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A crowd gathers before the We Day red carpet in Toronto, on Thursday, September 20, 2018. Thousands of pages of newly released documents back up the Trudeau government's contention that it was federal public servants who recommended a student service grant program be administered by WE Charity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher KatsarovChristopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press

WE out

Re WE Charity To End Operations In Canada, Kielburgers Step Down (Sept. 10): So the government scrambles to get a program out the door to benefit young people in the midst of a pandemic. The opposition sees opportunity to criticize, make accusations toward the Prime Minister’s mother and others and create a scandal.

Net result: The kids don’t get their program, the government is distracted from the pandemic and WE Charity says enough and leaves Canada. A success all around.

John Patton Toronto

I forgot about this issue months ago. I fail to see any fiasco associated with WE Charity and the government.

What other organization could quickly deliver the student program across Canada? The public service may suggest that they themselves were able, but they have had more than enough to do, delivering numerous other pandemic programs in a timely manner.

Who else was there? I’m waiting for a credible answer.

Brenda Dunbar Waterloo, Ont.

Economic enrichment

Re The Liberals Have Big Plans For Our Country, But The Steep Costs Go Beyond Finances (Opinion, Sept. 5): For some time now, I’ve had a Dire Straits song in my head: Money for Nothing.

Since the last election, all I heard from politicians was about giving money to Canadians to sustain unaffordable middle-class lifestyles. What I found lacking was any discussion of how to build the economy and provide better-paying jobs, so that Canadians can live within their means. While our strong gross domestic product is 10th in the world, a more meaningful comparison would be purchasing power parity per capita, a measure in which we rank 20th.

Rather than demonizing the 1 per cent, let’s talk about how we can raise the income of the bottom 99 per cent by growing the economy, not restricting it. But that would take hard work, with fewer opportunities for politicians to make glitzy spending announcements before moving on.

Stephen Gill Sharon, Ont.

Columnist Andrew Coyne is critical of Liberal proposals as “redistributing wealth.” We live in a country where there are children who go to school hungry, individuals who work hard yet their families remain mired in poverty, postal codes that are significant determinants of health and patients who cannot afford medical treatment.

There should be no excuse, in a country as wealthy as ours, for any citizens to be so disadvantaged, for their futures to be jeopardized. If all can be housed, fed, educated and healthy and can find gainful employment, it would be toward everyone’s benefit.

Canada is not poor, yet too many Canadians remain so. From the federal government on down, this could be remedied. I suggest that redistribution would be a fundamental element of “building back better.”

David Hughes Glass Saugeen Shores, Ont.

Possible perspectives

Re Singh’s Thoughtless Tweet Adds To Tragedy (Sept. 5): Jagmeet Singh and Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit seem to mirror our polarized views of Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s death. Could police training, rather than the officers themselves, be responsible?

Without waiting for one of Toronto police’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams, multiple uniformed, armed officers entered Ms. Korchinski-Paquet’s apartment. Let us imagine what that felt like to an outnumbered, agitated, emotional woman, whose community faces frequent, arbitrary, race-based police action. A tragic outcome seemed inevitable.

The SIU’s website does not list mental health, sociology or poverty studies among the backgrounds of its investigators. Only three of 51 are Black, two Indigenous. Many police forces are similarly unbalanced. As with all of us, SIU staff and the police bring lenses shaped by their own backgrounds and experiences.

We will likely not achieve justice, nor an adequate response to the challenges we now expect police officers to address, until all voices and perspectives are included.

Janet Gadeski Burlington, Ont.

Price of pollution

Re Polluter Pays Is The Way For The Oil Sands (Editorial, Sept. 8): The Globe’s editorial highlights the application of the polluter-pays principle to tailings ponds in the Alberta oil sands, which are leaking into groundwater in the region. Greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming, are another form of pollution to which the polluter-pays principle should apply.

But unlike tailing ponds, it is not possible to “clean up” GHG after it has been emitted. The goal should be to radically reduce these emissions, and most economists agree that the most effective way to achieve this is to impose a meaningful price on GHG.

Jeffrey Levitt Toronto

This business of recovering the cleanup costs of abandoned wells and mines is often hopeless once an owner has fled or gone bankrupt. Better to have the operator pay into a government account as the facility operates. If it was profitable enough to drill and operate, it should be profitable enough to set aside funds for an eventual cleanup.

This would be a long road to traverse, but there would also never need be another abandoned well again, and eventually the entire landscape will be cleaned up. If polluter pay is desired, there would be no better way to enforce cleanups than to have money already in the bank.

John Banka Toronto

Re The Key To A Low-carbon Economy Might Be Under Our Noses – And Under The Ground (Sept. 8): We are assured that a plant for carbon capture and storage has been operating safely in Saskatchewan since 2000. But what about the future? CO2, like a diamond, is forever.

Will these storage sites still be safe after 100 years? After 1,000 years? What about the mining operations of future civilizations that may, after 10,000 years, unwittingly open these sites? Projects for the underground storage of nuclear waste have been subjected mercilessly to this kind of interrogation, and CCS [carbon capture and sequestration] schemes should deserve no less. They pose as big a threat to future generations.

J. M. Pearson Montreal

Town and country

Re Take A Left At Dublin, Then A Right At Brussels: A Tour Of Ontario’s European Capitals (Sept. 9): Contributor Drew Gough’s drive through a fading part of Southwestern Ontario could be repeated in other parts of rural Canada. However, his trip was perhaps a tad premature. Due to the pandemic and the realization that one can work from home – home being anywhere with appropriate internet access – some of these small towns might just be revitalized.

I know of several couples who have moved to cottage country into residences that were once used seasonally. Consequently there is no wasted and costly commute time, no traffic congestion, abundant green space and fresh air. Small can be beautiful.

David Enns Cornwall, Ont.


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