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Letters to the editor, February 20, 2020 

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Pen and sword

I'd like to thank Matt Stickland for writing on Omar Khadr in The Coast ("If Omar Khadr is a terrorist, then so am I," Cover story, February 6, 2020). It takes a lot of thought and courage to do so. I had hoped to hear him draw more parallels, especially exploring the grey area between use of force in a military and Omar Khadr's experiences. But I'm really glad he wrote his story. We need more folks willing to explore honesty and difficult decisions, in the court of law and public opinion, to combat the hatred, loss and trauma that Khadr and others have experienced. —A currently serving naval officer with 10 years of experience, via email


Pipe dreams

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, despite recent legal approval, will never be built.

On February 4, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld Trudeau's approval of the TMX pipeline, dismissing a challenge brought by Indigenous communities who argued they were not meaningfully consulted. This was a disappointing result for Indigenous communities and environmental folks who hope to quash the project—but far from the end of their fight.

Since construction started, opposition has shot up, especially in Ontario, Quebec and BC, where the Liberals hold dozens of ridings by the skin of their teeth. As costs to taxpayers increase, and resistance on the ground heats up, opposition could increase even further.

The Indigenous-led movement opposing Trans Mountain isn't going anywhere, and if Trudeau tries to ram the pipeline through, he'll lose any hope of campaigning on climate or reconciliation in the next election.

This project continues to be an economic, ecological and moral abomination, and it should be dropped by our Liberal government before it costs Canada more money and international credibility than we've already lost. —Andrew Glencross, Halifax


Snake oil

We came by, Andy Fillmore, and you weren't in your office. Over 20 disappointed grandmothers, mothers and a grandfathers dropped by to ask a simple question: Where do you stand on the Teck Resources Frontier oil sands?

So sorry we missed that cup of tea. Hopefully your kind staff will give you the card we left, but, hang on, let me just put down my knitting, so I can at least share our cookie recipe: Total Extinction C(K)ookies.

One cup of 260,000 barrels of oil a day, one cup of six million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, one cup of 29,000 hectares of pristine boreal forest, one teaspoon of locked-in carbon pollution until 2067, one teaspoon of six million tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year and finally one pinch of increased carbon.

You won't have to preheat the oven, because we can't reach Canada's commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 30 percent by 2030. Grease enough cookie sheets to feed all the unemployed Alberta workers when the rest of the world thrives on renewable energy and all, the Western money has gone into investors pockets. Add all ingredients onto the scorched land. Mix it. Wear blinders and ear plugs so as not to be disturbed by the protests by Indigenous peoples, water protectors, land protectors and fire fighters that join in massive climate strikes.

Pull those cookies out of the oven, sprinkle with patriarchal privilege, political blackmail and enjoy. —Granny Kathrin Winkler via email


Corrections

There are a few things to clear up from last week's issue. In one of the stories in the Sex + Dating guide, "A hot 'do helps Haligonians feel their most attractive" by Isabel Buckmaster, we misspelled the name of Maneland Non-Binary Beauty. Also in Sex + Dating, the article about Harper McCormack—"Halifax vlogger Harper McCormack is kinkier than thou," by Sara Connors—featured misspellings of McCormack's name and @HarperMcCormack Youtube channel. Elsewhere in the issue, the notion that the Killiam Library is sinking every year because of the weight of its books is hearsay, and unverified ("Halifax's old memorial library gets heritage status from regional council," by Caora McKenna). The Coast regrets and apologizes for these errors.

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