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April 1 might also carry the name April Fools’ Day, but many hard-working Canadians are anything but fools when it comes to where their taxes go. We’ve all seen the shortage of affordable housing while rents and prices for residential real estate are prohibitively expensive for most people.

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Even the rising cost of food and other necessities is forcing more families, retired seniors and people with disabilities to access food banks and various charities to maintain essential and adequate nutrition while post-secondary education seems more like a dream than a realistic possibility for so many high school students who are graduating every year.

I also know plenty of well-educated people who have spent years working their way up the vocational ladders who earn far less than an elected MP’s base salary of $194,600 per year, with many additional benefits and allowances that go with it.

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If any elected officials in “public service” can’t make ends meet on their taxpayer-funded incomes then they might want to take a lesson from people on the other end of the economic spectrum who are barely getting by and who still have to send a chunk of their paycheques to Ottawa and manage to survive on what’s left over.

Leslie Benisz, Vancouver

Clean energy is the key to a better future

The idea that we can’t afford to take bold climate action is a dangerous lie. The truth is, we can’t afford not to! Renewable energy is now the cheapest way to generate electricity. Meanwhile, fossil fuel corporations are robbing the public purse for private profit and costing us billions in damages from worsening climate chaos.

Let’s make this the year that Canada breaks free from the expensive, unequal, and wildly destructive fossil fuel economy. Cheap, clean, renewable energy is the key to a better future. What we need is courage and leadership from our federal representatives. If they invest in a renewable future now, they will lay the foundation for safer and more affordable lives for all of us. With bills rising and extreme weather worsening, we can’t afford to keep stalling. Later is too late.

Christine Wild, Vancouver

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