Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: firstname.lastname@example.org
A change to ‘climate change’?
Re Have Canada’s Voters Made A Green Shift? (Editorial, Sept. 9): Can some climate inaction be attributed to misleading terminology?
The looming devastation predicted by science seems obscured by such benign terms as “global warming,” “greenhouse effect” and even “climate change.” On the other hand, essential action uses frightening terms such as “war on warming” and “carbon tax.” The message: Why trade mild effects for miserable sacrifice?
Reality is the reverse: The threat is horrifying, while effective action will create a much healthier society. We need terms to fit. Some examples might be “climate catastrophe” for the threat, and a “Green New Deal” including a “carbon price and rebate” for the action toward a healthier future.
Elizabeth Snell Guelph, Ont.
The cost of teacher safety
Re How To Keep Teachers Safe (Letters, Sept. 10): A letter writer surmised that violence is often caused because some children “may need a different method of learning than currently offered to the majority of students in the classroom.” Some people may not realize that with fully integrated classrooms, teachers are already expected to provide individualized learning plans, sometimes for numerous students.
Unfortunately, those children with behavioural issues are the most difficult to serve. With cutbacks in education budgets for services such as educational assistants and psychological services, as well as increased class sizes, addressing the needs of these children will become even more difficult.
One’s heart goes out to parents of autistic children who are as frustrated as the children, and are trying to find a solution to providing an education for them.
Ann Sullivan Peterborough, Ont.
However the issue of balancing teacher safety and student needs gets solved, it will cost more money. Even so, it must be done if we want all our young people to get a good education.
We know they’ll need it, because the future is bringing them fewer manual jobs and more requiring a better education than we provide now.
William Baldwin Toronto
Not down with CPPIB
Re Who’s Down With CPPIB? (Letters, Sept. 10): It’s lovely to know that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is making money for retired Canadians. However, it does not please me that ethics are sometimes grievously compromised, such as when it invested in U.S. companies that manage migrant detention camps, as well as U.S. gun manufacturers.
Protests against the former successfully ended that investment. I am hoping the same causes the CPPIB to divest of the latter – the sooner the better.
Diana Chastain Toronto
The future of film
Re Cronenberg, In His Own Words and The Secrets And Lies Of Atom Egoyan (Arts and Books, Sept. 7): Recent coverage of any film festival, such as the Toronto International Film Festival, bears witness to the elephant in the room: Netflix’s impact on feature filmmaking and television programming. While we can thank this tech giant for at least improving production standards for TV series, its forays into film have had more dubious consequences that divide the creative community.
This is no more acute than for the independent filmmaker. As depicted by both Barry Hertz and Johanna Schneller’s interviews with David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan, respectively, both directors are keenly aware of the changing film landscape. But each has decided on different approaches to its challenges.
Mr. Cronenberg, sadly, is apparently done with feature filmmaking, and sees a future in the “novelization” of films as serial TV. Mr. Egoyan, in contrast, wants to energize the feature film in order to provide “concentrated" 90-minute experiences. For those of us to whom film is not just entertainment, but sustenance, both of these Canadian gems must be right.
Sean Michael Kennedy Oakville, Ont.
Churches: another calling
Re Vancouver Churches Leverage Land To Stay Afloat (Sept. 7): To weigh the merits of church redevelopment projects, consider how these properties have historically been funded: donations and tax exemptions. In return, church sites have long benefited the community at large. Church redevelopments ought to be held to a renewed standard of social impact.
This important work must not be for profit. As the executive director of a charity which aims to transform 100 church buildings into revitalized community hubs, I believe now is the time for Canada’s developers, urbanists and financiers to join in solving the charitable challenge of reimagining one of the country’s largest unused asset classes.
I sometimes tell them it might get them out of hell one day.
Graham Singh Executive Director, Trinity Centres Foundation; Montreal
Canvassing for civility
Re Save The Country, Go Offline (Opinion, Sept. 7): What a refreshing message from columnist Elizabeth Renzetti ahead of the upcoming election. As someone who canvasses for my federal incumbent, I have had some pretty trying experiences in political engagement.
There are those who pretend not to be at home – while the television is blaring and a screen door is left ajar; those who barely give you a glance when you hand them information; those who are only too glad to close the door before your back is turned; and those who profess absolutely no interest in how our government is spending our money.
However, I must congratulate the folks I had the good fortune to meet last weekend. Several were onside with my candidate and could even enumerate her accomplishments. Some were undecided but clearly willing to hear us out, while we likewise took the time to listen to their concerns. One woman was nursing her one-month-old baby and she could not have been more engaged in the discourse surrounding the election. We also met people who were clearly on “the other side,” but were still willing to discuss the issues respectfully. We were surprised by how many discussions were centred around in-depth knowledge of policies.
Canvassing can be a tough job, but I feel that I am honing my skills twofold: delivering my personal perspective and actively listening to what others have to say. There is much to be gained from direct human interaction.
Carol Victor Burlington, Ont.
It’s cool to love your minivan
Re More Than Just A Minivan (First Person, Sept. 9): Monta Johnson’s farewell to the family minivan was delightful, except for her contribution to an ongoing prejudice: “We knew it marked us as uncool.”
When I exchanged my beloved standard transmission Ford Ranger for a minivan 29 years ago, being seen as “uncool” was the farthest thing from my mind. It was all about having a safe and practical vehicle for the new baby, old dog and all the paraphernalia that belongs to a busy family life.
I still drive a van, because there’s nothing “uncool” about driving my family – and friends, my kids’ friends, their teammates, university-bound furniture, a load for the dump, luggage for vacations and long-distance family trips – safely and comfortably.
And sometimes this “minivan person” even drives you when you need more space. Which is a cool thing to do, don’t you think?
Jean Mills Guelph, Ont.
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