Easier said …
Re “Canadians deserve more than smug silence when public projects go off the rails” (Editorial, Oct. 2): It is tempting and frighteningly easy for a politician to launch a megaproject if, having used the grand idea for their campaign, they are happily elected. Purpose is served, and successors will have to answer for future failures.
Who will eat crow upon the possible abandonment of the Trans Mountain pipeline? As for Phil Verster, CEO of Metrolinx: Why would he want to see Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown LRT project completed at all?
It would only mean the derailment of his agency’s own gravy train.
Steve Harker Kingston
Give or take
Re “Have political polls become a crutch for journalists?” (Sept. 28): I applaud contributor Barry Kiefl for his courage in exposing the dubiousness in reported error margins in modern polling.
To the list of the world’s biggest lies, perhaps we should add “our error margin is +/- 3 per cent, 19 times out of 20,” along with “the cheque is in the mail.”
Edward Sadowski New Westminster, B.C.
Rights and politics
Re “Saskatchewan to invoke notwithstanding clause over school pronoun policy” (Sept. 29): As a trans woman, this once again proves to me that trans rights are not human rights.
For them to be human rights, they would have to be treated as human rights. Instead, trans rights only exist when nobody more powerful than trans people finds them inconvenient.
Do “concerned women” find trans rights inconvenient or intimidating in sports, chess or at spas? Then our rights are overruled, often pre-emptively.
Do parents find that trans rights imply too much privacy for their kids? Overruled, Charter or no Charter.
If a right only applies when nobody else objects to it, then it is not a right. Perhaps one day trans rights will be human rights.
But until they are treated as such, we can only rely on trans power.
Danielle Rae Montreal
Who are we trying to protect, parents or kids?
What sort of relationship exists where a child is unwilling or unable to approach their parents about something as fundamental as how they wish to be seen? Is it not indeed likely that those kids are potentially afraid of backlash at home, where power lies with parents?
Being a parent does not qualify an individual to tell anyone, even those under 16, who they are and how they should see themselves in society. Having schools available to provide a safe space for youth to work that out strikes me as a good way to go.
Trust them. The kids will be all right. At some point, every child and parent will have come to grips with how they see themselves. There is no way around it.
Let’s give everyone space and allow both kids and parents time to develop and learn.
Neil Alexander West Vancouver
Talk to me
Re “Bilingualism rule squeezes selection of a new Supreme Court justice” (Editorial, Sept. 28): Anthony Housefather, the Liberal MP for Mount Royal, was the only one in the House of Commons to vote against Bill C-13 to amend the Official Languages Act.
He cared about his constituents, the anglophone minority in Quebec. So what did this prince of a man get? A demotion in his party.
So now this language issue is affecting the Supreme Court. All I can say is that the Montreal Canadiens like to pick French-speaking hockey players. Guess what? They have not won in years.
Instead of picking judges by their knowledge of the law, it will be by knowledge of our two official languages. Canada should wake up. This cannot continue.
Candi Boroff Shatilla Mount Royal, Que.
I find no justification for claims that Western Canadians are disadvantaged by requiring Supreme Court judges to be bilingual.
I was raised in Western Canada many years ago, and even then I had no difficulty acquiring a high level of competence in French. There were immersion classes at elementary school, and French was offered at high school and university. I intended to pursue a career in public administration, and knowledge of both official languages was important to succeed.
Why on Earth would bilingualism not be considered a requirement for the highest court in the land? Why should francophone Quebeckers have to rely on interpreters? How would anglophone Canadians react if the shoe were on the other foot?
The current crop of hopefuls may regret their lack of foresight now, but the publicity of this issue will hopefully convince aspiring judges of the future to make the effort to learn French.
Brooke Jeffrey Professor, department of political science, Concordia University; Montreal
Take me higher
Re “Ottawa’s clean electricity regulations put consumers at risk, Alberta’s electricity operator says” (Report on Business, Sept. 29): How far are we willing to go, to go green? The average Danish household spends as much as 2,500 kroner (about $480) per month for heat and 1,560 kroner ($300) per month for electricity.
We could certainly move in that direction, but I see only one place we could change household budgets to make those numbers work for Canadian families: Federal and provincial taxes would have to be reduced by as much as 50 per cent.
That may not be such a bad thing.
Peter Kaufmann Winnipeg
Re “Pope Francis shakes the ground beneath his detractors, yet again” (Sept. 27): For some people, having ordained women priests and deacons feels like the Holy Grail of progressivism and equality in the Catholic Church. However, I see this starry-eyed focus on ordained ministry as just another example of clericalism – precisely what the Pope has set out to combat.
Many churches have opened up ordained ministry to women, but all too often the outcomes have been disappointing, with women remaining a disempowered and often underpaid minority. Another far more realistic way forward exists. For instance, women could be democratically elected parish and diocesan chancellors with real powers to hire staff, manage real estate and pursue sociopolitical action.
Let’s first try that, and perhaps revisit the ordination question when the time is ready.
Matthijs Kronemeijer Toronto
Re “Henderson scores for Canada to win Summit Series” (Moment in Time, Sept. 28): I’ll never forget the chant from the Canadian fans at those games in Moscow that flummoxed the Russians: “Da, da Canada; nyet, nyet Soviet!”
Chris Gates Cobourg, Ont.
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