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Beverly McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada: Judge McLachlin said Friday there was nothing wrong with how she and her office consulted with the federal government regarding a presumptive nominee to the high court’s ranks. (FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Beverly McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada: Judge McLachlin said Friday there was nothing wrong with how she and her office consulted with the federal government regarding a presumptive nominee to the high court’s ranks. (FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

WHAT READERS THINK

May 5: Judged and jury – the PM and the Chief Justice, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Judged and jury

It is unthinkable that Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin would call Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss a case with him (Harper Says Chief Justice Tried To Discuss Court Case With Him – May 2).

This accusation is designed to strike back and undermine the reputation of the Chief Justice, as well as the court itself for having rejected the five latest government attempts to challenge the Constitution. The allegation by the PMO says everything about the Prime Minister and nothing about the Chief Justice and the court itself, both held in high esteem by the people of Canada. Barry V. Fisher, Lethbridge, Alta.

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Quickly, hands up, who do you believe in this matter? Stephen Harper or Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin?

I rest my case.

Peter A. Murphy, Brampton, Ont.

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Stephen Harper’s critics rejoice in the Supreme Court’s restraining him. But what about the demise of the supremacy of Parliament and its replacement with the American concept of the supremacy of their highest court?

An elected government passing laws its critics don’t like can be replaced in four or five years. Judgments by an appointed high court cannot be changed, often for a generation or longer.

Mr. Harper’s critics will not be rejoicing when or if the court’s rulings begin to support his government’s conservative philosophy. Then, they may bemoan the demise of the supremacy of the people’s elected Parliament having been effectively replaced by the absolute pre-eminence of the Supreme Court – notwithstanding a constitutional notwithstanding clause we’ve been conditioned to avoid using at all costs.

The Supreme Court has even established the principle that it can decide which appointments to its bench it will accept.

Richard Ballenthin, Durham, Ont.

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Mayor no more?

Calls for Rob Ford’s resignation as Toronto’s mayor are once again resounding throughout the city as Mr. Ford and his brother Doug head into the next episode of their personal version of Intervention (Resign, Resign, Resign editorial, May 2).

There is no chance Mr. Ford will voluntarily give up his job as mayor. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne needs to step up and say that if Mr. Ford does not tender his resignation within the next week, she will introduce legislation to have him removed.

It is ridiculous that Mr. Ford can continue to run for re-election as the incumbent, instead of as a disgraced former mayor who was formally removed from office.

Frank Malone, Aurora, Ont.

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Maybe rehab can cure Rob Ford of drug abuse and wrecking his body. But can it cure him of homophobia, misogyny, racism and violence – not to speak of his profound ignorance of city governance?

Ulla Colgrass, Toronto

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Many of us living outside Toronto are fed up with the wall-to-wall media coverage of Rob Ford. To quote Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Laurence Mackett, Victoria

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Retire this idea

The Liberals’ new Ontario budget has proposed an additional payroll tax for employees that are not in a employer pension plan (Pension Plan Would Cover Three Million – May 2). Small businesses are being crushed by the economy and the influx of larger businesses from the U.S. It’s hard enough for them to stay afloat. Now the Liberals want a new tax.

If this goes ahead, these businesses will have no choice but to tighten up and lay off some employees just to stay even with this new tax. Not much foresight.

Jay Harris, Toronto

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Price of 'free' speech

In light of recent events involving Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the NBA, it seems even some readers of The Globe need a reminder of what “free speech” really means. It conveys a right to speak without limitation or penalty from government. It does not protect the speaker from private repercussions. As a fellow private citizen, I can criticize you, boycott you and, if I happen to be the head of your sporting association, I can fine you $2.5-million.

Cara Gibbons, Mississauga

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In polite circles, splat

I was in Shenzhen on business in February and was pleasantly surprised at the spacious roads lined with trees, five-line subway with three more lines under construction and many more fine examples of urban planning at its best (Civic Civility: Chinese City Strives To Be Model Of Good Manners – May 2).

I was, however, unprepared for the charming five-year-old boy on the subway, with whom I had been exchanging curious glances and smiles (an Anglo-Saxon Canadian woman not being the norm on the subway, I suppose), arriving at his destination, standing up with his family and, with a wonderful wind-up performance, spitting on the floor of the subway car before moving to the doors and exiting.

A learned behaviour considered perfectly acceptable in China will not change overnight.

Wendy Purves, Toronto

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More cheese, please

Dairy farmers and processors claim they will be seriously harmed by the doubling of the import quota for European cheese (Dairy Processors Predict ‘Pain’ From EU Deal, Seek Compensation From Ottawa – Report on Business, May 2). This works out to an increase of about half a kilo per person per year, or less than two grams a day.

While I seriously doubt this “tidal wave” of cheese could actually do any harm, to be on the safe side I will volunteer to make up the share of anyone who feels incapable of adding this minuscule amount to their consumption of these delectable products.

Please mail your excess to me here in Calgary. Parmigiano-Reggiano and Saint Agur are preferred, but a nice gouda or emmental will do in a pinch.

Teri Jane Bryant, Calgary

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Hmm …

Re If Gateway Gets Blocked, It Won’t Be By Ottawa (May 2): In discussing the Harper government’s thinking on the approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline project, Gary Mason quotes a senior member of that government saying: “At the end of the day, you have to do what’s right, not what’s politically expedient.”

And I thought The Globe had abandoned the Morning Smile.

Peter D. James, Vancouver

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If the previous benchmark for chutzpah was the man who, having just been convicted of murdering his parents, pleaded for leniency on the grounds that he was an orphan, the new one must surely be Kinder Morgan touting the economic benefits of an oil-spill clean-up.

I’m waiting for the NRA to proclaim on the good law-enforcement jobs created by gun ownership.

Al Ens, Chilliwack, B.C.

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