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‘These wars will just go on dividing us as a people’: The best comments from Hub readers this week

Commentary

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement that the government would exempt heating oil from the carbon tax for three years sparked relief in the Atlantic Provinces, outrage in the rest of Canada, and some great conversations on Hub Forum. And, of course, the Israel-Hamas war continues to dominate the discourse around the world.

The goal of Hub Forum is to bring the impressive knowledge and experience of The Hub community into one place and with that in mind, here are some of the most interesting comments this week.

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Study finds vaccine passports had little effect, while the mandate debate rages on

Monday, October 30, 2023

“The pandemic showed us how interconnected we are. This virus spread rapidly over the globe and is still moving quickly, mutating and infecting thousands. There is a communal responsibility which overrides individual freedoms. Without a sense of community there are no freedoms.”

A. Chezzi

“Science produces validated data and explanations for why things work the way they do. Those models allow scientists to predict what will likely happen if certain conditions occur – i.e. x% more interaction within the population will result in y% more infections and z% more hospital admissions.

But science makes no decisions regarding what to do. That is the realm of politics (the total complex of relations between people living in society). Science doesn’t decide if mandates (or which mandates) are acceptable limitations on individual freedom, whether a certain number of companies going out of business due to lock downs is an acceptable trade off, whether working parents can manage online schooling, etc.”

Gord Edwards

The Liberals have kneecapped the carbon tax. Now we need walkable cities more than ever

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

“The crafting of neighborhoods that encourage low carbon use would have so many more benefits than reducing the residents’ carbon footprints. We should indeed install more gates in the “zoning fence”, allowing communities to pick this low hanging fruit.”

Rob Tyrrell

“I don’t share the author’s view that better urban planning has much to do CO2 global emissions (much less “improving” the climate), but it would improve our quality of life and leave more of our landscape available for nature. I’d love to a see a return of traditional walkable neighbourhoods with corner shops and local parks.”

Raj Bharati

The carbon tax is dead

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

“Pitting one region against other parts of the country for the sake of a few seats in Parliament is hardly the stuff of nation building, let alone responsible governance. When political expediency trumps policy, it’s just a matter of time before there will be more than just a tax being shown the door.”

RJKWells

“The Carbon Tax necessity is diminishing. It is the accountability of spending public monies requiring attention. The use of this tax is not disclosed. Climate change has been been occurring since ‘day one’. To control that particular beauty is very faulty and perhaps naive.” If our Federal Government really wish to meet it’s aggressive carbon emission reduction targets, rather than just adding additional carbon taxes, it could synergize with other levels of governments within Canada and show real leadership by providing citizens a real cost effective way to share its’s national carbon emission reduction plan.”

Arthur

Cancel culture is a two-way street

Thursday, November 2, 2023

“There are as many on the right as there are on the left who are not reading, who are not critical thinkers, who are repeating ad nauseam the talking points of those they support. Talking points are not fact and using talking points is an intellectual failure. There is right and wrong on both sides of the culture wars and until we are willing admit that, these wars will just go on dividing us as a people. Let’s stop pointing the finger at each other and take the time to hear what we have in common so we can build a better future.”

A. Chezzi

“To even hint that freedom of speech should be limited is troubling to me. Rather, I propose that freedom of speech always be viewed through a moral prism. While I accept that the political situation in Gaza sucks, and that people might want to speak out to represent this, morality should always prevail. While proposing genocide might feel to activists as a sign of unrestrained strength and resolve, it also sends a message of warped or non-existent morality. I wish for all to remain civil.”

— Jacques Décarie

We are witnessing the future of war on the battlefields of Ukraine

Friday, November 3, 2023

“Regardless of the technology on the battlefield, engagement in warfare is ultimately achieving objectives by causing your opponent as much pain and destruction as possible until they are effectively destroyed or capitulate.

The technology may change but ‘pain and destruction’ will remain as long as warfare remains. I’m not sure how advanced battlefield technology in itself reduces the likelihood of hot wars, with the exception of wars involving mutually assured destruction technologies.

Rather, mutual economic well-being achieved through reliable and low-friction international trade has made large scale conventional hot wars rare.”

Rob Tyrrell

Jeremy Roberts: Tired of falling back? Marco Rubio may be your only hope

Commentary

Sigh. Here we go again.

On Sunday, November 5th the clocks will roll back in the proverbial “fall back” and we will be returned to standard time. Yes, we will gain an extra hour of sleep. But at what cost?

Our circadian rhythms will be thrown off balance. We’ll see an increase in car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and accident-related injuries at work. Customer-facing businesses will see a decrease in economic activity.

When your alarm goes off, you won’t wake to daylight. Instead, you’ll be getting up in darkness, stumbling around your home trying to adjust old analog and digital clocks. And don’t get me started on changing the car clock…

It’s all rather dreary.

I wish I had better news for our Hub readers this Fall. When I wrote my last update on the fight to end the bi-annual time change back in March, I wrote that “hope may be on the horizon.”

As of that article, Ontario had passed the Time Amendment Act, my Bill which would bring Ontario into permanent Daylight Savings Time (DST) thereby ending the bi-annual time change and giving residents extra hours of daylight in the afternoon. However, we were in a holding pattern: my Bill requires coordination with Quebec and New York State. Unfortunately, the participation of New York State complicates this.

Nineteen U.S. states have enacted legislation to bring about permanent DST. New York is not yet one of them. In some hopeful news, this past year a Bill was introduced in the New York State Assembly, Bill A03535, which would aim to move them into permanent DST. However, it is currently held up at committee and hasn’t progressed to a vote.

But, like Ontario’s Bill, there’s a catch: the New York Bill will only take effect if Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania pass similar legislation. In other words, our fate in Ontario is now tied up with six other states (plus Quebec, which also hasn’t progressed on this matter).

With 19 states wishing to move to permanent DST, one would be forgiven for feeling slightly optimistic. Surely with almost two-fifths of the states on board, consensus is getting closer? Unfortunately, there’s another condition at play. States that have passed legislation to adopt permanent DST cannot bring that legislation into force because of a pesky U.S. federal law, the Uniform Time Act, which controls what states can and cannot do about their time.

Last year, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio passed the bipartisan Sunshine Protection Act through the Senate, which would grant states this permission. As of writing, it is currently languishing in the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Given the U.S. House of Representatives’ recent inability to elect a Speaker, I wouldn’t rate my level of optimism high, but there is some hope.

If you’re still keeping up with this complex web of conditions, congrats! I can barely keep up myself.

In summary: for us to get permanent DST in Ontario, we need Quebec and New York to do the same. For New York to get permanent DST, they need their five neighbouring states to also agree. For all six of those states to get permanent DST, they need Marco Rubio’s federal bill to be passed. Everyone is waiting on someone.

That’s why, for the next six months, I’m going to stick my hopes on the bipartisan Sunshine Protection Act. My hope is that if the U.S. can pass legislation allowing states to make their own choice, it will start a movement across the U.S. that could spill over into Canada.

The time is long since up on the time change. It’s time for some bold action.

Hub readers: if you want to see an end to the time change and have friends and family in the U.S., share this article with them! Ask them to contact their local representatives. In this age of increased polarization, I think that this issue can bring us all together.