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An anti-nuclear protester rallies outside government offices in Sydney, Australia, this week to advocate for nuclear disarmament and urge the Australian and Japanese governments to sign the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Canada didn’t sign the treaty either.

Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Nuclear hypocrisy

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A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs claims, "Canada remains strongly committed to a world free of nuclear weapons, and we are taking meaningful, more inclusive, steps to achieve it" (A New Nuclear Arms Race Is Upon Us, Feb. 7).

This claim is simply not true. Canada failed to attend, let alone support, the negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, completed last July. The treaty rendered nuclear weapons illegal and was signed by 122 countries, the majority of the members of the United Nations. Canada did not participate in obedience to the Trump administration, which urged all its NATO partners to boycott the proceedings.

While Canada claims to be in favour of nuclear abolition, it is part of a military alliance that steadfastly refuses all efforts toward nuclear disarmament.

Mark Leith, MD, Canadian Physicians for Global Survival, Toronto

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More for molars

Thank you Konrad Yakabuski for writing about health inequities and highlighting the growing gaps in drug and dental coverage (Is Our Health System Destined To Follow A U.S. Trajectory? Feb. 8).

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Limited public programs mean access to these health benefits is still based on income, leaving behind too many Canadians who are working poor or living on fixed incomes. In Ontario, for example, we know that every nine minutes someone visits a hospital emergency room in dental pain primarily because they cannot afford to see a dentist.

While federal and provincial health ministers are making progress toward reducing drug prices and talking about pharmacare, there is no national discussion on oral health care even though one in five Canadians cannot afford it. We need to start sharing these stories of dental disease and pain, and urging our politicians to move forward with public dental programs for people who cannot afford private dentistry.

Jacquie Maund, Association of Ontario Health Centres, Toronto

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Aid for hearing

Hugh McKechnie's article about expensive and easily lost hearing aids rang true for me, as a senior starting to lose my hearing (A Costly Mistake, Feb. 7). It points out a serious issue in the Canadian market. Overpriced hearing aids, sold with prepaid batteries, extended warranties, and other unnecessary fees, put costs out of reach for many.

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The United States has addressed this issue with the Over The Counter Hearing Aid Act. For hearing loss up to the moderate level, the cost of a $6,000 hearing aid could become $600. Smart digital hearing aids are custom tuned to the user's needs with a simple hearing test done on a smartphone. I hope our government will enact something similar soon, taking advantage of new technology. It would help many with hearing loss, who can not justify the cost.

Kevin Martyn, Aurora, Ont.

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In the national interest

"Are we a country?" asks Martha Hall Findlay in her opinion piece about the B.C.-Alberta pipeline dispute (As Pipelines Create Provincial Rifts, Trudeau Needs To Unite Canada, Feb. 7).

Some more pertinent questions might be: Are we moral? Are we rational? Are we willing to put our weight behind international efforts to protect our planet's climate?

Canada is bound by law to the terms of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the Earth's warming to no more than 1 1/2 to 2 degrees Celsius. If global greenhouse gas emissions do not peak and then begin a steady, permanent decline within the next couple of years, we will fail to meet this objective.

Now is not the time to build new pipelines. If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley don't understand this, I'm grateful for B.C. Premier John Horgan's willingness to step up.

David Taub Bancroft, Vancouver

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Ms. Hall Findlay's opinion piece should be a mandatory reading for the Prime Minister, MPs and all Canadians.

As she says, the B.C. government should be reminded of the conditions it set for joining the confederation – getting railway infrastructure has allowed it "to be the gateway for the rest of Canada to the Pacific and beyond."

Given the pricing situation for Canadian oil south of the border, building an alternative export access pipeline to the Pacific is in the national interest.

I hope our Prime Minister will live up to his commitment to support the construction of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project, which is an expansion of an existing underground facility. Given the current situation with NAFTA negotiations, Canada's export options are getting fewer and fewer.

Stephen Berbekar, Kelowna

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Why does Mr. Trudeau state that the Kinder Morgan pipeline is in the national interest while clearly ignoring that keeping B.C. ocean and coastline pristine is also in the national interest?

Clearly, a decision that pits one province against another is not a good decision.

Why not insist that the bitumen be refined in Alberta adding value and jobs? This may also make it more acceptable to B.C. since oil spills are far easier to clean up than bitumen that doesn't float.

Stephen Ashton, Tofino, B.C.

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The diluted bitumen storage tanks to be located in Burnaby, B.C., as part of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, will be adjacent to Simon Fraser University, residential neighbourhoods and the important, environmentally sensitive Burrard Inlet.

Coincidentally, the universities in both Calgary and Edmonton are located in similar settings. The University of Alberta in Edmonton is located adjacent to the beautiful North Saskatchewan River valley. The University of Calgary is situated above the famous Bow River valley.

I do not believe that either of these great Alberta cities would allow the construction of bitumen handling and storage facilities in the areas near their universities and impose serious health and safety risks to their citizens in the nearby communities.

So why do Albertans and the Canadian government feel it is okay for Burnaby, a jurisdiction that has much higher earthquake risk?

Doug Taylor, North Vancouver, B.C.

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Walls don't work

Since U.S. President Donald Trump admires French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, France and its military parade, he should also learn about the Maginot Line (Trump Asked Pentagon To Plan Military Parade In Washington: Officials, Feb. 6 ).

The fortified Line was built at very great expense after the First World War to prevent German soldiers from invading France again.

He also should know that it simply did not work. At all. German marshal Erwin Rommel just went around it with his tanks during the Second World War.

Michel A. Boisvert, St-Bruno, Que.

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