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Letters to the editor, March 7, 2019

These are the letters and comments from the print edition.


A better Canada

Dear political leaders,
I am a proud Canadian, but I would like to see a better Canada than we have today. Here are some ideas for how to make Canada a greater country.

You need to get rid of the outrageous retirement package for MPs. They should receive the same retirement packages as the rest of us. It is appalling that all it takes is six years for MPs to get hefty pensions like $140,000 a year until they are 90 years old. Canadian citizens are footing the bill for these exorbitant pensions in which MPs receive $23 from taxpayers for every $1 they contribute. The work they do is not worth it.

Another problem regarding pensions is the number of politicians who evade taxes on them. Though no Canadian is above the law, politicians are notorious in finding ways to get out of paying taxes. If anyone should not be paying taxes on their pensions, it should be the people fighting for our freedom such as the people in the Canadian Armed Forces or police officers, as well as people who work to save lives like first responders.

Another issue is the way that elderly people in this country are treated. Seniors are some of the poorest in our country and they should be getting more financial assistance. There should be government subsidies for transportation—maintaining vehicles as well as free public transportation. There are some provinces, like Alberta, that have these measures in place, but this should be a federal issue, not provincial. Before 2018 people used to be able to claim their monthly bus passes on their taxes but the Trudeau government removed this benefit.

Salaries should be regulated for presidents and CEOs of non-profits. This is public money that is being spent on salaries when it should be going to research and ways to help people. These organizations have thousands of people who volunteer out of the kindness of their hearts, and some CEOs just sign checks and make public appearances while not doing much else.

You should not be penalized for old age. When you turn 65 you automatically lose money. In my case I was earning $2,300 per month, but when I turned 65 my income went down to approximately $1,600. What we earn before retirement should not change after retirement. Seniors should not suffer for being old. They call 65 the golden years. The only thing that is golden at my age is urine, and sometimes that is filled with blood.

Stop giving big tax breaks to big companies such as Irving Shipbuilding, especially when companies like Irving are getting rid of jobs. Also, Irving is hiring foreign workers and paying a fortune to them for living allowance and hotels when there are plenty of skilled workers right here in our province ready and able to work, but cannot find employment. You should take a page from Newfoundland and Labrador ex-premier Danny Williams.

It's about time that Canada started using the lotto profits accumulated across Canada towards things like free education for people such as doctors, nurses and technicians. Canada should come into the 21st century and there should be free university education. Many countries, like Sweden, have had free education for a long time. Even the communist country of Cuba has free education.

The companies that are hired to fix roads should pay the cost if the job needs to be redone, not the government paying the companies twice. This is an incentive for companies to do the work with better materials and not cut corners.

Government needs to do more with using renewable energy sources that we have such as wind and water to create energy and get rid of fossil fuels.

Regarding medically assisted dying, I am all for it being available but only of it is done with respect and there is proper training. In my mother's final days, the doctor was loading her up on morphine, which should not be used in the care of all patients because it can cause patients to get a fever and not be aware of their surroundings. My mother could have died peacefully with medically assisted dying.

Quebec should not be permitted to sell asbestos to developing countries. It is illegal to sell in Canada, yet Quebec companies are selling it to third-world countries. They should be ashamed of themselves and they should be fined.

I believe that I have provided some important and helpful suggestions. I would welcome any feedback. I look forward to seeing positive changes taking place. —Rene Corbett, Halifax

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