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Exerpts from the death notice of William Bond, who served as a bedroom steward aboard the Titanic. Today’s topics: border security and the Conservatives; the rich and the many on Titanic; gender and sport; a Leafs model … and more (Tim Fraser For The Globe and Mail)
Exerpts from the death notice of William Bond, who served as a bedroom steward aboard the Titanic. Today’s topics: border security and the Conservatives; the rich and the many on Titanic; gender and sport; a Leafs model … and more (Tim Fraser For The Globe and Mail)

What readers think

April 14: Letters to the editor Add to ...

Security’s forms

Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner, parliamentary secretary to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, accused the union representing border security personnel of fear mongering for suggesting, among other things, that upcoming cuts will allow more child pornography into the country (Cuts Called Attack On National Security – April 13). Seems the Conservatives don’t like being told they’re with the child pornographers either.

Alan Sears, Fredericton

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How many border guards’ salaries does it take to pay for a gazebo? Only Tony Clement knows for sure.

Elaine Bander, Montreal

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Instead of using our tax dollars to pay for real security – the kind that keeps our food and borders safe – the Conservatives want us to pay for the illusion of security – the kind that prisons and fighter jets provide.

Jan Simpson, Winnipeg

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The rich, the many

Your article about Titanic (A Matter Of Class – Folio, April 13) was informative about passenger losses, but said nothing about the more than 680 crew members who also died. To their families, they were just as important as the rich and famous.

Bruce Cossar, Kingston

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Titanic’s sinking exposed and almost simultaneously began eliminating the assumptions behind the survival rates of the rich and the many. Titanic carried only enough lifeboats for about half those onboard; the lifeboats she had were on inadequate davits. Passengers had not been put through an emergency drill; many boats were launched half-full.

The attention to transportation safety since the Titanic disaster has not been seamless. Other sinkings since then, most recently the Costa Concordia, are traceable to complacency, if not outright stupidity. But there also have been notable successes, a legacy of the concern for the safety of all classes of passengers. And the only downside is that we have to be taught how to use a seatbelt every time we fly.

David Weatherston, Toronto

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It can’t be easy catering to the top of the financial food chain but executive chef Philippe Orrico seems to have struck a winning cord with a $1,930-per-person dinner marking the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking.

The menu at the Hullett House Hotel in Hong Kong is the one offered to first-class passengers on the evening of the sinking, including champagne salvaged from the wreck. Mr. Orrico explained that “we thought it would be interesting and funny to recreate the menu because it’s 100 years since the sinking of the boat.” (He failed to add, “and the loss of more than 1,500 passengers and crew.”)

I wonder: Will there be a 20th anniversary 9/11 menu with an “interesting and funny” re-creation of breakfasts served in Twin Tower restaurants just prior to the planes striking the buildings?

William Wiebe, Shawnigan Lake, B.C.

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Gender intransigence

The systemic discrimination directed by Saudi Arabia toward its female citizens (in sport and beyond) cannot be equated to the determined resistance mounted by the Augusta National Golf Club to calls that it admit female members (A Cover-Up In The Beautiful Game – April 13). Augusta’s acceptance of 20th-century equality standards (let alone the norms of the 21st) would be welcome, but Augusta is a private club. No one is compelled to join.

Saudi Arabia is an Olympic nation; the Summer Games – to which Saudi Arabia refuses to send its female athletes – are the world’s largest sports and cultural showcase. The Olympic Charter expressly prohibits gender discrimination. One wonders what our principled response to Saudi gender intransigence ought to be, but the silence of our federal government and national sports leadership is deafening.

Bryan Davies, Whitby, Ont.

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The Yvette factor

I doubt Hilary Rosen (Democratic Strategist Sets Off Mother Of All Debates – April 13) ever heard of the Yvette Rally. But for Quebeckers, she is a modern-day Lise Payette. It is a cautionary tale for Democrats.

Things were going well for the separatists during the 1980 referendum campaign, when Ms. Payette, a minister in the Parti Québécois cabinet, compared women who were federalists, and even Liberal leader Claude Ryan’s wife, to the docile Yvette of Quebec lore. Feminist sensibilities were ruffled, the Yvette movement was born and federalists had a new fighting force.

Don’t think Ms. Rosen’s intervention – saying Ann Romney, a stay-at-home mother of five, had “never worked a day in her life” – doesn’t have legs, or if you like, gams.

Howard M. Greenfield, Montreal

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Health and wealth

The Globe believes hospitals must show restraint and due diligence at the top (Be Happy, Tax The Rich – editorial, April 12). We agree. That’s why Ontario’s hospitals recently proposed overhauling executive compensation.

Hospitals would voluntarily adopt an evidence-based framework to guide boards’ decisions about CEO base compensation; implement a pay-for-performance program that would carve up to 30 per cent, or $47-million, out of existing executive pay packets over three years and force executives to re-earn it by achieving clearly-articulated provincial and organizational goals; voluntarily extend the existing freeze on executive compensation to five years – a year more than the public-sector freeze in the Ontario budget – for a $23-million savings.

Ontario’s hospitals utilize almost $18-billion annually in provincial tax dollars and employ 200,000 health professionals. An arbitrary policy that would damage the leadership of these important public institutions is in nobody’s interest.

Mark Rochon, interim president and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association

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Your editorial’s vigorous defence of high income earners – you argue against a surtax on people who earn more than $500,000 a year – ignores growing income inequality among Canadians and unfair taxation’s contribution to this divide.

Ontario’s highest personal income tax bracket (46 per cent) has not been this low since the Great Depression. This rate starts at $132,000, so it’s a flat tax for the rich. Billionaires pay the same rate as doctors.

Conversely, the budget freezes social assistance rates – despite these payments’ buying 60 per cent less than in 1995.

Canada is becoming more unequal faster than almost any other country. As doctors we know that growing economic inequality causes social and health problems that put more pressure on public services. It’s time for high-earning Canadians to pay our fair share. Tax us. Canada is worth it.

Rosana Pellizzari, Michael Rachlis, Tanya Zakrison, Doctors for Fair Taxation

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Body-part logic

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke (Lack Of Success Hasn’t Changed Burke’s View – Sports, April 11) referred to the building of Pittsburgh’s successful hockey franchise as the “Pittsburgh model, my [behind]” What body part should one use to describe Mr. Burke’s shaping of the Toronto “model”?

Steven Diener, Toronto

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