Home » Readers letters to the editor Dec. 2

Readers letters to the editor Dec. 2

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Daily news reminds me that consumers will be spending less due to the affordability crisis, so it is likely that their purchases will consist of cheaper made-in-China items. Shopping in big-box stores is less expensive, but how much thought is given to those who toil in factories and earn a mere fraction of the wages many Canadians garner?

Another solution, when purchasing gifts, is to visit and explore the delights within a fair trade store. The artisans, whose unique work graces the shelves, are paid an equitable price for their work. Also available are tea, coffee and sugar produced by farmers who are paid a just price for their work. Fair Trade organizations address issues such as concerns for children who work in horrendous conditions on cocoa plantations.

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Enjoy shopping with a clear conscience: the exposure to purchasing fair trade products expands social horizons.

Peter Tracey, Calgary

Richmond development is too dense

Re: Minto brings new vision to derelict ex-school site, Opinion, Nov. 23

Minto plans to place 2,500 new residences, including multi-family units, on the .047-square-kilometre (11.5-acre) site of the old Viscount Bennett/Chinook Learning Services School.

Assuming an occupancy rate of even 2.5 people per residence, the population of the development will be 6,250. That number of people living in that space equates to a population density of just under 133,000 per square kilometre. The City of Calgary’s population density is around 1,500 per square kilometre. The world’s highest-density country, Monaco, has a density of 24,361 per square kilometre. 

The project consists of 11 buildings ranging in height from four- to six-storeys to a highrise apartment tower. The site sits in the small part of Richmond on the west side of Crowchild Trail. The neighbourhood is almost exclusively low-rise family housing. The Minto project will drop more than the current population of the entire neighbourhood into an area that comprises just under three per cent of its total size.

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Is this the right way to address the need for housing in Calgary? Given its location, that parcel is rare and valuable space, and should be developed. But care should be taken to ensure any development treats the opportunity as the gem it is. It’s time to rethink the project before it’s too late.

John Gabriele

Alberta doctors undervalued

I asked a close friend who is an established family physician what he thought of the government plan to pay nurse practitioners $300,000 net for taking care of only 900 patients. He said he would gladly change his designation to become a nurse practitioner. Why?

Presently, he can earn $300,000 gross by caring for about 2,000 patients. But after deducting 30 to 40 per cent for office overhead and staff salaries, his net earnings will be substantially less. As a nurse practitioner, he would make a guaranteed $300,000 salary for doing much less comprehensive work and earn more than a family physician.

Why are doctors so undervalued by the government? Understanding this predicament of family physicians and supporting them financially is the best way to retain and increase their numbers.

Tony Yep, Calgary

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