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Mayor Rob Ford gives a thumbs-down to one of the motions being voted on at Toronto City Hall during the last scheduled council meeting before Christmas on Dec.17, 2013. (PETER POWER/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
Mayor Rob Ford gives a thumbs-down to one of the motions being voted on at Toronto City Hall during the last scheduled council meeting before Christmas on Dec.17, 2013. (PETER POWER/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

WHAT READERS THINK

Dec. 19: Rob Ford is super, super sorry – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Super, super sorry

Re Ford Puts On One-Man Show At City Hall (Dec. 18): Toronto Mayor Rob Ford offers as an apology: “I am so sorry. Super, super, super, super, super, super, super sorry? So sorry?”

Minus the question marks, I am so sorry – in fact, super, super, super, super, super, super, super sorry, so sorry – that he insists on making a mockery of municipal governance and himself.

Rosanne Flynn, Edmonton

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Rob Ford violates the rights of others, then blames his accusers, seeking sympathy. The whole scene at Toronto city council is like a conga line of misfits.

Vince Last, Brampton, Ont.

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Isn’t it ironic that the man who can take control of city hall’s excesses cannot control his own?Sebastian Grunstra, Ottawa

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Lives on the line

Re Out Of The Fire – Just In Time (Dec. 18): The dramatic rescue in Kingston on Tuesday by RCAF personnel, risking their own lives to save someone stranded atop a crane over a burning inferno, showed us the value of our military. Far too often, Canadians do not give these brave men and women the credit they deserve for putting their lives on the line.

Our government should not be cutting corners when looking after their needs, be it treatment for PTSD or adequate pensions. Tuesday’s rescue was a wonderful news story at this time of year.

Larry Comeau, Ottawa

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Wanted: equity stake

Re CEO Rejects Energy East Equity Sharing (Report on Business, Dec. 18): The Wabun Tribal Council is made up of five First Nations that are among the 180 native communities along the proposed Energy East pipeline. Although we have begun early engagement with TransCanada, CEO Russ Girling’s statement that First Nations should not expect offers for equity stakes is presumptuous.

He argues, incorrectly, that the sheer number of native communities along the route makes the option too complicated. Given the developments across the country involving resource developers and First Nations, one would think that the sheer numbers would necessitate at least a conversation about an equity stake.

I’m glad to see that TransCanada has come up with numerous ways for First Nations to achieve economic benefit. Too bad they did it before asking First Nations what they thought about it, and excluding the one thing on the mind of many, if not all of those along the route – an equity stake.

Shawn Batise, executive director, Wabun Tribal Council

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Ukraine’s tug-of-war

Christopher Westdal’s A Prayer For Ukraine (Dec. 18) offers an intelligent, balanced assessment of the situation there. A recognition of Ukraine’s strategic location and appreciation of its real assets is necessary to understand the tug-of-war that has existed for centuries. Now, if the two major church organizations and supposedly well-meaning diaspora would just stay out of the game, there may be a peaceful resolution.

Walter F. Petryschuk, Sarnia, Ont.

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‘Abhorrent’ approval for Trinity Western

Re Lawyers See Problems With Law School’s Gay-Sex Ban (Dec. 18): It is abhorrent that the Federation of Law Societies of Canada has given approval to accredit a faith-based law school at Trinity Western University where students, staff and faculty are required to enter a covenant to abstain from same-sex intimacy, based on the notion that homosexuality is a sin.

The university’s president says this decision “does validate that a Christian university has a place in a pluralistic society.” A Christian university with values that are contrary to fundamental Charter-protected freedoms and principles has no place whatsoever in Canadian society.

In Canada, where the rule of law protects gay people from exactly the behaviour that Trinity University is exhibiting, we should not sanction an institute that proposes to school future lawyers in such a hateful environment.

Gilda Berger, Toronto

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Play ball, Montreal

Re Montreal’s Impossible Dream Realistic, Report Says (Dec. 13): The possible rejuvenation of baseball in Montreal is not as surprising as it might sound to those familiar with the small crowds during the Expos’ last days.

Montreal had one of baseball’s best-drawing franchises in the 1980s, when fans came from as far away as the Atlantic provinces, Vermont and New York State, injecting substantial money into the Quebec economy.

The rebirth of the Expos would be good for Canadian baseball, potentially creating a natural rivalry with the Toronto Blue Jays. Moreover, a new downtown stadium would help revitalize a city in need of a boost of pride.

Brant Moscovitch, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.

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O’Toole’s measure

Re The Loss Of O’Toole Is The End Of An Era (Life & Arts, Dec. 18): I enjoyed John Doyle’s column on Peter O’Toole – he was a delightful man to work with. In 2000, I played his butler in an ill-conceived movie, Global Heresy, a.k.a. Rock My World. He would come to me before we were to shoot a scene and say, “Would you like to run the lines, Ian?” and he always broke up on my laugh line – a great boost to my self-confidence.

At one point during the filming he said to the director, “ Let’s just shoot this without any rehearsal.” He then turned to me and added, “Is that all right with you, Ian?” as if my opinion was of any consequence whatsoever.

For me, one of the measures of a man is the way he treats his subordinates and Peter O’Toole met that criterion superbly.

Ian Downie, Ancaster, Ont.

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The late Toronto impresario Ed Mirvish brought in Peter O’Toole to establish a new repertory company in his Royal Alexandra Theatre, a classical ensemble rivalling the Stratford Festival’s. Mr. O’Toole announced that his leading lady would be a Canadian, Jackie Burroughs, whose outsized talent and ravenous appetite for life matched his own.

A theatre writer at the time, I interviewed them just days after the announcement. This was around the time of the scandal surrounding Ms. Burroughs’s Genie-winning role as a tourist sampling Mexican beach boys in the film A Winter Tan.

At 9 a.m., she and Mr. O’Toole were breakfasting on eggs and champagne. Neither looked as if they had slept; both were extravagantly cheerful, but also miraculously lucid for people who had been passing the hours and the bottle as enthusiastically as they obviously had. I went away optimistic that Toronto was destined to see theatrical wonders.

Regrettably, it never happened, whether because the O’Toole and Burroughs lifestyles were too at odds with Mr. Mirvish’s tolerant but serious sense of business, or because further planning revealed the costs of the venture to be too much for Toronto’s evolving business climate.

But it was a great idea while it lasted.

Doug Bale, London, Ont.

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