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China’s double standard
It’s a bit much for the Chinese foreign ministry to talk about Canada abandoning “prejudice” and creating a level playing field for Chinese enterprises and political interference under the pretext of national security (Aecon Deal Threatened Sovereignty, PM Says – May 25). How would China react if a Canadian government-owned company tried to buy one of China’s major players in a strategically sensitive economic sector? Maybe one of China’s high-tech companies?
Exactly. Not a chance. We wouldn’t even get a hearing.
So before the Chinese foreign ministry casts aspersions on Canada’s behavior, China had better do something about its own conduct. It wants two rules – one for China, and a much more restrictive one for us. That just isn’t on.
Garth M. Evans, Vancouver
Kiss the Nobel goodbye
Re Trump Pulls Plug On Meeting With Kim (May 25): Donald Trump has cancelled the planned nuclear disarmament summit with North Korea. He doesn’t like some of the statements made by North Korea about U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence.
Why does the world have to suffer the risk of a nuclear war just because Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence have thin skin? I guess Mr. Trump can kiss the Nobel Peace Prize goodbye.
Jerry Steinberg, Surrey, B.C.
Why take such risk?
Re B.C.’s Crude Hypocrisy (editorial, May 24): Comparing diluted bitumen (dilbit) to crude oil is like comparing enriched uranium to coal. Dilbit is not conventional crude oil. Dilbit is a mix of parafins, napthalenes, aromatic hydrocarbons, plus nitrogen and sulphur compounds. It is mixed with gas condensate to become diluted bitumen. Dilbit contains approximately 30 per cent dilutents. It is very toxic and almost impossible to clean-up!
Dilbit – and for that matter, crude oil – is not required to keep B.C. running. Dilbit in the expanded Kinder Morgan pipeline is entirely for the export market and will lead to a seven-fold increase in tankers, from five to 34 a month, up to 408 a year in the Salish Sea and Burrard Inlet.
Any amount of dilbit released in either a marine or terrestrial ecosystem will be more than “a spill.” Why would B.C. want to assume such a risk?
Norbert Greinacher, Vancouver
Tennis boring? Hardly
Re How Did The World Of Men’s Tennis Become This Boring? (May 19): We are avid tennis watchers, both women’s and men’s tennis. In fact, tennis is one reason we still subscribe to cable TV. Men’s tennis may have become boring to Konrad Yakabuski, but we are excited about the promising prospects of next-generation male (and female) players, especially Canadian Denis Shapovalov. And Rafael Nadal is anything but boring to watch. We actually watch tennis because it doesn’t reliably cultivate “bad boys” – there are plenty of those in men’s sports. Tennis is absent the violence we abhor, including verbal violence. Call men’s tennis boring, but we find it refreshing in a world that values mean-spiritedness as part of sport.
Too bad Mr. Yakabuski didn’t focus on the real tennis travesty (at least for Canadian viewers) – the almost complete absence of women’s tennis on cable TV.
Sally A. Kimpson, Victoria
A managed retreat
Re B.C. Cities Prepare For Rising Sea Levels (May 23): So, Surrey may cope with a forecast one-metre rise in sea levels by bringing in “a managed retreat” which “planners, engineers and climate scientists say ... is increasingly being seen as a necessary and plausible strategy.”
Canadians are not interested in doing much, if anything, to limit climate change, given that “four of the five best-selling automobiles last year were gas-guzzling pickups” (Stop Coddling Gas-Guzzlers – editorial, May 23), development continues our grand tradition of urban sprawl, and at least a third of us believe human activity is not causing climate change.
That a managed retreat is fast becoming the only option for us is incredibly disheartening. Perhaps if The Globe and Mail provided the same unrelenting coverage of climate change in a Canadian context, and the measures we can and should take to mitigate it, as it has for other issues critical to the public interest, we would see a sea change in attitude and action instead of a change in sea levels.
Leslie Lavers, Lethbridge, Alta.
Economists and conservative policy gurus have long advocated using market mechanisms (e.g. carbon taxes and higher energy prices) in preference to government regulations to drive energy conservation and reduce emissions.
This argument overlooks a critical marketplace: politics. Right-wing parties here and in the U.S. are promising to cancel “job killing” carbon taxes, subsidize electricity rates, prolong coal-fired generation and regulate reductions in fuel prices, all to attract voters. Such negative leadership is toxic: Now all three political parties in Ontario are offering incentives for energy consumption and higher GHG production. Sad!
Rick Williams, Glen Haven, N.S.
Statistics about Canadians’ fascination with gas-guzzlers show how far many of us still are from concern for the climate-change precipice at the edge of which we all stand. Pickups and SUVs can be useful when there’s a need, but it’s pretty clear that the appeal of these vehicles has more to do with appearance than utility. If people choose to spend their money in this way, fine. But they shouldn’t pretend to be hard done by when they make a trip to the pumps.
We all need to pay the price of burning carbon, and those who burn more should pay more.
Ian Fleming, McDougall, Ont.
Choice ruffles feathers
Re Pick Another Bird (letters, May 23): Since it’s called the Canada Goose, I think we have the decision for the national bird. Three owls are provincial symbols (Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec); jays are already represented (PEI and B.C.). A raven is Yukon’s bird. The loon is Ontario’s. The Northwest Territories have a falcon.
The ornithologist who says “no goose … over my dead body” is using the language of a dictator.
How about a referendum?
On July 1?
Barbara Klunder, Toronto
Isn’t the Canada Goose the obvious choice for a national bird? Who hasn’t seen one? Or, while strolling in an urban area, has never felt obliged to give one, or a bunch, a wide berth?
Name a Canadian who hasn’t nearly slipped on goose poop?
The Canada Goose, like the “Canada Jay,” seldom seems inclined to migrate. Not any more. Certainly, not from any public space, festering construction pool, or (wet) front or back lawn of many homes throughout the Dominion.
We once gave the Queen a mating pair of Canada Geese for the Serpentine. One imagines some droll Quebecker making that choice, believing the two a fit gift to celebrate … the Empire.
Lorrie Naylor, Stratford, Ont.