I am one of the many fans of another hockey team who is now pulling for the Canadiens.
While it wouldn’t be the same as my beloved Ottawa Senators winning a Stanley Cup, I’d take great joy should Montreal win it all (Bandwagon – Sports, May 17).
It’s not about bandwagons or how many Canadians are on each team: Cheering for Canadian-based teams is about wanting your fellow citizens in other cities to experience the joy of a Stanley Cup, as opposed to the ambivalence in many U.S. cities when their teams win.
Some day (it’s theoretically possible), the Toronto Maple Leafs may play in the Stanley Cup finals again. When that day comes, I will cheer the Sens’ arch rivals. Perhaps not with joy, but out of a deep sense of national obligation to my fellow Canadians – even those who are fans of the blue and white.
Jodey Michael Derouin, Ottawa
In answer to your rhetorical question “Canada’s Team?”, I have to confess I hastily flipped the front-page picture of a Habs jersey over, so as not to ruin my morning coffee. Pathetic and childish I know. But hockey passions run deep. And when you’re a Leafs fan, there’s no end to despair and cranky petulance.
At least here in Toronto, Montreal fans can safely wave their Habs flags. From experience, I can tell you doing the reverse in Montreal is truly not recommended.
Vezi Tayyeb, Toronto
Fight. Which war?
Re The F-35 ‘Reset’: Is It Go Time? (May 19): As a retired general and a former chief of the defence staff, Paul Manson offers an enlightening, balanced view of the F-35, a complex, controversial subject. Canada is reaching a point financially where it can consider the purchase of a new fighter aircraft – something there was little support for after the 2008 recession.
Harvie Cocks, Ottawa
Paul Manson makes a persuasive case for purchasing the F-35 – which offers high-tech capability to fight the battles of past wars.
But is this a worthwhile expenditure of tax dollars when the greater threat is climate change, including devastating storms and flooding – most recently in Bosnia(Balkans Brace For Further Flooding – May 19)? Isn’t it time for the federal government, in consultation with provinces, not only to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but to plan and fund assistance for provinces dealing with catastrophic events?
Peter Williams, Ottawa
So Toronto Councillor Doug Ford thinks that the Griffin Centre, dedicated to treating developmentally disabled youth with mental-health issues, has “ruined” a neighbourhood, complaining no one told him the young people would be allowed to leave the home (Residents Back Doug Ford Amid Backlash Over Criticism Of Group Home – May 19).
How would he feel if a neighbour of the rehab clinic where his brother Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is said to be seeking help for addiction were to adopt the same NIMBY attitude and make the same complaint?
Stephen Moore, Regina
You report that there has been “sustained public backlash,” with critics accusing Councillor Doug Ford and those who live near a home for developmentally disabled youth of NIMBYism.
I wonder how many of them accompanied their criticism with offers to have the home relocated close to where they live.
Jack Tennier, Toronto
My husband and I head straight to Margaret Wente’s column during our quasi-balanced, delicious Saturday breakfasts. But Never Mind Those Nutrition Nannies (May 17) gave me indigestion.
Presenting the issue in terms of “dead end” research, “so wrong” and good foods/bad foods echoes the desire by my clients to have simple, definitive answers to ongoing questions. But our food systems have and always will be in flux.
I agree we should “eat real food, that you like, but not too much.” But Ms. Wente and others would do well to remember that carbs (which include sugar) are real food and that it’s too much of anything that trips us up – except research, which leads to “real health,” as evidenced by Canadians’ enviable lifespan and quality of life.
Mary Ellen MacDonald, consulting dietitian, Guelph, Ont.
Iran’s two sides
Re The Iran You Won’t Hear About From Ottawa (May 17): “Obviously [Art DeFehr’s tour group] didn’t meet the Revolutionary Guards or secret police, very nasty parts of the regime,” Jeffery Simpson writes in his column about extolling the positives about Iran.
Mr. DeFehr, a Canadian businessman, suggests we should embrace Iran’s desire to be part of the international community.
The March, 2013, report of the U.K. human rights organization Freedom from Torture catalogues 50 documented cases of horrific brutality and abuse perpetuated by Iranian authorities against Iran’s citizens, mostly for exercising free speech about torture and imprisonment around the time of the 2009 election in that country.
“Torture in Iran is systemic,” the organization reported last year, “and unlikely to cease as an immediate consequence of the recent positive, but modest developments signalled by President Hassan Rouhani … Even now, in 2013, almost 30 per cent of Freedom from Torture’s current treatment clients are of Iranian origin.”
Mr. Simpson hails Mr. DeFehr’s perspective as “much more nuanced … than anything currently found in Ottawa.”
Maybe so. But how about a more nuanced column?
Allan Levine, Winnipeg
That Ms. Reno
In his report from the Cannes film festival, Liam Lacey mentions the screening of the restored version of Léolo, a classic Québécois film made in 1992 (Ryan Reynolds’s Career Takes A Dark Twist – Arts, May 17.
Since most Anglos are unfamiliar with Léolo, it’s worth mentioning that one of the stars of the film, Ginette Reno, is the same Ginette Reno who has been inspiring les Canadiens and fans across the country by singing a spirited version of O Canada before each playoff game in Montreal.
R. B. Fleming, Argyle, Ont.
That king job
Re In His Own Words: Prince Charles On His Charities And Love For Canada (Folio, May 17): Prince Charles has done wonderful work with his charities, no question. Isn’t the real motivation, though, that he still doesn’t have the job he was destined for?
His substitute job (while he waits and waits and waits for his real job) has really become his true vocation. In a twist of fate, perhaps the Prince has found the job he was really suited for.
As for the king job? When it happens, it will most likely be a letdown. Oh well. Keep calm and charity on.
Douglas Cornish, Ottawa