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Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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Aug. 24: Dead money, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Guess who? The rich

The Conservatives have been so busy throwing money at corporations, the companies don’t know what to do with it (‘This Is Dead Money’ – Aug. 23). At the last election, Canadians were told to wait for income-tax cuts until the deficit is eliminated, while we needed to give corporations tax cuts to create jobs. That cash, however, is not being invested in business expansion.

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In contrast, ordinary Canadians know that they would make productive use out of every last penny if their taxes were cut. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney suggests that corporations give their accumulated cash to their shareholders if they have nothing productive to do with it. That means that the money corporations accumulate on the backs of Canadians with their tax cuts will be given to – guess who? – the rich. Ordinary Canadians and their children are left with the bill in the form of the federal deficit.

Larry Bukta, Minden, Ont.

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Common practice

I’ll grant that it is unfair how some teachers spend significant unpaid time assisting with extra-curricular activities. But while Jason Kunin (Better Before Best – letters, Aug. 23) may have four advanced university degrees, how do they improve his teaching abilities or results? Multiple postgraduate degrees rarely, if ever, improve one’s financial situation in any field of work.

As to spending time and money on additional qualifications in the summer, he will find that this is common practice among all professions and indeed required by many to maintain their designations.

Penelope Hedges, Vancouver

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Anachronisms

Re Anachronistic, But Not Augusta (Aug. 23):

More than a mixture of “refined rules … and relaxed social conventions,” gender-specific golf clubs offer married people a place to socialize without the attractive nuisances of bars and restaurants. Clubs traditionally provided a place where men and women were free to be themselves, among themselves, and away from the gossip, scandal, climbing and politicking of the outside world. In this age where nothing is private and everything is political, the grace these places afford must indeed seem anachronistic.

J. Francis Reid, Toronto

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As a member of the National Golf Club of Canada, I invited colleague Ann Donovan to play as part of a foursome in 1990. We played at 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday. (Female guests could tee off only between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays – with a member, of course.)

Everything went well until we reached the 10th hole, where a sign instructed that because the back nine was closed for repairs, we should replay the front nine. We returned to the first tee, only to be told by the starter that Ann could not play, because it was now 4:30!

She graciously insisted that the rest of us continue while she repaired to the club coffee shop (yes, they did let her in) for two hours, after which we rejoined her for dinner.

Graydon Harrison, Sarnia, Ont.

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‘I am drunk’

While journalists have long been known to be no strangers to alcohol, special congratulations are in order for Dawn Walton for so publicly embracing this aspect of the profession (Reporter Test Drives Province’s New Drinking Rules – Aug. 23), as well as for constructing one of the greatest opening sentences for a news article in Canadian history.

Daniel Lahey, Ottawa

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Double jeopardy

Two articles on the same Life page in the Aug. 21 Globe summarize two of the major problems with the Canadian health-care system: An intervention clearly shown to work (It’s the Quality Of Bedside Care That Matters) is grossly underfunded; an intervention clearly shown to be of no benefit (New Study Challenges Controversial MS Treatment) is grossly overfunded.

If primary-care providers, physicians and others, working in a multidisciplinary primary care team, were given proper compensation and respect, and talking-time and “green prescriptions” were seen as valid interventions, perhaps physicians could offer “quality care” and patients might feel that their concerns were being addressed in the most effective and safe ways by a caring care team.

Abby Lippman, professor emerita, McGill University, Montreal

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Unpaid fines

Re Tough On Crime, Tough On Costs (Aug. 21):

The Conservative government is marketing itself as tough on offenders in a new and different way: It plans to hire a collection agency to collect unpaid federal fines. The government contracting website appears to indicate that there are 22,313 unpaid fines, surcharges et cetera related to Criminal Code and other federal convictions.

That may seem like a large number until one considers that fines were imposed in 466,431 cases between 2005 and 2010, according to Statistics Canada. Assuming that they are not considering fines imposed before 2005 and that it includes fines for all federal offences, it would appear that the government is successful in collecting fines in over 95 per cent of cases.

One wonders how successful a collection agency will be getting that final unpaid 5 per cent. But one also suspects that collecting unpaid fines is not the purpose of this exercise – it appears to relate more to selling the government than in collecting money.

Anthony Doob, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

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Ego and other parts

I was appalled to read Advice For Wives From A Mistress (Life – Aug. 17). Perhaps in the past 20 years, while Sarah Symonds was living off of wealthy men in Abu Dhabi, Britain and the United States, she has missed the fact that most women are spending their days earning an honest living.

The “Wife School” Ms. Symonds dreams of starting should perhaps focus on empowering young men and women to have wholesome relationships that respect equality and partnership, rather than the subservient message she is advocating. How absurd to suggest that a wife’s role is to stroke the man’s ego – and other parts!

It is no wonder that even in Western countries today, women continue to be treated as second-class citizens. Even women continue to portray women as sexual objects whose mission in life is to cater to men’s every whim.

Dilshad Mohamed, Ottawa

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Naked Harry

Re Scandal-Loving UK Press Steer Clear Of Naked Harry Photos (online – Aug. 23): One reason is that he’s not the royal they’d prefer to see naked.

If Prince Harry has handlers, they obviously weren’t doing the job.

Ray Sutton, North Vancouver, B.C.

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Brian Gable’s whimsical cartoons often provide a much-needed antidote to dreary stories. In the Aug. 23 paper, inspired by the Prince’s antics, he has created yet another memorable cartoon by putting the “buck” in Buckingham Palace.

Giselle Déziel, Cornwall, P.E.I.

 

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