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Pipes are seen at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain facility in Edmonton.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

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Planet or pipelines

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What Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to learn is that you cannot please everyone (Trudeau Ratchets Up Pipeline Pressure On British Columbia, Feb. 16). At some point you have to stand up for your principles.

If your principles call for protecting the environment and saving the planet for future generations, then you cannot support a pipeline. Instead, you'll support green energy sources.

Kate Chung, Toronto


B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says, "The Premier knows he has made a mistake. He stands alone and he needs to admit that."

But B.C. Premier John Horgan does not stand alone. Millions of British Columbians, Washingtonians and Canadians from coast to coast to coast support Mr. Horgan and his request for a science-based and peer-reviewed assessment that a bitumen oil spill from a tanker would not damage the coast. To date, neither the federal government, the previous B.C. government nor the pipeline proponent have issued a plan that would effectively protect the fragile ecosystems of thousands of bays, beaches, inlets and estuaries in the Strait of Georgia, Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The livelihood of both First Nations and other Canadians, especially those employed in the fishing, aquaculture, tourism and health industries, depend on clean water in the Salish Sea and a productive coastal environment.

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Randy Sharp, Vancouver


The continued stand by some West Coast residents against the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion and the resulting increase in tankers appears to be totally hypocritical.

These opponents affect an air of superiority by wrapping themselves in a green blanket of environmentalism. They are very selective as to which risks are important to them. They have no problem with risking flying or driving cars that use lots of oil and gas. They risk their lives everyday crossing the street but the only risk that is unacceptable to them is the far smaller risk of an oil spill.

This is all part of a NIMBY attitude. They have no regard for the destruction of jobs and national wealth.

Gerhard Henkemans, Edmonton

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Electricity prices jolting

As Canadians we are wondering why the appetite for electric vehicles in Canada is "weak at best" (The Long Road Ahead For The Electric-vehicle Revolution, Feb. 10). To answer this question, the federal government should look at the largest possible market for EVs – Ontario, where electricity prices are far from a bargain.

Perhaps both the federal and provincial governments should examine the possibility of adopting a deregulated market, similar to what Texas has. This allows for a free market of retail electric providers, thus giving consumers the choice of where to purchase electricity.

Basic economics proves that allowing for a competitive open market results in lower prices, which could perhaps give drivers an incentive to make a push away from lower cost fossil fuels to power their vehicles. If Canadians would like to witness the positive results of a low-carbon initiative driven by electric cars, then maybe it is time politicians modernize how Canadians purchase electricity.

Marcel Beauchamp, Mississauga

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Misfired shots

Once again after a mass shooting, the alleged killer has immediately been designated mentally ill by the media, politicians and the general public (In The Echoes Of The Florida Shooting, Gun-control Advocates Raise Their Voices, Feb. 16).

This happens time and time again, yet mental illness makes no sense as the only cause of the rash of mass shootings happening in the United States in the past few decades. For one, rates of mental illness are similar among developed nations, yet mass shootings do not happen with any regularity in Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Western Europe.

Also, within the United States you would expect to see incidences of mass shootings committed by all demographic groups corresponding to a groups' rate of mental illness, yet these shooters are largely white and male. There are higher rates of mental illness among women than men, yet you almost never hear of women shooting up churches, malls or schools.

Alanna Reis-Murray, Brampton, Ont.

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U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan argues against gun control on the basis that it would take away people's rights. That would be the right to bear arms contained in the Second Amendment to the U.S. constitution, a much disputed amendment. Only in 2008 was it interpreted to mean an individual right to bear arms.

On the other hand, the 14th Amendment contains the undisputed right to life. When an individual is killed by a gunman, that right to life is irrevocably violated.

If limits were placed on the sale of assault rifles, a person's Second Amendment rights would only be limited, not entirely removed. Surely a case could be made that such gun control laws would be a lesser infringement of rights than loss of life.

James A. Duthie, Nanaimo, B.C.


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One has to wonder how quickly the United States would enact effective gun control and amend the Second Amendment if there were 17 politicians being buried instead of the same number of students and teachers.

Ken Neros, Coquitlam, B.C.


All welcome here

English public school boards take great pride in being the one system open to all students (The Catholic Funding Debate Needs To Be Schooled By Facts, Feb. 14).

When other publicly funded schools can decide who is allowed to attend and some students are excluded, including many with significant needs, then the playing field is not level.

Standardized test results are affected by many factors. Comparing schools, let alone school systems, is complex because of many variables that can influence results.

With support and engagement from parents, our schools provide educational excellence resulting in high levels of student achievement. Students are nurtured and developed into well-rounded, morally grounded, resilient individuals who become contributing members of society. No one system in the province holds a monopoly on that.

Canada and Ontario are globally recognized for their diversity, which is seen as a strength and reason for our society's prosperity. Our English public system, where all are welcome, is a key pillar of that success.

Laurie French, president, Ontario Public School Boards' Association, Toronto


From the mouth of babes

Here is another example of the beautiful wisdom of children: My four-year-old son, a true fan of the Mr. Dressup show, asked, "Mommy, does Casey know he's not a real boy?" (Mr. Dressup Premieres, Feb. 13).

Lesley Cameron, Brockville, Ont.

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