Tears of gratitude
This delightful vignette (Lest I Forget – Facts and Arguments, Nov. 9) captures the wisdom of a four-year-old, the grace of an elderly veteran selling poppies and the respect shown them by entranced shoppers as the child saluted him and sang O Canada. The writer was likely in tears as she wrote this, as I am now. Veterans made our happy lives in Canada possible. They must not forget that they are loved and esteemed in return, as this little boy showed so remarkably.
David Rapoport, Toronto
The right decision
Saturday’s editorial, criticizing the Supreme Court’s decision that children deserve “meaningful access” to necessary educational services (A Ruling For A Perfect World – editorial, Nov. 10), is a slap in the face for me and many other Canadian parents who’ve faced massive hurdles trying to access educational services our kids require and are legally entitled to.
The comment that “... anyone with a child who is autistic, developmentally delayed, suffering from anxiety or depression or a myriad of other diagnosed difficulties, would have a claim on their public school for intensive services” reflects profound ignorance and disrespect for the educational rights of Canadian children. At the same time my local school board is launching special schools for elite athletes and musicians, my family and many others are forced to send our kids to private schools after public schools have failed to provide the support they need to participate.
Canadians pride themselves on valuing inclusiveness but that’s just not reality in many of our public schools, nor, apparently in our national newspaper.
Stephanie Griffiths, Toronto
The Supreme Court judges’ unanimous decision that Jeffrey Moore suffered discrimination is clearly correct, and based on compelling evidence.
Jeffrey Moore was not given the opportunity by the Vancouver School Board to have an education that would even the playing field given his learning differences. The editorial argues that school boards have the right to decide where to put resources even if that denies the rights of children with learning differences. This is wrong. All Canadian children have the right to an appropriate, quality education including those with special learning needs. Thanks go to the Supreme Court judges for basing their decision on human rights and against discrimination.
The evidence is clear – early education intervention, available to all with learning differences, will save money in the long run, and create a better world for everyone.
Lois Jackson, PhD, and Ken Johnson, MD, Halifax
The bluefin’s fate
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) will meet this week in Morocco (Concerns Raised Over Canada's Ambitions For Bluefin Catch – Nov. 8).
Canada has always viewed bluefin tuna as valuable meat and not as an endangered species. Canada’s scientific body on species at risk, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, has concluded that the Atlantic bluefin population that enters Canadian waters meets the criteria for an endangered species due to a 69-per-cent decline in population of reproductively mature individuals in less than three generations.
If Canada claims to be acting on scientific advice and is remotely concerned about recovery of an endangered species, it should follow the most precautionary advice identified by the ICCAT scientists – a further reduction of the international catch from 1,750 tonnes to 1,300 tonnes is required to end overfishing and immediately start rebuilding bluefin populations.
Ironically, the federal government is consulting Canadians until Dec. 14 about whether bluefin should be listed as an endangered species, and thereby receive additional legal protection. I don’t know how our government can pretend to be consulting with Canadians about legally protecting an endangered species while taking a position in international negotiations to maximize the economic benefits from the meat.
Scott Wallace, senior research scientist, David Suzuki Foundation, Vancouver
How is it an encouraging sign of a positively evolving attitude toward race when 93 per cent of black people vote for the black guy, and 72 per cent of white men vote for the white guy (Memo To Republicans: Hit The Reset Button – Nov. 8).
Barack Obama was elected by a minority of white liberals and an overwhelming majority of blacks and Hispanics. The result is also a symptom of the growing class divisions in America, whose edges are smudged by articulate white liberals and a minority of middle- and upper-class blacks and Hispanics.
Mr. Obama was supported by the people who most need government services, and Mitt Romney by people who need them least and have the most to lose in taxes. There is no clear sign of a disinterested inclination toward higher values of racial or economic equality on the part of those who would have to give something up for them.
David Lemon, Vancouver
Now that Barack Obama is securely into his second and last term, perhaps he’ll help other Americans realize how undemocratic their nation’s requirements are for anyone who wants to be president. Being an American citizen is not good enough; no, the candidate must have been born on American soil.
This qualification may have made sense in the early days of a country struggling for legitimacy, but surely it should no longer be a requirement. Does it really have any substance or critical meaning in this age of fast moving technology, media, immigration and plural societies?
It creates two levels of American citizenship: those born in America and those born elsewhere. It declares that some Americans have more rights than others. Since when is this “equality before the law”?
A Canadian prime minister needs only to be a qualified elector, a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years of age by election day. Seems more fair to me.
G.A. Teske, Sherwood Park, Alta.
Re Why Won’t Guys Grow Up? Sexual Economics – Focus, Nov. 10: An important fact that Margaret Wente seems to be unaware of is that often it is the women who don’t want to get married.
Nina Truscott, Burlington, Ont.
It is a further indication of the transformation in the relationship between men and women that, while men like Margaret Wente’s father would ask: “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” Women of this generation now ask: “Why buy the pig when you can get the sausage for free?”
Mike Hutton, Ottawa