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Auditor-General Michael Ferguson says the federal government cannot account for billions of dollars that were earmarked for combatting terrorism. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Auditor-General Michael Ferguson says the federal government cannot account for billions of dollars that were earmarked for combatting terrorism. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

What readers think

May 2: $3.1-billion? Follow the money – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Follow the money

Re Money Trail Lost (May 1): Are we allowed to ask about the root causes of the Harper government’s failure to track more than $3-billion in anti-terror funding, or would that constitute “committing accountability”?

Stephen Moore, Regina

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Your editorial on the Auditor-General’s report on counterterrorism spending misses the point by a country mile and introduces a complacency that is unwarranted (Metamorphosis – May 1).

The Public Safety department will never be in a position to manage all government activity on counterterrorism, and complex spending disbursements across the many agencies of the Canadian security and intelligence community will remain a reality. The problem revealed by the A-G’s report is lack of strategic review, and with it, lack of leadership.

As the 2004 National Security Strategy emphasized, the key to effective Canadian counterterrorism efforts is integration. Without strategic review of spending, to allow for monitoring and adaptation to an ever-changing security environment, integration is impossible, leadership is impossible.

The government’s response to the A-G’s report contained the usual dollop of fudge. Your editorial will not stiffen any spines in Ottawa.

Wesley Wark, visiting professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa

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One has to wonder, just how effective is a gazebo as an outpost against international terrorism? How many gazebos can one buy with $3.1-billion, anyway?

George Todd, Guelph, Ont.

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Sports sexuality

Female athletes make huge sacrifices to achieve athletic excellence and do so in relative obscurity (The Double Standard Of Sports Sexuality – May 1). The Canadian women’s basketball team, for example, is ranked ninth the world (FIBA); they qualified for the 2012 Olympics. The men’s national team is ranked 26th. Guess who gets the support and media coverage?

When will the media, universities and sports/funding bodies catch up to women athletes? They are not going away and deserve respect and inclusive, equal treatment on all fronts.

Denny Raincock, Penticton, B.C.

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Re It Is The 21st Century, Right? (Sports, April 29): In 1973, sports editor Jim Vipond assigned me as a freelancer to write for The Globe’s sports pages as the first of the “new wave” of women sportswriters. Chiefly, I wrote profiles of professional athletes, covering their off-season activities.

As far back as 1936, The Globe hired female sportswriter Bobbie Rosenfeld, Olympic gold medalist in the 400-metre relay at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. In 1979, Alison Gordon was the first female sportswriter in the American League to cover the Blue Jays for the Toronto Star, a time when women were definitely a rarity.

Players displayed their resentment in various shock-jock degrees. Ms. Gordon recounts an occasion when Reggie Jackson, routinely naked in the dressing room, kept reporters – she was the only woman – waiting for a quote. He could be seen in the training room fully dressed. When he finally appeared before the reporters, he turned his back on them and dropped his trousers.

I asked Ms. Gordon about the title of her book Foul Balls: Five Years in the American League. She said, “If you’ve ever been in a baseball players’ dressing room in August, you would know.” I never was, at any time of year, and I don’t know what I would have done at that time about players calling women sportswriters “pecker checkers.”

And now we have the grapes of Don Cherry’s antediluvian wrath.

Iris Nowell, Toronto

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M.I.A. in Top 50

Restaurant magazine just announced its picks for the 50 best restaurants in the world (Spanish Brothers Reign In Restaurant World – online, April 30). Not a Canadian restaurant to be found.

South Africa? Check. Greece? Yes. Brazil? You bet. Mexico? Si. Germany? Ja. The Netherlands? Yup. Peru? Trek 15 miles straight up into the Andes and you can barely breath, never mind eat. But it’s there, too.

Where’s Canada? Do we not do great food?

Are we so boring, eh, that we’re middle-of-the road? Why do we have zero profile in the top 50?

John Gilmour, Toronto

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Just wondering

Re OLG Executive Compensation ‘Unacceptable,’ Minister Says (May 1): If an already highly paid employee at the OLG gets a 24-per-cent pay increase for taking on two “executive” roles instead of one, doesn’t that mean that he was severely underemployed in his previous highly paid existence?

Jean Cameron, Halifax

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Work/ers wanted

The continued criticism of Atlantic Canada for a culture of EI reliance frustrates me (EI For Canada’s Seasonal Workers Just Isn’t Fair – May 1).

Five young Nova Scotians recently drowned trying to put food on their families’ tables. Fishing is hard work, dangerous and seasonal. It is also renewable, traditional and locally sourced. Perhaps fishermen wouldn’t have to be as desperate to make a few more dollars if oil prices hadn’t driven up our dollar and reduced export markets. Maybe fishermen could get tourism jobs if that industry hadn’t been crushed by the same Dutch disease. I don’t think Ontario’s auto workers would be unsympathetic to those issues.

Want to explore unfairness? Why, in this era of telecommuting and online connectivity, do the great majority of well-paid federal government jobs remain in the Ottawa-Gatineau region?

Alex de Saint Sardos, Bridgewater, N.S.

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We have 1.4 million unemployed Canadians and 400,000 openings filled by temporary foreign workers (Ottawa’s Not Fixing The Program, It’s Just Managing The Fallout – April 30).

Why are we continuing to offer EI benefits adjusted for regional and seasonal factors? Why shouldn’t seasonal industries pay the opportunity cost of having local, trained employees on call throughout the year? Why is Canada making so little progress in training for the trades and apprenticeship programs?

How is it that foreign workers travel halfway around the world for temporary positions in Canada, when residents resist as much as two hours travel? How is it that well-placed employers and migrant brokers lobby a cockamamie solution when some visionary thinking and hard-nosed decisions could solve a number of Canada’s employment problems? The current situation sounds like privatized profit, socialized costs and usury.

Brian Yawney, Toronto

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E-spin the dial

Re Mastery Of Small (Letters, April 29): Children are stressed because they don’t know how to use a combination lock? Surely there’s an app for that.

Pat Lee, Vancouver

 

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