What a team!
Re Canadian Women’s Hockey Team Wins Olympic Gold (online, Feb. 20): A hockey haiku to honour the women’s victory:
Flying down the ice
On the wings of a child’s dream,
She shoots, she scores … Gold!
Mark S. Rash, Winnipeg
As a long-time, avid hockey fan, I’ve seen a lot of games. But few, if any, more nerve-racking and thrilling than the victory of our women over the U.S.
What a team!
Jim Regan, Dundas, Ont.
Re Tessa And Scott Lost Nothing – We Did (Arts & Life, Feb. 20): How refreshing to read John Doyle’s perspective on Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Like most people, I was upset about the background chatter of judges’ fixing scores, unfairness etc. He summed it all up beautifully and made the Canadian pair’s skating careers into so much more than tawdry judging and winning medals.
Heidi Reid, Vancouver
John Doyle’s dismissive article on what he describes as “by legend and rumour” the “chintzy” and “crooked” world of figure skating really got me ticked off. Those of us who follow this sport see great entertainment and a judging system that is as fair as could reasonably be expected.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are fantastic skaters who won gold and silver at two Games. This time they got the silver because the Americans were slightly better. What’s wrong with that?
Cassandra King, Clementsport, N.S.
Russia on display
Re Pussy Riot Clashes With Police In Latest Video (online, Feb. 20): We are writing to express our outrage at seeing the women in Pussy Riot punched and whipped by Russian paramilitary outside the ice palaces in Sochi.
How quickly the façade of the Olympic principles and spirit, entrusted to Russia, disappears. The whole world was watching.
Jan Andrews, Colleen Glass, Ottawa
It must be embarrassing for Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is doing his best to put on a first-class Olympics, but the Pussy Riot punk rock group and a women’s protest over a trade ban on lacy lingerie is upstaging his efforts.
Maybe he can handle the Russian men, but it looks like he can’t handle the Russian women.
Kenneth Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Stop the spills
Re Re Ottawa Aims To Calm Fears Of Oil Spills With Cash For Surveillance (Feb. 20): So Transport Minister Lisa Raitt wants to increase the number of surveillance flights to spot oil spills off Canada’s coasts. The old saying about closing the barn door after the horse has bolted might be updated with one about surveying the slick after the tanker has sailed.
We need to stop the spills by stopping the tankers from sailing.
Sydney Langhelt, Nanaimo, B.C.
Politics for sale
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak wants to contract out various government services to the lowest bidder – public service unions could compete with private-sector bidders in this race to the bottom (Hudak Pushes Plan To Contract Out Services – Feb. 20).
May I suggest we use the same means to choose our legislative representatives? Who can offer the same services, or better, for the lowest price? Current MPPs could also participate in this race to the bottom. We couldn’t do much worse than the way we choose our members now.
Connie LaPlante, Windsor, Ont.
Starting in 2017, the provincial Liberals will require public servants to pay half the premiums for life, health, dental and vision benefits, which taxpayers currently cover in full. Apparently this will save more than $1-billion over five years. What an excellent way to recoup the more than a billion dollars taxpayers must pay to cover the cancellation of two gas plants to save some Liberal seats in the last election.
John Morrison, Burlington, Ont.
What vets face
Given the Harper government’s love of pomp and circumstance, spectacles and puffery ($30-million on commemorating the War of 1812), it is a given that even bigger sums will be devoted to the anniversaries of the two world wars (Defence Department Fears Public Wrath Over Spending On War Commemorations – Feb. 19).
Canadians made huge sacrifices and it is clearly appropriate that this be recognized. However, given the sacrifices made by today’s veterans and the cavalier way they have been treated by the Harper government, perhaps a little less attention should be paid to pomp and more to the circumstances they continue to face.
Richard Cooper, Ottawa
Life is a balance between remembering and forgetting, and if you don’t get the balance right, you end up with the ridiculous situation that exists in Northern Ireland where the winners of the Battle of the Boyne in 1688 still loudly (often violently) trumpet their victory in annual parades to rub the noses of the losers in their defeat. The world is awash in plaques, statues, parks, obelisks, arches and all manner of tribute glorifying those who die in military conflict. We do not need any more more reminders that hu-mans are constantly killing others in the name of their country.
Paul Thiessen, Vancouver
What vets faced
Re Fundraiser Sees Winnipeg Invaded By Fake Nazis (A Moment In Time, Feb, 19, 1942): This mock exercise that was so successful in selling Victory Bonds was at first resisted by “horrified” local police, wrote Ted Burch in the September/October 1979 issue of Toronto-based content magazine.
“The memory of Orson Welles’s ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast was still vivid. … Somebody was bound to rush home for a rifle and start a pot-shot war in the streets.” But the police came around because the fakery was to be carefully controlled.
As to the role of the news media in the hoax, Mr. Burch wrote: “Trickery? Public relations fakery? Did the news media connive to fool the public into investing in war bonds? Possibly. But you’d have had a hard time selling that characterization to the young men who played storm troopers for the cameras or the journalists and thousands of others involved in If-Day play-acting – many of them fired real bullets at real Nazis before the war ended, spending the money that they’d helped raise. Many of them are still in various parts of Europe, under the sod.”
Barrie Zwicker, Toronto
The bare facts
Re Suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau Gets New Job At Ottawa Strip Club (Feb. 19): I guess now, from his point of view, there’s nothing more to reveal.
George A. James, Port Hope, Ont.