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What readers think

May 8: Charity that pays: What could go wrong? – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Giving that’s getting

Re Conservatives Back Private Investment For Social Gains (May 7): “There’s a wealth of really wealthy baby boomers who are looking to give back,” says Gordon Goldschleger of JVS Toronto about the government’s new social impact bonds. “They want a return on capital. They’re not willing to give that up. And they want to do social good.”

Apparently these “really wealthy” have a different idea of “giving” from the rest of us. Charity with a good interest rate, what could possibly go wrong?

Tom Slee, Waterloo, Ont.

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Grownups first

While I largely agree with your editorial Destructive Cruelty, Draconian Reaction (May 7) about Nova Scotia’s proposed cyberbullying legislation, I disagree with your inference that adults don’t need greater protection from bullying. We cannot expect to address bullying among children and teens, cyber or otherwise, if we don’t tackle such behaviours among parents, grandparents, politicians and community leaders. Bullying is routinely condoned at every level of society, including charities, governments and boardrooms.

We may have legislation intended to protect adults in the workplace but with the ongoing prevalence of intimidation, dismissal, innuendo, intentional ignorance and gag orders, how can we ever hope to be role models for youth?

Protection from bullying must be modelled by our community leaders, as the evidence indicates legislation alone has done little to address the magnitude of this societal problem.

Cynthia Johnston, Toronto

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Mideast rethink

Mike Fegelman is right that Arab states “manipulate Palestinian grievances to advance their own domestic pursuits” (Smokescreen – letters, May 6). This is all the more reason to rethink Canada’s staunch support for the current Israeli government.

Instead, Canada should assume the role of honest broker to effect a durable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Principled support for Israel must include pressure to end the brutal oppression of Palestinians and the encouragement of voices for peace and justice within Israel.

Ensuring self-determination for Palestinians is the only way to guarantee security for Israel as a Jewish state at peace with its neighbours. Ending the occupation would also liberate Israelis themselves. Maintaining and justifying the oppression of Palestinians is turning Israel into an extremist, racist society that would be unrecognizable to many of its idealistic, socialist and Zionist forefathers.

Anthony Cantor, Toronto

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Life/death skills

A letter writer says firearms training can be “a valuable tool to teach a youngster life skills” (Real Gun Culture – May 7). Surely he means “death skills,” since guns are ultimately designed to kill.

Peter Weinrich, Victoria

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I was taught how to handle a gun by rural relatives in my childhood. At 75, I can honestly say that those lessons have had no bearing on a single event in my entire adult life.

J. L. Elliott, Calgary

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Wonderful monikers

Roy MacGregor’s mention of the 1907 Ottawa Senators’ Smith brothers, Alf and Harry, sending the Montreal Wanderers’ Hod Stuart and Moose Johnson off to the hospital made me nostalgic – not for the fighting, but for the great names of long ago (Fight Night In Canada’s Long Run Continues Unabated – Sports, May 7).

Wonderful monikers such as Ace Bailey, Babe Dye, Busher Jackson, Dit Clapper, Hooley Smith, Nels Stewart, Newsy Lalonde, Odie and Sprague Cleghorn (bonus points for siblings and family name), Sweeney Schriner, Turk Broda and Woody Dumart – names that sound like they would right at home in the poems of Robert Service.

Tim Jeffery, Toronto

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Net never forgets

In the digital age, online reputation may be more important than in-person reputation (Do People Have A Right To Be Forgotten? – Focus, May 4). As we say in our public education efforts, the Net never forgets. A single moment of indiscretion can become a life sentence.

The “right to be forgotten” is a more popular term in Europe than Canada, but it reflects many of the principles that underlie Canadian privacy law – that personal information should only be retained as long as it is needed, that people have the right to withdraw consent for the use of their information and can seek corrections to that information.

It is critically important for individuals to understand the consequences of posting information online, whether about themselves or others: A photo or comment can be nearly impossible to permanently delete. Organizations also have a role to play in protecting personal information in their care, and in helping people to deal with, for example, inaccurate information and imposter accounts.

Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada

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History’s lens

Re Our Conservative Rewrite Begins With This Book (May 7): There are plenty of legitimate criticisms to be made of Pierre Trudeau’s decisions while he was prime minister, but they should be made by people willing to look at the bigger picture and set aside reflexive partisan posturing in the interest of historical scholarship.

Garnet Johnson-Koehn, Hamilton

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Seal hunt

Re Canadians Are Divided On The Seal Hunt. Why Aren’t MPs? (online, May 2): While activists would like us to think that Canadians are divided on the seal hunt, in fact, Canadian MPs have done well in representing the Canadian people’s perspective on this issue. Yes, serious polls show that some Canadians are against the hunt – however, many of these people also mistakenly think seals are endangered and that most are killed before they reach maturity.

Gil Theriault, seals and sealing network co-ordinator, Fur Institute of Canada

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Penguin plot

Monday’s editorial cartoon by David Parkins featured not only a giant rubber duckie in Canadian waters, but the equally unlikely presence of a penguin. I know penguins have waddled their winsome way into Christmas cards and decorations, but penguins do not inhabit the Arctic.

If The Globe knows of some clandestine penguin plot to assert sovereignty over our our Arctic regions – as the penguin PR campaign is successfully doing over the North Pole at Christmas – readers should be told of this nefarious threat to our territorial integrity. The mere thought of it makes one’s blood run cold.

Brian P. Anthony, Toronto

 

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