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The death toll in the collapsed-building disaster in Bangladesh has reached more than 500. (REUTERS)
The death toll in the collapsed-building disaster in Bangladesh has reached more than 500. (REUTERS)

The conversation: May 4 letters and other talking points of the week Add to ...

In each case, corporate public-relations spin is in overdrive, intent on cleaning up a tarnished image. Yet, I cannot help but think of all their competitors who, following the same practices, continue to do so in the shadows of obscurity. They must feel like they’ve dodged the bullet of damning public opinion. The Globe should expose them all.

Brian Revel, Vancouver

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In Canada, we are averse to hearing the “C” word. For us, it is a diagnosis of cancer. For many people in developing countries, the “C” word is corruption, which affects their everyday life in so many ways. What would happen if you added the “C” word to the analysis of what makes Bangladesh-made clothing so cheap?

Sheila Batchelor, Dundas, Ont.

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Corporations strive to maximize returns for executives and shareholders. One result of this is the lack of overseas oversight of everything – depending on the company involved – from the quality of goods sold to the consumer, to working conditions.

We, the consumers, like cheap clothes, hence we buy new rather than repair because we have neither the expertise nor the time. In many cases, we must buy low-price clothes because our jobs have gone overseas.

Even more expensive goods, such as appliances and electronics, do not last. I am increasingly frustrated at shopping in Big Box stores that carry predominantly CFCs – Cheap Foreign Crap. We must find a solution to this issue before society flows even further down the tubes.

Ted Parkinson, Toronto

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Do Loblaw and any other companies involved in compensating the families in Bangladesh have foolproof plans to ensure the money will go to the right people?

We should keep to mind the tragic loss of lives in Bhopal, India. Corruption and misappropriation of funds has syphoned off most of the money belatedly paid after the Union Carbide leak.

Esmail Jiwaji, Edmonton

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OTHER LETTERS

The really real ‘real economy’

In your editorial A Governor From The Real Economy (May 3), you suggest that newly named Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz “can be expected to bring a particular knowledge and expertise of the ‘real economy.’ ” Would you please tell us for what economy the senior members of the Bank of Canada have knowledge and expertise, if not the “real economy”?

Willard Wright, Welland, Ont.

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Welcome, Governor Poloz

Stephen Poloz’s appointment as governor of the Bank of Canada is welcome. Mark Carney showed he had little understanding of Canadian business, criticizing companies for building up large “dead money” cushions. Small and medium-sized businesses do this because they just cannot trust the banks to be there for them when times get tough. Building up cash cushions was prudent management in the recession.

Mr. Carney loved to criticize Canadians for building up debt, yet his low interest rates caused this.

Tony Woodruff, Burnaby, B.C.

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Doing aid

Re A Smarter Way For Canada To Do Aid (May 2): Remittances and trade are very important for world development, but they are not magic bullets, and they do not replace aid as a means of reducing poverty. Unless we have completely lost the Canadian humanitarian values we treasure, we should champion the extremely effective aid programs like the polio eradication program and our ongoing immunization program. They are excellent examples that save lives or educate children until trade can make a significant difference.

Randy Rudolph, Calgary

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Just wondering

Carley Fortune tells us that she spent an hour and a half setting the table for seven dinner guests because she had to use a measuring tape to calibrate, among other things, the one-inch distance the cutlery should be from the edge of the table (What I Learned From Charles the Butler - Arts & Life, May 2). Then she served a main course of …stuffed lettuce leaves. What I need to know is: Who the heck uses cutlery to eat stuffed lettuce leaves?

Paula McPherson, St. Catharines, Ont.

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ON TOPIC A (BITTER) APPLE FOR TEACHER

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