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Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty: Friends and foes are weighing his legacy. (The Canadian Press)
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty: Friends and foes are weighing his legacy. (The Canadian Press)

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Oct. 17: Pink-slip politics, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Pink-slip politics?

Patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, but in Canada, prorogation appears to be the last refuge of a minority government (McGuinty’s Resignation Shocks Ontario – Oct. 16).

Susan Cantlie, Toronto

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It must be nice for the Dalton McGuintys, Stephen Harpers and Christy Clarks who can prorogue an elected assembly, thereby essentially saying to their employer – that’s us, The People – “we’re not going to show up for work now because we’ve got other business to attend to.”

Other business – like what? Avoiding the splatter of a political scandal? Using taxpayer-funded time to gather political troops to rebrand the party, go over the playbook and generally prepare for the next election?

There ought to be a law prohibiting this kind of legislative hooky. Other than politicians, I can’t think of any other employee in the real work-a-day world who would get away with such shenanigans for long without receiving a pink slip.

Liz Stonard, Port Alberni, B.C.

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The sudden resignation of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has little to do with acute scandals (air ambulance service, gas-plant cancellations etc.) and everything to do with the new reality: Heavily indebted governments from Greece to Italy to Ontario have no choice but to deal with overstaffed, overpaid public sectors.

If that sector was your main political support, you have no dance partner.

Nick Kelly, Nanaimo, B.C.

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Irrespective of which side of the political fence one stands on, Dalton McGuinty’s dedication, commitment and sincerity as a man cannot be denied. He was not a leader overtaken by arrogance, always had a genuine, non-partisan smile at the ready and would talk to a regular Joe on the street.

Mr. McGuinty instilled hope in people like myself who look different and speak with an accent and sometimes feel the heat of hatemongers who tell us to go back to where we come from. They forget that all of us, except first nations people, are immigrants in this great nation of ours.

Abubakar N. Kasim, Toronto

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Ugly Canadians?

The Olympics should be where athletes meet in friendly competition to enhance international goodwill and tolerance. Soccer captain Christine Sinclair’s conduct flies in the face of this premise (No Regrets – Sports, Oct. 16). So the referee made a mistake. Big deal. Ms. Sinclair should get get over it and be gracious.

It is disgraceful that the Canadian Soccer Association will pay her fine, which was assessed by an impartial international organization.

Are we becoming the ugly Canadians?

Terry Harris, Meaford, Ont.

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Um, line up here

I chuckled at Lawrence Martin’s column (Don’t Curate Peacemaking Out Of Our History – Oct. 16). So the Harper government is going too far to suggest that Canada’s real history might feature military conflict, as evidenced by recent celebrations about the War of 1812, arguably the crucible that shaped the possibility for Canada to actually exist?

Instead, we should focus on examples where Canadian political figures mused from the sidelines about our superior values, while our officials hunkered down in ineffective multilateral institutions with the world’s dictators to draft communiqués?

With the exception of Lester Pearson’s Suez intervention, there is little historical evidence that actual protagonists in the events cited regarded Canada’s participation with near the same awe as official Ottawa did. While much of our military history involved everyday Canadians performing heroic acts at pivotal moments in Canada’s evolution, I’m not sure Pierre and Margaret Trudeau’s trip to visit Fidel Castro at the height of the Cold War rises to quite the same level.

And setting aside that the proposed approach for repurposing our museum in Gatineau features the heroic acts of average Canadians and not the “gadflyism” of Ottawa insiders, I’m just thinking that there wouldn’t be much of a lineup at any museum featuring a wax figure of Joe Clark doing “diplomacy.”

Cal Bricker, Toronto

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Call it like it is

Parental involvement isn’t the only so-called antidote to bullying (Best Protection Isn’t Legislation – Oct. 16). Since the emergence of Archie Bunker (whose outrageous behaviour was intended as satire, but soon became tolerated as “rude, but lovable”), TV has lauded the tough, aggressive personality. On numerous reality, and some talk shows, people are insulted and humiliated in the name of entertainment.

Why wouldn’t our kids see this kind of behaviour as acceptable, even desirable? All kinds of role modelling are there for them to see. It needs to stop; parents and teachers need to call it like it is: bullying!

Judy Coldoff, psychologist, Toronto

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Kids need to learn about what slut-shaming and sexual harassment are and have frank discussions about why they occur.

When my fellow pre-service teachers are still using the words “slut” and “bitch” to insult women (yes, I have heard that several times this year in teacher’s college) maybe we need to start by educating our teachers first.

The real lesson here is that misogyny kills.

Pia Berger, Toronto

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Silence pays off

Re How The ‘Coyne Affair’ Paved The Way For Carney (Report on Business, Oct. 15): Do we really want our central bankers roaming “beyond monetary policy to influence debate on fiscal policy and corporate strategy”? Surely Bank of Canada governor Louis Rasminsky’s contribution was to write out his expectations that the governor had responsibility for setting monetary policy – although he recognized that the government could overrule him. He did not see the governor’s role as expostulating on fiscal policy.

Personally, I would appreciate our central bankers focusing on monetary policy.

A lesson Governor Mark Carney could learn from the “Coyne affair” is to make fewer speeches. Less speechifying by the governor will avoid Canada’s economists calling for his resignation as they called for governor Coyne’s.

Judicious silence is not a bad thing in a central banker.

Joe Martin, director of Canadian Business History, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Just wondering

It seems Berliners have their shorts and knickers in a knot because Ralf Rüller, purist barista, has decided coffee devotees frequenting his establishment should be able to enjoy their brew free from distractions such as laptops, dogs, ring tones, loud phone calls, media (apart from newspapers), strollers and prams (‘Coffee Nazi’ Bans Strollers From Café – Oct. 15). And the problem is?

Maybe I’m on my own on this, but I’d like to encourage Mr. Rüller to open up a few coffee brew bars here.

David Honigsberg, Toronto

 

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