Hockey’s hefty price
That was a great editorial cartoon by David Parkins on Thursday illustrating the ridiculously high salaries given to hockey players (July 3).
Tickets to games have become so expensive, they are out of reach for most fans. This, along with the NHL’s refusal to adopt the larger international ice surface, which would give players more skating room, improving the game and reducing injuries, the cataloging of player “hits” and the continued espousal of fighting and other seemingly unchecked violence is quickly turning what should be the greatest, most skillful team game into what old-time circuses and country fairs called “freak shows.”
Bill Boyd, Lakefield, Ont.
Right to refuse?
Re Do No Harm To Rights, Doctors Warned (July 3): Physicians in their professional role have a duty to provide services and procedures that are legal, medically indicated, within the physician’s scope of practice and competence – and in accordance with the patient’s religious or moral beliefs (not the physician’s!).
K.E. Phillips, MD, Ancaster, Ont.
Is this to be a country where only non-religious citizens are permitted to live according to their convictions (Does Doc’s Religion Trump Your Prescription? – July 3)?
If Canada is to continue to be a civilized society, we must tolerate all convictions, within reason. No Canadian should be required to act against their own convictions, unless accommodation of their convictions (religious or otherwise) would create an unreasonable burden for others.
Requiring doctors to refer patients to a local physician who will accommodate them is a reasonable compromise.
Doctors should be required to provide services they disagree with only if there isn’t a local alternative. A blanket requirement for all doctors to provide all services is an unnecessary burden to the conscience of physicians.
Jeff Breukelman, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Lost Mideast lives
My heart goes out to the family of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, murdered in an apparent revenge killing (Another Killing Raises Mideast Tensions – July 3). While I am as livid as everyone else about the recent murder of three Israeli students, I would like to ask the perpetrators of this crime the following: You have taken the life of an innocent boy. What did he do to deserve such a death? Now that his life has forever been extinguished, will that bring back the lives of the others?
And to those who actively promote the cycle of violence, Hamas and Likud: How many more innocent people must die because of your refusal to come together and forge a lasting peace?
Hershl Berman, Toronto
Patrick Martin writes that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, “set the tone” that encouraged the brutal murder of a teenage Arab boy, since he publicly proclaimed “May God avenge their blood,” referencing those who recently kidnapped and killed three Israeli boys.
However, this is an age-old Jewish saying that should be read in its literal sense. Persecuted Jews throughout their history have pleaded with God to take revenge, given that they were often powerless to take matters into their own hands. Mr. Netanyahu pays homage to this long tradition of Jewish suffering and, in fact, subtly but most eloquently discourages his people from taking revenge and argues instead that they leave justice to be meted out by God Himself.
Joseph Adler, Toronto
Under the influence
Re Ford Speaks About Personal Drug Abuse (July 3): Rob Ford blames his racist, homophobic and sexist language on his substance abuse, saying, “You say things that just aren’t you.”
In my experience, people under the influence (myself included) tend to say things that reveal exactly what they do think and exactly who they really are.
But, then again, I’ve never done crack, so maybe that’s the difference …
Bruce Reid, Toronto
You quote a Rob Ford fan who not only inexplicably believes that losing some weight makes one look mayoral, but also thinks Mr. Ford “did an amazing job running the city the past four years” (Ford Sees Support, Jeers During Holiday Tour – July 2).
For the sake of argument, let’s ignore Rob Ford’s racist and homophobic remarks, the lying, illegal drug use, public drunkenness, consorting with known criminals and questionable lobbying efforts on behalf of his family business and just examine his record.
My property taxes are higher than they were in 2010, but our roads are crumbling and pothole-filled, traffic is a nightmare, the same lazy mechanical street sweeper moves the dust around on the street in front of our house time and time again while litter collects on roadsides and in parks, TTC fares have gone up but service has decreased.
And when our water main froze this past winter, the overburdened city workers suggested that waiting for the spring thaw would be more expedient than a repair.
Where’s the “amazing”?
Victoria Brown, Toronto
Mayor Rob Ford’s admission that he is a long-time alcoholic and drug addict is too little, too late, and it does not justify his bad behaviour.
As the mayor of Toronto, he has an obligation to keep our community safe and secure from drug dealers. His refusal to meet with Toronto Police speaks volumes about his sincerity.
How dare he govern Toronto while not naming drug dealers? He deserves our sympathy for his disease and utter contempt for his continuing behaviour.
Dhanu Kothari, Unionville, Ont.
Spam? $20, please
The reason that we are cursed with spam is what economists call “market failure” (Spam’s Hot Buttons – letters, July 1).
Senders of spam are able to pester us with unwanted messages because it is free for them to do so. They take something of value, the receiver’s time, without having to pay any compensation. Change the terms and the problem disappears.
Want to send me an hour of messages over the coming year? My charge is $20, payable in advance.
Instead of having “opt in-opt out” rules, the government should require that senders have contracts with receivers. That is normal business practice. I have something the senders want – my time – and they should pay for it, just as they would pay for any other aspect of marketing.
Michael Poulton, Halifax
Re Target Asks U.S. Customers To Leave Their Guns At The Door (July 3): That Target’s CEO thinks shopping with a rifle is “a complicated issue” may go a long way toward explaining why Target has not connected with Canadians.
Stuart McRae, Toronto