On the up and up
Re Pay Rising For OLG Executives (April 30): Paul Godfrey, chairman of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., can be expected to defend paying CEO Rod Phillips $673,000 in 2012 – after all, Mr. Godfrey’s board selected him.
Trying to justify OLG’s executive pay package, despite a salary freeze for public-sector managers, Mr. Godfrey tells us OLG is not like most Crown corporations. He describes it as a “hybrid” between a government-run agency and one with a mandate to generate profits and says OLG needs to emulate the private sector.
Someone needs to remind Mr. Godfrey that the OLG has now been running a government gambling entity for many years, with its modus operandi pretty well down pat, and with negligible competition from the private sector. Executive compensation should not be left to the discretion of the boards of such entities.
Rick Munro, Kingston
Paul Godfrey is certain that OLG is “lucky” – rather than “fortunate” – to have secured the services of CEO Rod Phillips. Given Mr. Phillips’s salary and bonus, perhaps “lucky” is the word; in fact, Mr. Phillips is entitled to feel that he has won the lottery.
Vernon Lediett, Guelph, Ont.
Queen Beatrix retires at 75 and abdicates in favour of her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander (Dutch Go All Orange For Royal Handover – April 30). An enlightened move for a modern monarchy. House of Windsor, please take note.
Duncan Bury, Ottawa
Shirts and lattes
Re Shouldn’t A T-shirt Cost More Than A Latte? (April 30): This is a question better addressed to the poor, who don’t buy lattes, but who have to buy T-shirts.
Rob Richards, Toronto
Much of our personal appetites for fuller closets emanates from the Wal-Mart phenomena, which led to the evisceration of North American manufacturing. Drive down the cost of goods until the bottom is reached. That bottom seems to be the horrendous conditions at factories of emerging nations, coupled with the exploitation of female workers.
The irony is that the cost of these goods doesn’t need to be so low. A low-end T shirt from these sources costs less than $1, yet can retail here for $20. Label royalties may cost more than the actual garment.
Western retailers talk loudly about their commitments to various green and social programs, but how many take the time and expense to vet the sources of their products?
Martin C. Pick, Cavan, Ont.
I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy. While it’s a bit difficult, I can still find made-in-Canada clothes. More importantly, I can find them at competitive pricing.
I buy my jeans at the Bay for $49.95, a good deal less than many made-in-China, Bangladesh or Mexico jeans. I find my T-shirts at Mark’s, for the same price as others in the store made in India, Mexico or Bangladesh.
When you factor in the decent-paying, made-in-Canada jobs, taxes etc. that large-scale garment production in this country would bring, along with relatively good employment-safety standards, it seems a no-brainer to bring the work back to Canada.
Al Ens, Chilliwack, B.C.
The new reforms to the temporary foreign worker program are “the worst decision this government has made since taking office” says Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (Employers Fume As Ottawa Tightens Rules – Report on Business, April 30).
Seriously? After the GST cuts, corporate tax cuts, annual government spending increases far above inflation, the omnibus crime bill, the gun registry, the G-20 fiasco, gazebo boondoggles, the failed purchase attempts of planes, supply ships and rescue helicopters, closing the busiest Coast Guard station in B.C., Kyoto, the Experimental Lakes Area, the Office of Religious Freedom, and the original temporary foreign worker program that lead to this latest requirement to reverse course?
I have to wonder whether Mr. Kelly has been paying attention.
Bruce Mason, Toronto
In the locker room
The controversy surrounding Don Cherry’s so-called sexist comments on the subject of whether female reporters should be allowed in locker rooms is ridiculous (The Right Thing – letters, April 30). These are perhaps the least controversial remarks he has ever made.
The presence of female reporters in locker rooms is not up to Don Cherry, the CBC, women’s-rights groups, the NHL, you or me. It’s up to the players. If they’re okay with female reporters seeing them naked, then so be it. If not, women shouldn’t be allowed in. Period.
Now, can we please get back to the nonsensical Pavlovian lionizing of 20 or so young millionaires who pointlessly bat rubber spheres back and forth for our amusement?
David Williams, Ottawa
Rob Ford asserts that hell will freeze over before he supports new fees and taxes to fund transit (Councillors Promote Scarborough Subway – April 30).
The presence of the Leafs in the playoffs suggests this may happen sooner than he expects.
Michael Vollmer, Burlington, Ont.
Re Housing Great Art, At The Cost Of Renouncing It (Arts, April 27): The problem Lisa Rochon cites exists in Saskatoon also, where the renovation/expansion plan for the much-beloved, architecturally significant, structurally sound Mendel Art Gallery has been jettisoned by council in favour of a far costlier alternative.
Once finished, the renamed and relocated gallery/event centre would be an overscaled, multiutility, undistinguished boxy structure jammed behind a theatre complex and up against an elevated freeway. Like the projects mentioned in the article, this initiative is highly controversial and divisive.
The Freudian-sounding “edifice complex” – defined at jargondatabase.com as “the tendency of politicians to have large buildings and stadiums built as a concrete reminder of their ‘legacy’ ” – is one explanation at work in these cases.
A headline on a column in The Guardian put a finer point on it: “Size is everything to a mayor consumed by edifice complex.”
David Geary, Saskatoon
Ye cannae say that
It was good to see the story about kilts – unfortunate, however, that it should have incorporated the words “the smartest dress remains the kilt” (What’s Beneath The Kilt? Science – April 29). Dress?! Ye gods, calling a kilt a dress is the kind of slur that starts wars.
Bruce Martin, Toronto