Re Defiant Wallin Calls Audit Of Her Expenses ‘Flawed And Unfair’ (Aug. 13): An independent audit, we are told, has shown that Pamela Wallin, a Conservative-appointed Senator, has inappropriately billed the Canadian public for $121,000. We are told she intends to pay it all back.
Why have there been no charges brought against any of the senators in the expenses scandal?
It seems to me that we do indeed have a two-tiered criminal justice system, with different rules for insiders and outsiders. When will our elected representatives start doing the morally appropriate, rather than the politically expedient, thing?
Probably around the same time hell freezes over. Please excuse my cynicism, it has been deservedly earned.
Desmond Colohan, Charlottetown
I understand why the Senate witch hunt was started. Whenever there is a whiff of scandal, the Ottawa-crats release a few expendables for the media to massacre. The goal is to put as much distance as possible between even the perception of “stink” and those who organize the hunt.
Then they build pyres and burn the bodies, as they are doing in Pamela Wallin’s case. As a former federal employee, I understand how onerous and confusing the multiple reporting systems can be, and don’t accept for one minute that Senator Wallin tried to “cook the books.” It simply doesn’t fit the Pamela Wallin whom Canadians came to respect as a journalist, public speaker, fundraiser and excellent representative of Canada.
Tom Philp, Peterborough, Ont.
The RCMP shouldn’t be investigating individual senators, but rather the management of an institution that doesn’t have the expected control systems for expenses in place, and which has issued a purchase order to Deloitte to do what should have been done internally in the first place. What are the consulting fees being charged to the taxpayer for this management lapse?
David Brierley, Toronto
644 km, 30 minutes
The Future Of Transportation: Tubes (Aug. 13): I have my diapers and a flask. Where do I buy my ticket for the Hyperloop?
A.L. Doyle, Toronto
Reading about Elon Musk’s vision for a futuristic transport system, I am put in mind of Hunter S. Thompson, who once quipped that it is better to be shot out of a cannon than to be squeezed from a tube. Were something to go wrong, I can see the opportunity for both prospects in this somewhat claustrophobic approach to public transit.
Robert S. Sciuk, Oshawa, Ont.
‘A couple of beers’
Re If Trouble Dogs Ford, It’s Of His Own Making (Aug. 13): So Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wanted to visit a childhood buddy in jail, and had a couple of beers and mingled with the crowd at a public event.
Sounds like a compassionate guy to me. But I’m not a journalist, so what would I know?
Irwin Silverman, Toronto
Rob Ford’s supporters suggest he is being treated unfairly and held to a “higher standard” than other public figures. Not so. Mr. Ford has a history of problems with alcohol, including a charge of failing to provide a breath sample in Florida, causing a drunken disturbance at a Maple Leafs game he initially denied attending, and recent and repeated allegations about drug and alcohol use.
We demand timely answers, transparency and honesty from politicians. Attacking detractors and silence are unsatisfactory responses. The claim of having “a couple of beers,” an amount unlikely to result in slurred speech in most grown men of average size, let alone of the mayor’s stature, seems an empty echo at best.
Robert McManus, Dundas, Ont.
Ribbons on a fist
Re Give Democracy A Chance In Egypt (Aug. 13): Recent events in Egypt underscore the truth that 21st-century democracy is not the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people, merely because one group has a few more votes than the rest.
When Mohammed Morsi chose to rewrite the constitution and sideline the judiciary, tyranny was already in the ring.
An “illiberal” democracy is an oxymoron. What democracy means today needs to be negotiated everywhere – across classes, genders, generations and cultures – but it needs to reflect an equality of voice and opportunity. Anything else is merely putting pretty ribbons on an iron fist.
Peter Denton, Winnipeg
Iran’s nuclear rights
Re Judge Iran’s Regime By Its Actions, Not By Empty Words (Aug. 10): Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird writes that the world will be watching to see if the aspirations of Iranians will be fulfilled by their new President. Here is an aspiration Mr. Baird should acknowledge: There is a widespread agreement among Iranians that, as an independent nation, Iran has the right to nuclear power for peaceful purposes; this right is restated by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in return for a complete transparency.
Unless the U.S. and its allies accept Iran’s enrichment rights and replace the policy of punishment with a commitment to understand Iran’s position, the question of its nuclear program will persist, no matter who the president of Iran is.
Ali Orang, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Re Gibraltar Spat Involves Unlikely Allies (Aug. 13): It’s past time for Britain to relinquish its Imperialist history and return the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar.
As for the referendums favouring British control, it’s all too easy over many years to have the descendants of British nationalists vote in favour of their ethnicity’s control. How many wars will have to be fought over British ownership of lands far from its shores?
Frank G. Sterle, White Rock, B.C.
To their shame
Judging by David Parkins’s editorial cartoon on Aug. 12, depicting REAL Women of Canada as dinosaurs, it looks like REAL Women got under somebody’s hide.
More power to them as they courageously defend traditional families, obviously at significant personal cost. Our government is too chicken to help us. Ditto for many churches, to their shame.
Jane Pollock, Taber, Alta.
A big round of applause to cartoonist David Parkins. Brilliant. Funny. Dinosaurs, indeed. Could not have said it better myself.
D. J. Baptist, Toronto
Re Tired Of Waiting For The Throne (Aug. 9): How nice to see Foth writing again. With respect, though, the Sovereign is not “Good Queen Bess.” That would be Queen Elizabeth I.
The incumbent would be “Good Queen Second Bess.”
John Nigel Pepper, Pembroke, Ont.