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Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, presents the federal government budget for the 2023 to 2024 fiscal year in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 28.BLAIR GABLE/Reuters

Keep ‘em

Re “The Liberals are letting themselves become Pierre Poilievre’s punching bag” (Sept. 14): The Trudeau Liberals have been a better government than I ever expected, but then I am a former NDP MP who’s never voted for them. The thought of their being replaced by Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives scares me, as his first business would likely be to axe carbon pricing, one of the few things we have done right on climate change.

Recall that in 2009, the B.C. NDP ran an “axe the tax” election campaign against Canada’s first carbon tax brought in by the provincial Liberals (bless them). The NDP lost that election and the next two.

May “axe the tax” have the same effect federally.

Lynn McDonald CM, Toronto

End goal

Re “For the foreign-interference inquiry to be effective, Justice Hogue needs the right tools” (Sept. 11): The idea for such an inquiry may appear laudable, but the task is mountainous.

The inquiry is to cover China, Russia and “other hostile countries.” Are we to assume that the government has reliable data to classify countries as hostile? Are they so few that they can be covered comprehensively within the allotted six months?

At times, friendly countries can and do carry out unfriendly interference. In 2013, it was reported that the United States was snooping on Angela Merkel’s phone conversations (”U.S. spy chief says foreign wiretap operations are entirely normal” – Oct. 29, 2013).

Ingredients for successful interference include insider sympathizers and financial collaborators. As much as possible, such people will likely obstruct or sabotage the inquiry.

Will the inquiry be able to identify and neutralize such people? Will it really have more than the “curated access” of David Johnston?

Muri Abdurrahman Thornhill, Ont.

Taxing issues

Re “If Chrystia Freeland needs a tool to help Canadians, she should start by freezing spending” (Editorial, Sept. 13): I believe the will to spend, without the courage to tax, is political cowardice.

Michael Arkin Toronto

Re “Liberals target grocers with changes to Competition Act, threaten tax measures if prices don’t stabilize” (Report on Business, Sept. 15): The Liberal government should look in the mirror to see how their policies are increasing the price of groceries.

Supply management increases the price of dairy, eggs and cheese. Carbon pricing increases the price of food transported across the country. Our declining dollar drives up the cost of imported food products.

No doubt groceries have increased in price, but I still feel blessed when I walk into any of our grocery chains and see the abundance and variety of foods on display. Without profit, our grocers would not be in business.

Doug and Jan Ireland Tiny, Ont.

Re “Canada’s bankers lash out at Liberals for ‘picking on’ financial services firms with new taxes” (Report on Business, Sept. 12): The government’s new tax measures should not be singling out the banking sector.

Large corporations across a wide range of sectors in Canada made record profit in recent years. Just six of the country’s biggest oil and gas corporations enjoyed $35-billion in profit in 2022. Canada’s three largest grocery chains reaped nearly $18-billion in excess revenue from 2020 to 2022.

Excess corporate profit has not helped Canadian consumers or workers, but they have contributed to inflation and inequality. The revenue from a windfall tax would provide far more support for Canadians and the economy.

Katrina Miller Executive director, Canadians for Tax Fairness; Toronto

House poor

Re “Bank of Canada is bleeding the economy, just like 19th-century doctors bled patients” (Report on Business, Sept. 14): The Globe and Mail reports that “investors account for 30 per cent of home buying in Canada, data show” (Sept. 9). Most investors are flush with cash and less dependent than most other people on traditional forms of financing such as mortgages.

When mortgages for average Canadians are up for renewal and they are unable to renew them due to the rate hikes imposed by the Bank of Canada, they would put their homes up for sale. The 30 per cent figure would significantly increase.

Is this what the bank is trying to accomplish?

James McCarney Oakville, Ont.

Re “Trudeau unveils housing funds for London, offers no details on broader plan” (Sept. 14): The Globe and Mail recently reported that London, Ont., was at the top of a list of smaller cities with “big-fish investors,” owners of three or more condo properties who account for 94.2 per cent of these London investment properties (”Larger investors dominate condo ownership in smaller cities in Ontario and B.C.” – Report on Business, June 22).

Before governments throw more money at the housing problem, we should ask what they are doing to ensure these dwellings go to those who need them. Or, like the Ford government’s Ontario Greenbelt fiasco, is it just making the rich richer?

Tom Suhadolc Grimsby, Ont.

Make whole

Re “Key OSC witness in Bridging Finance case alleges executives altered loan documents and kept conflicts of interest secret” (Report on Business, Sept. 14): I read the details of how shockingly simple it was for Bridging Finance executives to allegedly steal millions of dollars from investors, as well as another article explaining a new proposal by the province to allow the Ontario Securities Commission to enrich its own funding from fines, rather than direct a significant portion of recouped money to bilked investors (“Ontario government balks as millions from investment scofflaws sits unspent” – Report on Business, Aug. 31).

Forgive me if I’ve lost the plot. Who exactly is looking out for Ontario investors?

Shelly McQuillen Ottawa

Home stretch

Re “Guerrero on knife edge of success or failure, depending on the Jays’ playoff push” (Sports, Sept. 13): When are the Toronto Blue Jays going to part ways with general manager Ross Atkins?

In Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., I think Mr. Atkins surrendered far too much for the offensively challenged Daulton Varsho. And it was Mr. Atkins who hired coach John Schneider, who has proven to me wholly incapable of extracting the best from a talented roster. This while the Jays have a seasoned baseball mind in its midst with bench coach Don Mattingly.

Unless the team wishes to see the hugely disappointing 2022 campaign repeated, it should make changes at the helm. Otherwise, an expensive stadium full of empty seats may be on the horizon.

Greg Longphee Victoria

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