Chris Sorensen claims it is the failure by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reduce carbon emissions that has been the main roadblock to approval of pipelines needed to move Alberta oil (“Oil’s worst enemy,” Economy, Jan. 12). But U.S. President Barack Obama’s opposition to Keystone XL is both misleading and dishonest. He emphasizes the environment to satisfy his supporters, but, meanwhile, his policies have supported U.S. self-reliance in oil production. He does not want Alberta bitumen. His administration has approved more drilling, including fracking, than any other president. The opposition from Ontario and Quebec, however, is puzzling. Are they really concerned about carbon emissions? Sixty per cent of the registered vehicles in our country are in these two provinces. Shouldn’t the auto industry also be targeted? The oil sands provide a necessary deflection from the fact that both Ontario and Quebec benefit from the net transfer payments from Alberta to federal coffers: surplus revenue that is generated in the oil industry.
Larry Samcoe, Medicine Hat, Alta.
Dumb, dumber, and dentistry
I really feel sorry for you poor dumb Dalhousie dental students who were foolish enough to believe all the chest-puffing blather recently about freedom of expression; it is really just for gallant, dead, French cartoonists, not for the likes of you. Here, freedom of expression is really only for nice, tasteful thoughts that you would not be ashamed for your dear mothers to hear. Now you’ve put your somewhat nasty—though, frankly, pretty lame—sexual fantasies out there. An army of columnists, with Emma Teitel in its ranks (“The classless kind of gentleman,” Jan. 12), is after your blood. If the standards being applied in judging foolish Dalhousie fantasists were to be applied to every male in any profession—and if we were able to plumb the murky, lurid depths of their minds—there would be no men left in the professions. When it comes to male sexuality, our nasty little ids keep poking their heads out.
George Patrick, Oakville, Ont.
If an adult male in Canada were to threaten the rape of one or more women, he should reasonably expect a visit from the police at his doorstep, regardless of the medium—online, or other. Yet Dalhousie University is fretting about ruining the potential high-income careers of, in their opinion, a few nice boys who made some mistakes, who didn’t really mean it, and who are very sorry. These cretins have not even graduated from their training. A practising dentist, facing the same allegations, would reasonably stand to be lose his licence and face criminal charges.
Douglas Coggon, Toronto
I’ll concede that the comments of the Dalhousie dentistry Facebook group were sexist, misogynistic, in poor taste, hateful and juvenile. I’m just a tad confused as to why any of those things are deserving of punishment. What can’t I say? What thoughts can’t I have? Who gets to regulate or decide these things? What happens when such impolitic things are said at a party, or at a kitchen table, with friends?
Michael Lesage, Virgil, Ont.
Shackles of matrimony
According to the report cited in your article “Against their will” (National, Jan. 12), of the 219 conﬁrmed or suspected cases of forced marriage in Ontario and Quebec, 12 of those were of Christian religious affiliation. That’s less than six per cent of the total, yet half the article profiled a Catholic and a “blond-haired, blue-eyed Christian girl.” Is that a balanced look at the problem?
St. Catharines, Ont.
I was surprised to see no mention of the community of Bountiful, B.C., in any discussions of forced marriage. The fundamentalist Mormons there have a well-known history of forcibly requiring girls as young as 14 to marry older men chosen for them by a “prophet.” A religion and a culture where only men have rights and females are possessions is allowed to thrive in B.C. Human rights must trump religion—the sooner the better.
Jean Ennis, Courtenay, B.C.
Standing on guard requires a gun
Thank you for the excellent article concerning Cpl. Kyle Button and other soldiers who were present at the War Memorial on that fateful day. (“The third soldier,” National, Jan. 19). It never occurred to me that those guarding these national treasures were not armed. How can you stand on guard for anything if you don’t have a gun? Am I the only one who doesn’t like the picture of two brave soldiers standing there like sitting ducks?
Emily M. Loberg,
Valhalla Centre, Alta.