Letters to The Sun, October 23, 2021: Len Norris deserves to be honored

Opinion: Letters to The Vancouver Sun, October 23, 2021.

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It was recently announced that five cartoonists would be honored with a Canadian stamp. Unfortunately, Len Norris, who worked for The Vancouver Sun from 1950 to 1988, was not one of the five celebrities. Norris should have been remembered with the others.


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On July 17, 1952, The Sun published an article on the new Social Credit government in BC. Only two of the 19 new members of the new government had previously served in the legislature.

The Norris cartoon appeared on page 1 of The Sun. The cartoon showed a tour guide standing in front of the newly elected Social Credit MLA who were standing in front of the government banks in the legislature. The guide pointed to his left and said to the members: “… and here the opposition sits, please do not hesitate to interrupt me if I go too fast.”

Norris could capture BC politics and make everyone laugh. One more stamp please.

Scott Van Alstine, North Saanich

Re: Daphne Bramham: Time to rethink the Senate and how it can hinder elected government

Bramham opposes the Canadian Senate. His main reasons appear to be that he has not been elected and can veto legislation passed by the House of Commons.


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It’s true, and it can be well argued that, in theory, an elected Senate would be better. It could also be argued that an unelected body should not have veto power.

However, a good argument should be based on facts and hers should not.

Some of what he says is just wrong. While PEI is overrepresented in the Senate in terms of its small population, it has four senators, not six as she claims.

It also omits important information. While it is true that the Senate has a theoretical veto power over legislation, this power has not been used since 1939.

Most of the changes to the legislation made by the Senate are minor adjustments that improve the legislation and are easily accepted by the Commons. The impartial nature of the Senate allows it to improve the laws regardless of which party will “win” in the process.


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A second glaring omission is the fact that changing or abolishing the Senate is nearly impossible. The composition of the Senate is established in the Constitution. In fact, it was a fundamental issue in Confederation. The maritime provinces would have refused to join Ontario and Quebec if their minimal representation in the Senate had not been guaranteed.

Most importantly, however, at least seven provinces with at least 50 percent of the population would have to agree to any amendment to the Senate composition. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s attempts to do so by a House of Commons vote were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Alberta’s attempt to elect senators is a sideshow of smoke and mirrors and has no effect on who will be appointed. An aspiring senator would do much better to submit his name to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s non-partisan committee, which now makes recommendations (so far always accepted) on worthy appointees.


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The Senate, as currently constituted, serves Canadians well. Senate reform is likely impossible, but also unnecessary.

Bramham should find a problem that really needs attention.

Donna Read, Vancouver

Re: COVID-19: The Grinch Who’s Ready To Spoil Christmas For Shoppers

Well, I hope this Grinch succeeds. It seems that people have not learned much about this pandemic. Much has changed in the past two years, but some people have not accepted the seriousness of the global health crisis.

Christmas was never meant to buy, buy and buy, and get, get, and get.

I have a suggestion: try to find happiness in your life; enjoys being with family, friends, and helping others who need compassion.

Kathleen Szabo, Vancouver


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Re: Vaughn Palmer: NDP hiding numbers needed to judge tunnel versus bridge

Massey tunnel replacement isn’t just about the cheapest option. The construction of a massive 10-lane bridge would have a devastating impact on Deas Island Park, salt marshes, marinas, a golf course, homes and businesses.

Fortunately, local governments are now listening to what the majority of the people who live in the area want.

John Whitaker, Richmond

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