Alberta’s position of sharing the Northern Gateway pipeline risk but not the energy wealth indicates a sentiment that permeates the land of oil and money.
The only difference between the separatist temperaments in Alberta and Quebec is that Quebec separatists believe in political sovereignty with economic association, while Alberta separatists believe in economic sovereignty with political association.
Don Barz, Kamloops, B.C.
The federal government’s extending the railway to the coast was one of the conditions for B.C. to become the sixth province of Canada.
One of the biggest obstacles in running the line to the Pacific was finding a route through the Selkirk Mountains. The CPR promised Major Albert Rogers a cheque for $5,000 if he could discover a way. After finding the “Rogers Pass,” he wanted to frame the cheque, saying he didn’t do it for the money. Another obstacle was crossing Blackfoot lands. A missionary priest (Albert Lacombe) convinced Chief Crowfoot to agree. Thousands of Chinese workers died building the CPR.
Imagine what Canada would look like today without a railway running coast to coast. With all of our advancements in safety and environmental protection, would it even be possible to build it? Thank you for an excellent editorial on the Gateway pipeline (Payoffs Do Not Protect The Environment – July 27) and the political challenges it faces.
Jamie Fisher, Calgary
As a British Columbian, I agree with Premier Alison Redford that Albertans own their bitumen. We should not “rewrite” Confederation to compel her citizens to share any of the revenues they derive from its extraction and sale.
Equally, British Columbians own the lands, rivers and the many living resources they support in our province, including our precious salmon. If we decide we don’t want to put them at risk for a pipeline and marine terminal, Confederation shouldn’t be retwritten to force us to do so. We have every right to say no.
Jamie Alley, Victoria
Canada’s space history
An iconic piece of Canadian space hardware, the Canadarm from the orbiter Endeavour, has left the Kennedy Space Center and is back home.
The Canadarm made its space debut in 1981. The robotic arm, a critical element in the U.S. space shuttle program, racked up 90 missions, 944 days in space and more 624 million kilometres.
Proud workers at MacDonald Detwiller (MDA) in Brampton, Ont., are in the process of sanitizing and refurbishing the arm. Once that is done, it will go on display at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) headquarters in St. Hubert, Que. Why there?
Why not in one of Canada’s two main aerospace museums in Toronto or Ottawa? How many citizens will actually visit this incredible piece of Canadian history at CSA headquarters?
Roland Kiehne, president, CAW Local 112 (MDA), Brampton, Ont.
Sally Ride’s legacy
As I read Judith Timson’s terrific article on Sally Ride, I was both awestruck by the astronaut’s accomplishments, and saddened by her early death (Astronaut, Brainiac, Educational Force … Oh Yeah, Lesbian. Why Is That The News? – Life, July 27).
Ms. Timson drove to the heart of the issue with the her statement that Ms. Ride’s sexual orientation was “arguably [the] least remarkable thing about her.”
Was a famous athlete wearing women’s panties when he broke a record? Did a political figure come up with groundbreaking social policy while bedding two women (or men)? I don’t care, and neither should anyone else. For goodness sake, let’s focus on our own sex lives.
We should rejoice in the brilliance of those who have succeeded where we could not.
James Brooks, Ottawa
In the debate about Sally Ride and her sexual orientation, few have pointed out the fairly obvious fact about the times and environment in which she lived – that it would have taken more courage to admit to her sexual orientation publicly than it did to venture into space. While every gay man and woman has the right to make this kind of decision based on his or her circumstances, it is a sign of courage and integrity to affirm one’s orientation publicly as long as so many other gay men and women continue to suffer from homophobia.
Mike Hutton, Ottawa
Done in private
I can only conclude that in the inquiry into Manitoba Justice Lori Douglas, the wrong person is being taken to task (Lawyer Complains Of Biased Questioning – July 27).
It seems that the conduct of the judge’s husband, Jack King, may be what is deserving of an inquiry. Nonetheless, I find it astonishing to think that what people do in the privacy of their homes has a bearing on their professional life.
If we were to examine the bedroom lives of our political and business leaders, I suspect we would find a lot more sexually explicit photos, not to mention various sex toys and paraphernalia. Do we really care? What is important is how they execute their duties.
Hope Smith, Calgary
The Council of the Federation and its health-care-innovations working group have suggested useful measures to reorganize purchasing, health-care delivery and evaluation (Premiers Take Health-Care Reins – July 27). But they can be accused of reorganizing the deck chairs while ignoring the iceberg: Persistent poverty and inequality are the most powerful determinants of health status and, therefore, health-care expenditure. The federal government has increased the size of the iceberg with its eligibility restrictions on Old Age Security and Employment Insurance.
Canadian physician and health analyst Michael Rachlis estimates that poverty accounts for at least 20 per cent of all health-care costs. The premiers ignore this at their peril. No one remembers the crew of the Titanic for making service more efficient by reorganizing deck chairs, but rather for causing a disaster by ignoring reality.
Sid Frankel, associate professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba
Those summer days
When I think back about my childhood, summer days are overrepresented (In Defence Of Goofing Off – Life, July 27). Those long days, especially those at the cottage, are little treasures of memory. Most involve family and extended family. In the summer, we connected at a leisurely pace and learned new things about each other.
My husband and I have always seen the summer as our children’s time. It is the time away from pressured schedules and rushed meals, the time for different activities, enjoyed together. We are looking forward to being grandma and grandpa, hoping the grandkids will be sent to us for a summer at the cottage. (Note to the kids: Finish the degrees first, please. We will wait.)
Like the society of large and impersonal institutions around them, schools are increasingly a source of stress and worry for kids. It would be wrong to take away that summertime opportunity to really connect with their families.
Barbara Legate, London, Ont.