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Aug. 28: Timbit tempest – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Timbit tempest

I’m a bit perplexed at the concern over moving Burger King’s global headquarters to Canada for more favourable tax laws (Tax Tactics’ Bad Taste – letters, Aug. 27).

How is this different from companies moving manufacturing offshore to get around local labour and environmental laws?

David Swales, Douro-Dummer, Ont.


Missing, murdered

Re Police Chiefs Won’t Back Inquiry Into Aboriginal Women’s Cases (Aug. 27): The RCMP have reported there were 1,181 cases of murdered or missing aboriginal women from 1980 to 2012.

And now we have the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police saying a public inquiry into these cases would only delay action. Talk about passing the buck!

When exactly do our police chiefs think such “action” will take place? How long will Canadians have to wait? By the looks of our current federal leadership, it will be when hell freezes over.

Leo J. Deveau, Halifax


Taken to e-task

Charging for paper billing is a sign that the generation that grew up online now controls business (Why Do We Pay For Paper Bills? – Aug. 26). To them, paper-anything is from their parents’ time. They’ve heard about people who don’t have Internet access (i.e. the poor), but don’t know anyone like that personally. So why even think about the fact that it is the poorest citizens who are being hit with a regressive surcharge for their paper bills?

The e-generation has grown up with ads stuffed into every corner of their free media, so this may bridge the generation gap: The ads in my paper bill should make my paper bill free – right, kids?

Elizabeth Kelly, Toronto


Struggling students

Re University Is Cheaper Than It Looks (Aug. 27): The inefficiency of many student aid-delivery programs continues to deter those with the greatest need from pursuing a degree. To a student struggling financially, the promise of remission or tax credits after graduation does little to minimize the debilitating effects debt will have in the short term.

In Ontario, these programs ac-count for the second-largest in-vestment in student aid.

The proliferation of merit-based aid, which disproportionately benefits students from high-income backgrounds, is used as a recruitment tool by universities, rather than as aid. Were we to reinvest every dollar spent on merit-based scholarships, we could meet every dollar of unmet student financial need in Ontario.

Jen Carter, president, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance


Misplaced focus

We are deeply saddened by The Globe’s editorial regarding the University of Ottawa’s decision to suspend the hockey team (Two Minutes For Putting Justice On Ice – Aug. 25). The Globe’s focus is in the wrong place: We must recognize that a community works together to end violence.

Sexual assault is a behaviour that first begins with a thought. Patterns of violence exist on a continuum, often beginning with sexist jokes or normalization of rape. If teammates or coaches heard this, they had a responsibility to challenge it. Ending violence is everyone’s responsibility.

We need to move the focus to prevention; our paradigms must shift from victim blaming, shaming and silencing.

Erin Leigh, executive director, Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women


Out to lunch

I gleefully tore open my paper when I saw the promise of “five ingredients, 25 ideas to feed your kids during the school year” (Thinking Outside The Lunch Box – Aug. 27). Packing lunches for three kids is going to be a piece of cake this year, I thought.

Well, your ideas might pass for snazzy appetizers at an event, but school lunches? I can just imagine my kids opening their lunch bags to find crostini served with a mix of navy beans, artichoke hearts and goat cheese. I would like to be a fly on the cafeteria wall when the cauliflower crispy steakettes make their appearance after sitting in a lunchbox for three hours.

Not to mention the time it would take rushed parents to make all of these gourmet goodies! Next year, please give us time-strapped parents something we can actually pass off as lunch.

Kelly Kenny, Toronto


Just. Canadian.

Re Blood V. Soil (editorial, Aug 26): There is a solution that will solve most problems associated with “Canadians of convenience,” “citizenship by country of birth (jus soli)” and “citizenship by descent (jus sanguinis).” As a bonus, it would also facilitate ending the two-jurisdiction jeopardy formalized by the agreement with the U.S. requiring people in Canada considered “U.S. persons” to file U.S. income tax statements.

The often discussed but avoided solution is to end dual citizenship. There’s even a “best practice” example to follow in crafting our own solution to these internationally recognized problems: Australia explicitly forbids people who hold foreign citizenship from sitting in Parliament.

Odds are Canadians would overwhelmingly support requiring Canadian-only citizenship status for, first, all parliamentarians and, subsequently, for all permanent residents.

Ron Johnson, Victoria


New role for chiefs

Re It’s Ottawa’s Turn To Be Transparent (Aug. 22): In critiquing the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, the AFN’s Ghislain Picard calls for Ottawa to be more accountable for the $8-billion that Aboriginal Affairs spends on First Nations. He talks about audits, report cards and value for money.

But the only real form of accountability is that of bureaucrats and politicians to their immediate paymasters, the taxpayers. This would best be realized by having Ottawa put its money directly into the pockets of individual status Indians, who would in turn be taxed by band councils.

Instead of regally dispensing “free” money to grateful band members, chiefs would instead have to account for taxing it from them. In other words, the most efficient solution to wasteful and ineffective spending – never mind corruption – is neatly stated by turning on its head the familiar catchphrase of responsible government, that is: No representation without taxation.

Brian P.H. Green, Thunder Bay, Ont.


Hmm …

Re You Can Sail The Seven Seas (Aug. 26): If our Prime Minister is going to start doing Vladimir Putin-style posing on the prows of ships in the Arctic, I think we should all just take a moment to be grateful that at least he isn’t doing it with his shirt off.

Janet Hill, Calgary

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