No cheers here
Re Police Fine Western Cheerleader For Pre-Game Cheers On Street (Sept. 30): I live in a student neighbourhood and have grown to really dislike students. Cheering in the street, while it may seem harmless, demonstrates the arrogance that has become commonplace among students, who believe that everyone supports their endeavours and that the streets belong to them.
University of Western Ontario Coach David-Lee Tracey should know that not everyone cares about the Mustangs or the cheerleading squad, and that it is inappropriate to assume they do. The incident with the cheerleading squad is compounded by the invasive, disrespectful behaviour of other students who are consuming alcohol and living away from home for the first time.
When I moved back to London from Toronto, I found the presence of the police in my neighbourhood disconcerting. Now, I don’t feel safe without them.
If those cheerleaders had been on my street, I’d have told them they are no longer welcome and asked them to cheer on campus.
AnnaMaria Valastro, London, Ont.
Let’s make sure under no circumstances to let any fun break out. And I thought the Grinch was a fictional character.
Roger Saunders, Vancouver
Re Two Canadians Remain Jailed, Imprisoned By Seismic Shift In Egypt’s Politics (Sept. 30): We all want the safe and immediate return of John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani, but the reality is travellers also have a duty not to put themselves in perilous situations. The Canadian government cannot by right obtain freedom for Canadians in foreign jails, be it Egypt, Iran or even Mexico.
Martin Gladstone, Toronto
Right to be sick?
Re The Freedom To Be Sick And The Right To Be Well (Life, Sept. 24): On Sept. 16, I lost the love of my life due to the Ontario Mental Health Act. She took her own life by jumping off an 11-storey building where we lived. Michelle had a lifelong history of mental-health issues related to childhood trauma and abuse. Over the past few years, I worked tirelessly to access treatment for her with various community mental-health agencies. However, due to certain clauses in the Mental Health Act, Michelle did not receive proper treatment, as most mental-health agencies and crisis units at hospitals would not admit her, citing her legal rights.
Various mental-health workers, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, and probation officers told me numerous times that they could not force her to take medication or receive mental-health treatment, if she did not choose to.
The problem was, however, Michelle didn’t understand how sick she was. When a person is as depressed and suicidal as Michelle was, there needs to be intensive intervention by the mental-health-care system if it means saving a life.
I truly believe that Michelle would be alive today if the system took action and stopped passing the buck, stating that individuals have the right to treatment or not. Don’t individuals also have a fundamental right to life?
Where is the humanity?
Bill Martin, Toronto
Re Is That Treatment Really Necessary? (Life, Sept. 30): André Picard’s article should be mandatory reading for patients and doctors. It is just the tip of the iceberg of wasted money in health care.
In tertiary care hospitals, an excess of subspecialists leads to multiple consultations focused on isolated problems. They sometimes do not communicate with each other for an overall plan; this runs up the cost. Contrast this to smaller communities, with far fewer physicians per capita, where primary-care doctors cannot get a specialist consult when it is clearly indicated. This leads to suboptimal patient care, which runs up subsequent cost and compromises long-term outcome.
In Ontario, nobody is at the wheel of the health-care ship, and patient-centred care is a meaningless buzzword.
Ted Mitchell, MD, Hamilton
Re Rouhani Changes Tone Of U.S.-Iran Relations (Sept. 28): Few Canadians and Americans appreciate that Iran is surrounded by potential Islamic enemies. Those enemies may provide the real motivation for Iran to develop a nuclear bomb.
Most Islamic terrorist groups are extremist Sunnis and view the Shia Muslims of Iran as heretics. Iran borders Pakistan, where these terrorist groups are active killing Shias and Sufis, as well as Christians. Pakistan has nuclear bombs. If the extremists ever gain significant power in Pakistan, Iran could be very vulnerable.
Iran and the West may very well share a common enemy.
Dave Wheeler, Niagara Falls, Ont.
In Truscott’s defence
Re Big Moments In The Big House (Sept. 30): Referring to Steven Truscott as “infamous” and lumping him in with heinous criminals like Clifford Olson does a disservice to the wrongly convicted everywhere. The only “infamous” thing in the Truscott case is the quality of the investigation that led to the miscarriage of justice.
Ken Klonsky, Innocence International, Vancouver
Alberta sales tax
Re A Sales Tax Makes Sense – Just Not To Albertans (Sept. 28): When residents of flood-damaged areas seek assistance from the Alberta government, I’d like to hear them also recognize that government expenditures require government income.
My child is one of 38 students sharing a classroom in her school in the Premier’s riding. Eight-year-olds have to put on snow boots and snowsuits in the winter, leave their portable classrooms, go outside and then into the main building when they need the bathroom. Our unwillingness to raise money for basic infrastructure has reached the point of being ludicrous.
I am a fiscal conservative, I am an Albertan, and I am saying loud and clear: We need a sales tax in Alberta.
Susan Vukadinovic, Calgary
Cutting income taxes while imposing consumption taxes contributes to income inequality, hitting those who earn too much to qualify for the GST rebate, but don’t have enough discretionary income left to benefit significantly from investment – i.e the middle class – the hardest. Albertans are sensible to resist a sales tax.
Elizabeth Woods, Victoria
Re Sangiovese Loves Company (Sept. 28): Beppi Crosariol, describing Tuscan wines, writes of “bright cherry, intriguing earth, perhaps a bit of leather, a whiff of violet and a lively tingle on the finish.” We’re told of overtones of licorice, old church wood, cigar-tobacco essence and strawberry jam spiked with cloves.
I’m wondering: Where does one obtain a wine-flavoured wine?
Wilfred Slater, Toronto