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A photo of Omar Khadr, taken before he was captured in 2002. (HO/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A photo of Omar Khadr, taken before he was captured in 2002. (HO/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

What readers think

May 3: Omar Khadr’s silenced voice, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Omar Khadr’s voice

In overruling a prison warden and refusing the press access to Omar Khadr, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is simply following the well-established policy of his party and its leader: Choke off information to control the message (Let Omar Khadr Speak To The Media – editorial, May 2).

If backbenchers are not allowed to speak their minds, why should a prisoner be given that right? This government does not want Canadians to make up their own minds. Knowledge is power and too dangerous for ordinary folks like us.

Jim Reynolds, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

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You write: “At 15, he was accused of killing an American soldier.” You do not say that the “American soldier” was a medic. And, under the Geneva Conventions, medics should never be fired on.

Bernard Derible, Halifax

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Vic Toews is correct: Omar Khadr has confessed. But as Mr. Khadr’s lawyer Dennis Edney has said, Mr. Khadr would have confessed to killing John F. Kennedy to get out of Guantanamo.

Most people familiar with this file are in agreement that, at 15, Omar Khadr was a child detainee when he was captured in 2002 in Afghanistan. His treatment by authorities since that time is a much greater danger to our democracy and the rule of law than any of his alleged misconduct.

Paul Tetrault, Vancouver

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In the future, please forewarn readers of any editorials concerning Omar Khadr so that we may be prepared with a box of tissue handy.

Ron LeMee, Toronto

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Define ‘accident’

Re Boy, 5, Fatally Shoots Sister, 2, With Rifle He Got As A Gift (May 2): There you have it, then – accidental death. According to the coroner of Cumberland County, Ky., buying a rifle for a then four-year-old, allowing that loaded gun to stand in the corner of a room in which a five-year-old and a two-year-old are playing, and then leaving the children alone in that room, is an accident.

David Oliver, Toronto

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So how long will it take for some NRA-type to tell us that, if the two-year-old had been armed, this wouldn’t have happened?

Roger Nguyen, Vancouver

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Rethink?

As long as the Prime Minister insists on absolute command and control, I fail to see how rearranging the bobbleheads (a.k.a. his cabinet and caucus) will make any difference (Reboot And Refresh – May 2). I have beleaguered Conservative friends who won’t even talk about politics with me any more, but I know they’re worried that the 2015 federal election will look a lot like this year’s B.C. election.

Katrin Horowitz, Victoria

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Voltaire’s vicissitudes

In your editorial Metamorphosis (May 1), you note that the Auditor-General was unable to determine whether $3.1-billion out of a larger allocation of $9.8-billion for public security had been spent. You write that “a large part of the explanation … is probably that various government departments did the things they were expected to do by spending the money allocated to them under each year’s budget, in the ordinary course of things.”

Perhaps, but could you tell us when Dr. Pangloss joined The Globe’s editorial board?

William Neville, Winnipeg

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Judge was right

The criticism in your editorial The Real Shock To Our Conscience (May 1) seems misplaced. If there was concern that this 12-year-old was hiding weapons, logic dictates that a full strip search should occur when he first came into police custody.

As you note, the protocol of only removing one piece of clothing at a time was not followed. I would also be concerned that a legal guardian or representative of some sort was not with the boy while he was searched.

The carrying of a gun into a school is totally unacceptable. Also totally unacceptable is not following relatively simple, useful and respectful procedures. The judge was right: The police failed when they surely didn’t have to.

Bill Engleson, Denman Island, B.C.

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Function, form

Re Mariinsky Theatre II Set To Debut Amid Grand Fanfare, Hot Debate (May 2): Architects are sometimes accused of ignoring function for the sake of form. Toronto architect Jack Diamond seems to have gone to the other extreme at the new Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. His design of the interior is being praised, but the industrial exterior, set among the city’s elegant 18th- and 19th-century classical facades, must be horrifying some Russians.

Andrzej Derkowski, Oakville, Ont.

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Eroding separation

The government’s move to significantly reduce the independence of Crown corporations without public debate is something all Canadians should be worried about, particularly as it concerns the CBC (Ottawa Girds To Fight ‘Union Bosses’ – May 2).

Because the Prime Minister’s Office wields such enormous power, it will effectively be the PMO, not the Treasury Board, making labour relations decisions for these Crown corporations. This unprecedented intrusion into the day-to-day management of supposedly independent agencies, coupled with the initiative to allow for easier terminations, is alarming.

With the erosion of the independence of Crown corporations, what would stop the PMO from telling CBC management that a reporter critical of the government had performance issues that needed to be addressed?

Crown corporations were designed to be arm’s length from the government for a reason. Stephen Harper wasn’t kidding when he said we will not recognize Canada when he is done with it.

Claire McKinnon, Calgary

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You are charged

I was shocked to read Michael Adams’s outright confession to committing sociology (Confessions Of A Homegrown Sociologist – May 2). And from his youth, not just as a passing fancy. I was momentarily encouraged, however, when he seemed open to stamping out this scourge on society, but he himself noted it would be difficult.

My mind turned to this government’s weapon of choice – the Criminal Code. Is there anything there that would cover it? I checked under “public nuisance,” but that didn’t really fit. So I’m calling on the government to add the offence of “committing sociology” to the Code. A mandatory minimum might be going too far, but I leave that up to them.

Margaret Young, Ottawa

 

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