Your letters for Sept. 5

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Dining out on the public dime

Re: Alberta panel’s expenses ‘flagged’; Group reviewing safe drug-use sites repeatedly warned for ‘excessive’claims, Aug. 31

Auditing is always needed for compliance but maybe Alberta should update their meal allowances. The Herald reported breakfast as $9.20, lunch $11.60, and dinner $20.75. The federal meal allowance for 2020 is published as breakfast $20.50, lunch $20.10, dinner $50.65 and incidentals $17.50.

I spent 37 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and I recall Alberta’s meal allowances as somewhere in the 1990s. The federal government doesn’t need receipts. Audits looked at whether you claimed a meal when you were flying or at home but they don’t pay bureaucrats to count receipts and punch an adding machine.

Ian Anderson, Calgary

See the bigger picture

Re: Politics should not block contributions of coal mining, Opinion, Aug. 26

Mr. Campbell’s opinion on coal mining in Alberta is rather narrow. Scientists warn we are in a sixth mass extinction, with biodiversity crashing. Human activities are the driving force for 99 per cent of this loss. That includes surface mining that destroys wildlife habitats, fragments landscapes and pollutes drinking water.

In pushing for more investment for the industry, Campbell fails to recognize the opportunities the pandemic offers to innovate, diversify, and become a world leader in other, more sustainable sectors.

He also misses two key points about the federal government revisiting the impact assessment. First, newly expressed concerns about the impact on First Nations’ rights and title fall clearly under federal jurisdiction. Second, it would be hypocritical not to scrutinize a proposal for a large thermal coal mine forecasted to operate until the late 2030s when Canada has committed to phasing out coal-fired electricity by 2030.

Hilary Young, Canmore

Public safety paramount

Re: Quintuple killer’s lawyer slams MP’s comments, Sept. 3

I agree with my MP Stephanie Kusie regarding Matthew de Grood.

No matter what words are used, it doesn’t alter the fact that five young people were taken from us way too soon. He needs to be extremely well supervised if granted any form of release into the community.

I feel greatly for the parents of the deceased regarding this matter.

Virginia Hill, Calgary

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