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Inside the control room at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Clarington, Ont. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
Inside the control room at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Clarington, Ont. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

WHAT READERS THINK

Jan. 10: Power politics. Plus other letters to the editor Add to ...

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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Power politics

Re Ontario Power Play (Folio, Jan. 9): Bravo to The Globe and Mail’s Adrian Morrow and Tom Cardoso for an excellent piece that provides important insight into Ontario’s electricity woes.

While it’s trendy to use renewable energy as a scapegoat, mismanagement is clearly the biggest culprit. Given this mess, there is a sensible approach as we look forward: using regulation to create higher standards of energy efficiency for buildings and equipment.

Higher prices are not going away; saving money only happens when you change things on the demand side, which means better technology and building enclosures.

Peter Reinecke, building scientist, Chelsea, Que.

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The electrical utility industry everywhere, but especially in Ontario, has mastered the business of paying itself exorbitant salaries and benefits: page after page of employees making well over $250,000, including numerous shift managers and training supervisors.

Until a light is shone into this rabbit hole, nothing will change at this self-serving, opaque club.

By the way, this year Hydro One is no longer obligated to publish its Sunshine List, now that it has been partially privatized.

And that is an inconvenient truth.

Cam Kourany, Kelowna, B.C.

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You report that importing enough hydroelectricity from Quebec to be an alternative to refurbishing aging nuclear power plants in Ontario “would require a lot of money to upgrade the transmission infrastructure.”

A study undertaken by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in 2014 concluded that the transmission infrastructure upgrades required to support firm imports on a scale comparable to the output of the Darlington nuclear power plant (3,300 megawatts) would require investments totalling $2.2-billion.

A significant portion of these investments are planned or under way already, regardless of the province’s arrangements with Quebec.

In contrast, the best-case cost estimates for the Darlington refurbishment run in the range of $13-billion. In that context, the Quebec option deserves far more serious consideration than it has been given by the province so far, particularly in light of the widespread concerns over future electricity costs.

Mark S. Winfield, co-chair, Sustainable Energy Initiative, Faculty of Environmental Studies York University

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A cheap ticket

Re Pork, From Coast To Coast To Coast (Jan. 7): The $500-million budgeted for Canada’s 150th birthday is the equivalent of less than $15 per man, woman and child in this country. That’s a pretty cheap ticket for all the events I can attend for free, plus improvements to some of our infrastructure. Personally, I’m okay with it.

Patrick Tighe, Petawawa, Ont.

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Were The Globe and Mail’s editorial writers disappointed by Santa? Is that why you are so bah humbug about the Canada 150 celebrations?

What’s next? Cancel Christmas? Hamstring Halloween? Banish birthdays? Surely supporting sesquicentennial events and projects (including much needed building construction and repairs) will provide a positive boost to many communities. Is the editorial board unaware of the many centennial projects that still adorn countless towns and public squares? Beyond infrastructure, the Canada 150 investment will promote tourism, which is sure to rise during this well-publicized year. Spending money to celebrate such an anniversary is not only good fun, it’s good business.

Coals in your stockings?

Elaine Sullivan Butcher, Ottawa

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It’s nice to see some money being spent on the sesquicentennial. I promise to have a real fine bash July 1, if they spend some of that birthday money to run half a mile of cable down our road before then so our little hamlet of three families can upgrade from dial-up to broadband Internet access.

The CRTC has promised it – in 15 years or so. As a nonagenarian at that point, I may fail to feel equally celebratory.

Mike Spencer, Italy Cross, N.S.

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Just wondering …

Re Amid Vancouver Freeze-Over, City Officials Only Pack On The Blame (Jan. 6): When Mel Lastman, mayor of Toronto in 1999, called the army in to deal with January snowfall, it elicited mainly scorn in the rest of Canada.

But those who had so long supported him understood – it showed that he cared more about action than image. Anyone who saw him don a prison uniform to hawk appliances on television knew he was never afraid to get things wrong or to look silly while doing what he believed was right and people loved him for it.

As I read the latest tweet from the City of Vancouver on however many pounds of salt city staff has used, I reflected back on mayor Mel, and wondered: How much better off would we be if we waited until after making the city safe to worry what people think of us?

Jonathan J. Weisman, Vancouver

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Kiss the ring?

Re Trudeau To Skip Trump Inauguration (Jan. 7): I read with utter disbelief that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has decided not to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration. With the ascension of Mr. Trump representing the single most serious economic threat that this country has faced in recent memory, one would have thought that every diplomatic effort would have been made to avoid pricking the skin of this incredibly thinned-skinned man.

Mr. Trump, despite his many contradictions, has been totally consistent in his response to the slightest affront to his personal ego. Woe to those who fail to kiss the ring at the coronation.

Rick Gallop, Toronto

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Is this news? How many prime ministers have attended inaugurations of American presidents?

Who was prime minister in 2009 and 2013 when Barack Obama had his two inaugurations? Did he attend?

Joy Ruttan, Gatineau, Que.

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So the PM has chosen to do a self-adulation tour of Canada rather than attend the inauguration of Donald Trump. With growing tensions over trade with our largest and most important ally, why hand Donald Trump an added reason to be annoyed at Canada?

Ross Haynes, Halifax

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Art, unmasked

Re How The Goalie Mask Changed The Face Of Hockey (Jan. 9): Roy MacGregor, in his wonderful article about the impact of the goalie face mask, alluded to the mask art that emerged as this piece of equipment developed. Many of these masks became icons for generations of fans to the point where seeing one mask unleashes a chain of stories and memories.

Whether it is Ken Dryden’s red and white and blue gem (reproduced in a wonderful painting by Serge Lemoyne), Tony Esposito’s or Bernie Parent’s, these masks have a special place in Canada’s sports and cultural history.

Ask a hockey fan about his or her favourite one, and you will see the imprint they left.

J.D.M. Stewart, Toronto

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