Where tourists go
So Maxime Bernier thinks that there are “great upcoming opportunities, including the Pan Am Games” to draw in tourist dollars (Destinations Defined – letters, Aug. 1).
The Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism should read Doug Saunders’s article on what the Olympics aren’t doing for London merchants (London’s Streets Aren’t Paved With Gold – Aug. 1).
Peter B. Edwards, Toronto
My wife and I have been to Las Vegas, New York and Florida, and with the exception of the Big Apple, we won’t return any time soon (Destination Canada – letters, July 31).
Rather, let me suggest Canadian places where our family has vacationed: Iqaluit on Baffin Island, where the sun barely sets in the summer; the Polar Bear express to Moose Factory and a water taxi to Moosonee, home of a proud Cree First Nation people; Banff National Park and the Columbia glacier; Churchill to see polar bears from 10 feet away; Newfoundland to see a 2,000-year-old soapstone quarry (nothing like it in the rest of the world – and we’ve been to over 40 countries in our “other” travels), plus a 7,000-year-old grave site on Labrador’s coast; the Gaspé, with its truly impressive views along its coast, and the famous Percé Rock that you can walk to at low tide.
All these Canadian destinations are spectacular – and our hosts were great.
David Enns, Cornwall, Ont.
Whey to benefit
A Danone Canada spokesperson states: “Chobani, an American dairy producer, benefits from preferential treatment by the Canadian government for the sale of its Greek yogurt, made entirely of American milk. This advantage is particularly significant … as it requires three times more milk to produce than regular yogurt” (U.S. Yogurt Maker Creams Canadian Rivals In Culture Wars – Report on Business, Aug. 1).
Evidence supplied for the court case showed that the milk used in the yogurt production costs 79 per cent more in Quebec than in New York state. Can someone please tell me who is really getting the preferential treatment here? Certainly not the Canadian consumer!
Greg Latremoille, Toronto
Ready, aim, lobby
Kenneth Epps’s claim that the proposed Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) “has never been a threat to domestic gun ownership” because it “reaffirms the rights of states to regulate transfers within their territories” is disingenuous (Farewell To Arms Treaty, For Now – Aug. 1).
In a country like Canada, with virtually no significant gun manufacturing industry, already heavily regulated international transfers are the principal source of supply of new sporting arms. Military weapons used in conflict zones will remain freely available on the international market regardless of any ATT, since they come from suppliers, such as China and the former Soviet Union, that have shown no inclination to exercise restraint or be bound by international treaties.
Gun owners are correct to fear measures that do not address the real issues, yet are favoured by groups with a clear anti-gun agenda, just as hens should rightfully fear “safety measures” proposed by the local fox.
Teri Jane Bryant, Calgary
The situation Kenneth Epps describes regarding the Canadian government’s kowtowing to the gun lobby and its lack of leadership in fighting for a strong global Arms Trade Treaty is a sad reflection of the situation we face here at home.
In June, the government stopped requiring gun dealers to keep even point-of-sale records for all long guns. With the gun lobby falsely labelling this requirement as a “backdoor registry,” the fact that it was in place with few complaints, long before the long-gun registry, was ignored. Even police who supported abolishing the registry, such as Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson, supported this control.
While most Canadians are horrified by the influence of groups like the NRA in the U.S., few realize the hold Canada’s gun lobby has over our own government’s policies, both internationally and at home.
Leslie M. Tutty, Calgary
I love The Globe’s Moment in Time feature and was delighted to read about the R-100 dirigible (A Moment In Time: Aug 1, 1930).
My grandfather, Frank O’Donnell, was chief weather forecaster for Canada at the time. He provided weather reports to the R-100 as it crossed the Atlantic and was awarded a medal by King George V for his part in the safe crossing. So what a thrill it was to read your feature. Thank you.
Diane Giroux, Toronto
The fun part
Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, wondered how playing the ponies at racetracks relieves his stress (The Reluctant President – Report on Business, July 27). Let me, with a little help from Temple Grandin, offer a theory on how that works. Ms. Grandin says it’s the seeking, not the finding, that’s fun, that gets the dopamine flowing.
So when we’re trying to figure out if the grey horse will win the fourth race, or if making a concession here and holding the line there will be in the members’ best interest, that’s fun. But, waiting until we find out, that’s not fun. That’s stressful.
For Mr. Lewenza, in negotiations, it may be years until he learns whether he made the right decision. At the track, he walks to the rail, waits a few minutes, and watches the ponies race by. Then, he goes back and does the fun part again.
Richard Stecenko, Winnipeg
And the winner is …
I was disappointed by the coverage of the decision to allow female judo fighter Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani to fight wearing a head scarf (Saudi Judoka Allowed To Compete In Hijab – Aug. 1). You presented this as a battle, an “Olympic clash of cultures” that “went to the fundamentalist Saudi Arabia.”
This should be seen as a wonderful, uplifting story, a victory on so many levels. It is a victory for the IOC, which was able to bring groups with differing views together, in a way that embodies Olympic ideals, and create agreement. It is a victory for the sport of judo, which will now be open, on the elite level, to many more women.
It is a victory for female athletes in Saudi Arabia, who now have the support of their National Olympic Committee and the IOC to compete on the world stage.
It is a victory for all women, reinforcing their right to freedom of religion and expression. And let’s not forget, this is a victory for Ms. Shaherkani, who is one of only two female Saudi athletes at the Olympics this year.
Heather Maxwell, Halifax
Pity the beleaguered Chinese Olympic teams and athletes. Or is it shame on them?
First, swimming marvel and record-smasher Ye Shiwen finds her efforts and ethics under suspicion (Ye Keeps Up The Gold Haul – Aug. 1). Now the Chinese badminton team, among other teams, is accused of deliberately losing games to gain advantage for teammates.
They can’t seem to win for losing. Or is it they can’t lose for winning?
Ken DeLuca, Arnprior, Ont.