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Nov. 26: Honouring Lawren Harris – letters to the ROB editor

Honouring Harris

Re The Art World Scales New Heights (Nov. 24): So Imperial Oil Ltd. of Calgary has just raked in a windfall at Heffel Fine Art Auction House after Lawren Harris's Mountain Forms sold for a record $11.2-million at a Toronto auction this week. Even taking the amount actually gained by Imperial Oil down to $9.5-million (factoring in the 18-per-cent premium), this is millions more than the company must have paid for the painting in 1984, since the previous record sale price for a Canadian painting was about $5-million.

The glaciers depicted in or located very near Harris's iconic Rocky Mountain paintings are receding at an alarming rate due, in large part, to greenhouse gas emissions that the world's scientists say are contributed in large part from the and gas extraction by the world's fossil fuel companies. Imperial Oil should use its massive auction winnings to invest in renewable energy projects that will move Canada to a low-carbon economy. Such action would be a fitting tribute to Lawren Harris and would be the right thing to do for Canada.

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Linda Pim, Inglewood, Ont.

Black Friday

Re Black Friday sales events: Really? Are we not Americanized enough? Everyone knows that Black Friday follows Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is the last Thursday in November, and for some strange reason Canadian retailers over the past few years have found the need to latch onto this American tradition.

No doubt the influx of American retailers into our country over the past 20 years or so has had a big influence in creating this sales event here. However this is Canada.

Please do not get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for the United States, its traditions and their citizens. My wife and I travel extensively throughout the United States each year and have always been made to feel welcome in that country.

I'm also a very proud Canadian and I simply question, "Can our Canadian marketing professionals not come up with their own creative way to have a November sales event?"

Considering that November is the time that we remember the sacrifices of our veterans, why not have a Veterans Friday Sale on the first Friday following Nov. 11 every year?

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For that matter, why not make every Friday in November 'Veterans Friday?' While we're at it, let's push our government to do the right thing and finally declare Nov. 11 a national holiday once and for all.

Mike Gorman, Sharon, Ont.

Carbon tax. Period.

Re Too Early To Tell Impact Of Cap-And-Trade In Ontario: Financial Watchdog (online Nov. 24): Ontario should copy the carbon-tax approach in British Columbia, which is far superior to cap and trade. First, its revenue can be precisely calculated and could be applied to the excessive cost of electricity.

The Ontario watchdog said that cap-and-trade revenue cannot be calculated in advance.

Any deal with California and Quebec is ludicrous.

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California is in political disarray about it, even before U.S. president-elect Donald Trump intervenes.

The exchange rate is terrible and variable. Then persuade Quebec as well. Cap and trade is an obscure and bureaucratic exchange between corporations and governments.

A carbon tax involves everyone directly and visibly and will have public support, especially from young people.

Robert MacIntosh, Toronto

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