Margaret Somerville’s curious omission in The Preposterous Politics of Female Feticide – Sept. 29, is that, in cases of sex-selective abortions, the role of overbearing men in coercing the woman to abort is the problem. Thus, the pro-choice position of sustaining a woman’s independent right to choose remains logically and ethically consistent.
Pete Reinecke, Ottawa
The case for China
In the current discussion about expanding economic development between Canada and China, human rights are appropriately raised as an important consideration. But let’s not forget that China has already led one of the greatest human rights achievements of all time: lifting 400-million people above the poverty line since 1981 (UNDP).
With regard to the specific debate over the CNOOC-Nexen deal, the most important issue is that Canada lacks the internally-generated capital required to fund the needs of our remarkable energy sector. Given our reliance on foreign capital to manage these resources, it makes perfect sense to have the most internationally-diversified pool of investors participate. Having worked directly and extensively with Chinese investors and government, and knowing others who have done the same, I can attest to the fact that large Chinese companies and funds are long-term, thoughtful, consistent and reliable investors.
Canada now has the unique opportunity both to enhance our economic ties with China, providing jobs, tax revenue and capital for Canada, while continuing to demonstrate our leadership role in promoting democracy and human rights.
Don Guloien, president and CEO, Manulife Financial
All our children
I don’t understand why, in a bilingual country, we even have French immersion programs in our schools. We should be doing a good job of teaching all our children to speak both official languages (Immersion Roulette – letters, Sept. 28).
And don’t get me started on not allowing a child to attend the school they live across the street from, while allowing another child to be bused in from elsewhere …
Terri Hodges, Kingston, Ont.
Canadian stores are missing a golden opportunity to prepare for Target’s arrival (On Target Time: The Rave To Prepare For A New Rival – Report on Business, Sept. 28). Instead of attending to only superficial changes, such as new store configurations, they should pay more attention to specializing in Canadian-made products, increasing customer service staff and improving service policies.
Target is just another store selling products from China. Canadian stores must reverse this trend if they truly wish to remain competitive and appeal to the next generation of consumers.
Rey Carr, Victoria
How MDs are paid
Re Six Doctors Billed Taxpayers More Than $3-Million Last Year (Sept. 27): Instead of focusing on a minority of doctors with high earnings for work they actually do, why does Ontario’s Ministry of Health ignore the multitude of physicians under the current rostering system who are paid handsomely for work never done?
A physician can sign up patients, then set office hours that can’t possibly provide reasonable access to care. This is happening, unchecked. Patients are forced to seek primary care in the local emergency department by default and at added expense to the system, for problems better dealt with by their family doctor.
So far, neither the Health Ministry nor the Ontario Medical Association have shown the leadership to acknowledge this, let alone try to affect change.
David Hughes Glass, MD, Kincardine, Ont.
No blackmail there
Gary Mason writes about the latest example of a billionaire sports franchise owner trying to blackmail a municipality for massive public subsidies (Sleepless In Seattle? Try Edmonton – Sept. 27).
Professional sports franchises flourish, in part, because of substantial public subsidies for arenas and the tax writeoffs for corporations purchasing tickets. Given these public subsidies, why don’t the provincial and federal governments introduce legislation requiring a public ownership stake in return?
Green Bay, Wis., will never lose the Packers because that National Football League team is community-owned. Other communities and regions could increase the odds of retaining their teams by having seats in the boardrooms of these franchises.
Larry Gordon, Toronto
Off the austerity cliff
I applaud the courage of the French government in stepping off the edge of the austerity cliff and showing that the world is not flat after all (France Taxes Rich, Businesses To Slash Deficit – Sept. 28).
We should welcome this experiment in sanity and wish them success, because the path the rest of Europe is following is an abject failure. Perhaps federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty could take note: If Canadian corporations don’t want to spend their bags of excess cash, he could raise corporate taxes and get the economy moving again.
Mark Barrett, Charlottetown
Back in the USSR
My choice of memorabilia of the epic 1972 Canada-Soviet hockey series was a copy of Pravda, purchased in a cavernous, ornate subway station near Red Square, the morning after Paul Henderson’s iconic eighth-game goal.
Thirty years later – having got the game report translated – I learned what its readers were told. On Sept. 29, 1972, under the headline “The Eighth Game,” it stated: “Broken chairs were actually seen flying across the ice and the Sports Palace from the direction of the Canadian bleachers.” And, “Canadian players weren’t hesitant about using their sticks on the referees throughout the entire game.”
About the game itself, L. Lebedev reported: “The two identical digits 5-5 appeared on the scoreboard” when “with 34 seconds left in the game Henderson gave Team Canada the lead, the score was 6-5.”
Paul Henderson and Brad Park were rated Canada’s “stars,” and Alexander Yakushev and Vladimir Shadrin for the USSR.
Although Canada won four games and tied a fifth, “total scoring for the series was 32-31 in [the USSR’s] favour. But … arithmetic isn’t the only consideration … and augured well for the development of world hockey and the eventual raising of … [USSR] teams to world champion calibre.”
David C. Day, St. John’s