Re Wadena Is My Home, The Senate Is My Job (Feb. 13): Pamela Wallin’s heart may be in Wadena, Sask., but what’s the address on her health card, driver’s licence and income tax return?
Gordon Arnold, Regina
Pamela Wallin says she spent 94 days fulfilling her Senate duties. So, 94 days for $132,000?
Helen Schmidt, Victoria
Re Senate Shows Brazeau The Door (front page, Feb. 13): Great punishment for Patrick Brazeau. Now he doesn’t even have to pretend to be doing something for his money.
Ed Poli, Nanaimo, B.C.
Patrick Brazeau has shown himself to be many things during his political career: arrogant, crude and self-aggrandizing. But in terms of the criminal justice system, there’s another adjective that should apply: innocent.
Mr. Brazeau has not been convicted of any crime. Thus it’s premature for the Senate to suspend his privileges or for his “friends” in the Conservative Party to expel him from caucus. Surely even he deserves due process.
Joe Killoran, Toronto
Thomas Rosica’s article Pope Benedict Offers Us Another Great Teaching (Feb. 12) highlights again just how disconnected Catholic Church leaders are from the people they purport to serve.
Father Rosica, writing as both a pontifical “consultor” and CEO of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, fawns over Benedict XVI but avoids addressing the many issues that have presumably led to this once-in-a-millennium resignation. There’s no mention of the church’s alienation of women, gays and Muslims, and there’s certainly no talk of the many victims of sexual abuse the church has left behind.
When historians determine how this papacy is remembered, let the records reflect the painful and, at times, shameful facts of the past eight years and not the spin of a media-savvy apostle who uses his pulpit to cast the outgoing Pope as a “simple and humble” man.
David Napier, Halifax
When the original Greeks competed in the Olympics, it was as amateurs, during a time when all hostilities were suspended, in a sport that clearly had a winner. They returned home with little more than a wreath and the congratulations of their countrymen.
Countries now go into debt playing host to these events, building huge structures that crumble after a few years. The sports are barely recognizable, since they’re chosen for what looks sexy on camera. And the concept of amateur is lost when applied to sports such as basketball and hockey.
By excluding wrestling from the Olympic Games (Off The Mat – Sports, Feb. 13), the IOC has not only denied poorer countries a chance to compete on an even footing but has gone against the original Olympic ideal of competition at its most basic.
No fancy equipment, no rock music preamble, no sequined or scanty outfits, no calculation of scores to decimal places or slow-motion replays to determine a winner. Just two people, a mat and a clear outcome.
Izabella Cresswell-Jones, Toronto
Re Comedian Sarah Silverman’s Rabbi Sister Arrested For Trying To Pray At Holy Site (Feb. 12): Having been with the Women of the Wall at their service in Jerusalem this week, I would like to clear up some common misconceptions of this group and their activities.
First, Women of the Wall is not a liberal group. Its ranks include women from the entire Jewish religious spectrum, and they pray separated from men with a basically Orthodox liturgy.
Second, the worshippers, both the Women of the Wall and male supporters such as myself, don’t gather to protest against Orthodox control. We are there to pray and celebrate, and did so in a moving way this month.
Third, these leaders remind us of basic democratic rights, not liberal or women’s issues. Any democracy, be it Israel, Canada or others, is damaged when government authority monitors and regulates religious expression, education and practice.
Michael Dolgin, senior rabbi, Temple Sinai, Toronto
So the Toronto District School Board surveyed teenagers and found that the teen years are a time of stress and anxiety and worry about the future (School Study Paints A Picture Of Teens Under Pressure – Feb. 13). The mind boggles that this is news.
Might I suggest a short film arts course: the James Dean box set, the Natalie Wood oeuvre for matters of the heart, or even American Graffiti for group dynamics and launching to new possibilities.
In this arena, it would be acceptable for the trustees to plagiarize the work of earlier scholars. The worry, of course, is that a one-time survey with no context or trending is used to launch new programs that would come at the expense of, say, English literature.
Once again, I’m pleased that I don’t pay taxes in the City of Toronto.
John Madill, Oshawa, Ont.
We should all be sympathetic to the Ontario Conservatives’ impulse to improve our postsecondary tuition arrangements (Tory Plan Links Financial Aid To Good Grades – Feb. 13).
But if Tim Hudak and his party really want to “instill a bit of market discipline” as we compete against advanced European countries, then let’s treat tuition the way many of them do: Make it free.
Peter Ferguson, Kimberley, Ont.
Ahead of his time
It’s great to see that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford feels he can leave work at 3:30 most days (A Public Man With A Lot Of Private Time – Feb. 13). Everyone should. That’s what being on the gravy train is all about.
Michael Moore, Toronto
If the University of Saskatchewan is seriously looking for someone to determine why moose cross the road (Why Did The Moose Cross The Road? – Feb. 5), then they should hire those mammalian experts Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, who spent years trying to figure out “moose and squirrel.”
Since the end of the Cold War and the apparent demise of Pottslyvania, Boris and Natasha are currently unemployed and would be grateful for the work.
Ken Davis, Markham, Ont.