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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford turned down an invitation to a flag-raising to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Nathan Phillips Square on May 17. (Tim Fraser)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford turned down an invitation to a flag-raising to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Nathan Phillips Square on May 17. (Tim Fraser)

What readers think

May 10: Letters to the editor Add to ...

Pride and principle

If Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (Mayor Of Some – editorial, May 9), after all the publicity about his non-attendance at Pride, had any interest in showing support for the acceptance of gay citizens he at least would manage to attend the flag-raising next week to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

I know what I don’t take pride in – Toronto’s mayor.

I know what I do take pride in – Edmonton’s mayor.

Georgina Saunders, Edmonton

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As a Reform Baptist who adamantly opposes homosexuality and gay pride events, I wish Rob Ford would explain his personal views. For example, he might simply state that he does not endorse the event but acknowledges that City Hall gave it a go-ahead. Would it be any different for a mayor of the Quaker faith having to make an appearance at a Warriors’ Day Parade?

John Clubine, Toronto

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Tidal wave?

Let’s forgo the flowers and brunch this Mother’s Day weekend and instead ask our “radical” families to make a donation to Tides Canada (With The Tides – letters, May 9). Then, any mothers so inclined could face Ottawa and make a non-maternal gesture toward the Harper government. Mothers for the environment – think where that could go.

Helen Godfrey, Toronto

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The hard way out

After reading France Takes The Easy Way Out (May 8), I think I know how Moses felt on Mount Sinai. I seem to have fallen into a trance and auto-written the following:

1) Ask not what your corporation can do for you but what you can do for your corporation; 2) Taxing the 1 per cent will make no difference to the deficit (there aren’t enough of them) but, on the other hand; 3) From the maligned 1 per cent do all good things flow; 4) Allow unregulated financial transactions to operate at the speed of light (Einstein’s specious relativity theory); 5) While financial transactions aren’t connected to anything of material value, they add a much-need spiritual dimension to capitalism; 6) There must be a law instituted against second-helpings for Greeks; 7) Any move to the left is a slippery slope; 8) The French Revolution must be rescinded; 9) Hair shirts for the 99 per cent; 10) Free books on Hayek-type economics should be provided in schools and hotel rooms.

Doris Wrench Eisler, St. Albert, Alta.

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Chairman Mao, asked what he thought were the effects of the French Revolution, answered: It is too soon to tell. It is certainly too soon to tell about the possible effects of Mr. “Normal” Hollande’s five ways to be different from Mr. “Bling, Bling” Sarkozy. The French are easily bored and not known to be terribly fond of “normal.”

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Wrong message

Re McGuinty Sends A Message As New Fees Forced On Doctors (May 8): In 1975, our hospital lost 15 per cent of its physicians to the U.S. I considered the decision carefully then but decided to stay. I am near the end of my career now and will remain. Other physicians may not. The message this year to physicians working or considering working in Ontario is that their future will be subject to non-negotiable arbitrary actions by government. Ontario does not have a surplus of doctors, and this is not the message that should be sent to physicians working or considering working here.

John Blakely, MD, Richmond Hill, Ont.

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Bitter irony

One could hardly miss the bitter irony created by the juxtaposition of the headline on your lead editorial about China – Silencing Dissent Is Getting Harder (May 9) – and Brian Gable’s brilliant cartoon on the Conservatives’ huge omnibus budget bill. I can only hope that this headline will prove to be true of the Harper government.

Bill Lord, Halifax

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If, indeed, Stephen Harper stands “head and shoulders” above his opponents (Reins Of Power – letters, May 9), it’s only because he is standing on the shoulders of previous PC and Liberal leaders who, among other things, bequeathed him a healthy banking industry and sustainable government revenues. The reality is that this emperor has no clothes, though – compared to Justin Trudeau and even Bob Rae and Thomas Mulcair – perhaps no one really wants to see him undressed.

Mike Hutton, Ottawa

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Dangerous bragging

Why does the public need to know that the Underwear Bomber was a double agent and is now living safely in Saudi Arabia (Underwear Bomber Revealed To Be Double Agent – May 9)? Anyone who survived the drone attack knows who he is and now what he was. Bragging by officials has put a hero in jeopardy.

Jane Palmer, Kingston

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Insurance middlemen

I disagree with your article Watchdog Urges Greater Oversight Of Insurance Middlemen (Report on Business, May 8), which states that regulators have determined that there are “holes in the system’s ability to protect consumers.” The report found no consumer protection risks that would warrant changes to the present regulatory regime – where insurers are responsible to policyholders through binding contracts and for oversight of their agents; further, all agents, including middlemen known as managing general agencies, are licensed through provincial regulatory authorities.

The report did recommend refinements to strengthen and standardize existing practices; as an industry, we are committed to improving systems. Consumers are well protected.

Frank Swedlove, president, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association

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Ongoing protection

As a Mennonite with ancestors in the Stouffville region, I suspect they would be surprised by the actions of contemporary Stouffville Mennonites who are protesting the Freedom of the City military march as part of the War of 1812 commemoration (Bicentennial Events Decried As ‘Affront’ To Pacifist Roots – May 5).

In 1812, Mennonites were sectarians who sought to establish an agrarian, pacifist religious community. In exchange for non-participation in the war, they happily paid fines and hired mercenaries to fight in their place. It was referred to by a Mennonite minister of the time as “protection money.”

I highly doubt the pacifist Mennonite founders of Stouffville would be offended by this planned military celebration. More likely they would have counselled a letter of gratitude to the government for their ongoing protection of Mennonites’ freedom of conscience.

Kathy Shantz, Kitchener, Ont.

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A gentlemen, ay

The item about bagpipes (The Pipers’ Lament – May 9) recalls the old definition of a Scottish gentleman: one who knows how to play the bagpipes but doesn’t.

James P. B. Kelly, Unionville, Ont.

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