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Montreal Canadiens fans celebrate their team’s NHL playoff win over the Boston Bruins in Montreal on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Montreal Canadiens fans celebrate their team’s NHL playoff win over the Boston Bruins in Montreal on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

WHAT READERS THINK

May 16: To Hab and to hold – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

To Hab and to hold

Boston strong? Boston gone! (Habs Win Series 4-3 – May 15).

Stu Woolley, Kingston

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It is reassuring to see speed, agility, crisp passing and true talent prevail over size and loutish behaviour. The fact that the final goal was deflected in off Zdeno Chara’s skate leads me to believe there’s justice in the world.

Brad Wood, Beaconsfield, Que.

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Re Canadiens A Team The Hockey World Loves To Hate (May 15): I’m one of those many Montrealers who love our great city but can’t stomach the Canadiens’ arrogance and sense of entitlement.

Like the Liberal Party of Canada, the Montreal Canadiens hockey club has long expected to win, even though it lacks the talent and drive to do it. Long gone or dead heroes, bygone eras and triumphs are used as hollow symbols of their supposed capacity to lead. Both have long, rich histories – their present and future, however, are rather foggy.

Habs teams have been generally poor in quality over the past two decades. The most recent instalment has done well – perhaps too well. Time will tell whether it deserves our respect or derision.

Deepak Awasti, Montreal

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Perp walk disdain

Re No More Perp Walks (editorial, May 15): There is no perp walk without The Globe and its media colleagues being there to record it. Those responsible for handcuffing and humiliating the three railway workers counted on the media’s being there to take the picture (Lac-Mégantic – May 14).

Next time, stand by your editorial. Refuse to print pictures of accused people.

John D. O’Leary, Toronto

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If one or all of these men are found not guilty, can the disgrace of your front-page picture ever be erased?

Hugh Jones, Toronto

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First Nations veto

You state the UN was wrong to conclude that indigenous communities have a veto over development projects on their lands, and that there was no legal basis for this claim (A Duty To Consult, But No Veto – May 14).

In 2007, the UN adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by a vote of 140 to 4. Article 32 affirms that “states shall consult … with indigenous peoples … in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands.”

Are you suggesting that those who drafted and voted for this article didn't mean or understand what they wrote?

Without the consent of the First Nations involved, approving the Gateway pipeline would be a violation of international law.

Warren Allmand, Montreal

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Nature: loved, lost

As I read about the memorial service for Farley Mowat (Friends, Family Celebrate Mowat’s Life – May 14), I couldn’t escape the irony of an article appearing on the same page about Alberta’s plan to sell crucial caribou habitat to the energy industry (At-Risk Caribou’s Habitat Up For Sale). This is a species that has seen its numbers decrease by about 60 per cent in the past decade.

I ask myself if any of our leaders have ever read Mr. Mowat’s books – the words of a nature lover who fought for the country that he loved, not for what he could destroy for profit.

Josephine Nicholas, Brampton, Ont.

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Job math, Part 2

Re Hudak Touts Tax Cuts As Part Of Jobs Plan (May 14): I am tired of politicians’ glibly using terms like unemployment without considering the underemployment of our precariat class. Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak would be quite proud of himself if he laid off 100,000 civil servants with college and university degrees and got them minimum-wage jobs so the corporations he seems intent on pandering to can exploit them for even greater profits.

Let’s not oversimplify a complex and serious problem with meaningless talk and myopic platforms.

Matthew Ferguson, Oakville, Ont.

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Some 30 years ago, I left a senior position in the Ontario Ministry of Health for the private sector. At that time, the senior management structure was: one deputy minister; one associate deputy minister; four assistant deputy ministers. Today’s organization chart shows: one deputy minister; two associate deputy ministers; 10 (at least) assistant deputy ministers.

Below them the number of director positions has flourished, like a virus. In addition, a number of Local Integrated Health Networks have been created, another layer of bureaucracy. While population growth over the years may explain some of the increase in management positions, I suspect Tim Hudak is spot on in believing that we can cut the size of the public service, using attrition as a simple first step.

I suspect an overall analysis of government staffing levels would show that aiming for levels of, say five or 10 years ago, would not cause the universe to implode.

Bill Bain, Toronto

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Big-tent politics

It’s wrong to attribute the current polarization of federal politics to the ideology, structure and strategy of the Conservative Party (A Party Defined By Its Enemies, By Choice – May 14).

Rather, it is a direct result of the fracturing of the big-tent parties, whose efforts to broker compromises across diverse interests ultimately alienated voters. Ever since, voters and parties have been reconfiguring along ideological lines.

This gave rise to the Reform (later Conservative) and Bloc parties, as well as a more formidable NDP, while the Liberals floundered and the PCs effectively disappeared.

Nothing better demonstrates the death of the big-tent party in Canadian politics than the Liberal Party’s recent declaration that its new MPs must be resolutely pro-choice. Such a polarized position would have been anathema to their big-tent forebears.

Larry Pardy, Amherst, N.S.

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Mimico-minded

Re Shanahan In A Mimico State Of Mind (Sports, May 15): Brendan Shanahan’s home town had a hockey team that once took on the mighty Leafs. Back in the days of Teeder Kennedy and Harry Lumley, I recall listening to comedians Wayne and Shuster broadcast an imaginary hockey game with none other than Foster Hewitt doing the play by play, with the Leafs just squeaking by the Mice.

But Mimico’s historic image is not about hockey or fighting. Since 1855, it’s been a railway town. In my youth, it featured a large roundhouse full of fire-breathing steam locomotives. Nowadays, the steam has been replaced by VIA and GO diesels, but the old tradition of a cold beer after a hard day’s work continues at the historic Blue Goose Tavern.

As well as Stanley Cup winners, Mimico can also boast of a Victoria Cross recipient, Flight-Lieutenant David Hornell.

Bob Bratina, Mayor of Hamilton

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