Re: Canada Has More Doctors, Making More Money Than Ever (Sept. 27): Pray, is there any group of professionals in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter, whose members are not earning more than they were 10 years ago?
Sudhir Jain, Calgary
Part of the reason it’s so hard to find a family doctor is that many are leaving or retiring early from work that is rewarding but comes with long hard hours and high stress levels. The “income” numbers quoted were gross annual income per physician. Typically, overhead costs eat up 40 per cent to 50 per cent of gross income. There are no paid sick days, no vacation days and no pension.
The article didn’t include physicians earning less than $60,000 a year, which can leave readers with an inflated perception of what doctors really get paid, and excludes me as a working doctor mom. Ouch.
Lesley Horton, MD, Vancouver
Give grads a chance
Re Away With Seniority (editorial, Sept. 27): Congratulations to The Globe on its stand against Ontario Regulation 274. The regulation creates a near insurmountable roadblock for the enthusiastic, diverse, and talented graduates from teacher education programs trying to land a job. Teacher hiring across the province should be based on uniform, transparent procedures where seniority is just one of many factors taken into consideration.
Ron Owston, dean, Faculty of Education, York University
So there was “possibly” cronyism or nepotism in some school boards? Possibly? Having just recently retired from teaching, I repeatedly saw department heads – who were trying to hire the most suitable candidates, basing their decisions fairly on teachers’ “abilities and histories” – being overruled in order to provide teaching positions for: a director’s son or grandchild or daughter-in-law, a superintendent’s child, a principal’s offspring, one principal’s neighbour, another principal’s babysitter etc.
After watching this for 25 years, I can assure you that while seniority might not be a perfect solution, it’s a hell of a lot better than what we had before.
Gino Nicodemo, London, Ont.
War on unions?
Re NDP Leader Comes Out Firing Against EllisDon Bill (Sept. 27): It is disheartening that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is prepared to sell out well-paid workers in order to “level the playing field” for EllisDon. In doing so, she supports the erosion of the union movement within the construction industry. It is not an accident that the collapse of the middle class has gone hand in glove with legislative support for the corporate war on unions.
The Premier’s actions will ultimately result in lower wages for union and non-union construction workers alike, and make it very hard for union-positive Liberal supporters like myself to continue to support her government.
Paul Ledoux, Toronto
Sunni, Shia peace
Re World’s Future Hangs On It (Sept. 27): Lorna Dueck tells us about “A Common Word,” a ground-breaking initiative in interfaith co-operation by 138 Muslim leaders who maintain that “The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.”
We are left to wonder about the relevance, in their minds, of Sunni-Shia “ecumenism” to the same end. Do we have a chicken-and-egg problem?
Brian Yawney, Toronto
When there’s a spill
Re Crash Shows Need For Pipelines: Premier (Sept. 26): The report of a Saskatchewan derailment suggests that minimal damage and loss of product took place, yet Premier Brad Wall uses this as an opportunity to promote pipelines.
The volume of contamination caused by a ruptured pipeline potentially far exceeds the environmental damage that might be caused by a derailment. Trains have a specific number of cars and the chance of them all losing their loads is slim.
Even if the worst case scenario occurred, this must surely represent a far smaller volume of product than that “lost” into the environment when a pipeline bursts.
Penelope Hedges, Vancouver
In the key of …
Re Conservative MP Quits Caucus, Faces Charges Over Election Spending Limits (Sept. 27): Dean Del Mastro, Mike Duffy, Peter Penashue, Pamela Wallin, Nigel Wright. The next time Stephen Harper plays the piano in public, perhaps he should sing the Garth Brooks song I’ve Got Friends in Low Places.
Kevin Byrne, Brights Grove, Ont.
What a syllabus says
Re ‘Women Writers’ Remarks Spur Talk On Responsibilities (Sept. 27): Am I to understand that a political science professor who teaches a course in Marxism is to be expected to discuss all other major political/economic systems and present them as equally important?
Is a professor of feminist literature to be expected to discuss all other major trends in literature and present them as equally important? Is every professor to be expected to present the entire history of human thought in order to qualify his (or her) specialty for presentation?
People need to get a grip! David Gilmour teaches a course in English literature at a major world university. He is expected to present a point of view and stimulate debate. That, he has clearly done. His superiors (I used that term loosely in this case) knew what he was teaching. He has made some off-the-cuff comments that apparently were ill-considered and obviously taken out of context.
Life in Toronto must be pretty slow these days.
Nelson Smith, Berlin
It seems to me that recent generations of University of Toronto professors were not only praised but rewarded for systematically deleting male writers from the syllabus. David Gilmour – though perhaps not some of his colleagues – will recognize an Orwellian strain in the equality that is at work here. Irony aside, he must have surely understood his challenge to our present orthodoxy, and foreseen the wrath of its defenders. The chasm of the Dead White Male now yawns beneath his less-than-cautious feet.
Scott Gardiner, Toronto
As a middle-aged male writer myself (and one whose favourite writer is Norman Mailer), I am positive there are many of us who know that Gertrude Stein, Rebecca West, Katherine Mansfield, Doris Lessing and Djuna Barnes are better middle-aged men than David Gilmour. But he’s about to find out the hard way.
What he teaches is his personal pathology, and he’s entitled to it. However, then there is the question of literary and historical reality, of which Prof. Gilmour seems ignorant for a “professor.” Professor of what? Solipsism? In that case, he’s doing a fine job.
Donald Brackett, Vancouver
Real men read George Eliot.
Brian Caines, Ottawa