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Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau. (FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau. (FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

WHAT READERS THINK

March 20: Justin Trudeau’s appeal, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Trudeau’s appeal

I’m sick of being told that Justin Trudeau has nothing more to offer than charm, brand recognition and good hair (Along Came A Kid With Charm, Brand Recognition And Good Hair – March 19).

What many columnists fail to recognize is that he also brings a passion and a love for Canada few can equal. He may very well encourage more younger Canadians to get involved in the political process because they can relate to him better than anyone else in the current crop of leaders.

Brian Tracey, Gatineau, Que.

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Justin Trudeau: hair apparent.

Elizabeth Finnie, St. Catharines, Ont.

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Many Americans chose to vote for George W. Bush for no other reason than his surname. It seems quite a few people are prepared to cast a vote for Justin Trudeau for precisely the same reason.

What has Mr. Trudeau experienced in his personal life that would even begin to qualify him for the job of prime minister? Add to that the fact that Pierre Trudeau was perhaps the most divisive influence in the history of this nation. Do we want to go there again?

Greg Longphee, Victoria

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Chrétien et al.

Writing about Jean Chrétien’s attendance at the funeral of Hugo Chavez, Lawrence Martin writes: “Mr. Chrétien’s being seen in the presence of the brutes who did show up – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad et al. – was not exactly an image enhancer.” This gratuitous slanging was absolutely unnecessary (Our Proletarian Ex-PM Still Plays The Outsider – March 19).

Jean Chrétien was in perfectly good company. The funeral was attended by more than 30 heads of state, including those of the Americas (with the exception of Barack Obama and Stephen Harper), and a host of other official government and multilateral representatives. Two other former government leaders, the ex-presidents of Paraguay and Honduras, also attended. (The complete list is easily available online.)

As for those who did not show up, everyone else at the funeral was probably relieved.

Brian Murphy, Ottawa

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Those we fail

The Globe opines, citing the Vince Li case, that Review Boards Don’t Know Everything (March 19): That’s true of us all, including editorialists. (Vince Li, a Manitoba man with schizophrenia, beheaded and cannibalized a stranger on a bus.)

What Justice Richard Schneider said was correct; the heinousness of an offence is not necessarily a good predictor of future risk. The Globe appears to struggle with this. I am sure that struggle reflects a similar view held by many members of the public who are understandably appalled by such tragedies.

That care systems failed people before such acts is not evidence that care systems will fail people afterward. And, indeed, the evidence for this is in the quotation from the psychiatrist in your editorial. The pattern of someone’s behaviour is understandable, anticipatable and manageable. Effective forensic mental-health systems understand this and thereby very effectively reduce rick to the public, much more effectively than any alternative.

Sandy Simpson, chief of forensic psychiatry, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto

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It is baffling to comprehend why The Globe prefers the opinion of “one psychiatrist who used to work in Ontario’s system for those not criminally responsible” over the highly rational, entirely valid observation of Justice Richard Schneider, chair of the Ontario Review Board, about the federal government’s ill-conceived Bill C-54.

Perhaps The Globe would serve a far more valuable public function by questioning why the Harper government continues to fear-monger and promulgate a useless punishment agenda when crime rates continue to decline, and more pressing issues such as environmental degradation are ignored or actively denigrated.

Paul Atkinson, professor, School of Law and Justice, Sir Sandford Fleming College, Peterborough, Ont.

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Still moving

I felt ill after reading The Dish (March 16). The reviewer informs us that, “for an extra $15, chef Koji Tashiro will add the translucent ivory tail meat of a lobster that was whacked in half only seconds earlier. You can watch the other half twitch on the counter as you eat it.”

Is this what our humanity has brought us to?

Scott Kennedy, Toronto

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Keystone clout

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is correct (Redford Calls Pipeline Vital To Canada-U.S. Economic Relations – March 19). The main beneficiaries of Keystone XL are integrated multinationals such as Exxon Mobil that will ship heavily discounted, and thus low-royalty, raw bitumen as “dilbit” to refineries in tax- and duty-free foreign-trade zones on the Gulf Coast for refining into diesel to be exported at obscene margins.

TransCanada’s proposed Mainline Conversion to ship crude and upgraded bitumen to Eastern Canada uses an existing pipeline and is more acceptable environmentally than any proposal to export raw bitumen, maximizes economic benefits and jobs for Canadians, garners higher royalties for Albertans and tax revenue for Canadians, fetches world prices for Canadian oil, provides incentive to upgrade raw bitumen in Alberta, displaces all imports of crude oil, accesses the greatest diversity of world markets, and provides national energy security.

Keystone XL does none of that.

Mike Priaro, Calgary

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Bigger lesson

The most disturbing part of the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case was that two young men thought it was acceptable to rape a girl who was too drunk to consent, and that at least a part of their community seemed to agree with them (Can Versus Should – letters, March 19).

Before asking what lessons the students should have learned about social media, perhaps we should ask why they didn’t learn the more important lesson about consent. The rape, the sharing of the photos and the widespread victim-blaming all reflect a similar underlying contempt for women’s rights and the importance of consent – and not just a misuse of social media.

Allison Render, Montreal

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And having writ …

It would have been tough for General James Wolfe to have written a letter in 1798, considering he died at the Plains of Abraham some 40 years earlier (The Case Of The Missing Letters. And Steam Engine. And Suit Of Armour – March 19).

Perhaps a ghostwriter was involved.

Richard Vincent, Ottawa

 

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