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Solar panels stand at the Michichi Solar project near Drumheller, Alta., on July 11, 2023.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

History repeating

Re “Liberal, NDP MPs block proposed examination of national-security breaches at Winnipeg infectious-disease facility” (March 5): The story of doctor Xiangguo Qiu and her husband Keding Cheng should have been a shining example of successful immigration to Canada. But it seems we didn’t offer enough, and they were tempted by China’s offers of funded research and presumably financial rewards.

Our government claims that times were different back in 2019, ignoring the case of former Canadian Food Inspection Agency researcher Klaus Nielsen, who in 2012 attempted to fly to China with several vials of a deadly cattle pathogen taken from his lab (”Canadian ex-researcher pleads guilty in attempted bacteria-smuggling case” – Aug. 14, 2014). We should assume similar events have happened with Canadian proprietary technologies sought by China, including artificial intelligence.

Our naïve approach to this issue, overly concerned with reputations and secrecy, along with a reluctance to call out individual behaviours for fear of being seen as intolerant, seems to have made Canada a “soft target,” just as we are with foreign election interference.

Paul Watson Ottawa

Free to be

Re “Trudeau could save his legacy by fighting Quebec’s Bill 21 at Supreme Court” (March 2): Like many others, I was disappointed to see the appeals court uphold the controversial Quebec law which bars individuals from wearing religious symbols. While the law may affect everyone, it disproportionately affects Muslim women who wear headscarves.

My wife, as a practising Ahmadi Muslim, wears a hijab. She is an active member of our local community and volunteers in various social causes and women’s educational pursuits. In the beautiful land of Quebec, where I, my wife and our four children have done extensive travel, she unfortunately would not be able to work while choosing to wear the hijab.

The Quran states that “there is no compulsion in religion.” One should be free to practise one’s faith.

One should not force women in either extreme direction and allow common sense and basic human freedom to prevail.

Nomaan Mubashir Cambridge, Ont.

Get clean

Re “Alberta to ban renewable projects on prime land” (Feb. 29): Once again, Alberta shows its insularity.

It saddens and frustrates many Albertans that the issues taken up by the United Conservative Party weren’t election issues. To name a few: renewable energy, trans rights, sovereignty, the Canada Pension Plan, dismantling health care.

This should be a warning. We should ask politicians what they aren’t telling us during campaigns.

Alberta looks to be an exhibit on how important this is when elections are called. I find this extremely worrisome and disturbing.

John Pentland Calgary


Re “Danielle Smith’s attack on clean power is an attack on free enterprise” (Editorial, March 5): We have one of the most environmentally regulated oil and gas businesses on the planet.

We should be proud of and celebrate our oil and gas industry that provides energy to the world in the most environmentally responsible way possible with current technology, and continues to spend billions of dollars on making it even more sustainable. Particularly, we should encourage the development and production of natural gas as a major way to reduce overall carbon emissions during the eventual transition away from fossil fuels, which is more realistically in the distant future.

So it seems about time the world also looked at the fact that supposed green energy is not without its negative environmental effects and costs. That is what is being done in Alberta today.

James Hutchison Calgary


I lived in Alberta for many years and always loved the landscapes of the Foothills.

In my opinion, wind turbines, if not too numerous, do not detract from the view any more than a lone pumpjack in the distance. They can enhance by adding a touch of man-made elegance.

What I think harms the views most are all the fences criss-crossing the rolling hills, and the gravel roads often shrouded in clouds of dust. How about doing something about those blights?

To see how beautiful the prairie can be, go to Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park where there is a refuge without roads or fences.

Ed Janicki Victoria

Tax vehicle

Re “Alberta’s latest budget tightens the purse strings far more than expected” (March 4): Alas, Danielle Smith’s government has failed to see an obvious solution to the precariousness of the projected surplus.

Don’t stop at imposing a new tax on electric vehicles (they use roads, don’t we know?). Think big.

Tax bicycles. Scooters. Running shoes. Strollers. Crutches. Dogs and cats. Anything that touches the road, particularly if it doesn’t burn Alberta gas.

Marie Etchell Victoria


Rather than a “slapdown to the green movement,” Alberta’s imposition of a $200 tax on electric vehicles may be a harbinger of future tax policy.

If the massive haul from gasoline-related tax starts to fall, federal and provincial governments will need a replacement. With ever fewer smokers and millennial teetotalers eschewing booze, the number of taxable sins is shrinking.

Be afraid, be very afraid. First the taxman comes for our sports betting, then for our recreational drugs and then, finally, he comes for our Teslas.

Stephen Shevoley Vernon, B.C.

Burn away

Re “Careless smoking” (Letters, March 4): A letter-writer aptly describes the mania of recreational wood burning, and the carbon emissions thus produced. But what about the health effects?

Wood smoke is a chemical stew of toxins known to be hazardous to human health. Perhaps the most studied component is fine particulate matter. Not only is it a Group 1 carcinogen, but exposure is a risk factor for a host of non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, diabetes, dementia, adverse pregnancy outcomes and neurological and mental-health issues. Exposure is especially dangerous for children and the elderly.

During wildfire events we are are advised to limit outdoor activities and to seal up our homes. We also know to protect our children from secondhand tobacco smoke, yet we willingly park them a stick and marshmallow length away from a wood fire.

Bizarre behaviour, indeed.

Alma Hyslop Woodstock, Ont.

Role to play

Re “Athletes, celebrities still likely to feature in sports-betting ads” (Sports, Feb. 28): There are no better examples of oxymorons than “responsible gambling” and “responsible drinking.”

Highly paid athletes that shill these products to children instantly destroy their moral value, in my estimation.

Rob Woodward Sarnia, Ont.


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: [email protected]