Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – Dec. 6, 2023

No money for education

Dear Editor,
The Quebec government is toying with the idea, yet again, of fixing the roof of the Big “O” stadium in Montreal. Presumed cost may reach one billion dollars. Money is promised to American hockey teams to play a few games in Quebec City. MNA’s of Quebec took a 30 per cent pay increase. Subsidies for battery plants cost billions. Yet there is no money to invest in Quebec’s public education system.
The contract being negotiated by those who instruct, care and guide the youth of Quebec will be locked in for five years. Teachers are told, sorry you have workplace problems, we have other priorities. Endure your difficulties.
The Quebec government is focused on “protecting the French language” by hurting English institutions in Quebec. It is shuffling chairs on the Titanic as far as health care reform is concerned. Now, in a patriarchal tone, it tells Quebec teachers it does not have the means nor the mandate to invest in an improved public education system.
Legault follows the footsteps of his predecessors. He has ignored what educators tell him, what health professionals tell him, and he does so at his own electoral peril.

Carl Hager, Gatineau, QC

Hey, let’s build a railway*

Dear Editor,
We’ve all come to recognize that transportation along the Ottawa River is cumbersome, slow and inefficient. It served us well when canoes hauled furs down and imported manufactured goods up The Grand Waterway. It also served us in the mass transport of rafts of timbers to the shipyards of Britain, but changing fashion and peace in Europe have diminished the markets for those products. Now is the time to consider a bold move into the modern world by constructing a railroad through the Pontiac, to connect Ottawa and the east to Waltham and Pembroke, and the wide-open Westlands beyond. Anyone with an imagination can see that this will open up trade and facilitate Pontiacers exporting farm and forest products to world markets.
The costs will be minimal, as wealthy industrialists will gladly provide the funding to purchase the right of way corridor, and the formidable task of levelling roadbed and laying tracks can be accomplished with cheap imported labourers. A new era of economic prosperity is just ahead of us!
Detractors may insist that steam-powered train locomotives are pollution machines, but eventually the steam trains will be replaced by diesel-fuelled internal combustion engines, which are virtually pollution-free. The speed and efficiency of travel along smooth steel rails will bring a tear to the eye of commuters and business travellers, and we will wonder how we got along without it! History will show us to have been blessed with foresight, and our children’s children will thank us for our timely action.

  • Oops! I seem to have missed a publication deadline by about a century and a half; however, some aspects still apply.

Robert Wills, Shawville and Thorne

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