Letters To The Editor | June 7-13, 2018

Have public opinion polls hijacked the Ontario election? plus, why Kathleen Wynne is the casualty of a skeptical age

Have polls hijacked Ontario election?

Enzo DiMatteo argues that opinion polls have shaped the political narrative in this provincial election campaign (NOW, May 31-June 6). Let’s be honest – the media have allowed the polls to hijack the election.

Ian Scott, Toronto

Wynne, the casualty of a skeptical age

Kathleen Wynne’s advisers are wrong. Her popularity has been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. Voters do not believe anything except what they are told by polls. Alas, how dreary would the world be if there were no elections! There would be no faith in the will of the people, no claims of legitimacy of power, no means to make better all that ails this province. 

Josef Szende, New York

Voters need to look at the facts on Wynne

Kathleen Wynne’s unexpected concession on Saturday suggests that the Liberals are expecting a very horrible result on election day. I was quite deflated. I think Wynne has been a very good premier. She certainly doesn’t deserve the scorn and hate that’s been heaped upon her. This dislike is not rational. Her government has many accomplishments.

But once a narrative sets in about you or your government, it’s often hard to shake it. No matter how false.

Hillary Clinton was never quite able to shake her image as somewhat corrupt and mean-spirited, none of which she was. Bob Rae, the favourite whipping boy of Ontario politics, will never shake the narrative that he led a failed government. Which, again, was not true. Voters need to look at the facts. 

Andrew van Velzen, Toronto

Ford-led government too scary to consider

I’ve voted Liberal my entire adult life, even when things looked a little dire for the party. Well, things are a little dire right now. I’m voting NDP and I would strongly urge anyone else who used to vote for the Libs to do the same this election. The consequences of a Thug Ford-led government are too frightening to contemplate. We must do our best to make sure it does not happen. 

Harvey Bushell, From nowtoronto.com

Citizen safeguards against Big Data

Kudos to Chris Rattan for shedding light on the possibly problematic relationship between the Sidewalk Toronto project and civil society in Data Belongs To The People (NOW, May 24-30). Hopefully we can learn from this project and sidestep dystopian consequences by ensuring there is legislation to protect governance of our data. 

In light of the Facebook debacle, we really do need to be more aware of who has access to our personal data, how it’s being used and who benefits from its monetization. 

The current model assumes that the general public is willing to trade all data rights for use of an app as soon as they click “accept” on an opaque user agreement. Thankfully, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now in effect in the EU has changed the level of control EU citizens have regarding their data. 

Unfortunately, the GD-PR does not protect us on a global level. As Rattan points out, NAFTA negotiations are being affected by U.S. corporate lobbyists pushing to deregulate data rights across North America. 

Wasela Hiyate, MyData Canada, Thornhill

Money for renewables, not pipelines

Justin Trudeau’s $4.5 billion purchase of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion project is a shameful use of our tax dollars. Not only is this pipeline in direct violation of the constitutional rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada, the bottom line is that there is no viable market for bitumen transported by tankers. It’s not a product the world wants to buy. 

HSBC and other big players know this and are divesting from Alberta’s tar sands. It’s shocking to see Paris Agreement “rock star” Trudeau as someone all too willing to protect the interests of a Texas corporation. Imagine what $4.5 billion could do to help transition Alberta toward being a leader in renewable energy? 

Trudeau needs to do the math and help Alberta with a plan for a green energy future. 

David Quigg, Toronto


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