'He is us'
The facts of this particular case - a 15-year-old with Down syndrome found beside her mother's decomposing body - are heartbreaking (Torment Of A Teen - June 30). The immediate outrage will be directed at finding those immediately responsible. However, there is enough blame to share.
If one truly believes that it takes a village to raise a child, one must also ask, where was everyone else? Fortunately for this girl, there were worried neighbours who intervened. Otherwise, the tragedy would have been greater.
Yet again, the simple wisdom of the cartoon character Pogo springs to mind: "We have met the enemy. And he is us." An accurate measure of a society is not how it treats its privileged. The true measure of a society is how it treats its disadvantaged.
Darrell Doxtdator, aboriginal advocate, Caledonia, Ont.
It's only fair
Greek protesters appear convinced that they can prevent the country's economic collapse if their crowds are large, loud and violent enough (Despite Greece's Austerity Vote, The Threat Of Default Remains - Report on Business, June 30). Perhaps it is only fair that the Greeks, having invented democracy, are now demonstrating its shortcomings.
Andrzej Derkowski, Oakville, Ont.
That fine print
Competition commissioner Melanie Aitken has much work left to do; nevertheless, we owe her congratulations for making such auspicious progress (In The War Against Fine Print, Bell Hit With $10-Million Penalty - Report on Business, June 29).
In the fine-print department, advertising air fares net of fuel surcharges and a plethora of government-imposed taxes is so prevalent, it can deceive only the most neophyte travellers. This does not make it any less irksome and objectionable. Airlines should be required to advertise all-in prices. Then, if they wish to attach a sticker to our e-tickets telling how much of what we paid has gone to governments and fuel wholesalers, we'll be glad to read their warnings.
Cruise lines often sell their product at advertised prices subject to fuel surcharges if the price of crude reaches a specified threshold before the ship sails. Canada should forbid this practice unless the conditions of the surcharge are as prominent as the quoted price and provided the consumer retains the right to a full refund if (s)he disagrees with the amount of the surcharge once it is finalized.
Patrick Cowan, Toronto
My son-in-law's name is Michael and he, too, is a Canadian (My Name Is Michael, And I Am Canadian - June 29). When he graduated with a PhD, there were no jobs in his field in Canada. He had to go to a university in the U.S. By the time Stephen Harper has finished with cutbacks, the only jobs here may be as jail guards.
Lenore Bridge, Goderich, Ont.
Marcus Gee writes as though Mayor Rob Ford's snub of the Gay Pride festival was a thoughtless oversight (Ford's Dodging Of Pride Week Gives Bigots Cover To Spew Their Bile - June 30). Torontonians' choice in the last election was - how did it come to this? - between two bully-types with unbelievable, unattainable platforms. The vote went to the not-gay one with the least-believable proposals. Coincidence?
Ted Syperek, Toronto
Rather not share
Canada has developed a very real supremacy in mining exploration and development (Shareholder Scrutiny Kills TMX-LSE Deal - June 30). If an Australian start-up wants to explore a prospect in the Congo or a Brazilian wants to look for oil off Namibia, they first list their companies on the TSX Venture exchange. Canadian geologists spent years hammering out a set of standards for the difficult job of honestly reporting reserves. National Instrument 43-101 is now a widely quoted world standard. (If a company comes up with a prospect or a new geophysical technique, the place to introduce it is the world's largest exploration convention, the Prospectors' and Developers' convention held yearly in Toronto.)
Why would we share this with anyone? Is it not possible to amalgamate all the major exchanges with each taking the lead in one area of investment and regulation?
Hugh Jones, P.Geol., Toronto
Diana at 50
Re Newsweek Resurrects Diana: 'Shocking, Brilliant, Or Cheap?' (June 30): If Diana's "friend," Newsweek editor Tina Brown, thinks this is the way a friend would behave, spare me from such friendships. Even in death, the media won't stop hounding her.
Marie Wong, Edmonton
Off the avails
Anti-human-trafficking organizations (and others like them in the "rescue" industry) easily interchange the word "prostitution" for human trafficking - a promiscuous use of the word "trafficking" (We Must Punish The Buyers - June 28). So if the worst that will happen from taking prostitution out of the Criminal Code is that prostitution will be taken out of the dark underworld where the Robert Picktons lurk, and into the light where we can quantify and examine it, I say let's do it.
Yes, it will mean that the "rescue" industry will no longer be able to raise funds in order to "instruct" police, lawyers, judges and politicians on how prostitutes are actually mentally incapable women who need to be disregarded when they protest that they want to sell sex because they have "Stockholm Syndrome." But isn't the work the "rescue" industry is doing now "living off the avails" of criminalizing prostitution?
Laura Young, Toronto
Two for one
Dual citizenship reminds me of having a wife and a mistress (Those Who Leave - June 29). It allows one to choose, based on the benefits to be derived.
Rena Hauver, Ottawa
Re Niko's Guilty Plea Will Act As Deterrent, Lawyers Say (June 25): What nonsense; in this case, the $9.5-million fine for paying bribes is petty cash.
As The Globe reported (Canada Among Worst For Fighting Bribery - May 24), Transparency International has identified Canada as the worst-performing G7 country when it comes to overseas bribery, ranking it overall with Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The message is abundantly clear: Law enforcement, if anything at all is done, will proceed slowly, successful prosecution is unlikely, and the punishment may be a fine smaller than the CEO's salary. (The CEO of Niko Resources was paid $16-million in 2010.) Some deterrent.
Jim Hackler, author of Canadian Criminology: Strategies and Perspectives , Victoria
Um, going forward
Now that Parliament has risen, I suggest that each MP stand and announce that: "Going forward" "at the end of the day" on that "level playing field," I solemnly promise not to inflict these clichés on the public when the House resumes.
Fred Vaughan, Sou'west Cove, N.S.