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WHAT READERS THINK

July 26: Credit-card bullying, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Credit-card bullying

Re Retailers Need Not Be Slaves To The Cards (editorial, July 25): The problem is not that credit-card users pay more for things because of credit-card fees, rather that everyone pays more, even if they use cash, cheque or debit.

In effect, there is a roughly 2-per-cent credit-card tax on most retail transactions. Retailers can theoretically refuse the credit-card payments, but will lose business if they do. Why?

Because customers are induced to use the cards by rebates and promos that are paid for by – wait for it – the retailers! They in turn have to pass on the extra costs to all their customers, which means that everyone not using the premium card is subsidizing those rebates. The card companies collect moneys at all stages of card use – selling them, collecting percentages, then charging interest at rates once considered usurious.

You have had editorials on the evils of bullying before. Can you not see that this is one more form of bullying, at the highest level?

Edward Syperek, Toronto

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Canada’s Queen

It was disheartening to read the carping letters of Julie Hughes and John Trent (Crown And Country, July 25) when most Canadians are celebrating the birth of an heir.

Among the countries that consistently lead UN and other international indicators of human development, at least 10 – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan – are constitutional monarchies. In the most recent UNDP index, six of the top 10 are monarchies.

The available evidence suggests that – to paraphrase Winston Churchill – constitutional monarchy is the worst form of government except for all the other forms that have been tried.

Blair Hankey, Lunenburg, N.S.

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The monarchy in Canada and the Commonwealth is a symbol of lifelong national service that is above partisanship. Elizabeth II also holds the title Queen of Canada: Canada’s Crown is our own and separate from that of the other Commonwealth realms.

Yes, we are a sovereign, multicultural democracy with equality before the law for all, and this has all been achieved under our system of constitutional monarchy, with the added benefit of having the lifetime of public service of Her Majesty and her successors.

I see no reason to fix a system that is not broken. Long live the Queen and Crown.

Ryan Patrick, Oshawa

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Baby George

Re George Alexander Louis (July 25): It seems The Globe and Mail can’t get past its preoccupation with the royal baby as it continues its front-page focus on unwarranted privilege. Anyone with a grade school understanding of British history knows that feudal lords and kings built their wealth on the backs of the poor and enslaved peasantry.

Let’s try to move past this idolatry toward the British monarchy and focus on serious news stories, like the cross-country tour of the giant Mike Duffy balloon.

Brian Sambourne, Toronto

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Congratulations on your coverage of the royal birth. Thank you.

Philip Jardim, Elora, Ont.

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“Officials at Kensington Palace insist the Duke and Duchess are just like any other parents …” Bless their ostensibly unpretentious hearts, but any parents who have officials (of a palace, no less) speaking for them on how average and normal they are, are not “just like any other parents.”

Vicki Ziegler, Toronto

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Your front-page photo of Prince George showed little fingers that appear to be waving from his swaddling blanket. Admirable proof of the power of heredity.

Andrzej Derkowski, Oakville, Ont.

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No ‘queer quota’

Re Lawyer Seeks Halt To Proposed Law School With Anti-LGBT Code (July 25): Clayton Ruby’s assertion that the covenant at Trinity Western University creates a “queer quota” is incorrect. The covenant is simply an agreement students sign while at school, and is no more disparaging of homosexual sex than it is of drunkenness. Furthermore, the last page of the covenant clearly states: “TWU welcomes all students who qualify for admission, recognizing that not all affirm the theological views.” Homosexual, Muslim and atheist students all attend TWU.

I went to TWU. I also disagree with the very premise of the covenant and what it includes. That being said, I at least understand it. The covenant in no way denies homosexual students access to the school.

Graeme Esau, Ottawa

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Far too modest

Re Premiers, AFN Meet Over Education Fixes (July 25): The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is asking the federal, provincial and territorial governments for help to close the gap in First Nation high-school-completion rates. The AFN says only 36 per cent of First Nation students graduate from high school, compared to 72 per cent for the rest of Canada.

The call to close the gap by just 10 per cent in four years should be an embarrassingly modest goal for a rich country; the AFN seeks parity by 2025. Again, far too modest a goal, given that a high-school diploma is the bare minimum for virtually any job.

It is a national tragedy that we continue to fail our First Nation youth because the so-called adults in the conversation can’t agree on issues of responsibility, accountability and a workable funding formula.

John Ecker, Whitby, Ont.

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All trains, all loads

Re Tighter Rules Set For Trains (July 24): Transport Canada has announced new emergency rail-safety directives, including a ban on one-person crews for locomotives hauling cars with dangerous goods. Had the cars at Lac-Mégantic been loaded with, say, drywall, there could still have been casualties as the derailed cars piled up in the town centre. All trains should be adequately crewed.

Ian M. Robinson, Vancouver

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Austen’s £10 symmetry

I’m happy that Jane Austen, one of my favourite writers, will be on British notes (Carney Makes Good On Banknote Promise – Report on Business, July 25). How unfortunate a choice of quotation, though.

Just ask yourself: Who in Pride and Prejudice would say something as banal as “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”? If your answer is Caroline Bingley, you are correct. She says it, a book in her hand, instead of actually enjoying reading it. A perfect, dismal picture of how literature looks from an economic perspective, perhaps?

I suggest someone start a second petition to drop the quotation.

Paul Dyck, Winnipeg

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How it would please Jane Austen that her countenance will now grace the £10 banknote. That is what the great author (generally neglected in her own lifetime) received for her novel Northanger Abbey.

Beautiful symmetry, anyone?

Glenn Walton, Halifax

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