Over the rainbow
Re Fresh Faces Take The Stage In New Talks (Sports, Dec. 3): It’s time to get both sides of the NHL dispute into one room, sit them down and make them answer one question: “Which of you here represents the Lollipop Guild?”
Dave Hare, Waterloo, Ont.
Campbell Clark (in Ottawa) and Patrick Martin (in Jerusalem) state in their article that the newly boosted Palestinian Authority is planning a diplomatic campaign to isolate Canada in the Middle East, contending that Canada’s stand against upgrading UN status for Palestinians has disqualified it from any role in the peace process (Palestinians Paint Canada As Too Extreme – Dec. 1).
Isolate Canada in the Middle East? Okay, so much for the good news, now what’s the bad news?
David Honigsberg, Toronto
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has announced that Canada’s envoys to Israel, the West Bank and the UN are being temporarily recalled to be consulted on what to do next and that Ottawa is reviewing its relationship with the Palestinian Authority.
Mr. Baird seems to have put the cart before the horse. Shouldn’t he have consulted his envoys and considered his relationship with the PA before casting his “no” vote?
Derek Wilson, Port Moody, B.C.
Canada’s polar role
The rapid decline in Arctic ice means that waters in the Arctic and beyond are more likely to be rife with ice islands, icebergs, bergy bits and growlers, all significant hazards to navigation (Marine Industries Beware: Ice Islands Dead Ahead – Report on Business, Dec. 3). These risks are exacerbated by the scarcity of search and rescue facilities, and compounded by harsh conditions. With interest in Arctic shipping growing rapidly, many new entrants lack the experience or capacity to carry out shipping operations safely.
We urgently need a mandatory Polar Code for shipping that addresses environment and safety concerns. It will require ice-strengthened hulls, measures to avoid harm to Arctic ecosystems and species, qualified on-board ice navigators, and capacity to participate in search and rescue and spill response operations. Canada can use its upcoming term as Arctic Council chair to press for timely completion of this important work by the International Maritime Organization.
Martin von Mirbach, director, Arctic Program, WWF-Canada
The real story is …
It’s a wonder that 55 per cent of Canadians still have faith in our democracy: This is a country where the Prime Minister, whose party received 40 per cent of the popular vote, wields near-dictatorial power; where unelected senators can defeat bills passed by elected MPs; where the representatives elected by 60 per cent of the population have relatively few options to hold the government to account (Canadians Quickly Losing Faith In Their Democracy, Survey Suggests – Dec. 3).
To top it off, Elections Canada is undertaking a major investigation into allegations of electoral fraud in the 2011 election. I’d say the story here is that only 45 per cent of Canadians don’t trust our democracy.
Joel MacDonald, Saskatoon
Our political woes seem to have achieved worldwide coverage in The Economist. Wait till they hear about the shark fin soup (Ontario Superior Court Overturns Shark Fin Ban – Dec. 1), the plastic bag revival (Toronto Scraps Ban On Plastic Bags – Nov. 29) and the circus on Queen Street in the big top known locally as City Hall (A Circus That’s Too Sad To Be Funny – Dec. 1). Sorry, no elephants, they’re going to California – at least this week (Toronto Sending Zoo’s Three Elephants To California – Nov. 28).
Have we made Pravda yet?
Helen Godfrey, Toronto
Your editorial One Spain (Dec. 3) pronounces that “Catalonian politicians should stop promoting independence.” As I recall, you had roughly the same advice for Scottish politicians. What business is it of yours if politicians in either country promote independence? How would you like it if a newspaper in Barcelona or Edinburgh started giving Canadians advice on their internal politics?
Patrick O’Flaherty, St. John’s
Unfair to Campbell
As a freshly minted lawyer, I worked in Kim Campbell’s office in the mid-1990s while she was justice minister and later minister of national defence and veterans affairs (From Redford To Marois, New Girls In The Old Boys’ Club – Nov. 29).
Away from the public stage, I saw Ms. Campbell at work. Unflattering words, most unpublishable, were lobbed her way by those who had the misfortune of being on the opposite side of her argument. Many of the issues of the day directly affected women. While there may have been more than the occasional dingbat in her way – most, alas, male – it would be false to place her in the same “dingbat” bucket. If that’s what’s seen by Margaret Wente, it is unfair. Let’s bring the eye chart closer.
Today’s women stand – as Ms. Campbell said many times of herself – on the foundation of great women who came before them, who had the courage and tenacity to brave a man’s world and shape it. They serve to lend courage to those women who would launch themselves into the caustic world of public life. Ms. Wente’s article was, in the main, spot on, but sadly, the one highly unfair “dingbat” remark leaves the reader with a decidedly false impression of the woman that Kim Campbell was then, and is today.
Peter Lugli, Alpharetta, Ga.
Not an insult
It’s hypocritical of families who take advantage of modern technologies to gasp in horror if they receive modern questions (What Not To Ask Gay Parents – Nov. 30). The mainstream willingness to ask questions such as, “How did you and your partner get pregnant?” should be seen as a victory for LGBT rights, and not as an insult or breach of taste.
Alexander Moorhouse-Reaume, Windsor, Ont.
I remember broadcaster Tom McKee well (He Knew Early He Belonged Behind A Mic – Obituaries, Dec. 3). However, I am a bit puzzled at the photo caption, which referred to Mr. McKee “selling everything from tea to frozen bull semen.” A card in the photo proclaims what he is then promoting to be “Delicious!”
I assume it is the tea?
Del Daignault, St. Catharines, Ont.