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April 19: Letters to the editor Add to ...

Another fine mess

Re Harper Government Asserts Control (April 18): Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says “the global economy is now presenting Canada with a historic opportunity to take full advantage of our immense resources,” adding: “These opportunities won't last forever.” He's right. They'll last until our resources run out. Then what, Canada?

Trevor Marshall, Toronto

The goon show

Jeff Blair delivers an elbow to the head of the NHL and its inability to confront violence (Carnage No Surprise In A League Where Violence Ingrained – Sports, April 17). The solution is simple: A head shot, and you're out. Better yet, an intent to injure, and you're out. There go the goons.

I suppose this would also spell the end of Don Cherry, who seems to have extended his welcome far beyond his wardrobe. His tirades were once a combination of slapstick comedy and hockey common sense. Great theatre, but the footlights have dimmed on this act.

Conner Steacy, Kingston, Ont.

.......

Why don't the Neanderthals just switch over to the Ultimate Fighting Championship and leave hockey for the rest of us?

Daniel Barichello, Oakville, Ont.

The colour of merit

Re Another Wildrose Candidate In Hot Water (online, April 17): Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith says she's “not concerned” by candidate Ron Leech's comment that he had an advantage because he's white. “I think every candidate puts forward the best argument about why they should … represent the community.”

When even his leader thinks his skin colour is the best thing he brings to the table, I feel sorry for him. His education apparently hasn't added anything to his merits that's not overshadowed by his Caucasian advantage.

Bhuvana Sankaranarayanan, Calgary

A national treasure

In the municipal dispute over preserving the views of downtown Halifax from the city's historic Citadel Hill (In Halifax, Opposing Views On Sightlines – April 18), I urge city council to safeguard its “viewplane” legislation for all Canadians and for the sake of Canada's heritage.

As a resident of Metro Vancouver, I have a clear and profound memory of my visit more than 20 years ago to Citadel Hill, with its expansive maritime vista, as an iconic site with an irreplaceable connection to Canada's history.

Carol Vignale, Delta, B.C.

.......

I recently visited Ankara and saw the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish republic. As I looked along the Road of Lions, I saw a very-much-out-of-place building. I asked about it, and was told it was a student residence. In the telling, it was clear this building was seen as an annoying distraction from the memorial grounds.

The problem in Halifax is that only in losing the sightline battle will people come to understand what was at stake.

Brian Williams, Belleville, Ont.

The salt of life

In the spirit of celebrating the 30th anniversary of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I find it troubling to demand that Ottawa should control how much salt Canadians consume (Learning To Live With Less Salt – editorial, April 18). Why not leave the option to each individual? Not all of us may make the healthiest choice, but there's no room for someone else, let alone the government, in deciding what, where and how much we eat.

Emilio Sanmarti, Kingston, Ont.

The life of potential

Your editorial statement that “potential” exports to Asia “could well include high-value-added” goods misses the point (The Car-Centric Canadian Left – April 18). Of course there's “potential” they “could,” but the experience of innovative and productive economies, such as that of Germany, shows that active industrial public policy is needed to ensure the attainment of this potential. It's these policies free-trade deals disallow.

John Jacobs, Gatineau, Que.

Katimavik pride

Like Adam van Koeverden (Katimavik's Worth Saving – April 18), we owe a lot to Katimavik.

My son was an unmotivated 17-year-old high-school dropout when he was selected for the program. His job was to assist a Grade 1 teacher in Moosonee, Ont. When we visited him, he took us to his school. We were overwhelmed when we saw children burst out in excitement when they saw him and his joyous reaction to them.

Katimavik participants also had to be house leaders. For a week at a time, my son was almost entirely responsible for running the house, including budgeting, cleaning, grocery shopping, preparation of meals etc.

It was a fantastic project, and I'm glad my son – now in college – participated. His Katimavik certificate hangs in his room, and he hopes to return to Moosonee one day to visit the teacher and the kids he became so fond of.

Karim Fazal, Oakville, Ont.

The bane of wealth

The way the British went about taxing the rich was not very smart (Taxing The Rich: Not As Easy As It Sounds – Report on Business, April 18). But that's not what we're talking about in Ontario. A very small rate increase on the richest of the rich is not going to drive them all out of Ontario or underground.

Besides, just because it may be hard to achieve some element of tax fairness doesn't mean the government shouldn't try. The Ontario NDP proposal is a good first step. The next step is to develop an international treaty that closes loopholes and tax havens.

Mike Luff, Ottawa

Itinerant misconduct

Re Investigators Grill Secret Service Agents (April 18): It's a simple truth that, when you're abroad, you represent your country.

As a young man travelling through Europe at the end of the Second World War, I remember the way America's image was disgraced by American tourists with their arrogant display of wealth and their disregard for local sensibilities. As a Canadian, I made every effort to distance myself and make my citizenship known.

Some Americans may excuse the behaviour of their soldiers in Iraq or the Secret Service in Colombia as “boys will be boys.” But as the rest of the world becomes less dependent and more assertive, such behaviour will only confirm the decline of American values.

Eventually, a price will be paid.

Keith Oliver, Cobourg, Ont.

Oh, the humanity

Now that the Titanic celebrations are over, make way for next month's 75th anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster. Get your Hindenburgers here, take a ride on an exploding blimp, free Led Zeppelin records …

Terry Toll, Campbell's Bay, Que.

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