No one in her corner
I get that Tina Fontaine’s death was a crime – a crime that is perpetrated frequently across Canada on a small and identifiable group of Canadians (Premiers To Press For Inquiry – Aug. 25).
What I don’t get is why, given the apparent failures of prevention or prosecution, the white, male, middle-aged leaders of this country don’t see this as a problem. Maybe that is the “sociological phenomenon” that needs scrutiny here.
Stephen Tyler, Victoria
A Monday letter under the headline We Need Action (Aug. 25) quite rightly states that an inquiry into the missing aboriginal women will be a waste of time and money. The writer is right to say that education and job opportunities will help mitigate some of the ills suffered by First Nations people. Unfortunately, the litany of so-called epidemics listed reveals the dismissive bias of mainstream Canadians and this federal government. Shamefully, there is no national feeling of compassion toward the families of the victims.
What about the perps outside the native ranks? Will education and jobs stop their perfidy? At the moment, these women have no one in their corner, not even the Crown.
Hugh McKechnie, Newmarket, Ont.
I suggest that the chiefs of the First Nations support and force an inquiry into why native women are victims of such violence.
How? Suspend all major dealings with the federal government that are presently in hand until the government agrees to create such an inquiry, this year.
D.R. Rennie, Barrhaven, Ont.
While I’m struck by the plight of Ebola victims and I know that the WHO is working with African countries to control this terrible epidemic, my focus is on the photo accompanying Congo Confirms First Ebola Cases (Aug. 25). It screams for a different kind of attention – to the pillaging, corruption and other circumstances that breed poverty and bring harm to Africa’s citizens.
We need to establish a new category at the world court in The Hague: economic crimes against humanity.
Marilyn Minden, Toronto
My lawn is dead
Re In California’s Brown Fields, An Arid Future (Aug. 25):
California leads in water conservation. Our cities have the lowest per capita water consumption in the United States. We lead in alternative power and reducing greenhouse emissions. We fully recognize the threat, and we are responding intelligently and forcefully. My lawn is dead, my trees are on life support, no reusable water hits the drain. We are doing what we can and what we must.
Thomas Ward, Livermore, Calif.
Stephen Harper’s self-serving Northern safaris (editorial cartoon – Aug. 25) illustrate his strategy of exploiting this “great treasure house” while ignoring challenges faced by Northerners. This is evident as scores of military personnel arrive in Iqaluit for Operation Nanook.
For nearly 100 days, Iqaluit has been dealing with a crisis unthinkable in Southern Canada. The dump is on fire and noxious smoke is polluting the community. The City of Iqaluit is struggling with the logistics and has asked for federal assistance, hoping Operation Nanook might address a real emergency along with a simulated one. But the city has been met with silence, as though admonished to step back in line, to remember its role as backdrop for the Prime Minister’s pageantry.
And so after Mr. Harper heads south with the photos he came for and once again forgets about Northerners, we will be left with a shamefully appropriate metaphor: The PM waving to the cameras, trying to look patriotic in an exotic landscape, while Iqaluit’s dump burns just outside the frame.
Maxine Carroll, Iqaluit
Re China Broadens Crackdown On Foreign Missionaries (Aug. 25):
The missionary’s statement that “This is a land that needs healing” is outrageous and untrue. China is one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, enriching us with paper, printing, tea, acupuncture and a list that goes on. Not to mention that China has rarely committed any acts of aggression against its neighbours. The “Christian work” that needs to be done, given the atrocious histories of war and destruction carried out by Western civilization in the name of “God,” is an intensive study of Chinese philosophy and values. We have a lot to learn.
Robert Milan, Winnipeg
I love the game of hockey but bravo to Allan Rock for acting against a hockey culture of sexism and violence (Two Minutes For Putting Justice On Ice – editorial, Aug. 25).
When a player’s university career is “directly linked to their hockey,” as the editorial board writes, what kind of university career are we supporting? The behaviour of our university teams is all our responsibility. Rock on, Mr. Rock.
Kim Echlin, Toronto
The child’s needs
Alison Pick is having a difficult time deciding whether to go back on antidepressants (The Message In The Bottle – Focus, Aug. 23). Her answer is in her own article: She has a young daughter. When you become a parent, your child’s needs must rate above your own need to try to tough it out for the month, six months or year the author feels it will take to overcome her depression again.
I’ve seen in my husband’s family the pain and damage that having a depressed mother can have on children. It hurts them when they are small and you think that they can’t see what’s going on, and it continues to hurt them as adults. My husband’s mother chose to go on and off medication for her bipolar disorder during her whole adult life, and it wreaked havoc with her children, her marriages, her professional life, her children’s spouses, her siblings, her health and her relationship with her grandchildren.
Depression is an awful thing. When you have found a treatment that makes it possible for you to have an acceptably good and productive life and maintain a positive relationship with your daughter, how can you be a responsible parent and give that up? Your daughter is watching you, Ms. Pick. She wants you to stop and think of her.
Teresa Cooper, Winnipeg
Cake + have it
Re Quebeckers Have No Interest In Backing Absolutists (Aug. 23):
Comedian Yvon Deschamps said it best decades ago: Quebeckers want “an independent Quebec within a strong and a united Canada.”
Eric Blais, Toronto