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We love letters and we are more than happy to publish your reactions to anything you read in The Independent. The Independent editorial staff reserves the right to edit the letters for clarity and length.

Letter: Fracking on trial and the rights of nature

in Letters/Opinion by

The historic Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Session on Human Rights, Fracking, and Climate Change will take place this May 14 to 18, cohosted by Spring Creek Project at Oregon State University, Corvallis, and live-streaming online. For the first time in its nearly 40-year history, this session of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) will have an international focus and will include arguments about the rights of Nature in addition to the rights of people. Among those participating are individuals and groups from Newfoundland and Labrador. The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is a highly respected international forum that grew from the Russell-Sartre Tribunal to investigate whether breaches of human rights norms occurred during the Vietnam War. Since then it has conducted a series of high-profile hearings to determine whether human rights standards were abridged in Bhopal, Chernobyl, and other sites worldwide. The Tribunal’s most recent session was on Myanmar’s (Burma’s) crimes against the Rohingya…

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The myth of Canadian progress

in Letters/Opinion by

In the current squabble over improving drug coverage and child care in this country, it’s crucial that the social programs provided in Canada be compared with the far superior benefits that are provided citizens of most European countries. Apart from the United States, Canada is the only advanced nation that confines its public health care to the services of physicians and hospitals. In Europe, coverage is universal and comprehensive, incorporating dental and vision care as well as pharmaceuticals. The latest OECD report on the social spending of its 34 member states ranks Canada 24th for its relatively low 17.2 percent of GDP expended on social programs. Most of the countries that surpass Canada have social spending rates higher than 24 percent of GDP, and several, including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and the three Scandinavian countries, have rates that exceed 28 percent. Incredibly, even the United States ranks above Canada…

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ArtsNL Forfeits Riddle Fence Sustaining Funding

in Featured/Letters by

Riddle Fence, along with The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society and Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues, was recently denied year 2 and 3 of their previously approved multi-year sustaining funding as a result of administrative errors. Riddle Fence requests that its sustaining funding be reinstated and that an artist engaged review of ArtsNL be conducted. We stand in solidarity with The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society and Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues. Riddle Fence is the only independent arts and culture journal in Newfoundland and Labrador. It encourages, supports and reflects arts and culture in Newfoundland and Labrador while contributing to a national and international dialogue. It is integral to the fabric of our artistic and cultural community across all disciplines. Specifically, our error occurred in CADAC, a financial data software program where arts organizations are required to input information from Review Engagements prepared by accountants. Grant Thornton prepared Riddle…

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Oil, gas, and cognitive dissonance

in Letters/Opinion by

We remember the last oil boom, right? Couple years ago? And the bust that followed? Wealthy people got considerably wealthier while the rest of us strained to see the benefits promised us. What weren’t hard to see were the deep cuts to the public sector after all those revenues (on which the government decided to be fully dependent) suddenly vanished. And the public continues to pay the price. It’s 2018. We’ve known for many years that the future of human beings depends on cutting dependence on fossil fuels. Scientists the world over have insisted this is the case. In a 2012 report, the World Bank stated that “we’re on track for a 4 degree Celsius warmer world by century’s end marked by extreme heat waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea level rise.” The Tyndall Centre for Climate Research says this rise in 4…

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A minimum wage worker speaks out

in Letters by

As a minimum wage worker, who like most of those I know working minimum wage jobs (both here in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the country), works part time to full time to support myself and those I care about, I know the value of every paycheque I get. I know the value of making even a few cents extra on minimum wage, and the potential benefit to myself and others that a true living wage could one day provide. When the news featured Tim Hortons franchises cutting benefits in Ontario to make a statement against having to give workers a fair wage I saw people who would sacrifice someone else’s long term future for their own short term gain. I saw people crying foul from their winter homes in Florida because they no longer get to profit off of a broken system. Evidently so does Tim Hortons’ parent company,…

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Why won’t the Province pay up?

in Letters by

“As the capital city, St. John’s hosts a big proportion of our most important provincial facilities, but the province has chosen to pass the disproportionate tax burden of the associated services directly onto city taxpayers.”

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Silence is a weapon of control

in Letters by

“In this day and age, silence is being used to the advantage of those who wish to quell any resistance to ‘development’ by the people.”

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Climate Change: reclaiming the conversation

in Letters by

“One doesn’t change an economy overnight, but one does need a vision of the future that ensures today’s policies will create the kind of future we want.”

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An Open Letter to Dwight Ball on “Discovery Day”

in Letters by

Let’s call it “Reconciliation Day” instead.

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Let’s fight for free education

in Letters by

“Education is a fundamental condition of human freedom.”

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Press freedom a “cornerstone of a healthy democracy”

in Letters by

From Concerned Youth of Newfoundland and Labrador: An open letter in support of Justin Brake and the role of good journalism in a turbulent future.

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Rome is burning

in Letters by

What are we going to tell future generations who ask us what we did to solve global warming?

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Access to education and employment key to poverty reduction

in Letters by

“Policies aimed at improving access to education and the ability to obtain employment complement each other in breaking the cyclical nature of poverty.”

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Liberal backbenchers hold the power

in Letters by

“If 10 or more of you get together as a united group you have the power to demand change to this horrible budget. If cabinet is unwilling to act, cross the floor and form the Official Opposition.”

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“How much do we have to give up before we say that’s enough?”

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“We can take a stand — in our presence, in our words, in our willingness to unite, in our willingness to understand why we are like we are and in the effort to decolonize and take our rightful place on and for our land.”

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The merchant days are over

in Letters by

“We need to stand together and show that we are more than the quaint people hanging clothes in tourist commercials.”

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“Keep on marching”

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“[T]his government did not concede anything out of ‘caring’. They were drove to their knees by the pressure from the marchers…”

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