A worker stocks the shelves at a Walmart store on Jan. 24.Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Re “Using immigration to fill vacant, lower-skilled jobs is not sound economic policy” (Report on Business, April 11): Using immigration to fill low-paying jobs is unsound, especially since the Temporary Foreign Worker program, in my opinion, is little better than slavery.

It skews the economic system to unrealistic expectations. These newcomers aren’t able to buy homes, rent accommodations nor buy the necessities of life at such low levels of pay. If this government continues in this manner, they would only succeed in increasing the numbers of homeless and demands on food banks and other social services.

Unless businesses are forced to pay a living wage, they will continue to have trouble finding workers without chaining them to a loom.

Leslie Martel Mississauga

Re “The emerging left-right consensus on housing needs to build with a lot more urgency” (Editorial, April 10): I am not sure why Canada must lead in immigration when we are lacking basics such as housing and health care. Every spot we build housing removes soil to plant much-needed green space to combat climate change, even in big cities.

I do take issue with the comment that housing “should not be the pillar of people’s retirement plans.” As a financial planner, I have witnessed the losses of defined-benefit pension plans and shortages of retirement savings for average Canadians.

Home ownership not only provides an option for retirement savings, but also stability of housing that owners of rental housing may not provide to tenants.

Daintry Klein Burlington, Ont.

Doing just fine

Re “ ‘Fiscal restraint’ in federal budget is impossible when generational tension ignored” (Report on Business, April 8): Older people may or may not be just scraping by, or may have finally accumulated financial security after decades of patiently saving and doing without luxuries that some younger people routinely take for granted.

Many resourceful younger people are doing just fine, as documented every Saturday in your Paycheque Project feature. One’s earning power at that time of life is usually greatly enhanced compared with postretirement.

As they in turn become seniors, they may not be willing to let government whittle away their funds with extra taxes on their home’s theoretical value on paper, misdirecting it away from their families and charities and squandered on high-priced consultants and political junkets.

V. J. Dartnell Vancouver

Up, up and …

Re “Province’s minimum wage report leaves out labour perspectives” (April 7): If minimum wage has no impact on employment levels, why don’t we just raise it to $35 or $50 an hour for the causes of equity, labour interests and non-standard economics?

George Olsen Calgary

System works

Re “Plan to water down political lobbying rules provokes backlash” (April 8): Watering down political lobbying rules would be contrary to the public good.

Lobbying may be defined as an activity where special-interest groups meet behind closed doors with government to tell them what level of regulation and oversight they are prepared to accept, what support they are to be given and what tax burden they are prepared to shoulder, leading to legislation that gives both sides the appearance of being virtuous and democratic.

Indeed, if lobbying did not produce the desired results, it would cease to exist.

Dennis Casaccio Annapolis Royal, N.S.

Wheels of justice

Re “It sounds good, but tougher bail laws and more cops won’t improve public safety” (Opinion, April 8): Bail programs are designed to manage those accused of crimes between the time of laying charges and the judicial process in our courts. They are both required and faulty, I find, only because of our failed court system.

I read reports of a further delay in B.C.’s Supreme Court, where a case was initiated in 2017 and a variety of apparently “necessary” and “reasonable” delays have resulted in the trial now starting six years later (“Man pleads not guilty to murdering 13-year-old from Burnaby, B.C.” – April 6).

Is this a situation in which the search for perfection is the enemy of success, and indeed justice delayed is justice denied? I think a reasonable citizen might expect that every trial be initiated within very few months of the laying of charges, and that lawyers and judges align themselves to these standards and stop proposing excuses.

Richard Merchant Burnaby, B.C.

When dealing with accused persons, there are more than the two choices of remand into custody or release with conditions.

Bail bed programs are halfway houses providing supervision and support. Unlike in jails, there is no overcrowding and residents can participate in educational upgrading and cultural programs and take up employment. They can more easily stay in contact with family and friends, an important source of support not available in short-staffed and, sometimes, locked-down jails.

I have seen the benefits. Over the past two winters, residents from a local bail bed program helped me with snow shovelling and churches with providing meals to the homeless.

In managing risk, there are more than two rungs on the ladder.

Peter Kirby Kenora, Ont.

Doesn’t add up?

Re “Lynx Air’s seasoned CEO aims to write a new story for the budget airline” (Report on Business, April 12): I believe this business model will almost certainly fail, as it has for most low-cost airlines. They can only cut so many costs and remain solvent.

It seems a bizarre scenario wherein a person flying from Calgary to Montreal would pay $59, but even the carry-on luggage costs more, a minimum of $60. Pricing based on a form of cost accounting is fine, as long as it is logical and not deceptive.

Good luck to the new CEO, but I’ll not go anywhere near Lynx Air.

Gordon MacNeil Victoria

How sweet it is

Re “What would you do with 133,000 chocolate bars? It’s more complicated than you think” (April 10): I’ll bet the Canadian Armed Forces would be pleased to accept a gift of 133,000 chocolate bars, and would even undertake to pick them up and distribute them to our men and women around the world wearing the Canadian flag on their uniforms, along with the usual food supplies.

And chocolatier Crystal Regehr Westergard would earn the honour of being the sweetest supplier they have.

Lionel Lustgarten Red Deer, Alta.

Who says Canadians aren’t productive enough? That’s a lot of Cuban Lunch candy bars.

And who knew that chocolate bars had expiry dates? Time to check the seven-year-old bars in my earthquake kit.

Patty Benjamin Victoria

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]


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