Sports dreams/financial nightmares
The list of money-losing white-elephant sports facilities seems to expand endlessly from Athens to Beijing to Cape Town, but national, regional and local politicians appear ever ready to buy into the dreams for World Cups, Olympic Games, Pan Am Games and conference centres (White Elephants – Folio, June 9).
It took from 1976 to 2006 to pay off the debt from the Montreal Olympic Stadium. When will politicians learn to tell these snake-oil salesmen to go away?
Sadly, there seems to be a never-ending supply of political egos that can be stroked and who will then buy the dreams. The fiscal nightmares come later.
Ken J. Harrison, Kentville, N.S.
Re Canadian Economy Held Back By Ontario, Quebec, Oliver Warns (June 9): Between them, Ontario and Quebec account for a significant majority of Canada’s population. One would think that when their economies are facing serious difficulty, fixing the problems would be a top federal priority – and one would be wrong.
For Finance Minister Joe Oliver, it’s apparently enough to scapegoat the Ontario and Quebec governments. Talk about adding insult to injury.
R. John McLeod, Toronto
The Globe’s choice
Thank you for your wise advice to voters in the Ontario election: Vote for a Progressive Conservative minority government. Most helpful (For A Conservative Minority – editorial, June 7).
Er, just a moment: How do I vote for a minority government? There must be a way, since you advise me to do it.
Oh yes, I’ll enclose a note with my ballot: “If there is a chance this vote may contribute to a majority, please switch my vote to the Liberals.” That should do it.
Tony Capon, Kingston
An endorsement so qualified should never have been made at all. The credibility of The Globe would be enhanced if you had withheld your recommendation. Period. That would be an effective use of influence, but to back such a sadly inept PC offering in something as important as this provincial election is just irresponsible.
Some voters will refuse their ballot; you could have done this. What a debacle it is to which The Globe has contributed.
Malcolm Hamilton, Brampton, Ont.
Great. So the best The Globe can do, after highlighting the gaping holes in the PC platform, is say: “Vote for Tim Hudak – but not too many of you.” Following this rationale, one should hand a medical student with an alarmingly shaky grasp of anatomy a scalpel – with the assumption that, after he’s carved his way through a few unfortunate patients, he’ll have “matured” into a skillful surgeon.
If the body politic retains any shreds of the logic you have so willfully abandoned, it will clutch them as closely as one would a flapping hospital gown and hotfoot it out the door of the PCs’ operating room (to the nearest polling station).
Deborah Van Seters, Waterloo, Ont.
The Globe suggests that this Conservative minority you recommend should serve only two years. How does one do that? Put an asterisk on one’s ballot perhaps (*two years only, please)?
Lawrence LeDuc, Toronto
Sex workers’ safety
Re Who Really Speaks For Sex Workers? (June 7): Margaret Wente argues that those “who speak for the most vulnerable women in Canada” do not support the decriminalization of prostitution. Let’s allow those vulnerable women to speak for themselves. Sex worker organizations across the country have documented the harm caused by criminalizing sex work, including moving sex work into dangerous and isolated areas and lack of access to police protection.
The experience of sex workers and evidence-based research from lawyers, health-care professionals and academics shows that far from helping the most vulnerable, these laws deny women their constitutional right to security of the person.
Pamela J. Walker, Joint Chair in Women’s Studies, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa
The best way to test the sincerity of anyone who claims sex work is a profession like any other is to ask if it would please them that a son or daughter made their living at it (Let’s ‘Protect’ Piano Teachers – June 7). Sex workers deserve our clear-eyed protection. Self-deception is not required.
Jeff Fairless, Kanata, Ont.
Just too tired
Re Two Women, One Mindset: To Do It All (Report on Business, June 7): Nancy Vonk asks, “Where did the women go?” about the lack of females at the senior level. I have one answer for her: pure exhaustion.
Women still take on a significant portion of household and child care duties. There isn’t much energy to worry about making great advances in your career when you’ve barely slept the night before. I’d love to work on my career and rise to a higher level – but I’m just too tired.
Elaine Tindall, Vancouver
Up, up and away
Fascinating story about the Quebec inmate escape (Massive Manhunt Under Way – June 9).
It wasn’t until I saw the photo that I even knew we’d captured some of the crew from the starship Enterprise.
John Van Sloten, Calgary
Help to die
If ever there was a small step for mankind – emphasis on “small” – it can be found in your editorial on assisted suicide in Quebec (Collision Course That May Bring Change – June 9). Just one of the requirements to qualify is, “They also need to be in constant and unbearable physical and psychological pain, impossible to relieve through medication.”
I can’t help but wonder how many weeks or months of this unbearable state I’d have to somehow endure before some self-appointed medical god finally (and no doubt reluctantly) decided that I qualify.
This is not a serious step toward euthanasia. A hundred years from now our civilization will look back on this whole debate and wonder why it took us so long to finally accept the compassionate concept of assisted death.
Ken Dixon, Toronto
The new ‘awesome’
I enjoyed Sandra Gould’s approach – grudging, amused acceptance – to our evolving use of language (Grab My Awesome Parameters – Facts & Arguments, June 9). How, she ponders, would people who eat “awesome” pot roasts, witness “awesome” hockey goals, or shop at “awesome” sales describe an emotion formerly captured by that adjective: “inspiring feelings of deep wonder and respect for overpowering grandeur”? The new awesome, clearly, is “like, wow.”
Eve Gillies Toronto