Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

May 9: Notwithstanding the Charter. 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

...............................................................................................................................

Notwithstanding …

Story continues below advertisement

Re Tory Candidates Play Fast, Loose With Rights (May 8): Candidates for the Conservative leadership behaving like drunken sailors when it comes to the notwithstanding clause should know that in more than 35 years since it's been available to government, it has been legally invoked only a handful of times. The reason is that the Charter remains popular with Canadians, and politicians use it at their peril.

When he was prime minister, Brian Mulroney said that a charter of rights with a notwithstanding clause was not worth the paper it was printed on. A then-retired Pierre Trudeau's reply was: Better an imperfect charter which is in force than a perfect one that only exists on paper. After seeing the Charter in action since 1982, Canadians have no doubt as to who was right.

Howard Greenfield, Montreal

.......................................

The B.C. nose knows

The Globe and Mail's editorial on B.C.'s election advises: Hold Your Nose And Vote Liberal (May 6). As a British Columbian, my advice is: Hold your nose when reading the editorial. Then go out and vote for the party that does not require you to stifle your sense of smell when casting your ballot.

Reg Whitaker, Victoria

Story continues below advertisement

.......................................

If I have to hold my nose in order to vote for the BC Liberals, it doesn't just mean, as your editorial acknowledges, that the provincial "Liberals aren't perfect." It means that the party doesn't pass the smell test (i.e. it stinks). It's not an uncommon condition for any party that's been in power for 16 years. To attempt to justify this advice by stating the obvious – that "on Tuesday in British Columbia, perfect's not on the ballot" – suggests that the only alternative to imperfect is rotten.

This is clearly not the case.

The BC NDP has had 16 years to rid itself of any residual rot from its 10 years in government. Of course, for a totally smell-free, no-nose-holding-required alternative, there's always B.C.'s Greens.

John Farquharson, Victoria

.......................................

Story continues below advertisement

Macron's sweep

Re Pro-EU Macron Sweeps To Power In France (May 8): With England leaving the EU, and France's new president-elect making it clear that re-establishing the country's relationship with Germany is a priority, will the British find themselves increasingly sidelined, with an eroding share of the global economy, and therefore diminishing influence, as France and Germany consolidate their leadership of Europe?

Marsha Todd Smith, Halifax

.......................................

Chic. That's me

Re Why No Frills Is Going After The 'Frugal-Chic Consumer' (Report On Business, May 8): They have finally come up with a name for all of us canny consumers: Frugal Chic. Take that, all you High-End Chic-Wannabees.

Brendan Rodgers, Toronto

.......................................

Live on/off the land

Re Thousands Of Sites For Homes Sit Shovel-Ready In Toronto Area (May 8): In the past 40 years, some 2.8 million acres of prime farmland in Southern Ontario have been taken out of agricultural production. At the same time that we are increasingly dependent on imported food, climate change is affecting the output in California, Florida and Chile. The problem will get much worse.

The Wynne government is up against a tough battle: The Greater Toronto Area is growing like topsy, owing to immigration and migration. How can we slow the growth and the urban sprawl consuming our food lands? Do we dare try to stem our growth rate so that we can solve our regional transit mess and build more affordable housing? Can we stop eating into the Greenbelt, reduce land for detached housing and insist on more density in existing communities with more granny flats, laneway houses, townhouses and condos? Europe has done this for decades. These are tough decisions we have to make.

David Platt, Toronto

.......................................

While there may well be the potential to build thousands of homes on already serviced lots in the Greater Toronto Area if these lots were released immediately, the reality is that there likely are not enough trades people to actually do the work.

In November, 2015, we purchased a townhouse that was to be built in Waterdown, Ont. It was scheduled to close July 6, 2017. It has now been postponed until late August, and could be delayed until December. The reason given: a shortage of trades.

Patricia Leupen, Mississauga

.......................................

Preference regimes

Re Research Chair Funds Threatened Over Diversity Issue (May 5): By requiring universities to use non-academic criteria in selecting professors, the directors of the Canada Research Chairs are encouraging universities to treat researchers unfairly and are threatening the quality of research in Canada.

Both fairness and the best research can be attained only through seeking to identify the best researchers available and awarding chairs exclusively on grounds of academic merit.

Universities already have in place policies giving preference to women and minority scholars. What academic goal can be served by pressuring them to take even less regard of academic merit than they do under current preference regimes?

Mark Mercer, president, Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship; Halifax

.......................................

Passenger rights

Re Passenger Rights Law Expected To Be Sensible: Air Canada CEO (Report on Business, May 6): The chief executive of Air Canada says he expects that new legislation for passengers' rights "should not materially impact our operation" – in other words, that it will make no significant difference in the way they treat passengers. He's probably right, and isn't that wonderful?

Everyone loves the way Air Canada treats us, don't we? Don't we?

Robert Martin, Halifax

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.