Letters, Aug. 28: Can’t say what Trudeau gov’t promise is worth

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The Sun editor asks readers what’s a Trudeau government promise worth. The answer can’t be published in a family newspaper!
(That’s quite the way to start out our Sunday letters package!)

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The recent dismissal of a tenured professor at a Calgary university should raise serious questions about post-secondary education. Students at a university should always search for truth and not merely regurgitate the conventional narrative no matter how popular or politically correct it may be. Universities that tell students what they should think instead of teaching how to think are not educating, only indoctrinating. Churning out graduates that cannot think critically appears to have become the norm at universities with the full participation of faculty and administrations, who replace reasoned debate with virtue signalling slogans and identity politics. Why parents would mortgage their homes to send their children there mystifies me, and I assume donors to these institutions are having second thoughts. None of this bodes well for the future if generations of grads continue along this path. Canadians have to take back control of universities and make sure that those responsible for educating their children return to that. It’s hard to see much difference between a modern university and one of Mao Zedong’s “re-education camps.”
(Universities are becoming symptomatic of what is happening in some parts of society.)

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Canadian Centre for Child Protection recently stated they’re concerned “adolescent boys are being targeted primarily on social media giants Instagram and Snapchat as part of an ongoing sextortion crisis. … The offender will then threaten to report the victim to police, claiming they are in possession of child sexual abuse material.” My understanding is male victims of sex-related harassment and/or abuse are still more hesitant or unlikely than girl victims to report their offenders. Boys refuse to open up and/or ask for help due to their fear of being perceived by peers, etc., as weak or non-masculine. Meanwhile, a New York Times feature story (“She was a big hit on TikTok. Then a fan showed up with a gun”, Feb. 19, 2022) at one point states that “Instagram, owned by Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has … been accused of causing mental and emotional health problems among teenage female users.” A couple  of paragraphs down, it is also stated “Teen girls have been repeatedly targeted by child predators.” The plain fact is teen boys are also targeted by such predators, but a collective mentality may still societally persist, albeit perhaps a subconscious one: Real men can take care of themselves, and boys are basically little men.
(Boys — and girls — need to be aware of the potential grave risks.)

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I can hardly believe we are talking about Danielle Smith’s ridiculous proposal, that we can enact legislation to opt out of federal legislation. Where would this lead: would other provinces not follow Alberta’s lead? So we could just decide what legislation provinces like and act accordingly? How could you govern a country like that? Let’s now consider what Trudeau would do. He does not like being challenged. Look at Jody Wilson-Raybould, his own minister, sacked for not playing his game. And the truckers love ‘em or hate ‘em, their future has challenges. Trudeau is within his rights to withhold transfer payments. This is his ace in the hole and he will use it. The measure of a person is their past. Guess who l don’t want in my future.
(If nothing else, Danielle is making the leadership discussion interesting!)

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In my time, which is about 70 years, this PM is the worst PM we have ever had. Even worse than his dad. He floats on a name, he spews ideologies and yet he achieves nothing. But he thinks he is God’s gift to the world. How egocentric can that be?
(It is rather fascinating to watch.)

Re: Mr. Adams (Letters, Aug. 21). I never denied that the climate is changing, but I will speak out when someone thinks taxes will move climate change outcomes. Taxes are an economic exercise and because climate change will never end, government is now using the environment as cover to rifle your pockets with both hands. Maybe you can explain why every time climate taxes increase, there’s another report showing emissions are still increasing? Aren’t higher taxes supposed to reduce emissions? Taxing “industrial scale emitters” like you suggest, will only result in the costs being passed along to the end user, which is where 90% of all emissions actually come from. You say the free market has no natural mechanisms to punish carbon polluters, but if you stop using the products you demonize, the industry will either adapt or go out of business. That’s how you punish polluters, but because governments know there are no reliable options to light or heat your home, regardless of the cost, you have no choice but to keep supporting these industries. The result is that government can keep raising your taxes, because you, not industry, aren’t doing enough to stop climate change. That’s always been the government message, and that, sir, is basic economics and it has nothing to do with the environment.
(Hot take.)

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My older brother recently cautioned me about using ladders. I already knew the brittle bones of old geezers have a nasty habit of breaking after any kind of fall so his advice went in one ear and out the other. A few days after my brother and I spoke, my wife observed a deer standing on its hind legs munching the berries off our Mountain Ash tree. My wife is an avid gardener and when it comes to plant lovers and deer lovers, never the twain shall meet. Just like rats, when you see one urban deer you can be sure there are at least half a dozen more lurking nearby. We immediately decided to trim the lower branches of the tree to prevent further berry picking and minimize the chances of future garden flower cropping. In my enthusiasm to get the job done, I tossed caution to the wind. All you need to know is a ladder and an electric chainsaw were involved. I’ll let your imagination fill in the details. Only time will tell if I’m now any wiser, but I do know one thing for certain: Lady Luck can be capricious but she’s a wonderful friend to have.
(Don’t lose sight of her.)

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Re: Kadri impressed with Flames’ off-season rebound, expects to contend with new team. Sounds like the Prophet Kadri has arrived to lead his new team out of the land of Loss-Dome and into the promised land of Win-Dome sometime in June 2023. It has been a long 34 years of wandering aimlessly in the wilderness without even an oasis in sight.
(In Nazem we trust.)

Letter writer Tony Carolan (Aug. 21) need not await his expected diatribe from Caspar Pfenninger for I am here! Alberta health care has been a “money pit” pretty well ever since its inception. Top heavy with managerial managers of late, and not only due to NDP pro-unionist tendencies. The old Holy Cross and Grace Hospitals are doing well, filled with all manner of medical facilities; and suffer no vacancy rates, as do many downtown offices once held by oil companies. Were people dying in the streets due to a lack of hospital beds back then? Ah yes, Ralph Klein blew up the blessed old (asbestos-filled) General Hospital. And Bridgeland is a thriving community, more economically viable than the old hospital — my birthplace, eh! Of course, Calgary was nowhere near the one-million population mark at that time. But do you deny the fact the NDP caused an exodus of oil company investment (and head office relocations) to places outside of Alberta? Jason Kenney’s UCP reduced the NDP royalties down to 8% which garnered more provincial income than had been generated at the previous higher rate. And look where we are now! Go ahead and max out your own credit, but don’t rely on anyone else to bail you out when you see the interest charges!
(No matter your political perspective, can we all agree that the health care system needs to perform way better?)

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Since the Taliban takeover a year ago, I, along with the rest of the world, have been watching the situation in Afghanistan deteriorate rapidly and we’ve watched with great concern as many Canadian humanitarian aid organizations have been unable to do anything to help. Irrespective of the government in power, Canadian aid organizations — like the one I work for, Islamic Relief Canada — have been successfully operating in Afghanistan for decades while observing rigorous compliance standards and controls. But for the past year, sanctions and anti-terror provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada pose significant barriers for Canadian aid organizations to continue our critical lifesaving work in Afghanistan. It is for this reason a coalition of 17 of Canada’s largest humanitarian aid agencies have joined together to launch “Aid for Afghanistan,” a public campaign that calls for the immediate removal of barriers to humanitarian aid for vulnerable Afghans, including at-risk women and children. While Canada’s allies have already answered the UN’s 2021 call to carve out humanitarian exceptions to their sanctions regimes and criminal law, Canada has yet to provide a way for agencies to save lives in Afghanistan without the real threat of criminal prosecution. On the ground in Afghanistan, the situation is horrific. There are severe food shortages, no jobs and no money. Young boys are dropping out of school to find work, entire households are being crippled by spiraling debt, and people are forced into increasingly desperate ways to feed their families. We’ve heard from many mothers who have had to make the unthinkable decision to marry off their young daughters so families can eat and stay alive, or else see them starve to death. More than half the entire population — that’s at least 23 million people — require urgent humanitarian assistance, and 19.7 million people are regularly going to bed hungry. My job here at Islamic Relief Canada is to work with Canadians from all backgrounds, religions and races in Calgary. Canadians want to help the people of Afghanistan and they want to be part of a country that steps up and responds to such a catastrophic humanitarian situation. I have written to my MP asking him to speak with the prime minister on this issue. I am now asking the people of Calgary to visit and do the same. We must act now to ensure that Afghan women and children do not pay the price of inaction with their lives.
(Canada should not turn its back on the people of Afghanistan.)

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