Electric vehicles and virtue-signalling, plus other letters for Feb. 11: ‘Some kind of blitz to


Open this photo in gallery:

Tesla charging stations in Toronto on July 26, 2023.Christopher Katsarov/The Globe and Mail

By any measure

Re “As populations collapse, the far right’s baby fever puts hard-won freedoms at risk” (Opinion, Feb. 3): There should be an acknowledgment of the degree to which policies designed to maximize gross national product and gross domestic product undermine family life. In the words of the Nobel Prize-winning economist Simon Kuznets, “Goals for more growth should be more growth of what and for what.”

If we are truly committed to understanding demographics, we should consider how public policy shapes decisions about whether to participate in household production or the labour market. There is a truism in management that what you measure is what you get.

Hilary Lynn Johnston Parent and volunteer, Ottawa

Plugged in

Re “Pushing electric vehicles is virtue-signalling and fighting the free market” (Report on Business, Feb. 3): Considering that the free-market approach to climate change has resulted in growing economic and physical damage, perhaps we should be doing more than virtue-signalling.

There has been a rash of articles pooh-poohing electric vehicles since Canada formalized its 2035 zero-emissions regulation. We heard the same ominous stories about “ill-advised government regulations” on fuel economy and toxic emissions back in the 1970s. Before that, it was safety belts and bumpers.

Every time the auto industry is pressed to improve its product, we hear the same story: too expensive, not wanted, won’t work. It ends up being nonsense and it sounds like nonsense today. EV sales are rising and prices are working their way down, the way all new technology rolls out.

The industry has had decades to prepare and one more decade to reach zero emissions. How about less whining and more engineering?

John Bennett Senior policy adviser, Friends of the Earth Canada; Ottawa


The Tesla Model Y was the bestselling car in the world in 2023.

There is virtually no maintenance or repairs. Most issues with Tesla recalls are minor software fixes done over the air.

It seems that Tesla’s manufacturing techniques are so far ahead of legacy automakers that they can’t compete, and are campaigning to slow adoption rates. Tesla can cut prices and still make good profit.

Incidentally, cleaner air is good for our health.

John Dunn Hamilton


It’s hard to fight columnist Gus Carlson’s statistical barrage against electric vehicles with anecdotal evidence, but here goes.

We’ve had no mechanical problems with our 2019 EV. Our insurance is no more than what we paid on a Honda Fit. Our friends with EVs are all happy with their purchases.

We’ve travelled around North America and Britain with no trouble charging; we’ve never been stranded. We’ve lost almost no range in the battery, even though we use a lot of Level 3 chargers.

There seems to be some kind of blitz to smear EVs and promote a hydrogen economy. Anyone know where that might be coming from?

Bruce Mohun Vancouver

On the scene

Re “Police aren’t crying wolf this time” (Feb. 3): I fully support our police. The chief seems to be excellent. But the funding issue should be carefully examined with respect to what we expect of the police.

They are well paid and deserve it when working on violent crimes and other risky situations. However, when I see police posted at construction sites, directing traffic or taking notes at a minor traffic accident, I wonder if these are tasks for which we do not need armed, well-trained workers.

I see cost-savings through hiring other personnel in those and other settings, but maybe the police would resist such changes.

Irv Salit Toronto


I do not think the police need more money to keep Toronto safe. Efficiency in the use of the police would make the city safer.

Take police off mundane traffic stops. Spend more money on speed and red-light cameras. These systems can catch more offenders than a single officer. They could be used for high-priority calls.

Redistribution of resources, not more money, might aid in car thefts and cybersecurity.

Susan Stacey Toronto

Hard bargain

Re “Here’s a crazy idea: How about a student visa program whose main beneficiary is Canada” (Report on Business, Feb. 2): Columnist Tony Keller writes that only graduates offered jobs paying at least $75,000 per year should receive work permits.

I have taught drama to extraordinary foreign students; some would like to stay. They would contribute enormously to our country. But show me any entry-level job in theatre – for anyone – that pays near that amount.

Canada doesn’t pay or incentivize its own brightest to stay in the arts.

Julie Salverson Professor, Dan School of Drama and Music, Queen’s University; Kingston

Made in Canada

Re “Five top-notch Canadian small-town film festivals” (Arts & Books, Feb. 3): We are sorry for being so un-Canadian as to appear to brag a bit.

While we are sure that the Kingston Canadian Film Festival (for which we have only the greatest admiration and respect) is the largest film festival devoted to new Canadian film, the title for largest festival devoted to Canadian film in general should inarguably belong to National Canadian Film Day.

Last April, it featured nearly 1,600 screenings of new and old Canadian titles in every corner of the country, as well as 114 screenings in 44 countries around the world. It was attended by an estimated 90,000 Canadians, while another 2.5 million watched at home via the many broadcast and streaming platforms that participate in the festival.

The 11th annual edition is coming to communities on April 17. We hope Kingstonians will enjoy both.

Jack Blum and Sharon Corder Reel Canada, Toronto

Got a way of pleasing

Re “Billy Joel’s best” (Feb. 3): I’ll give you Piano Man, as it is Billy Joel’s best-known and probably best-loved song, and Vienna for its understated brilliance.

But for my money, She’s Got a Way is his best love song. I’d add New York State of Mind, in all its covered usefulness, and the anthemic Captain Jack from his early days.

To be honest, every true Billy Joel fan’s list would probably be different, which points to the depth and appeal of his entire catalogue.

M.J. Martino Feltzen South, N.S.

Super man

Re “To everyone critiquing Patrick Mahomes’s dad bod, give your head a slap” (Sports, Feb. 5): Patrick Mahomes has to do better than having “an unassuming physique” with “the hint of a roll around his stomach.”

Look, I love him; he’s a genius with a football and single-handedly secured me a third-place finish in my football pool a few years ago. But his teammate Travis Kelce, with the help of some singer, has temporarily cornered the fickle younger-fan market.

So I suggest Mr. Mahomes spend less time in the gym and more time scarfing down those foot-long subs he advertises. If he can turn that “hint” into a full-fledged spare tire or beer belly, he would be more relatable to the millions of football-watching dads.

That would be his stable, long-term fan base and meal ticket. Dad-love is forever.

Rudy Buller Toronto


Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Keep letters to 150 words or fewer. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com



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2024-02-11 09:00:00

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