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Farley Mowat in an old barn on the property of his summer home in Cape Breton. (Steve Wadden For The Globe and Mail)
Farley Mowat in an old barn on the property of his summer home in Cape Breton. (Steve Wadden For The Globe and Mail)

WHAT READERS THINK

May 8: Missing Farley Mowat – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

What a loss

Re Acclaimed Canadian Author Farley Mowat Dead At 92 (online, May 7): Just last December, I called my mom when I saw Farley Mowat’s letter to the editor to say how happy I was to see that he was still around, as passionate as ever about the environment. We had a nice chat about how much his books have meant to me.

As a child, I loved The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be, in school I loved Never Cry Wolf, as an adult, I continue to read and love his books and short stories. What a loss for Canadian literature and the environmental movement.

I think I will go reread The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be tonight.

Tess LaPensée, Peterborough, Ont.

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Stop posturing

Barack Obama, the UN high commissioner for human rights, Amnesty International and Egypt’s Islamic theological institute Al-Azhar have all condemned Boko Haram’s mass abductions as unconscionable, cruel, evil and contrary to all human rights (U.S. Offers Help After Gunmen Kidnap More Girls – May 7).

Now that those in the spotlight have delivered their soundbites, three weeks after the unimaginable took place, can we start to work together and focus more on actions and less on words? Clearly, Nigeria’s President has no real intention of addressing the issue.

One can only imagine what the girls are experiencing in captivity. It is time to stop posturing and do something. These girls deserve our attention, but more importantly, they deserve to be saved.

Jane Domazet, Toronto

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Who is Abubakar Shekau to claim God is instructing him to sell women, when the founder of Islam has strongly opposed cruelty against women?

Before the advent of the Holy Prophet Mohammed, women were subjected to slavery and cruelty. Baby girls were considered an insult and sometimes buried alive. A woman had no rights over her children, property or herself.

With the dawn of the Holy Prophet, these inequities were wiped away. He proclaimed that man and woman, by virtue of their humanity, were the equal of each other. Prophet Mohammed was a liberator of women; truly, he would be disgusted to see this.

Qasim Choudhary, Calgary

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Nixon as a PM?

Re Conservatives Sink To A New Low (May 7): Richard Nixon’s descent to disgrace was precipitated by the congressional Watergate hearings. In the U.S., the legislative branch can investigate and hold the executive accountable. In Canada, the PM can behave badly without consequence, as he also controls the legislature.

Had Mr. Nixon been a Canadian prime minister, he would not have resigned. He would have simply maligned his inquisitors.

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

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Bridge politics

In your editorial on the Detroit-Windsor Bridge, you ponder, “If only we’d held on to Fort Detroit until the end of the War of 1812” (Missing link – May 7). Then, you conclude, “And though Canada will never recover sovereignty over Detroit, at this rate one small, expensive corner of Michigan will be very Canadian.”

Based on the condition of Detroit today, perhaps we should be thankful it is not ours.

Bill Jory, London, Ont.

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The Ontario manufacturing base has lost 500,000 jobs over the past 10 years, but by some sort of magic, truck crossings will more than double in the next 20 years?

Crossings are down from what they were in 2008. Companies are continuing to leave Ontario; the cost of manufacturing here is increasing.

This new bridge is all politics. I spent 20 years managing companies moving freight by truck into and from the U.S. and Ontario, hundreds of loads a day. I’d bet all my years of industrial experience that there is no business case for this bridge.

Jim Houston, Oakville, Ont.

.........

First Nations kids

“For a brief moment, Canada had a window of opportunity to improve education for native children at on-reserve schools” (Atleo Retreats, Ottawa Follows – editorial, May 7).

You seem to believe that standards are essential. After 17 years of capping federal transfers to First Nations for basic programs at 2 per cent, surely the additional financial resources allocated in the budget would allow some improvement in educational performance on-reserve.

Further, if the federal government has decided the significant amounts of money allocated in the budget begin to compensate for a 17-year cap, shouldn’t we ask what the impact of the cap is on other programs on-reserve? How many First Nation children are going to school hungry or are coming home to study in overcrowded houses?

I believe Canada has many opportunities to improve the educational performance of First Nations children. Why not start with fair funding?

Scott Serson, Ottawa

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Where’s Rob Ford?

The public is deserving of the truth about what Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is up to; programs of recovery encourage honesty from the get-go (The Mayor, Missing In Inaction – editorial, May 7).

Those of us who have gone on to live lives of sobriety following such a program know that “half measures availed us nothing” and that this applies in all areas, particularly the one that has to do with the truth. Mr. Ford needs to save his life, one day at a time, and let re-election plans take care of themselves later.

K. Ricketts-Moncur, Hamilton

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There is no denying it, Rob Ford has made a mess of Toronto’s reputation and abused the trust of its residents. That said, Torontonians do not deserve the right to know where the mayor is while on leave, as privacy is key to ensuring recovery from drug abuse.

Without proper shelter from the media and public influence, recovery can be hindered by external distractions. With the majority of his mayoral powers stripped, the question of his whereabouts no longer concerns Toronto’s well-being, but rather the well-being of a person struggling with internal conflict.

Torontonians can only hope he gets the privacy and support he needs to recover from drug abuse.

Quinten Griffiths, Singapore

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Fordspotting

Re The Mayor, Missing In Inaction (editorial – May 7): You ask, “Where in the world is Rob Ford? And what is he doing?”

Has anyone checked Vegas?

L.R. Coyle, Toronto

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I know where Rob Ford is. He’s hiding in one of the potholes on Shuter Street.

Gary Gray, Toronto

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Has anyone thought to look in his sister’s basement? Just saying.

Lola Marjanovic, Toronto

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Well, he’s not at city hall and that’s a good thing. Let lying mayors sleep, wherever they may be.

Helen Godfrey, Toronto

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