For Tory Leader Tim Hudak to defend this campaign flyer is shocking (Ontario Tories Accused Of Discrimination After Sex-Ed Flyer Labelled ‘Hate Speech’ – online, Oct. 4). It is misleading and disingenuous. The Ontario curriculum that has taught kids about human growth and development has been in place since 1998, put in place under a Progressive Conservative government, and remains unchanged.
The primary task of the education system is to teach children about the world around them and provide information that will help them develop the comprehension, commitment and capacity to lead and promote a healthy active life. Playing politics with this curriculum will only lead to fear, ignorance and intolerance.
Chris Markham, executive director & CEO, Ontario Physical and Health Education Association, Toronto
Greenspan v. Black
Re The Case For The Defence (Oct. 1): As interesting as it was to read Edward Greenspan’s response to the criticisms levelled at him by Conrad Black, I couldn’t help thinking what a strange turn this lawyer/client relationship has taken. Mr. Black airs his concerns in a book and Mr. Greenspan defends himself in the national newspaper. Wouldn’t they be better off sitting down face to face to have this conversation in private? And what of Mr. Black’s right to solicitor/client privilege?
Julia J. Martin, barrister and solicitor, Ottawa
Will today’s readers be shocked to learn the litany of devilish ways NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has invented to wreck the provincial economy (Closed For Business – Oct. 4)? Perhaps. More likely they will remind themselves how many of the NDP’s proposals have been successfully implemented by previous Ontario governments and in other jurisdictions.
Bill Davis, David Peterson and Bob Rae as premiers all provided our municipalities with 50 per cent of the municipal transit operating funds. Every Canadian province east of Ontario, today successfully practices a form of gasoline price regulation. And Premier Dalton McGuinty himself quite manageably implemented the same corporate tax rate proposed by Ms. Horwath today. Heaven forbid we should let facts get in the way of a good rant.
Chris Watson, Toronto
Which comes first?
Neil Reynolds and his sources have confused cause and effect (Family Breakdown Is One Cause Of Our Economic Woes – Oct. 3). A middle class forms stable families, an underclass does not. An uncertain economic situation and the shrinking of the middle class militates against marriage or stable relationships, economic security fosters domestic stability. Or to put it in a narrative: He loses his job, they quarrel over money, and then they split up.
George Clark, Kingston
The real source of our economic woes is the entire economic structure. Not married, strike one. Single parent, strike two. As Mr. Reynolds reports, “American children who are raised outside of ‘an intact married home’ are two to three times more likely to suffer serious social and psychological problems.” You bet. The system stigmatizes and penalizes them.
Why shouldn’t single parents be productive, not shunned or viewed as failures? As if it’s not tough enough raising a kid on your own.
The economic structure is set up to favour married couples. What if it were to also favour combined families? Communal structures? Multigenerational structures? We push our kids out of the nest (or let them languish in perpetual adolescence at home for too long), and pressure them to marry, have children. On their own. What sort of model is that?
Elaine Morin, Calgary
Corporate tax rates
Your editorial, Closed for Business (Oct. 4), claims that “corporate tax rate increases are correlated with less investment.” For more than a decade, the correlation has actually been decreasing corporate taxes and less business investment.
The combined federal-Ontario corporate tax rate was slashed from 45 per cent in 1999 to 30 per cent in 2010. Over the same period, investment in machinery and equipment fell from 8.3 to 5.5 per cent of the province’s gross domestic product.
Six months ago, The Globe reported a similar nationwide correlation on its front page under the headline Corporate Tax Cuts Don’t Spur Growth. The NDP is right to advocate reversing failed corporate tax breaks.
Erin Weir, economist, United Steelworkers, Toronto
Share, don’t divide
As I read comments about the burdens caused by an aging society, paid for by younger working Canadians, I wonder why we focus almost exclusively on costs that are incurred by the elderly.
Social services, health and education are perennially governments’ largest expenditures, and by no means all of them are allocated to the elderly. Of course, it is entirely natural for younger people to have children, to care for their health, and to educate them. And it is reasonable to set minimum wages and to help those who cannot find work.
But it is also normal to grow old. And if we support the one, why complain so frequently about the other? Do we really want to live in that kind of beggar-thy-neighbour environment?
The object of a civilized and compassionate society should be intergenerational sharing, not divisive allegations that seek to propagate an image of one element of the Canadian community as creating an unacceptable burden for another.
Maxwell Yalden, former Canadian human rights commissioner, Ottawa
The Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses applauds the Supreme Court decision to keep the supervised injection facility open (Despite Insite Victory, Our Drug Strategy Is Deeply Flawed – Oct. 4). Recognizing the vulnerability of the populations Insite serves, critical care nurses across the country support strategies that reduce harm to those with drug addictions.
We are aware of the devastating outcomes of overdoses and the complications caused by reckless and unsupervised injections. We believe that the quality of health care offered by Insite is one of the better examples of cost-effective and evidenced-based use of health-care dollars. Nurses and other health-care professionals who work with clients at Insite provide an essential service that meets the needs of marginalized people and do so with respect, non-judgmental care and great expertise.
Kate Mahon, president, CACCN, White’s Lake, Nova Scotia
Now that’s erotic!
In her column (Do You Have Erotic Capital? – Oct. 1) Margaret Wente asserts that as they get older, women’s “erotic capital wanes.” Perhaps, although I would contend that as women get older, they simply add a different currency to their bankable assets. Wisdom. Erotic capital indeed.
Keith Falconer, Belmont, Ont.