Today’s letters: On urban sprawl; Russia’s latest moves in Ukraine


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The city was changing even before the pandemic

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There’s no doubt the pandemic has changed the heart of Ottawa, but the real sea change started years ago when the city encouraged sprawl – so people lived 30 minutes or more from the center. -town. This sprawl has rushed convenience stores, strip malls, and restaurants to the point that many people no longer come downtown (canal skating or Memorial Day being perhaps rare exceptions). Government employees traveled to town on weekdays, but spent evenings and weekends in the suburbs.

Now that hybrid working is becoming the norm, what’s the point of going to town? Ottawa has been getting schizophrenic for years where now there are two Ottawas: the tourist one downtown, and the one where the majority lives: 30 minutes east, south or west.

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Now City Hall is trying to encourage downtown density, but it’s aggravating older, established neighborhoods. High-rise buildings are thrust willy-nilly into low-rise neighborhoods. Few cities have made the irreversible mistakes of Ottawa. The damage is done and elected officials and property developers should share the blame.

Douglas Cornish, Ottawa

Russia does not learn from history

Re: Russian missile barrage shatters four-month calm in Ukrainian capital, October 10.

Russian leaders have learned nothing from history. The only aerial bombardment of civilian infrastructure that ever caused a people or a government to cry out for peace was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ended World War II. The German bombing of London, the Allied bombing of German cities, and the American bombing campaign in Vietnam failed to break the will of any people or their government.

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In fact, these types of bombings are proven to have the opposite effect and actually increased the will of countries to resist, and they keep fighting even harder. Even the much-vaunted air campaign of the Persian Gulf War required a ground campaign to actually defeat Saddam Hussein. This Russian attack will similarly fail and bring no success in the ground war, where the Ukrainian forces seem to be winning.

J. A. Summerfield, Winchester

A proxy war will not save Ukraine

It is inadmissible that we allow the Ukrainian people to bear the brunt of Russian war crimes: attacks against civilian populations. It is right that we provide money, training and weapons, but the end result is a proxy war between Russia and the rest of the world that is taking place in the cities of the Ukrainian people.

At some point we will have to stand up to Vladimir Putin. Maybe we have to do it before all the Ukrainians die. Otherwise, shame on us.

Michel Wiggin, Ottawa


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