Today’s Letters: Trudeau’s Carbon ‘Rebate’ Disguises Original Tax

Tuesday, March 19: Remember, the government only gives us our own money back, says one reader. You can also write to us at [email protected]

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We are not naive about carbon taxes

Re: Trudeau doubles down on carbon tax hike on April 1March 13.

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In recent days, seven provincial premiers have called on the federal government to suspend the more than 25 per cent increase in the carbon tax, which takes effect on April Fools’ Day. In responding, the Prime Minister and his team emphasize how these “shortsighted” politicians are forgetting that reducing or eliminating the carbon tax would mean that most Canadians would no longer receive the carbon tax rebate check.

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What this group conveniently and hypocritically fails to say is that we wouldn’t need the refund check if they hadn’t taxed us and collected the money from us in the first place. They seem to believe that average Canadians are naïve enough to believe that rebate checks are somehow funded by an outside benefactor. This is our money, people. This is a government that creates one expensive bureaucracy to keep our money, then creates another expensive bureaucracy to give some of it back to us, and then brags about how generous it is.

The whole concept would be hilarious if it weren’t so insulting.

Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa

The beginning can work for everyone

Re: Yes, Ottawa high schools should make graduation more inclusive on March 15.

Brigitte Pellerin makes many good points in the column, but the one that stands out to me the most is: “Inclusion is a side effect of empathy.”

The two are definitely linked. Children go to school to learn, not only about academic subjects, but also about values, about how to get along and respect others. If they learn to be empathetic and put themselves in the shoes of others, they will gain an invaluable life skill.

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The students present at the ceremony will have spent several years together. If they have an empathetic attitude, they already understand that graduation is not for everyone, for many reasons, most of which are beyond the control of non-graduates. Including these students in a graduation ceremony (a great name, given their progressive nature) is a great example of empathy in action. It’s good for everyone.

As for how to do it, one letter writer tells us what worked at Georgian Bay: produce a program that names each student and, next to each name, identifies the certificate each received. Very clear.

Gerald Dust, Orleans

St. Patrick’s Day: bring back the parade

I was disappointed by the cancellation of Ottawa’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade. In the early 1960s I was an “international student” at a special Canadian Jesuit college in Darjeeling, India, where I earned a fully paid scholarship to the then Loyola College of Montreal. It had a strong Irish cultural influence, which partly rubbed off on me. With a fellow student from Kenya, I attended the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Montreal for the first time, with spectators from diverse backgrounds, anglophones and francophones. This cross-cultural event made my Kenyan friend and I feel welcome to Canada and Quebec.

Ottawa should have been chosen to continue the traditional St. Patrick’s parade in the national capital, to help express the true Canadian sharing of our full identity.

Roman Mukerjee, Ottawa

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