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Letter to the Editor

A response to the PAH endorsing the NDP

Vote for socialists because the Conservatives are not conservative enough. Read it aloud. It sounds even stranger than it reads. Yet this is the advice peddled to voters by the Prince Arthur Herald’s Editorial Board – all under the assumption that Stephen Harper, facing the natural tension between principle and pragmatism, has leaned too far towards the latter in his almost 10 years as Prime Minister.   There is a sad tendency towards political cannibalism in the Canadian conservative movement. John Diefenbaker, undone by his party. Brian Mulroney, whose coalition crumbled beneath his feet. Reunification of our splintered movement in 2003 even had its holdouts – the David Orchards and Joe Clarks of the world. Each of these are worthy of their own debate. But the historical result was clear: a 20th century with too few conservative governments and an endless string of statist Liberal Prime Ministers.   Too often we consume ourselves in the name of relatively minor slights. And yet on the whole, Stephen Harper’s record is remarkably conservative – more so than perhaps any of his predecessors.   The Prince Arthur Herald Editorial Board, for example, considers the Conservatives’ “greatest sin” to be their “unwillingness to alter the tax code in the direction of flatness and fairness.” To us, citing these measures as reason to abandon Harper is the equivalent of seeing the trees but missing the forest. The overall federal tax burden on individuals is today at its lowest level in more than half a century. Not since John Diefenbaker was Prime Minister have Canadians sent so little of their money to Ottawa. Why ignore this impressive conservative achievement?   The Board complains that Harper has not sufficiently reduced barriers to internal trade. But this ignores the necessary provincial cooperation such a project requires. Industry Minister… Read More

Letter: CBC has become more transparent

From France Belisle, Manager, Media Relations and Issues Management at the CBC: Daniel Dickin's Access to Information Process Needs Reform and Improvements article that appeared in The Prince Arthur Herald and in the Huffington Post on October 21st expressed the opinion that CBC/Radio-Canada “is infamous for skirting ATI laws and doing the bare minimum to get by”. I would like to share with you and your readers some highlights of the Corporation’s more recent performance under access to information. Though it is true that CBC/Radio-Canada was given an 'F' grade by Commissioner Legault soon after we were subjected to the Act in 2007, the Corporation has since worked very hard on multiple fronts to fix the initial challenges we faced in responding to the flood of Access to Information requests that we received. In recognition of our commitment to openness and transparency, in December 2012 the Commissioner awarded CBC/Radio-Canada an ’A’ grade for “outstanding” performance. And our progress continues. In her most recent annual report, tabled last week, the Information Commissioner states: "In just two years, senior management at the CBC had transformed that organization into one committed to meeting its obligations under the Access to Information Act''.  We regret that this information was not included in your column, and trust that you will see fit to provide your readers with the most up to date information regarding CBC/Radio-Canada’s performance under the Act. Though we are proud of the progress we have made in becoming a more open, transparent and accountable public broadcaster, we continuously seek to improve. We think Canadians are entitled to know the facts about our work, and we endeavour to not only disclose information proactively, but also to reply to requests in a timely manner. Below are some indicators of this ongoing commitment. As of September 30th, 2013, CBC/Radio-Canada has: Received a total of… Read More

July 23: Letters to the editor

Re: “Religion and science are two sides of the same coin” (July 22)Regimblad questions why religion and science “seem so intent on destroying each other’s credibility.” Despite his difficulty with the question, it is an easily answerable one. Religion once held an almost exclusive monopoly over the business of explaining things. Science broke this monopoly by offering facts, making religious fables look foolish. Religion responded by murdering, silencing, and condemning scientists internationally.The advances of science upon religion have a far more logical explanation. Science is concerned with the truth. If the truth presented by science matched with the stories offered by religion, scientists would defend religion. Since the two often do not match, science inherently works against religion, without any explicit campaigns or declarations.Scientists often go one step further in attacking religion when religious groups insist on rejecting established truths for the convenient ones they preach. This is due to the ignorance of those who continue to believe religious explanations (i.e., that the earthquake in Japan was caused because most Japanese are not Christian), not the ignorance of those who believe the truth.Regimblad then misguidedly characterizes science as nihilistic. Emotion, passion, purpose, and meaning are all factors which do not require the presence of a god to be possible. Furthermore, even if they did, and science proved that god did not exist, this flaw in the universe would not be due to scientists, it would merely be discovered by them. This is hardly something you can criticize science for.Finally, Regimblad claims science deals with the how, and religion with the why. While science does leave a gap that needs to be filled, religion is not the most suitable thing to deal with this gap. For example, philosophy and psychology have done far better jobs of dealing with the why then… Read More

Re: “Hosni Mubarak vs. KFC” and “Haroon Siddiqui and the Delusional Left”

Dear Sir:After reading two recent articles on the downfall of Mubarak in Egypt (“Hosni Mubarak vs. KFC” and “Haroon Siddiqui and the Delusional Left”), I have a question for the Prince Arthur Herald. Why do you hate freedom?Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that many conservatives love freedom. However, this supposed love for freedom and support for human rights, enshrined in your statement of principles, is mocked by these two articles. The first, in what the author probably thinks is a witty tongue-in-cheek style, provides a number of misquoted statistics to demonstrate that Egypt’s population is radically Muslim. The most glaringly fallacious statistic provided by the author, that “59% of the population identify as Islamic fundamentalists (only 27% identify as modernizers),” was admitted by the author in the comment section as being inaccurate, yet was not redacted.However, my grievance with this article is not its sensationalistic errors, but rather its suggestion that the Egyptian people, because of this supposed fundamentalism, are not to be trusted with democracy. That, if given the choice between the possibility of Egypt electing a fundamentalist government and another brutal despot, the author would choose the latter.This suggestion is completely reprehensible. Its reprehensibility is not a partisan issue. Even the editorial board of the PAH should be shocked at this article which advocates the repression of democracy based on fear of who a majority Muslim state might elect.However, this argument’s strains are so disturbingly fascist that most readers will fortunately be able to see through it. The assumption that it makes, that Egypt somehow has a default “theocracy” setting that will turn it into Iran as soon as a dictator is removed is alarmingly mirrored by Zach Paikin’s article “Haroon Siddiqui and the Delusional Left.” In this article, Paikin argues that a democratic Egypt is… Read More

Re: Opt-Out Articles

When I go to class, often I by pass students selling Samosas. “Samosa sale!” they exclaim with great enthusiasm. Depending on my level of hunger, I’ll drop by their table to buy some, 1 for $1, or 3 for $2. Rarely am I ever told of where my money is going, what organization I am supporting, but rarely do I ever buy samosas because I want to support a cause. It is because I am hungry. I feel like the latest Opt-Out campaign is similar to this. I am being told to Opt-Out to  save money, being given papers explaining how I can Opt-Out, but rarely am I told why I should Opt-Out. The Opt-Out campaign just assumes students do not support QPIRG. They are wrong. Students do support QPIRG and directly benefit from organizations QPIRG helps support, such as Midnight Kitchen.While I agree that students should have the ability to opt-out of fees, I think they should use this ability to inquire about these organizations they can choose to support, or not support, instead of blindly choosing not to support them because a few people on campus hand out white slips of paper telling them how to opt-out. So maybe, before agreeing to Opt-Out, find out what exactly you are ‘opt-ing’ out of and if it is indeed something you don’t wish to support, or see your fellow students benefiting from. Maybe I am way out in ‘left’ field here, but I think that this would be the ‘right’ thing to do. Furthermore, instead of playing advocate to simply opting out, I think a more moderate approach would be to opt-in, and attend QPIRG meetings. If you feel that strongly about QPIRG’s association with various groups you don’t support bring up these concerns at their meetings or office hours, which are opened… Read More