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In this photo taken on March 10, 2018, a traditional Coast Salish Watch House is under construction adjacent to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Burnaby Terminal in protest to the pipeline expansion.


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Pipeline smarts

Your editorialists tell us that “Ideologies aside, expanding the Trans Mountain Pipeline is a no brainer” (Pipelines And Political Risk, May 17). That statement has only two interpretations. Either the millions of Canadians who oppose it are without a brain or The Globe and Mail’s editorial board is. It’s clearly neither.

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The Globe is being ideological and hypocritical. By supporting the Trans Mountain expansion, The Globe is supporting promoting the business interests of a foreign corporation and its investors, the spending of Canadian taxpayers’ dollars to insure them, pushing action counter to meeting national CO2 emission commitments, putting B.C.’s and the ocean environment at risk, ignoring Indigenous rights, promoting dubious “national interest” as fact, and looking to the end of its nose rather than the future of our grandchildren in a hotter world.

Rob Garrard, Victoria


Who is Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s lawyer? Rudy Giuliani? (Pipeline Pledge Won’t Cost Taxpayers A Cent: Morneau, May 18).

The federal government should immediately refer all constitutional issues over pipeline jurisdiction, including those raised in B.C. and Alberta, to the Supreme Court of Canada. This power has been successfully and expeditiously invoked in other controversial matters, such as the jurisdictional reference question on the Anti-Inflation Act. Until the highest court deliberates on these matters, uncertainty and confusion will continue.

Tim Armstrong, Toronto

Best voting model?

If B.C. can implement electoral reform, there’s hope for the rest of Canada. As it has with carbon pricing, and protecting the environment, let the West lead the rest on PR. I’m starting to think of B.C. as Canada’s conscience.

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Rachel Campbell-Smith, Halifax


When it comes to electoral reform in B.C., Gary Mason is dead on – and I say this sadly, as a former (NDP) MP and advocate of electoral reform, who was born in New Westminster (B.C.’s NDP Are Sabotaging Electoral Reform, May 16).

The B.C. government, with Green support, should be out hustling for a concrete, reasonable model, and revise it based on citizen feedback, instead of retreating behind its vague question, leaving the important decisions to be made by a small group later.

The best model? Scotland’s PR, mixed member proportional. It has been used in five elections there, and voters like it. Mainly coalitions, but it did once result in a majority government. There are great similarities: Scotland has a population of 5.3 million, B.C., 4.6 million; both have large urban populations in the south, sparse populations in the north.

Scotland’s Parliament has 129 members, 73 of them the usual individual members, augmented by 56 by list, divided into regions. The share of elected members each party gets reflects its popular vote – win 20 per cent of the votes, get 20 per cent of the seats.

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The NDP and Greens have to work out a model for B.C. and get it to voters for consideration.

Lynn McDonald, Toronto


That the NDP/Green Party coalition appears intent on asking voters to choose between the status quo and an undefined form of PR may in fact be good news.

It’s positive on two fronts. B.C. voters would almost certainly realize the misleading intent of such a sham, ill-defined electoral process and, in any referendum, reject any broad general authorization for electoral change.

And with such a poorly structured electoral issue, the opposition Liberal Party has been given a leg up in preparing to resume control of the Legislative Assembly in the next election.

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Ron Johnson, Victoria


I don’t agree that there will be little debate before the voting referendum. In this province, it’s been going on for some 13 years. I can’t be the only one who has dutifully signed up for FairVote Canada’s webinars, followed the links on YouTube and read the report from the Commons all-party committee on the subject. I’m not stupid, but I have found the systems the hard part, not the principle.

Of course an advisory council runs the risk of partisanship, but the press will hold the government’s feet to the fire on that one.

Of course members of an independent advisory committee will come to the table with their preferences. There will be fierce debate, but I don’t assume that members will be incapable of coming to a recommendation that will be good for British Columbia. And I do not assume that the committee won’t be independent.

Gary Mason is right to warn of the danger of a biased advisory group, but first let’s see who’s on it. I might support a subsequent vote on the group’s recommendation, either in the legislature (elected under the undemocratic first-past-the-post system, remember) or through another referendum after an election or two.

I do not support putting the system on the ballot.

D.J. Stewart, North Vancouver

Sorry about that

Re Votto’s Contrition Shows His True Canadian Colours (Sports, May 17): The apology for dissing Canada by Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds sounds contrite and it should be accepted.

However, in any given celebrity apology there’s often a good degree of truth in the initial outburst. Maybe he had a glass of wine before the controversial podcast and later, with clearer thoughts, decided to follow his decant with a recant?

In vino veritas, Votto?

Mel Simoneau, Gatineau, Que.

Promises, promises

Re Donald Trump Saves Jobs … In China (editorial, May 17): Donald Trump claims he doesn’t break his promises.

He promised to build a great wall on the U.S./Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it. He promised to fix America’s infrastructure. He promised to replace Obamacare with a better plan. He promised to get real tough on China and North Korea.

His list of broken promises goes on and on.

Now, he promises to give a big chunk of his pay to U.S. veterans, except, presumably, ex-PoWs, since he says he only likes those who weren’t captured.

The U.S. will have to introduce more checks and balances if it wants to get serious about getting rid of Mr. Trump – and any future flakes who manage to occupy the White House.

William Bedford, Newmarket, Ont.

Pedaling happiness

Re Costs Of Climate Change Are Rising (May 16): Kudos for mentioning electrified public transit as a low-carbon solution. Transportation is Canada’s second-biggest GHG-source, so getting folks on buses and light rail is vital.

Also important is cycling. McGill University researchers found that, among commuters, cyclists were the most likely to arrive at their job or school punctually and feeling “energized.”

Climate news can be dispiriting. Switching from car to bike reduces our emissions while elevating our mood.

Gideon Forman, Toronto

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