Credit to Author: Carolyn Soltau| Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2020 04:03:40 +0000
The article on the human cost of the prolonged strike by the United Steel Workers Union against Western Forest Products is timely. The stories of affected individuals highlight how the intransigence of a union and a company is detrimental, not only to those directly involved, but also to many others whose livelihood is threatened. Union members will never make up wages lost. The company will never make up lost revenue. Contractors and other businesses will never recover lost revenue. Such a long strike or lockout hurts those directly involved, but also other businesses and communities.
Perhaps mediation with a time limit, until a consensus is reached, should be compulsory. Strikes and lockouts hurt too many non-participating people and communities.
Eric O’Dell, Surrey
Thank you for your recent article in The Sun on the forestry dispute. I sadly admit, with all the other news dominating the headlines, I haven’t been following this tragedy. Your writing captures the true essence of where the pain is always felt: hard-working families. Salt of the earth.
Gordon Lageweg, Delta
Balanced budgets may seem prudent, but are often not optimal. The statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke advised: “Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy.”
According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, this stand-pat NDP budget “is overly cautious in calculating the available room to invest and leaves money on the table that should have been spent to make lives better, to tackle poverty and climate change, increase access to the services that people need (including more mental health supports), and to build a stronger and more sustainable economy in the process.”
Under-budgeting that tolerates needless poverty and unemployment actually costs the B.C. economy billions of dollars per year. Why would our finance minister settle for that? Why should we?
Larry Kazdan, Vancouver
First it was alcohol, then cigarettes, then a sugar tax to save us from ourselves and hope/predict that the perceived problem will go away or get better. It hasn’t worked and it will be no different with the sugar tax. It was the graphic, aggressive, education initiative in the early 1980s that drove home the message to young people and others to quit smoking
Morris Aarbo, Coquitlam
Could I respectfully suggest that it is Dr. Frederick Kwong and not the city councillors who are out of touch with reality.
The only objective of someone in business, such as a landlord, is to turn a profit. Why would anyone in business be satisfied with paying the property taxes each month on an empty storefront and taking a loss? One would expect that a business in this situation would lower his rental rate to get a tenant, at the very least, to reduce the loss.
If this is not the case, it suggests that businesses are just stockpiling land to sell later to profit from redevelopment. The last thing on their priority list is a vibrant, thriving community.
In this case, it appears they need an empty storefront tax to motivate them to contribute to vibrant streets.
Maureen Charron, Vancouver
Rick James should get some basic facts right about the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project. He states that if there were ever a leak in the pipeline raw natural gas would be carried down adjacent rivers. In fact, the gas that will pass through this pipeline is purified dry natural gas, similar to the gas that is delivered to heat people¹s homes, but without the odourants. It has a specific gravity of about 0.6 which means that it is considerably lighter than air.
In the very unlikely event of a pipeline leak the gas would simply drift upward and be dispersed in the atmosphere. It would certainly not drift down local rivers like blobs of whale blubber. I am a retired professional engineer with over thirty five years of experience working in the B.C. natural gas industry.
Bernd Schalke, West Vancouver
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