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Will cap-and-trade succeed in reducing carbon-based emissions in the province that's home to more than a third of Canadians, or just amount to a carbon shuffle? Readers, print and digital, are dubious the environment will come out ahead

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The brilliance of cap-and-trade's logic opens up the possibility of similar applications in other areas. For instance, can our cities now save money on costly sewage treatment plants by pouring raw excrement into our waterways and paying people in other places not to?

J. L. Elliott, Calgary

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Interesting that Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard had such an easy time convincing his Ontario colleague Kathleen Wynne to go with cap-and-trade (Couillard On How Quebec Sold Ontario On Cap-And-Trade – April 14). Last month, hundreds of people in meetings across Ontario engaged in a conversation with their government, discussing the options; an unknown number of others responded to questions online. One would expect to learn next what the government heard, before arriving at a decision and providing a rationale.

Instead, it appears as though the key decision was taken already, the consultation process was a sham, and the rationale will have to wait until the details are revealed six months hence.

That's even worse – as your editorial, Is This Green Energy Act, Round II? (April 14) explains – than that it was the wrong choice.

At the start of her term as Ontario's Premier, Ms. Wynne expressed a desire to hold conversations on many topics. Her credibility for doing so is now badly undermined.

Erwin Dreessen, Ottawa

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Philippe Couillard and Kathleen Wynne are real progressives looking to the future. We don't realize how lucky we are to have them, frankly.

Alec Wheeler, Burlington, Ont.

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Canada has about .49 per cent of the world's population but produces 1.8 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions. That means we are producing some 267 per cent more CO2 than our population justifies.

If you subsidize something, you'll get more of it; if you tax something, you'll get less of it. A carbon tax would encourage consumers to find ways of reducing their carbon consumption. Whether it's using more fuel-efficient transportation, living in smaller, better insulated homes or choosing more efficient appliances, we can all do better. Let's use our natural aversion to taxes to create a healthier environment.

Cap-and-trade is a bookkeeping game for corporations that does nothing to encourage citizens to make better choices. B.C.'s revenue neutral carbon tax, which has helped reduce pollution in B.C. without hurting the economy, is a far better solution.

Steen Petersen, Nanaimo, B.C.

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In federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver's opinion, the cap-and-trade system "would be negative for the economy." Could he get his head out of the sand and concede that without a healthy planet, the economy is totally irrelevant?

Thank goodness for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

Lead on!

Helen Godfrey, Toronto

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At least Ontario and Quebec, by joining in a carbon-trading scheme with California, are taking action. The two provinces account for 22 million of Canada's 35 million people – almost two-thirds of our country's population. With cap-and-trade, governments set the "cap." If the levers on cap-and-trade are managed to the environment's benefit, it has the potential to be more effective than B.C.'s carbon-tax approach.

And anything is better than the federal government's snipe-and-stall rearguard action on environmental accountability.

Nadine Walker, Montreal

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Industries will carry on polluting, but now they will buy "caps" and charge the cost to the public. Will we never learn?

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne loves this idea because every carbon trade will be controlled, so that it leaks some money into the government coffers.

It is a backdoor tax – a truly deceitful strategy. If we really want to reduce pollution, to truly improve the quality of the air we breathe, we will set standards, and enforce them rigorously.

Ms. Wynne is playing a cap-and-trade shell game, a game in which the electorate will always lose.

Peter Weygang, Bobcaygeon, Ont.

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Every time I hear "cap-and-trade," my brain translates it to: "smoke and mirrors." Any process that allows one company/industry not to reduce emissions, but to pay instead, hardly seems fair. It's reminiscent of a system of conscription whereby a rich man could pay not to go to war, but could send a poor man in his place.

Peter Collinson, Toronto

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Companies will not have to manage their emissions more responsibly, as they will be able to buy emission credits from any company that does.

The grand total of emissions will not be reduced, simply spread out more evenly. This can only mean bad news for the environment and bad news for members of the public. As anyone with an iota of common sense knows, any company that finds itself having to pay for excess emissions will simply pass that expense right on to the consumer.

Nigel Bennett, Stratford, Ont.

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What expression describes the public-sector equivalent of crony capitalism ? How many names will be added to the Sunshine List for this boondoggle ? Associated hangers-on rewarded – well rewarded – for their participation? All at our expense. And will this reduce the amount of ice falling off polar caps?

Richard Seymour, Brechin, Ont.

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What wonderful news: Provincial politicians and bureaucrats will now have the discretion to grant permits worth billions to businesses of their choosing. What could possibly go wrong?

Teri Jane Bryant, Calgary

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A national plan would be optimal. Unfortunately, the management at that level is completely void of ideas, motivation or ability to execute.

Robby Breadner, Toronto

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Powered by beer

Re Ontario Banks On Hydro Sale, Beer Taxes (April 17): Why not sell parts of Hydro One to the monopoly that controls the Beer Store?

That way, Hydro trucks could deliver cold beer to homes, collect bottles and utilize Hydro staff efficiently (how often do you see one guy working and three guys supervising on Hydro repair jobs?). I'd offer to be the Beer Budsman, but I drink it so I declare my conflict of interest and won't apply.

Bottoms up. See you in two years with my back taxes paid in beer cans.

Richard Allan, Toronto

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Will the real Hillary …

Re Clinton Aims To Show Iowa The 'Real Hillary'(April 17): Americans need multimillionaire politicians to pretend they are "just folks" because the country has a long history of deluding itself into thinking it doesn't have a problem with class. Few would admit some Americans are born into privilege (and many more are born without it.) To concede this would compromise the idea that America is great because it is a mythical place where wealth and status reflect merit, not birth.

Melissa J. Gismondi, Charlottesville, Va.

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Hmm …

In lauding the capaciousness of the 2015 Chevrolet Impala's trunk, auto writer Chris Chase cites the fact that he was able to stick his own body inside it – except for the lower legs (Impala No Longer Just For Cops And Cabbies – Globe Drive, April 16).

Carrying a supine body around in the trunk may well be a subject of interest to Tony Soprano's guys, but the rest of just want to know if there's enough room for a couple of bags of sand and a shovel.

Geoff Rytell, Toronto

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7th-heaven schadenfreude

Re Dear Toronto: Sorry To See You Miss The Playoffs – Again. Love, Montreal (online, April 16): Please give my thanks to Yves Boisvert for explaining to the Rest of Canada what everyone here in Montreal already knows.

Two things make Montrealers happy: 1) When Montreal does well; and 2) When Toronto does poorly. Combine the two and we are in seventh heaven.

Pretty sad, don't you think?

Bernard Lahey, Montreal