The right to go to school
What is wrong with this picture?
“Eligibility certification [is] preventing those wanting to attend school in English.”
- Eligibility certification backlog preventing those wanting to attend school in English, THE EQUITY, Sept 27, 2023
“Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination . . .”
- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 15 (printed on the Viola Desmond ten dollar bill).
Since when do Canadian children have to prove their right to go to school?
How does this fit with Compulsory Education Law?
How does this greed for power affect the lives of “Hundreds of students [who] are in limbo at home waiting for authorization to attend English schools” (THE EQUITY, Sept. 27) when what we all need is bilingualism for a strong and modern country?
Rev. Mary McDowell Wood, Shawville
Where would you like your landfill?
The proposal to build and operate an incinerator for residual waste has hit a snag, perhaps a fatal blow to the project. Such an incinerator would, of necessity, be very large (and thus expensive) and would depend upon the majority of the waste material to be imported from elsewhere, notably Ottawa and Gatineau. If the rumours are true, Ottawa has decided to contract with two private landfill sites, and thus is not in the market for the services of a waste-to-energy incinerator.
Some people will be happy to hear this news, as they have voiced objections to the project, citing the enormous cost, the potential for air pollution, and the hazards of increased truck traffic on already-overworked roads.
Well, what do we do now? We still have garbage from yesterday and the day before, and I feel certain that the production of garbage in the Pontiac will neither cease nor greatly diminish, in the near future. How do I feel so certain about that? Waste management has been my main social activist cause for over 40 years now. It used to be that each municipality would have unsorted household, farm and industrial waste dumped into a hole and burned, at low temperatures, almost non-stop. Wheelbarrows full of pollution resulted. Environmentally-concerned citizens applied gentle pressures and persuasion, and sometimes faced harsh blowback, when we suggested that should change. Then the Quebec government decreed that the burning dumps cease. Since then, garbage has been collected and trucked to Lachute, where it is dumped into what used to be a hole, but is now a mountain of compressed unsorted garbage, including glass, plastic and methane-generating organic matter. More refinements to that process are on the way, and we can either take care of the situation ourselves, or wait until Quebec bureaucrats send out mandates designed for urban situations.
As I understand it, dump space at Lachute is limited, and will cease receiving in a few years. So, where do we want our landfill? In whose backyard shall we dump our trash? Any volunteers? Or, does anyone in the audience have a suggestion for another way of dealing with the residual (after recycling and composting) waste material? Now would be a good time to step forward with the information, and the social influence to cause the population to adopt new methods. Bear in mind, that people don’t like to change very much, especially since the bare necessity of pre-sorting household output will be quite inconvenient, as compared to just tossing it out somewhere. And it will be expensive, because we have an accumulated surplus of crap. Decades ago, we bought into an economy where everything we buy comes wrapped in plastic and lasts minutes before self-destruction. Happy sorting, neighbours!
Robert Wills, Thorne and Shawville
History is important
The most recent embarrassing and shameful gesture by the Speaker of the House of Commons to honour a former Waffen SS soldier, in which every MP from every political party represented within that chamber rose and clapped like trained seals, shines a glowing light on the consequences of both ignoring and erasing history.
When our law-makers pay homage to such a person it points directly to what happens when we as a society put importance and emphasis on “Sunny Days” over that of the cold, hard realities of the volatile world in which we live. This is troubling as it demonstrates our leaders in power do not have a firm grasp of the history and politics of Ukraine, nor of the demographic fault line existent in that country. Actually, on reflection, one MP does have a firm grasp of the realities over there and that would be Deputy Prime Minister Freeland as a former academic and of being of partial Ukrainian heritage she knew better. For her, her ovation is non-excusable. She knew that Soviet Russia was our ally in the Second World War and suffered twenty million civilian and military casualties from the likes of the man whom she praised.
Today, Ukraine, is a non-treaty ally with questionable governmental ethics to which we have sent ten billon dollars in material and financial aid at the expense of cutting one billion dollars in our own Department of National Defense. Even worse, the despicable display on the Commons floor actually aided Putin in his deceptive narrative that Russia attacked Ukraine to stem a fascist threat within it. Such an embarrassment.
While this whole mess is indicative of a totally confused Liberal government, the Conservative leader looks no better. Mr. Poilievre tried to get ahead of the story by blaming the government as usual. Does this man not have a mind of his own? It is now clear that he spent his time in university focused solely on political science and getting into Parliament by age 24, as obviously the study of history was not part of his curriculum, which explains his rising and respecting a soldier of Hitler’s racist and murderous Third Reich. Yet he blames the government for his own personal ignorance, which also reflects poorly on his party as its leader. This signals that Poilievre, like Trudeau, will take little-to-no responsibility for his errors.
History is important. The past is important and if it is misunderstood, erased or revised it can have serious and even deadly consequences.
Todd Hoffman, Campbell’s Bay
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