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Letters to the Editor Jan. 26: Trading on Keystone. Plus other letters to the editor

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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Trading on Keystone

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Re Trump Moves Forward On Keystone XL (Jan. 25): For the past two years in Alberta, we have struggled to keep our jobs, keep our homes, keep our families together and keep our heads up. When we were the most vulnerable, we got a carbon tax to start the year. It is very unkind to get kicked when one is already down.

When the news came out that President Donald Trump is giving Keystone another chance, I was delighted. Many people may loathe him, but if some of his decisions bring hope and jobs to those who are struggling, then I'm all aboard the Trump train.

Believe it or not, you can still love your planet and work in the oil industry. This is moving fast and Mr. Trump definitely seems to know how to do it. Perhaps our Prime Minister and Premier can watch what is happening south of the border and rethink some of their disastrous decisions.

Val Stephanson, Calgary

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Keystone – and the other pipelines recently approved by the Canadian government – will enable expansion of the Alberta oil sands. Instead of celebrating a victory, Canadians should be outraged that the government which promised to do so much about climate change is facilitating emissions growth rather than abatement. Words are no longer enough. We need firm action to drive the needed reductions.

Dave Carson, Dundas, Ont.

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Re Trump, Obama And The Keystone Lesson (Jan. 25): If you are negotiating with a party that has no alternative customer, you set the terms – and they certainly aren't predicated on any notion of win-win for all parties.

With the dramtic shift in international economic policy, Donald Trump has made it clear that it is all about America First. The United States will almost certainly adopt Christy Clark's transit-tax tactics, but at a rate that reflects America's stranglehold position.

It is essential then, I suggest, that the Canadian government get behind Energy East, and begin reconsidering the viability of the Northern Gateway project in the new international-trade regime. Canada, not just TransCanada, needs those alternatives.

Any decision to proceed with Keystone cannot be taken in isolation from the impact of a revised NAFTA. Mr. Trump insists it will be renegotiated, or scrapped. Canada-U.S. trade is close enough to balance that the U.S. may not be overly interested in restricting the import of Canadian goods. But a significant increase in oil imports – through Keystone – would upset that balance, which could lead to countermeasures affecting our automobile industry. Yet another reason for Canadians, especially Ontario and Quebec manufacturers, to get behind Energy East.

George Stevens, Vancouver

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First, it's our oil

Given the urgent need to transition to a clean energy economy, rather than convincing Donald Trump "to consider Canadian oil as U.S. oil," Justin Trudeau should tell Mr. Trump that Canada will allocate its remaining reserves of conventional oil for domestic use, while developing renewable alternatives (Trudeau's Challenge Is Making Trump Realize Our Oil Is Their Oil, Jan. 24).

Accordingly, one of Canada's prime objectives for renegotiating NAFTA must be to remove the clause which obliges Canada to provide the U.S. with the same proportion of Canada's oil supply as was sold to it over previous years, even if it those exports cause domestic shortages.

John Dillon, ecological economy program co-ordinator, KAIROS, Toronto

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Re Ottawa Pushes For Status As U.S. Oil Ally (Report on Business, Jan. 24): Since the 2015 election campaign, the Trudeau-led government has flipped and flopped on both proportional representation and pipelines. Support for the former has cooled considerably while the latter seems to have become of greater importance. Canada's energy bounty is now seen as a source of strength in the bilateral relationship and there seems to be renewed optimism for a "continental energy market." Let's hope a "continental water market" isn't next, and that Ottawa doesn't push for status as a U.S. water ally.

Alan R. Lawrence, Toronto

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Mexico and more

Re Trump Signs Directives To Build Mexico Wall, Curb Illegal Immigration (online, Jan. 25): Donald Trump is about to go down in history alongside others who built walls between peoples – walls that ultimately failed: Stalin's Berlin Wall, Hitler's Atlantic Wall, Hadrian's Wall, Qin Shi Huang's Great Wall …

Thomy Nilsson, Cornwall, PEI

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We should not abandon Mexico and become even more dependent on the United States.

The current political situation is a wake-up call. It is a graphic illustration of the dangers of putting all our eggs in one basket. We should take this opportunity to strengthen our ties with Mexico and South American countries, reach out to Europe and Britain, and strengthen trade relations with China. The Chinese take the long view and are looking to the future. The fact China is embracing alternative energy – it is the largest market for solar thermal energy and photovoltaics – mean it will be an important ally in the fight against climate change.

The Trump administration is looking to the past – to recapture former American glory – and will not be an ally in the struggle to keep our planet habitable.

Claudia and Gordon Cornwall, North Vancouver

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Who is sent to war

Re On Mali, Proceed With Extreme Caution (editorial, Jan. 24): The best test of the justification for sending troops into areas of high risk is whether the people who propose to send them believe the cause is worthy of risking their own or their children's lives. In the two world wars, Canada's elites, like those of most allied countries, did not stint in enlisting and encouraging their children to enlist. How often does this happen today?

In Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, and now perhaps Mali, the Canadian political and foreign policy establishment sent Canadian men and women into battle without risking much more than a spilled drink at the Rideau Club. Unlike the days of, say, the Spanish Civil War, sympathetic intellectuals volunteer only for CBC panel duty. If a cause isn't worthy of risking the lives of our best and brightest, then it isn't worthy of risking any of our lives.

To argue otherwise – isn't risk what soldiers sign on for? – is to treat our Canadian servicemen and women as nothing more than expendable mercenaries.

Michael Bliss, historian, Toronto

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Guy checking

Re Honey, I Can't Find The Soy Sauce (Life & Arts, Jan. 25): In our home, we have long had a term for what Micah Toub refers to as "male refrigerator blindness." We call it "guy checking," as in:

"I can't find the mustard. I checked."

"Did you really check? Or did you guy check??"

(Guys insist that the alternate phenomenon of "chick checking" exists as well, but not surprisingly can't find evidence of it …)

Deborah Kestenbaum, Toronto

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