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Pedestrian and motorists cross a traffic intersection near the Central Business District in Beijing, March 11.Andy Wong/The Associated Press

Who’s driving?

Re “China diverts some researchers to Canada after U.S. visa denials, CSIS says” (March 13): It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that this country is not being run out of Ottawa, but rather out of Beijing.

Vic Bornell Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Re “The eight excuses of Liberal MPs to duck a public inquiry (and none of them are good enough)” (Editorial, March 13): As we wait for the Prime Minister to announce his special rapporteur, I have suggestions for his short list: Mark Norman, Jane Philpott, Lisa Raitt and Jody Wilson-Raybould.

All principled and respected Canadians that I am fairly certain all other parties would agree to.

Rob McCullough Edmonton

Canadian concern

Re “OSFI to start daily monitoring of Canadian banks’ liquidity in wake of SVB failure” (March 14): The Silicon Valley Bank collapse in the United States reveals the strength of the banking system in Canada.

There hasn’t been a major bank failure in this country for 100 years. Also, there are only a small number of chartered banks in Canada, whereas in the U.S. it seems that anyone can get together and start one.

The Canadian banking system is highly regulated and therein lies the frustration for many – but also peace of mind for bank customers.

Douglas Cornish Ottawa

At what cost?

Re “Competition law experts urge Ottawa to allow foreign ownership of telecoms to bring down prices” (Report on Business, March 13): I have no doubt that foreign competition will lower prices.

For U.S.-based and other large competitors, Canada is often a nice, profitable market that can be tacked on to existing parent infrastructure. It’s usually quite easy to crush domestic competition.

And we Canadians love to hate our domestic companies. It’s great fun to grill our domestic grocers over excess profit, though we wouldn’t dare to ask Walmart or Costco about Canadian profit.

And yet, while I look forward to flying American Airlines, paying my phone bills to Verizon and eating “real Wisconsin cheese,” I wonder about the legacy we will leave for future Canadians. In our need to consume, at the lowest possible cost, we are racking up debt and selling our assets to finance this consumption. We’re losing domestic businesses and not attracting enough investment.

There may not be much Canada left by the time we’re done.

Tony Hooper Toronto

Welcome mat

Re “My hometown of Smiths Falls is being abandoned once again” (Opinion, March 11): I lived and worked in Smiths Falls, Ont., when Hershey left in the late 2000s. Those were difficult times.

But 15 years later, Smiths Falls is in a different place. During its time of struggle, local government brought state-of-the-art infrastructure, improved recreational facilities and medical services and a renewed downtown. They prepared for population growth and the coming of new industry.

And it happened. Canopy Growth came, and it now leaves a cutting-edge growing facility that should be attractive to government and industry interested in food security.

Many new residents now call Smiths Falls home. Small-town attractiveness, surrounded by the beauty of lakes and nature but close enough to Ottawa, makes it a desirable place to live.

There will be challenges for Canopy employees who lost jobs. But today, Smiths Falls and the surrounding area are in a place that I expect will provide opportunities to recover from employment loss.

Ray Elgersma Ottawa

Doesn’t add up

Re “No, the Boomers didn’t live within their means. And younger generations will pay the price” (Report on Business, March 11): Now that both my wife and I are seniors, I was surprised to learn that Old Age Security for 2023 is paid in full to seniors with incomes less than $81,761, and doesn’t get completely clawed back until a senior’s income reaches more than $134,626. Meanwhile, unlike the Canada Pension Plan, OAS is funded by general government revenues, including income and other taxes paid by people who make far less money.

In a Monty Python-esque world, it looks like a classic situation of robbing from the poor to give to the rich. Younger generations have much to resent about this incredible benefit for seniors that they are subsidizing.

Much lower levels of clawback thresholds would make vastly more sense.

David Barker Whitby, Ont.

Police presence

Re “Toronto police to end extra patrols on TTC introduced after series of violent incidents” (March 14): Many years ago, I worked in the media room at an indoor sporting event.

On Day 1, a sponsor’s copiers and fax machines malfunctioned, resulting in reporters yelling at and berating young people who had volunteered for the “experience.” A security presence had been planned, but cancelled at the last minute due to budget considerations.

On Day 2 and for the remainder of the event, a police officer was present. Though the copiers and fax machines continued to break down, not one voice was raised in the week that followed.

Grace Polsky Toronto

As Canadian as…

Re “Oscars 2023: Canada’s big night is wake-up call for resource-strapped film industry” (March 14): For decades we’ve argued over what’s distinctive about Canadian culture. But film critic Barry Hertz has the answer: It’s which companies get the money.

This industry is built on corporate welfare, with criteria to decide who is “Canadian enough” to deserve support. Couldn’t we instead prioritize the ability of Canadians to tell stories that are meaningful to us (and others) without being defined solely by our nationality?

David Arthur Cambridge, Ont.

Walk this way

Re “How fitness can be a form of self-care and self-compassion” (March 6): I’m 81 years old and have always tried to take care of myself.

These days I take daily walks and enjoy a couple of hours weekly at a gentle fitness class. During my working years, I walked to and from the office whenever possible, and often took the stairs rather than the elevator.

When people ask what I like most about spending summers these days in my hometown of St. John’s, I explain that it’s my “outdoor gymnasium” with an abundance of coastal and river walking trails. I’m convinced my lifestyle offers more than a physical benefit; it also helps my mental well-being.

If these habits prevent me from being a burden on our overburdened health care system, I couldn’t be happier.

Les Dominy Renfrew, Ont.


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