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Aldous Huxley, in 1956. (AP)
Aldous Huxley, in 1956. (AP)

WHAT READERS THINK

Aug. 2: Ah yes, transparency, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Ah yes, transparency

Re An Official Nudge: Ottawa Looks To Shape How Canadians Act (Aug. 1): By odd coincidence, I happened to be reading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World Revisited (his 1958 follow-up to his 1931 classic) when I read your article.

I was especially interested in the statement in the Finance Canada document about how benign such policies could be as long as they’re “transparent” – followed by the news that the sections on “implications for Canada” and “next steps” were blacked out.

Carl Rosenberg, Vancouver

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Energy East, maybe

Re West-To-East Oil Pipeline Plan Reshapes Canada’s Energy Map – Aug. 1): Ontario is home to millions of potential consumers of Alberta oil. That’s more than enough market to refine it and sell it here first. Otherwise,Ontario should say no dice to any east-bound pipeline.

If the Northern Gateway route was a bad deal for B.C., the TransCanada proposal is worse for Ontario. Sweeten the pot or no deal.

Scott Gardiner, Toronto

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I wonder how people will feel once that pipeline map starts to show the waterways and cities potentially affected by the inevitable accidents and leakage.

Phil Soubliere, Ottawa

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Quebec Premier Pauline Marois says she will study TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline proposal.

If the study progresses to hearings, and history is any guide, she should pack snacks and a sleeping bag. As Richard Gwyn’s fabulous story of Canada’s first prime minister highlights, Sir John A. Macdonald and his colleagues sat for weeks of all-night hearings when debating the birth of the CPR, a key cross-Canada initiative. Macdonald remained “fragile and weak” for weeks after the corresponding legislation received royal assent.

Yes, the pipeline is a national decision. But Ms. Marois may want to stock up, just in case her own hearings drag out.

Steven Bright, Oakville, Ont.

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Genocidal policy

Re ‘Genocide’ Challenge (letters, July 31): Much evidence has been put forward detailing how the federal government in the 1940s knew full well that its nutritionists were starving First Nations children in residential schools for “experimental” purposes.

We also know, thanks to the report in 1907 from Dr. Peter Bryce, Canada’s first medical officer of health, that federal authorities were well aware of rampant TB on reserves and residential schools. The government of the day quite deliberately chose not to take actions that might have saved many countless lives.

Native children were forced to attend residential schools, where they endured beatings, starvation and sexual abuse.

The list is longer but these examples alone are violations of the UN Convention on Genocide and deserve to be recognized as such by today’s government.

Bernie M. Farber, Thornhill, Ont.

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Telecom choice, price

Re Ottawa Rejects Wireless Giants’ Policy Push (Report on Business, Aug. 1): By rolling out a red carpet of special privileges to Verizon, Industry Minister James Moore praises his government’s policy as one motivated by the desire for “more choices and lower prices for Canadian families.”

One wonders how this praiseworthy aim squares with the same government’s insistence on maintaining the supply management system, which – apart from hurting Canadian food exports and trade relations – means the Canadian consumer must pay artificially high prices for staples like milk, eggs and cheese.

Mr. Moore is either somewhat confused about the aims of his master in Ottawa, or a hypocrite.

Ivar Liepins, Toronto

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Force in policing

Marcus Gee wonders if Sammy Yatim might still be alive, had Const. James Forcillo been carrying a taser (A Look At Ontario Taser Policy – Aug. 1). I wonder if Mr. Yatim might still be alive, had Const. Forcillo been off duty.

Lisa Snyder, Toronto

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Several years ago in Winnipeg, my wife and I were chaperones at a high school dance. A gang of toughs crashed the “party.” Some pushing and shoving occurred. Police were called, arriving in time to see the gang’s leader pull out a hunting knife: a real knife, not a paring or pocket knife, but an eight-inch weapon.

The lead cop walked calmly over to the knife-wielding tough, and said: “Lad, drop the knife.” He didn’t. Again: “Drop the knife.” The tough made a somewhat threatening gesture with the knife, and quick as a flash, the cop flipped out his baton and whacked the tough across the forearm. The knife was dropped.

The tough was escorted by the scruff of his neck to the police car.

Now that was police work.

Derek C. Askey, Vineland, Ont.

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It’s not a salary

Re Doctors’ Salaries Rise As Provinces Look To Curtail Medical Costs (July 31): It is tiresome to once again read this common misrepresentation of doctors’ incomes as salaries. I run a general practice, and what I am paid is “gross income.” The gross payment, in my case, covers another person’s salary and benefits (my excellent medical office assistant), as well as my own, plus rent and all other expenses in running an office. Some doctors do receive salaries, but it is not the most common method of payment.

Peggy Lunderville, MD, Burnaby, B.C.

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Feb. 15, 2015

The Globe’s series X Day, on naming the August long weekend, is very Canadian in its attempt to find a common national name for what are provincial holidays. The August holiday is not a unique example.

Crying out for a national approach is the patchwork of holidays observed in February. The February holidays, like those of August, are provincial creations, have different names and are not celebrated in every jurisdiction. But there should be a national holiday in February.

Feb. 15, 2015, will be the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Maple Leaf as Canada’s flag in 1965. There is time to get a national holiday in place and for those jurisdictions that have a February holiday, to cede that day to a single national holiday. Celebrating our nationhood strengthened by the Maple Leaf flag’s introduction in 1965 deserves its own day.

The 50th anniversary is a great date for the introduction of a truly national holiday.

Greg Schmidt, Calgary

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Memorable …

The Moment In Time (July 30) about England’s 1966 World Cup victory over West Germany brings to mind one of sports writing’s most memorable columns. The morning of the match, Vincent Mulchrone wrote in The Daily Mail: “Germany may beat us at our national sport today, but that would be only fair. We beat them twice at theirs.”

Trevor S. Raymond, Georgetown, Ont.

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