Re ‘Cyberwar’ Threatens Brazil Rift (Oct. 7): Along with my fellow Canadians, I was shocked, simply shocked, to hear that a Canadian spy agency has allegedly been, well, spying.
The next thing you know we’ll hear that the U.S. government is allegedly governing.
Terry Gudzowsky, Calgary
The U.S. has been spying on Canada for 300 years and we are still here. Brazil should live with it. Just spy back.
John Harold, Regina
Sri Lanka, eh?
Re PM To Boycott Commonwealth Summit (Oct. 8): I’m sure Russia, China and Saudi Arabia are next on Stephen Harper’s list, but first we must deal with Sri Lanka. Or perhaps a country where the democratically elected parliament is shut down, where elections are tampered with by robo-calling, where legal protesters are kettled and arrested, and which has abused its native peoples for decades.
Oh, wait. That’s Canada.
Izabella Cresswell-Jones, Toronto
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s actions remind me of a petulant schoolboy who has not yet acquired the wisdom to be aware of the effect his actions will have down the road.
In four years, it seems Sri Lanka’s government has made real progress toward healing the wounds of a divided country. Mr. Harper, however, seems to have no policies to take our aboriginal people out of the dreadful situation in which they exist today.
Perhaps none of the leaders of foreign governments, if they follow his example, will ever wish to set foot in Canada after the UN report is released on Canada’s treatment of its native people.
Cam Blachford, Regina
Grey bites back
Re Grey Canada Loves A Beige Throne Speech (Oct. 8): According to 2012 statistics, 14.8 per cent of Canada’s population is over 65, hardly a concentration. Those over 75, likely more accurately the elderly these days, total 6.7 per cent.
Yes, our population is aging, but so is that of the industrialized world. Lawrence Martin suggests this aging diminishes “energy, drive, ambition.” Nonsense. Why then are we still a thriving, growing member of the G8?
Yes, older Canadians have political influence. That’s because we vote. Anyone can, but they often can’t be bothered.
Mr. Martin’s online bio states that he is or will turn 65 this year, one of those he insultingly calls geezers and fogeys.
Welcome to the club.
David Platt, Toronto
I am not sure what upset me more over my morning coffee, being called a geezer and fogey – or the conclusion that I would like one of the Harper government’s Throne Speeches.
Eleanor Nielsen, Toronto
Bad timing, that.
The Globe reports that John Greyson and Tarek Loubani are still under investigation (Canadians Tangled In Red Tape In Egypt – Oct. 8). Their situation is hardly improved when Margaret Wente, in her column on the same day, Two Radical Grandstanders, describes them as activist publicity seekers “who’ve been mixed up in Middle East politics for years,” calls attention to Mr. Greyson’s filming of the Egyptian government’s “bloody crackdown” and makes clear what she says many media haven’t mentioned – that “Mr. Greyson is gay.”
Jack Tennier, Toronto
“Blaming the victim” is by now discredited as a way to understand assaults against individuals. Perhaps the only “troublemaker” needing attention is Margaret Wente, who may have hurt Mr. Loubani’s and Mr. Greyson’s chances of a quick return home.
Abby Lippman, Montreal
Although there is a collective sigh of relief that these two men have been released, let us not confuse them with innocent bystanders.
Brigitte Waisberg, Toronto
Women on boards
Re Teachers Pushes OSC To Require Three Women On Every Board (Report on Business, Oct. 8): The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is on the right track when it proposes that the province’s securities regulator require all public companies to have at least three women on their boards.
Maytree’s research has found that there’s strength in numbers. Once boards reach a critical mass of 30-per-cent diversity, they report an increase in the benefits that diversity brings to their organization – with no downside.
While we’d like to see the definition of diversity expanded to include other underrepresented groups, the Teachers proposal is an important first step.
Ratna Omidvar, president, Maytree
So Teachers wants the OSC to require public companies to have at least three women on their boards – or else. How patronizing and offensive can they get?
We all want more women on boards – but only when appointments are made without the genitalia factor being taken into account, will we know that women are well and truly equal.
Isobel Mackay, Waterloo, Ont.
Re The Case For Corner-store Alcohol Sales (Arts & Life, Oct. 2): More retail outlets and longer hours result in higher alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a human carcinogen that is proven to cause breast and colorectal cancers, two of the three leading causes of cancer death in Ontario (lung cancer ranks first). It also causes liver cancer and cancers of the head and neck, including oral cancers.
There is no “safe limit” of alcohol consumption in relation to cancer. For example, breast cancer risk is increased by about 10 per cent for one daily drink, compared to none, and by a similar amount for each additional drink per day. Before approval of any changes to the retail alcohol system that increase availability, full consideration must be given to the impact of such changes to the health of Ontarians.
Linda Rabeneck, Cancer Care Ontario
Best ice cream ever
Childhood memories live on: Ice cream under the stars in India; ice cream under a tree at Lake Memphremagog, Que. (My Indian Summer – Facts & Arguments, Oct. 7).
Ice cut from the frozen lake in winter, protected under sawdust in a farmer’s barn, then chipped into a bucket. With much churning, we made the best vanilla ice cream ever. No work, no tasting was our father’s rule.
The tradition has carried on in both my brother’s spread-out family and mine, all now living in Nova Scotia. My middle son churns vanilla ice cream for each of our nine birthdays, and has gone through several makes and sizes of churners over the years.
We had a family reunion a few years ago near Peggys Cove, with large and small churners going to feed all 19 of us.
Still the best ice cream ever.
Anne Hiilis, Dartmouth, N.S.