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Alberta Premier Alison Redford arrives for meetings on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (AP)
Alberta Premier Alison Redford arrives for meetings on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (AP)

What readers think

April 12: Pipeline persuasion, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Pipeline persuasion

Premier Alison Redford’s Washington comment, that no particular project should be made to symbolize the whole phenomenon of a changing climate, misses the mark on two counts (The Persuasive Key to Keystone – editorial, April 11).

First, opposition to Keystone really symbolizes an evolving societal attitude against growth in energy consumption and global environmental degradation. Secondly, she can’t control people’s attitudes – that train has already left the station.

Peter Hodson, environmental studies, Queen’s University

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Casino canards?

Re Dead Man’s Hand: Just Say No To Casinos (April 11): “Casinos aren’t for cities on their way up. They’re for cities out of options,” says urban theorist Richard Florida.

Whether or not Toronto decides on a casino downtown or elsewhere may be about many issues, but it is certainly not about the greatness of the city or its potential to be great. If Mr. Florida’s black-and-white assessment is correct, how does he explain the existence of casinos in Melbourne (rated as the most livable city in the world), Brisbane, Edmonton, Vancouver (Richmond), Montreal, Winnipeg, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Miami, Monte Carlo, Lisbon, Barcelona and Madrid? And there are many, many more.

I haven’t been to either of Winnipeg’s casinos for more than a decade. The province continues to accumulate huge revenues from the patrons who do frequent them, and that includes my 78-year-old mother. But Winnipeg’s ranking as a great or not-so-great city has nothing to do with the availability of gambling. The rebirth of the Jets, however, is another matter entirely.

Allan Levine, Winnipeg

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I have noticed that the casino business, over the past few years, has tried to sanitize its activities by calling clients “gamers” and not “gamblers.” When things go wrong, however, they revert to being problem gamblers – never problem gamers!

David Schooling, Oakville, Ont.

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Bullied to death

N.S. Justice Minister Ross Landry’s attempt to quell the growing chorus of disapproval over Rehtaeh Parson’s death by suicide does not pass muster (Cabinet And Public Concern Drive Call To Reopen Case Of Bullied Teen – April 11).

Mr. Landry is reported as saying that he is “considering legislation that could prevent the distribution of disturbing graphic images such as the ones taken on a cellphone of the alleged assault” on the teenager.

We already have laws, including those against sexual assault, but they don’t work unless the employees of our justice system enforce them. Talking nebulously about potential future legislation is a cop out.

If the minister is serious about wanting to do the right for Rehtaeh’s family, and for other vulnerable young women, he will use our existing laws to achieve justice in this case. Now.

Amy McConnell, Toronto

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Government-speak

I believe letter writer Claudia Cornwall (Barbaric Here – April 10) missed the point of the objection to the government’s use of the word “barbaric” in its literature for new immigrants. The word is perfectly acceptable in private conversation, but certainly not in public discourse.

Once the word “barbaric” is attached to an obviously deplorable story, such as that of Rehtaeh Parson as Ms. Cornwall suggests, what prevents it from also being applied to matters far more contentious? For many people, abortion is plainly barbaric, and so is circumcision. What about how we treat our elderly? Government has a duty to be circumspect in its use of language.

Spyro Rondos, Montreal

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Instead of using the word “barbaric,” the Canadian government should have said we consider honour killings and female genital mutilation in other cultures as abhorrent as, say, sexually assaulting a teenage girl and putting pictures of her on social media, and the police not laying charges – as happens sometimes in our culture.

Eric Mendelsohn, Toronto

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No comparison

In seizing upon Israeli President Shimon Peres’s quote in the commemoration of the Holocaust, letter writer Dick Gerwin aims to score a point against Israel with regard to the Palestinians (The Threat – April 10).

The Holocaust was a state-sanctioned program of mass murder; its goal was the complete annihilation of the Jewish people. Any comparison, whether direct or implied, is to be condemned.

Martin Sampson, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

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Airport divisions

The importance of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport as a convenient access to Toronto should not be minimized (Renewed Attacks On Island Airport Roll Back The Clock – April 11).

Others airports that are close to downtowns (including in London, Washington and New York’s LaGuardia) offer convenient access to leisure and business travellers, and contribute mightily to the economic success of their host communities. While I appreciate that some people are concerned about potential noise and pollution, substantial improvements in aircraft technology have decreased both markedly.

David Langlois, Russell, Ont.

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Conditions at the access point for Porter Airlines are extremely crowded. There is little in the way of parking and consequently it is very difficult to meet someone on an incoming flight – not to mention the virtual impossibility of leaving a car at the airport while away.

Further expansion of the airport will undoubtedly lead to huge pressures for major redevelopment of the area. Once the camel’s head is under the tent, the camel is sure to follow.

John Hitchcock, Toronto

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Wouldn’t a 25-minute rail trip to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport nullify some of the logic behind the convenience of the island airport? Or at the very least, the need for jets on the island?

I’m all for Porter. What the company has achieved is remarkable. However, if the root of the matter is airline competition in Canada, perhaps it would be wiser for the government, and The Globe, to address why Porter cannot competitively move into Pearson.

Peter Smith, Toronto

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Hmm

Letter writer Tony Warren says that “to gain perspective on Mrs. Thatcher’s ‘legacy’ in the U.K., one need look no further than the expensive, stuttering rail system, the high cost of water, gas and electricity, the lack of rentable council housing, and the bloated remuneration in the financial sector” (A Leader’s Death – April11).

Sorry, but I don’t see how our issues here in Canada could in any way affect her legacy over there.

John Grimley, Toronto

 

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