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Burrowing owls are one of Canada's most endangered species.RHONA WISE/Reuters

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:


Saving species. Maybe

Re Noah’s Ark Reloaded: A New Calculus For Canada’s Species At Risk (Sept. 15): Had Canada actually taken the steps necessary when it enacted Species At Risk Act (SARA) legislation 15-plus years ago, we would not be in the position that we are now.

Canada can do better. A good first step: Issue emergency protection orders for species facing immediate threats to their survival or recovery. Second, require industry to contribute financially where its actions impose additional threats to species at risk, or where there is the prospect of habitat degradation. Simply put, it is the cost of doing business. This is what most Canadians want: It is time for politicians to start listening.

There are perhaps two things in favour of maintaining at least the status quo on environmental protection and species at risk. The first is the recent court decision on Trans Mountain, that correctly identified a failure to consider impacts on southern resident killer whales. The second: The federal Liberals are unlikely to try to change SARA in a run-up to an election because they realize that would cost them seats. We live in sad – not interesting – times.

Roger Emsley, Delta B.C.


We are being told it is “unaffordable” to save many of the species humans have driven to the brink of extinction. If governments were truly committed to saving species, instead of just creating good optics, responsible politicians could surely find the funding instead of frittering our tax dollars away.

Pamela Stagg, Picton, Ont.


I admire biologist Tara Martin’s approach to conservation. Dr. Martin’s proposal is purely pragmatic. We don’t have unlimited resources, we must make the most of what we do have. It’s a bitter pill to swallow: Not all endangered species are within our power to save. Urban development, pollution, global warming, it all comes back to us.

Even with unlimited funds, we can’t fix all of our problems, and the ones we can fix would take time for the results to be seen, which not all of these species will live to see. I’d rather save as many as we can using well thought out, accurately researched and, most importantly, feasible, solutions.

Henry Tran, Toronto

Make riding safer

Re Should Cyclists Be Licensed Like People Who Drive Cars? (Sept. 17): The answer is “yes.” All vehicles using roads should be licensed. To save lives, rules of the road must be taught and enforced. While we’re at it, let’s make riding safer still. Extend the bike lanes, eliminate right turns on red lights, increase intersection signals to three stages from two (one exclusively for pedestrians, two exclusively for cars) and reduce speed limits within cities to 40 kilometres from 50.

There you have it, from one too frightened to ride a bike.

Rick Walker, Toronto


Licensing cyclists would be a nightmare to enforce. Compelling all cyclists in Canada to wear a helmet, with a minimum $100 fine for anyone caught riding without one – now that makes sense. For good measure, impound the bikes, too. It won’t stop the stupidity on the roads, but it may help a few more riders survive it.

Yvonne Pelletier, Montreal

The utmost seriousness

Re Those Who Rewrote The Constitution Would Be Glad We’re Finally Using Section 33 (Sept. 17): It is most regrettable that those who rewrote the Constitution in 1982 euphorically “swept differences under the rug” and acquiesced, albeit with considerable dissatisfaction, in the acceptance of Section 33. Henceforth, in the name of “lively democracy,” Gordon Gibson would have us rejoice that this took place and anticipate the frequent use of Section 33 now that Doug Ford has been so bold as to initiate its invocation.

Regrettably, it appears that there is nothing to prevent this from being the case. However, the overriding of both the the Charter and the courts by a legislature is of the utmost seriousness. It should be undertaken in only extreme circumstances.

Until the advent of Mr. Ford, this was the accepted norm. While he and his party may well form the government, they represent only 40 per cent of Ontarians who voted. In order to safeguard not only human rights, but to guard against flippant, partisan use of Section 33, known as the notwithstanding clause, rather than requiring a simple majority in the legislature for its invocation, the 1982 constitutional revisionists should instead have required a 66-per-cent vote.

Alan Scrivener, Cornwall, Ont.


In the recent anonymous essay in The New York Times by a White House insider, the author sought to reassure readers there are still some adults operating within the Trump administration. After observing the bully-boy tactics of Doug Ford in Ontario, I’m wondering if there are any adults operating in Queen’s Park, and when or whether they might make their presence known?

Ray Jones, Toronto

World of difference

Re Jian Ghomeshi Essay Shows More Introspection Than Remorse (Sept. 15): Sadly, it seems Jian Ghomeshi still hasn’t learned there is a world of difference between humiliation and humility.

Peter Laurie, Peterborough, Ont.

Not persuaded

I am a big fan of Elizabeth Renzetti and agree with her opinions on racism, sexism and The Donald, but was put off by her column on tennis star Serena Williams (Follow Serena’s Lead And Refuse To Be Silenced – Sept. 15).

Ms. Williams was given three penalties for violations which are clearly in the rule book.

Her coach has admitted he gave her signals, she then smashes her racket and calls the umpire a thief and liar. She was losing at the time and must’ve known she wasn’t going to make a comeback.

Maybe there is a double standard when it comes to giving out penalties in men’s and women’s tennis, but Ms. Williams was competing against a woman and had the advantage of playing in Ms. Williams’s home country with the fans behind her.

She has had to put up with a lot of racist and sexist BS over the years, but this is not the way to protest it, and to use this incident in an article to champion women’s rights is counterproductive.

Andy Ostime, Regina

Hmm …

Re PP Gets Pooh-Poohed (letters, Sept. 15): A reader heaped ridicule on Maxime Bernier’s decision to name his new political venture the People’s Party Of Canada. It made me recall my sole pursuit of elected office: running for high school student council president. I cheekily chose as my banner the United Prune Party and called for “movement in student government.” Disappointingly, I lost.

Farley Helfant, Toronto

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