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May 29: Ontario’s election? Stay tuned. Plus other letters to the editor

Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne, Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath during the final televised debate of the provincial election campaign.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

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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Ontario? Stay tuned

While Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne labours under the burden of past decisions, Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford searches for a complete platform and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath tries to get her math right, I would like to know from each of them: If Donald Trump scuppers NAFTA, what is their Plan B for Ontario?

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Robert Jackson, London, Ont.

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If Doug Ford’s promises to cut income and gasoline taxes are realized, they will cost billions, as you report (Horwath, Ford Exchange Attacks In Final Debate, May 28).

As a business person, Mr. Ford must know that it’s easy to lose revenues – and no one else will want to step up to replace them. Cutting expenses is harder. Could we please hear some detail from Mr. Ford on that one?

James Russell, Ottawa

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I have only seen the leaders speak in 10-second video clips, so I decided to watch the debate. On one side, there are the Liberals and NDP, both with likable leaders who seem to want more taxes, spending, and debt. The NDP is counting on the electorate to be tired of the Liberals for success.

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On the other side are the PCs.

Their leader isn’t so likeable to Ontario’s large, progressive population but he does propose a different path of less tax, spending, and debt.

I think the progressives will decide this election. Will they vote with their social side and opt for a new captain of the ship, the NDP? Or will they hold their noses and vote with their wallet to change the path of questionable government finances? Stay tuned.

Dan Petryk, Calgary

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Re The New Horwath: Why Are People Ready To Listen Now? (May 26): I have long admired and enjoyed Cathal Kelly’s excellent writing but even Mr. Kelly seemed to struggle in his lengthy feature to capture the essence of NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in a standard, journalistic-feature way.

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That’s perhaps because she is unlike almost any other Canadian politician I can think of. Full disclosure: I’ve known her since before she first ran for any public office and it’s never been about “Andrea,” it’s always been about the work she does helping people.

Ms. Horwath never had anything given to her in her rise to prominence. She wasn’t born into political family royalty. She didn’t have Rhodes scholarships or media stardom to dangle in front of voters as proof of her worth. She’s never used bespoke suits or magazine-cover makeovers to attract attention. She worked intelligently and hard, taking every step on the path. She’s one of the friendliest people I know, but when she enters a room of voters the focus is on them and the work she needs to do to accomplish their goals in a fair manner, not on angling the spotlight her way.

It is a quality I’ve always admired about her, but it has not always been kind to her politically until, if the polls are accurate, now. She deserves it.

There. Four paragraphs. Easy.

David Wesley, Peterborough, Ont.

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Who to vote for in Ontario? A radical, pro-union NDP Party, or the “one man show” Doug Ford and the PC Party without a platform, or the Liberals, who raised the minimum wage from $11.60 to $14, launched pharmacare for those under 25, free university/college for lower-income families, free child care for preschoolers, and reduced the corporate income tax rate for small business from 4.5 to 3.5 per cent?

I agree with Margaret Wente, who recently said, “A couple of years from now, I suspect that we’ll be looking looking back on this election and wondering what was so horrible about Kathleen Wynne’s government after all.”

Carole Wilson, Toronto

Sensitivity sensibilities

Re Starbucks Has A Grande-Sized Problem (May 26): I must take issue with Margaret Wente’s broad statement that “unconscious bias” and “anti-racisim re-education sessions” are “junk science.”

In the 1990s, I worked for a bank/brokerage in Toronto. The whole company was sent for sensitivity training. This was due to anti-Semitic remarks hurled at a departing employee in the New York office.

The sessions were highly informative and educational. They did not just deal with anti-Semitism, but all forms of racial and ethnic stereotyping. I do not believe they cured racism and I’m sure some found it a waste of a day. However, it was a chance to learn and to reflect. It was a chance for the bank to try to ensure that their corporate values were communicated to all their employees.

I feel Ms. Wente is suggesting that Starbucks do nothing except apologize and send a memo to the Philadelphia outlet.

Stuart Peterson, Guelph, Ont.

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How does Margaret Wente turn an offsite training day for Starbucks employees into the act of throwing everyone under the bus?

Some would call this an opportunity: a paid day away to “down tools” and reflect together on how our personal cultures, and the way each of us sees the world, affects the way we treat one another. The narrowness of my life’s experience is an ongoing impediment to understanding others, be they customer, colleague, friend, family, or complete stranger.

The only bus we need to fear is the one we cower under, avoiding the bright sunshine of seeing the world more broadly than before.

Andrew Mizen, Toronto

Plastic-nightmare images

Re A Garbage Exhibition (Arts, May 26): Most of us are aware of that vast island of plastic garbage floating in the Pacific. I suggest taking a page from the anti-smoking lobby. Just as there are horrific pictures of diseased lungs on cigarette packaging, what if images of that plastic island in all its ugliness were required to appear on every plastic bag produced?

Those of us who can’t be bothered with reusable bags would be reminded over and over again of the impact of their behaviour on the environment. It seems to have had an effect on smoking, according to several articles that popped up in a quick Google search. Maybe it’s worth a try.

Diane Langston, Calgary

It’s rocket science

A letter writer says the chemistry sets he knew as a child are “happily no longer available” (Foreign-Policy Chemistry, May 28).

In the mid-fifties, when I was about 12, I received a Gilbert chemistry set for my birthday. What a great gift! My friends and I were able to do so much research with that set, the most notable being the formulation of gun powder, which we made to power rockets constructed from discarded cardboard toilet paper rolls that we launched in the Don Valley.

Some of our rockets reached altitudes as high as 20 metres! One of our “experiments” filled the basement with smoke, which brought my mother to investigate. When she asked what was going on, she seemed satisfied with our answer of “nothing.” That chemistry set played a decisive role in my becoming a professor of chemical engineering.

Thank you, Gilbert! Sadly, as usual, today’s overprotected children are no longer permitted to be adventuresome.

Frank Foulkes, professor emeritus, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto


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