An if-you-believe apology
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has apologized, sincerely, to anyone who believes he should have done this differently (Former Allies Turning Away From Ford – Nov. 28). Hmm. I think I’ll try that with my wife next time she’s mad at me. I’ll simply say, “Honey, if you believe I should have done this differently, then I sincerely apologize.” I wonder how that will work out?
John Herberman, Toronto
What happened to Rob Ford hurts all of Toronto. Who in their right mind would go into politics and be subject to attacks such as those made against Mr. Ford? Who would do community work, if making a fundraising mistake would destroy your career? If there were more people getting youth involved in sports instead of gangs, perhaps Toronto would have less gang-related violence. If we allow good people to be discouraged from politics and community work, we all suffer.
Elliott Katz, Toronto
The mayor’s supporters and sympathizers continue to look only to his efforts to raise money for the kids. No wonder they think the judge’s ruling is harsh and unfair. What they can’t, or won’t, see, is it’s not about the money, or its end purpose. The amount of a donation, or who it was solicited for, is immaterial. These laws are intended to protect citizens and taxpayers; the mayor should know and respect that.
Eugene Bolvary, Toronto
Shut the door
You report that a source said the Harper government has warned the Palestinian Authority’s representatives that if they did not withdraw their bid for upgraded status at the UN, their office in Ottawa might be closed (Palestinian Bid For UN Status Draws Harper’s Ire – Nov. 26).
Why stop there? We know that the French and the Austrians, among many others of our so-called allies, are planing to support the PA’s bid on Thursday. They should be warned that their offices in Ottawa could also be closed. Indeed, to really reflect our current foreign policy, we should have embassies only from the United States and Israel.
For that matter, even the place of the U.S. in Ottawa needs to be reconsidered, since the Americans rejected Canada’s position on these issues, as articulated in their country by Mitt Romney.
Henry Milner, Canada Research Chair in Electoral Studies, Université de Montréal
The government of Bangladesh is avoiding the issue by arguing that the deadly fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory was “arson” or “sabotage,” even before an investigation has taken place (Arson Blamed For Bangladeshi Fire – Nov. 28).
The real question isn’t what started the fire. It’s why a factory was allowed to be built with more floors than permitted by law. It’s why it was allowed to operate without alternative fire exits, working fire extinguishers and fire safety training. It’s why workers were sent back to their machines after the alarm sounded. It’s why a factory with ongoing, serious safety issues was rewarded with continued orders from big international clothing brands.
Whatever caused the first spark, what turned this fire into a conflagration was the persistent negligence of all those who had the power to ensure proper safeguards in the event of a fire.
Kevin Thomas, Maquila Solidarity Network, Toronto
Daniel Bell replies
Re A Canadian Iconoclast In China (Nov. 24): You report that “Prof. Bell’s well-kept house, as well as his background, suggest his family is of the class he thinks should rule China.” The implication is that I favour rule by the rich in China because I’m supposedly wealthy. In fact, I support political meritocracy because it allows for upward and downward mobility based on ability and morality, rather than class or family background. I myself had a humble middle-class upbringing in Montreal.
The article states I am “a target of scorn and vitriol from [my] academic peers.” In fact, I have written and edited more than 10 books published by leading Western university presses, such as Princeton and Cambridge, that have been generally well received by my academic peers.
Daniel A. Bell, Beijing
Car prices are relative
Re Car Prices To Soar As Ottawa Takes Aim At Emissions (Report on Business, Nov. 28): It is vital for Canada’s auto industry that our regulations be harmonized with those of the U.S.; we simply cannot operate with different rules for different jurisdictions.
All regulations come with a cost. This one will add incrementally to the price of a new car over the next decade. But today’s consumers are already benefiting from stronger-than-ever new-vehicle affordability; new car prices are at their lowest levels in more than 20 years.
The new costs associated with aggressive GHG targets will save consumers thousands of dollars over the lives of their vehicles and help reduce GHG emissions.
Michael Hatch, chief economist, Canadian Automobile Dealers Association
The boos weren’t all aimed at Justin Bieber (Bieber’s Class Act – editorial, Nov. 28): Most were for the CFL organizing staff who felt he represented an appropriate form of entertainment for the primary CFL fan demographic (30- to 60-year-old males), whose hard-earned dollars pay for tickets and concession sales and keep the league in business.
The CFL brain trust seemed to think having him there would help rejuvenate the game. Last time I checked, not too many Argo season or game tickets were being purchased by 12-year-old girls and boys – and they never will be. I don’t listen to Bieber, and neither do my 17- and 20-year-old daughters. The CFL missed the mark by not one, but two complete generations.
Graham Farrell, proud Argo fan, lifelong CFL supporter, Toronto
Imagine being on stage singing your heart out during a huge event. Now imagine this taking place not far from your hometown and people booing you. How would you feel?
I know people my age who went to the Grey Cup because they knew Justin Bieber would be performing. If growing up means being disrespectful, I don’t want to grow up any time soon.
Carlyn Bujouves, Toronto
I was one of those who was offended by the photos of Justin Bieber, wearing overalls, T-shirt and backward baseball cap for a concert for his young fans, shaking hands with Stephen Harper in his business suit and tie. Really, the Prime Minister could have dressed more appropriately for the occasion.
John Lazarus, Kingston