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Justin Trudeau on the front lawn of Parliament Hill, June, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Justin Trudeau on the front lawn of Parliament Hill, June, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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Sept. 28: Trudeau’s time? and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Trudeau’s time?

You editorialize that Justin Trudeau will succeed or fail “not on the basis of who his father is” (Heredity And The Unprejudiced West – Sept. 27).

Yet in the same edition of The Globe, who is on the front page? Above the fold? With a picture? And most of a page inside, too. Would another former teacher and four-year MP get the same coverage? I think not.

Joseph Shlesinger, Toronto

.........

I hope Justin Trudeau can revive the federal Liberal Party and improve its fortunes, not because I’m a Liberal – I’m not – but because we need someone at the helm who isn’t in hock to the old guard, which has a vested interest in keeping things the way they are (The Son Also Rises – Sept. 27).

Here’s how Mr. Trudeau can get my vote: Pledge to make politicians and civil servants accountable under law for their promises and actions while in government; bring in term limits for backbenchers; end the scandal of the current MP pension plan; ban lobbying by former politicians for a decade after leaving Parliament. Oh, and get rid of the Senate.

Robert Matthews, Burlington, Ont.

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Pierre Trudeau stood for a lot of things many did not agree with, but they were ideas of substance. I have yet to read anything of substance from, or about, Justin Trudeau: sizzle, but no meat.

As it stands, he is either a mystery inside an enigma – or just a mystery package, with an open-at-your-own-risk label.

Norman Ostonal, New Westminster, B.C.

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I voted for the elder Trudeau, based largely on personality, and have lived to regret his vision of Canada. I will not make the mistake a second time.

How could any Canadian outside Quebec trust a Trudeau-led government to represent Canada’s best interests, should Quebec ever vote to leave Confederation? That doubt alone prevents him from being an effective national leader.

Ronald Wilson, Westmeath, Ont.

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Justin Trudeau as leader could restore the Liberal Party to health by re-energizing the base, bringing in lots of money and repatriating the youth vote. With him in charge, the other parties would have their share of bad-hair days.

But would the Liberals under Mr. Trudeau be like the Canadian Alliance under Stockwell Day, a party ripe for a merger rather than a takeover, but not one that can form a government?

Howard Greenfield, Montreal

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The Son Also Rises? Perhaps: The Ego Has Landed.

Kathleen Walker, Ottawa

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Immersion roulette

We live across the street from a school that offers early French immersion in Grade 3, but were told our son had to enter the lottery system, despite having one parent whose first language is French (French Is No Lottery – editorial, Sept. 27).

He didn’t get in; we subsequently discovered that the lottery was open to students outside the catchment area for this school. We sent our daughter to an all-French school in the city to avoid the lottery. Now that she is high-school eligible, we thought she could enroll in French immersion at the local high school. We were told no, as she is not eligible since she is coming from a school outside of the feeder schools in the catchment area.

Despite Canada’s being an officially bilingual country, we have heard all of the excuses from the bureaucrats.

Paul Turkki, Toronto

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Debating the debate

In any discussion on the nature and legal status of a fetus in the earliest stages of pregnancy, rational and scientific arguments can be made in support of strongly conflicting viewpoints (With Motion Defeated, PMO Vows To ‘Move On’ Without Reigniting The Abortion Debate – Sept. 27).

A person’s culture, philosophy and perhaps religion will usually determine their opinion on the subject. Therefore, Parliament has no business debating this issue, and even less legislating on it – which can be the only desired outcome of those pressing for such debate.

Tony Peterson, Ottawa

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Kudos to Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose for backing the motion asking Parliament to study the legal definition of when life begins. She voted in support of women – after all, 50 per cent of pre-born babies are female.

Margaret Savidge, Fredericton

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Rona Ambrose has to go. I don’t want her representing me as a woman in the House. Is Canada following the U.S. election so closely that we, too, have to bring up the abortion issue “and when life begins”?

This is between a woman and her conscience, not the “boys” on the Hill.

Lynne O’Brien, Kingston

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Why stop there?

Your recent editorial on espionage boils down to the following conclusion: Fear some foreign state-owned companies, but not all of them (Asking How Close Are The Ties To The State – Sept. 26). Why stop there? Should we not be vigilant against all forms of espionage – by private and state-owned firms, foreign and domestic?

By focusing on foreign, state-owned enterprises, you seem to believe that business competition is principally between states. On the contrary, in many industries, there is as much competition among private companies from the same jurisdiction as there is with foreign companies. Companies spy on other companies to gain an (unfair) competitive advantage, regardless of national origin. After all, the most prominent corporate espionage case in this country in the past decade was between two Canadian icons: WestJet and Air Canada.

Yuen Pau Woo, president and CEO, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

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Barber of civility

I, too, had a close shave in Istanbul (A Close Shave – Facts & Arguments, Sept. 26). In my case, it was more than just a shave, as I had a full beard at the time. The barber did a masterful job but left the mustache; a debate ensued as to whether it, too, should go. The barber was insistent that some facial hair remain, but in the end, he grouchily agreed to finish the job.

Barbers in Canada are reluctant or unable (afraid?) to give a shave. Years ago, in Montreal, men would regularly visit a barber just for a shave, which cost about as much as a coffee. The story was that barber-school trainees would graduate only if, using a straight razor, they could shave the lather off a balloon. Without breaking the balloon, that is.

Reiner Jaakson, Oakville, Ont.

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