Letters to the editor: July 22

1 London

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The poor don’t have cellphones

Regarding the article Farm Boy, Flashfood expand partnership (July 19).

What a great idea, that of advertising discounted food products that are close to expiry on an app. Now all we need to do is provide the poor with free smartphones so they too can take advantage of these deals. Many of my neighbours do not have computer access.

The Ottawa bubble has nothing on this. The greater bubble is thinking that mega-businesses understand the plight of the poor. Perhaps all grocery stores could display inside their businesses all their close-to-expiry-date products in one prominent space, so any customer can take advantage of these deals. Financial deals that only encompass the rich, don’t deserve the advertising that only accentuates the differences between the haves and the have-nots.

Christine Morgan


Fee, dividend best

Regarding Lorrie Goldstein’s column This is how to really fight climate change in Canada (July 18).

I agree current government policies are not nearly enough to tackle the serious problem of climate change. It seems easier for government to promote recycling or lightbulb replacement.

Carbon fee-and-dividend is an elegant solution for tackling climate change. A steadily-rising carbon-pollution fee is assessed at the wellhead, mine or port of entry. All the revenues collected are then returned to citizens in the form of a monthly dividend cheque. The increasing carbon-pollution fee means that low-­carbon sources of energy become more competitive. The fact that dividends are paid to citizens means the revenues are recycled into the economy, giving people the means and opportunity to buy low-carbon alternatives. Businesses will respond to the increased prices of high-carbon energy, investing and innovating in clean technologies.

Caterina Lindman


Goldstein right

Lorrie Goldstein’s column quoting Seth Wynes and Prof. Kimberly Nicholas made for mirthful reading. I am always amazed at the time spent researching the obvious.

Attempting to implement any of the recommendations in the study will ensure humanity will be long gone before any significant impact is realized.

Human beings find it impossible to do the right thing at the right time unless everybody else is doing it. The fear is that someone else will have an advantage.

Think back to our most recent attempt to get people to comply with the benefits of not smoking. In the end, what worked was a combination of prices, rules and laws.

I’m with Goldstein on this one: a carbon fee (not tax) and dividend is a great place to start.

Gerry Labelle

Azilda, Ont.

Can’t derail rail

In her July 14 letter Say no to high speed rail, Debra Baird argues against high-speed rail service from London to Toronto. She needs to realize a number of issues about this transit plan.

First, for political and economic reasons, this rail service will not open anytime soon. Second, the plan is not a London-to-­Toronto corridor but Windsor to Quebec City. Once in place, no one will order the trains to bypass London.

Baird needs to appreciate the economics of being closer to Toronto. Unless she is currently renting, the real-estate effect of joining Toronto will be a bonanza. I would be more than happy to know that my house has nearly doubled in value because a new train station opened downtown.

She also needs to look at places that have already become Toronto suburbs because of the GO train. Places like Mississauga, Oakville, Richmond Hill and Markham cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered backwaters. They are all generally clean, affluent and well-organized. We in London could do worse.

David Nielsen


Control your debt

The speculation is behind us. The Bank of Canada has increased its benchmark interest rate from .5 to .75 per cent. It now costs more to borrow money in Canada.

Canadians with variable rate mortgages and lines of credit were impacted right away. Others will feel it when they apply for credit or renew a credit obligation. Mortgages, personal loans and car loans — whatever type of debt we assume in the near future, it is likely it will come at a higher cost.

Though only .25 percentage points, this increase is not without significance to those who are financially overextended. Canadian households are among the most-indebted in the world. Some may find themselves in situations where it has become difficult to make ends meet. This, in turn, makes them more vulnerable to unexpected life events, such as a losing a job or suffering from a serious illness.

But this interest-rate hike can present a fresh opportunity and motivation to improve our financial well-being.

As commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, I encourage all Canadians to take a look at their finances. Create a budget. Live within your means. When possible, reduce debt and avoid taking on more than is affordable.

Information on and understanding of the best ways to achieve can be found at the agency’s website, Canada.ca/money.

Lucie Tedesco


Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

PM on balcony

It is becoming evident that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sadly lacking any sort of leadership qualities or skills for the position. Examples include his recent awarding of a ­multimillion-dollar payout to a convicted terrorist, an increasing influx of questionable, illicit individuals crossing at illegal border locations, the ongoing implosion of the poorly planned indigenous-women murder inquiry, tax-funded vacations, parliamentary investigations of wrongdoing, and a burgeoning taxpayer debt load.

Tragically, our federal leader is more focused on shallow narratives on a wide range of topics, marching in parades and travelling the world pontificating on what we must all do to save the world. Most of us experience life in the trenches; Trudeau participates in it from the balcony.

John Peake


Against abattoir

Regarding the article Halal abattoir makes the cut (July 18).

I would like to announce the passing of one more portion of the former Town of Westminster.

This area was once a quiet, friendly farming area west of Lambeth. Our sign once said, “Live in Lovely Lambeth”. That is no more, I fear.

We all knew one another and helped each other. We tended the land. We practised good animal husbandry.

London felt the need to forcefully draw us within its boundaries. Our beloved life and peaceful environment has been slowly dying.

Council is poised to deliver the death blow by approving the zoning change for 8076 Longwoods Rd. that will allow a slaughterhouse/deadstock transfer station/feed lot. It would have 200 animals on 1.2 acres — disgusting treatment.

The application was rife with erroneous information in order to obtain what the applicant wanted. Seven years of breaking the law and a slap on the wrist to carry on the same as always.

All members of council should think about this before they vote. They have attempted to convince us that it will be monitored and forced to conform and yet the applicant has continued to keep livestock on the property in direct violation of the zoning designation. Nothing has been done about it.

We have been relatively ignored since annexation and it appears that trend continues. Only our taxes matter.

John D. Abel


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