Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/4/2018 (899 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Re: Who gains in Syria attack? (Letter, April 12)
Shame on the Free Press for publishing Don Hermiston’s thinly veiled anti-Israel conspiracy theory letter. Running such a vile accusation uncritically without evidence displays an irresponsible lack of journalistic ethics. He is accusing Israel of a disgusting war crime.
Such chemical weapon attacks have been repeatedly carried out by Bashar al-Assad (with the cynical help of Russia and Iran) throughout the horrific Syrian civil war, only encouraged by the inaction of the West (including Obama’s unenforced "red line").
The Syrians are being gassed by their own president, Bashar al-Assad. It’s unfortunate when people such as Don Hermiston are willing to ignore the truth. Assad is gassing his own people. Period. Proven fact.
IS (which absolutely has to be annihilated) is a convenient way for Assad to kill his opposition (i.e.: the people who have nothing to do with IS, but have everything to do with trying to get rid of a fascist dictator).
Israel has nothing to worry about from a united Syria, because until Assad kills all the opposition, there never will be a united Syria. The rest of the world has to ensure that he doesn’t kill the rest of the Syrian people.
Don Hermiston claims that last week’s chemical attack in Syria was not perpetrated by Bashar al-Assad. Instead, he suggests it was Israel, under a "false flag," that was behind the attack.
While I’m not surprised that someone may resort to deflecting the blame for the attack from the obvious perpetrator — Assad — onto the country that is such a convenient scapegoat for so many conspiracy theorists — Israel — what does surprise me is that the Free Press gave credence to such a wild accusation by printing the letter.
I was shocked to see a letter promoting the fictional conspiracy theory that Israel uses chemical weapons and that the horrific attack in Syria was a "false flag" act. Such dangerous, patently false accusations can only fuel hatred of Israelis.
Contrary to the writer’s fantasies, independent analysts and western democracies widely recognize the Assad regime is responsible for this atrocity. Assad’s forces, joined by Hezbollah, Iran and Russia, have murdered hundreds of thousands of Syrians. But for those obsessively opposed to Israel, Israelis are a convenient scapegoat for the problems of the Middle East.
Ironically, Israel has treated thousands of Syrians in Israeli hospitals and sent hundreds of tons of food and clothing to Syrian villages. As the only liberal democracy in the region — and one that has constantly strived to make peace — Israel is a rare light of freedom and hope in the region.
Laurel Malkin, President
Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
Carbon and climate
Re: Carbon confusion continues at all levels (April 7) and Even strong climate believers don’t get carbon pricing, survey shows (April 3)
A recent Free Press editorial highlights political uncertainty and discord within Canada about carbon pricing and how it should work. Ongoing confusion is not just political but runs deeper, including the efficacy of carbon pricing to achieve actual reductions, associated costs compared to alternative measures and, importantly, public perceptions.
A more important story focused on results of a recent web-based survey undertaken for — and resulting report issued by — the Eco Fiscal Commission group based in Ottawa.
The group represents a collaboration of primarily academics who have been strong advocates for carbon pricing. Yet they found few Canadians, including those with strong beliefs on the topic of climate change, are aware of or understand much about carbon pricing. Further, the group identifies what it believes is the core problem: that governments, particularly the federal government, have not done a good job of explaining carbon pricing policies to the general public.
It has been already well established that a carbon price at the levels set by the federal government will not come even close on its own to achieving Canada’s reduction commitments. Some more-activist individuals suggest this problem can be resolved if all or most of the funds garnered are plowed back into "green" projects, although this has never been required under federal rules. Additional important considerations for these revenues include addressing impacts on limited-income families and maintaining a measure of revenue neutrality.
There has been a further assertion by some activists that the public strongly demands spending on green projects. While there is legitimacy in suggesting suitable infrastructure-related spending can reduce emissions, with of course a need in all instances to show a valid business case justification, there is no documented evidence of any such groundswell demand by the public.
Instead, as evidenced by EFC and other available surveys, the public is largely still just trying to figure out carbon pricing.
Posturing on pipelines
Re: Pipelines and politics (Letters, April 13)
Jules Legal ignores that the current federal government has curtailed $55 billion in pipeline project investments, excluding Kinder Morgan.
There is no sound reason for opposing pipelines in principle.
Environmental extremism combined with political posturing is harming the Canadian economy.
Legal believes that corporations and provinces that develop petroleum resources should be shut down to save the planet when that is neither true, nor justifiable. Crude oil is priced at about $70 a barrel and trending up. Demand for petroleum is increasing.
We have lost billions in pipeline investments and are losing billions in petroleum sales and tax revenue to provincial and federal governments. We are embarked on a costly carbon tax scheme that will punish every Canadian for waking up in a warm home, having a hot shower and driving to work, and we will still face growing federal budget deficits. Environmental ideology has major flaws — emotional arguments do not grow the economy, provide jobs, encourage investment or pay bills. Legal is entitled to his beliefs but cannot demand that everyone pays for implementing unsustainable ideals that lack scientific and practical credibility.
Re: Pallister tells B.C. to approve project (April 12)
"The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion has been reviewed and it has been approved. It is in the national interest the project be completed," Premier Brian Pallister says.
Sometimes, politicians just don’t get it. They have their heads buried in the sand, as they promote the economy over the safety of our water.
In a previous article he stated, "government passes everything through a filter for what’s best for citizens and Manitoba." I would call that "filter" a sieve, with very large holes when it comes to environment and water protection in our province.
As a national interest, this undertaking is nothing but a social blunder that involves investors and money. It has no priority when environment and water issues are at stake and involved.