A little respect
Re Ottawa Must Find The Money To Give Veterans Dignified Burials (online editorial, Nov. 5): Finding the money to ensure that veterans live in dignity would also be a good idea.
Paul Calarco, Toronto
I couldn’t help but note one Canadian runner’s reaction to the cancellation of the New York City Marathon (Bloomberg Cancels New York Marathon – Nov. 3): “I am just floored. To tell you the truth, we feel like at least we weren’t told the truth the entire way.” Come again? So the flight cancellations and the scenes of devastation as a result of Hurricane Sandy didn’t clue you in?
Yes, you lost your race weekend. Too bad. But people lost their lives, and many more everything they own.
Perhaps they should have done as others did (Ready, Set, Self-Organize: Runners Push Forward – Nov. 5): Channel their outrage into helping others rather than lamenting the inconvenience of missing out on a hobby.
Cal Bricker, Toronto
As I made my way to work on Long Island, parts of which are still without heat or electricity, a caravan of white, Ontario licence-plate-bearing bucket trucks made their way down our thoroughfares. The lead hydro truck was flying the Maple Leaf as our neighbours to the north came south to help us in the same spirit that saw Canada respond when she opened her airports to U.S.-bound flights on 9/11.
Thank you, Canada. And thank you to each and every Ontario resident who came to help restore not only our electricity but also our dignity.
Woody Ryder IV, Greenlawn, L.I.
It’s disingenuous of William Johnson to accuse the Parti Québécois of acting unilaterally in formulating the referendum questions of 1980 and 1995 (Independence Referendum? Scotland Has It Right – Nov. 5). Does he believe that the federalist leaders of the day, either in Ottawa or in Quebec, would have co-operated in the drafting of the question had they been invited to do so? Such participation would have given the appearance of legitimizing the separatist project.
It was only after the 1995 referendum that the process of separation was judicialized, and subsequently given a legal framework. Yet, even now, with the benefit of the Supreme Court advisory opinion and the Clarity Act, it would be reckless brinkmanship for the federalist forces to lend a hand in drafting the question. How could they then complain if the Yes side won?
Howard M. Greenfield, Montreal
The skills gap
Gwyn Morgan (Skills Mark The Difference Between Haves and Have-Nots – Report on Business, Nov. 5) seems to think our universities should be some sort of trade school. Regrettably, if we want to survive, he’s right.
Charles Ramsay, Stevensville, Ont.
Gwyn Morgan incorrectly argues that two in five Canadian university graduates are employed in low-skill jobs. The OECD report to which he refers is about the entry-level positions for all graduates from postsecondary education in Canada. More than three out of four of these positions are filled by those with trade, community college and CEGEP diplomas or certificates, not university graduates.
From 1990 to 2011, the number of jobs filled by university grads in Canada more than doubled (from 1.9 million to 4.5 million), while the growth in jobs in the skilled trades grew by less than a third. Professional and management jobs grew by 1.7 million during this time; 1.4 million of them were filled by university grads. And census figures reveal that those with BAs across a wide array of disciplines enjoy a significant income premium.
Canadians know they’re still getting great value and even greater opportunities with their university degrees.
Christine Tausig Ford, vice-president, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Ottawa
Putting on the mask
Elizabeth Renzetti says the new federal ban on masks while participating in a riot goes too far (Let’s Face It: Ottawa’s New Mask Ban Goes Too Far – Nov. 3). I disagree. Even if only two people wore masks during the Vancouver riots, common sense says, next time, absent a clear law, more rioters will wear masks.
As for her scenarios of innocents being charged under this law, all evaporate provided you don’t participate in a riot, you don’t wear a mask when you riot, and you unmask or leave the scene if a lawful protest turns ugly. Ms. Renzetti’s fears are far overblown compared with the damage caused in riots.
John Hunter, North Vancouver
Why would a lawful protester hide his identity? Isn’t the whole idea of protest to stand up for one’s beliefs? What credibility does one have when one’s identity is hidden? Just look at the abhorrent behaviour that the anonymity of the Internet seems to encourage in some of us!
Let’s keep the masks for Halloween, sporting events and the odd bank job, shall we?
Larry Webster, Kamloops, B.C.
The big chill
Kudos to Les Morrison (Frankensolution – letter, Nov. 5) for calling attention to the humongous overpopulation elephant that squats among us. Why is it politically incorrect to discuss the unsustainable growth of our species? Those of us who have shuffled into life’s departure lounge (and are hoping for a delayed flight) will probably not be around when the sky grows dark with chickens coming home to roost, but our children and grandchildren may well be.
Unless we humans come to our senses, there’ll surely be a great cull beyond our imagining.
Frederick Sweet, Toronto
Rob Ford, again
Re Ford Says Bus Controversy ‘Has Nothing To Do With Me’ (online, Nov. 5): If the U.S. can impeach a president, why can’t Toronto impeach a mayor?
Bonnie Huczek, Toronto
It’s in the water
I was mystified to learn that Glen Murray, the former mayor of Winnipeg who moved to Toronto, became an MPP and is now running for leader of the Ontario Liberals, “has a strong appreciation of northern and rural Ontario” (Murray Launches Leadership Contest – Nov. 5).
Seeking an explanation, I figured there must be something in Winnipeg’s water. Well, I’m half right. Winnipeg gets its drinking water from Shoal Lake, which is mainly in Northern Ontario.
Peter Woolstencroft, Waterloo, Ont.