Today’s letters: On the tiff over ticketing in Quebec

On Quebec’s traffic tickets; Ontario’s election; turtles under siege; and downtown protests. You can write to us too at:

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Settle the tiff over ticketing Ontario drivers in Quebec

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Re: In the dark over tinted windows, May 5.

We have now progressed from Quebec police ticketing Ontario drivers for not showing a current year licence-plate sticker, no longer legally required in Ontario, to arbitrarily ticketing drivers based on the officer’s subjective decision that a driver’s windows are excessively tinted.

In true grade-school fashion, will Ontario police now begin ticketing Quebec cars not displaying a front licence plate, which is not legally required in la belle province but is in Ontario?

Will the political adults in the two provinces please talk to each other and their respective law enforcement departments to reach a mature decision and resolve this infantile sandbox power play and potentially volatile issue?

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Al Jones, Almonte

Avoiding Quebec avoids the problem

As reported by Kelly Egan, the Quebec police are once again after Ontario drivers and their vehicles. This time, taking advantage of confusion regarding the need to renew Ontario licence stickers, they are patrolling the likes of golf courses and spas to issue hefty tickets for plate expiration.

Shame for such a blatant money grab and shame for such a waste of police resources. Fortunately there is a simple fix: stay out of Quebec.

Ken Donaldson, Manotick

Stop pouring that concrete, Mr. Ford

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford is promising to “pour the concrete” if re-elected. Enough with the concrete: in this age of climate change, the urban heat-island effect and carbon emissions, he should be promising the opposite.

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Jill Courtemanche, Ottawa

Ford has just enough support to win

Re: After four tumultuous years, Doug Ford begins the Ontario election a changed man, May 3.

Chris Selley may well be correct: the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party is in the driver’s seat in this election as it seems to have most of the right-of-centre vote. The Ontario Liberals have made a (predictable) bounce-back from the last election, but the fact that the left-of- centre vote is going to be split two (or three) ways does not work in favour of any one of these parties.

The Federal Liberals prefer the old “first past the post” system, but I am sure that their provincial counterparts would be happy to opt for some other system. France has a run-off in its elections, but that is unlikely here. People may decide to cast their vote strategically, but again, that seems unlikely. Ford has pleased just enough of the voters to ensure his re-election.

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David Polk, Blackburn Hamlet

Stop trying to buy our votes, Mr. Ford

How can Doug Ford have the nerve to refund licence-plate stickers to Ontario drivers when health care, and particularly children’s health care, is in such precarious conditions? It makes no sense at all. You can’t buy our votes at the cost of our health care, Mr. Ford!

Sharon W. Moren, Kanata

Column didn’t punch above its weight

Re: Advice from Ottawa’s mayor to aspiring municipal politicians, April 30.

Mayor Jim Watson’s second of five tips to future city council candidates is: avoid clichés. He ends his op-ed column with “Keep the politicians’ feet to the fire.”

I’m immediately thinking: “You can’t fight city hall.”

Robin Collins, Ottawa

Embassy project would endanger neighbours

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Re: Ottawa has to put new embassies somewhere, March 24; and Here’s why the NCC’s plan for new embassies in Mechanicsville is wrong-headed, April 25.

In assessing the NCC Embassy Precinct proposal, it is critical to understand that the NCC is proposing a seven-embassy cluster in a space that is only 0.5 kilometres long and which is bordered by vulnerable high-rise residential buildings.

In 2016, the RCMP concluded that the addition of a seventh embassy to the existing six (United States, Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, France, South Africa) along a 2-km stretch of Sussex Drive would create such serious risks that “ … the only appropriate risk response is risk avoidance by not allowing any additional foreign missions to be located on Sussex Drive.”

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The Mechanicsville Precinct would be four times denser than Sussex Drive. Since clusters of embassies are more attractive targets for terrorists than single embassies, a dense cluster should be separated from vulnerable facilities such as high-rise residential towers. Separating a cluster from high-rise residential buildings would reduce the risk of a terrorist bomb causing the kind of damage wrought by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City.

The NCC has many large properties which could provide safe separation of its Embassy Precinct, including Tunney’s Pasture and LeBreton Flats.

Roy Atkinson, Ottawa

Please help the Blanding’s turtles survive

Re: Kanata’s Blanding’s turtles headed for extinction as development breaks up their habitat, May 2.

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Thanks, Bruce Deachman, for your important article outlining the efforts of scientist Annie Auge. She is certainly is one of the many unsung turtle-rescue heroes helping reduce this negative trend. Just recently, I cleaned the dead bodies of three turtles off the road: two painted turtles and a nice Blanding’s, all on Dwyer Hill and Roger Stephens roads in the Marlborough Forest.

This is a time of year that turtles are on the move crossing roads to their nesting sites, so I urge drivers to keep their eyes open and go around these lovely creatures.

K.D. “Casey” McKibbon, Metcalfe

Turtles are under siege from many predators

We live full-time on Norway Lake, which is a small private lake about halfway between Burnstown and Calabogie. We have Blanding’s turtles here. They attempt to lay eggs every spring but almost all get taken by raccoons and other predators.

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I’m going to try to build a box with screening to protect some eggs this year; hopefully, we might save a few hatchlings.

Peter Malizia, Norway Lake

We’d love to know more about ‘NORC’s

Re: ‘Naturally occurring retirement communities’ deserve a boost in Ontario, May 4.

Thank you, Coun. Theresa Kavanagh, for the excellent article about the “Naturally Occurring Retirement Community” model and project in place in our community. What a hopeful sign to hear that this project is in place at Ambleside with support from the Council on Aging and Ottawa University.

This is a tremendous model, with promise to permit seniors to remain out of long-term care residences, to retain their independence and quality of life, and to help make better use of sparse taxpayer dollars. I look forward to hearing more about this project and the possibility of expanding this model.

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Linda Murphy, Ottawa

Charge admission to protest groups

Re: ‘Rolling Thunder’ rally buoys supporters, but doesn’t replicate the impact of the ‘Freedom Convoy,’ May 2.

Ottawa must start charging an admission to anyone wishing to participate in convoys and rallies.  You want to come here to blow your horn and wave our flag? Now there’s an entrance fee, valid for two days.

And with what’s left of the money, after paying for preparations, for the police and for clean-up,  we’ll throw ourselves a party!

Claude Paradis, Ottawa

Not everyone opposed the downtown protesters

I am an 85-year-old former member of the armed forces and I find it hard to believe that the only letters you get are opposed to normal citizens demonstrating for the freedom for which we fought.

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This government has taken away my right to disagree and you want me to believe I am alone in this opinion? How about printing letters that may disagree with your editorial opinion?

John C. McCargar, South Mountain

Here are the freedoms Canada needs

I agree with the “Rolling Thunder” protesters: Canadians need real freedom.

No Canadian should have to do without food, friends, shelter and other basic needs as described in a number of UN Conventions that we have signed. The ability to live with dignity and have the freedom to make our own choices as to how to take care of our families and plan for the future is what Canada is all about.

A National Basic Income for those living in poverty would provide the real freedom I suspect many of the current visitors are advocating for.

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In my view, we made a mistake with the title of our Constitution. It should read “Canadian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities.” We have rights; what we need now is to focus on our responsibility for the common good.

Joe Foster, Ottawa

A sign of the home-sale times

Re: A new ‘normal’ glimpsed in Ottawa real estate as April home sales drop, listings increase, May 5.

I was just wondering whether real estate agents will be as anxious to stick up “sold below asking” signs as they were with “sold over asking” notices.

Bill Bousada, Carleton Place

A dim view of column about lighting

Re: Outdoor lighting transforms a home, April 27.

Mike Holmes usually offers bright advice on home improvements but I hope other readers took a dim view of his opinion that “there’s nothing worse than driving up to a home that’s dark and uninviting.”

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His promotion of more outdoor spotlights, floodlights and wall lights around your home at a time when light pollution has been recognized by the American Medical Association as a serious threat to human and wildlife health, is proof that more awareness is needed. Many studies point to a decrease in pollinators due to their confusion between LEDs and daylight.

Studies also have shown that there is no correlation between crime rates and less lighting, but “lights out” has proven to reduce carbon emissions and improve our ability to enjoy the night sky.

Linda Mathies, Ottawa

A Sunday breakfast thank you

After church on May 1, Battle of Atlantic Sunday, my son and I went to Rockin’ Johnny’s in Kanata for breakfast. A young lad stopped by our table and thanked me for my service, advising us that he and his wife were serving Army members stationed in Petawawa. We didn’t get his name.

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When we asked the server for our bill, she said it had already been paid by the young lad who had left. My main wish is for people to realize the good deeds and thoughtfulness of strangers among us and to thank this soldier and his wife for their service.

Donald P. Raven, LCDR, RCN., (Retired), Ottawa

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms

I’m indeed lucky to have had, and still do, the mother I had growing up. There are other mothers like mine, and also many living under far worse circumstances, all of whom we should pay respect to on this day.

Misfortune made my mother a widow and single mother with five children at a young age — just another circumstance of a single mother on her own. She taught me that other people matter and that helping others helps us overcome our own hardships in life. But don’t make a big show about it or demean people just because they are “different.”

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She taught me to not be bitter … but to keep my eyes wide open.

She taught me the value, enjoyment and power of reading, writing and educating ourselves before we children ever entered a grade school, and that education never ends.

Watching her, I learned to cook, sew, and keep myself and my home clean later on.

She taught me respect for people; but not to assume my “gender” was a birthright for anything. She taught my sisters that as well.

She taught me not to whine about what you don’t have, to not look to the government or society to better my situation when times were tough. She taught that things can change if you have the ability to work hard and be honest with yourself and others. Make you own luck in life. These were truly valuable lessons I learned from someone who still works hard for others to this day.

She is the kind of mother who can still sew and do crafts like a fiend, grow things everywhere, and cook like only a mother can. Her son will be officially a senior citizen himself this year; and we are still rockin.’

Happy Mother’s Day!

Jeff Gagnon, Ottawa

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