Picture-perfect Moraine Lake In Banff To Personal Vehicles (Jan. 10): Back in the seventies, I spent two summers working in Banff and Lake Louise.

One day off, a couple of us hitchhiked into Moraine Lake. There must have been a parking lot, but I don’t remember it. What I recall is its beauty and feeling of remoteness.

Fast forward to 2019 when my daughter, her two small children and I visited friends in Calgary. I insisted we stop at Moraine Lake. What a difference 45 years had made: The place was crawling, the magic gone.

Think of the natural wonders around the world doomed to the same fate. What will we leave our children?

Carol Town Hamilton

Opt out

Re Out For Delivery (Letters, Jan. 13): How to deal with excessive charity mail? Call the charities one does support and ask for one request per annum.

Solicitations from a charity one doesn’t support? Call and ask to be removed from the mailing list.

And it should be emphasized: These items should never be disposed of in recycling unopened, before all identifying information has been deleted.

Patricia Wallis Toronto


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