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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Question Period in the House of Commons on Wednesday, April 12, 2017: The Opposition is accusing the government of resorting to omnibus bills, a Harper-government tactic the Liberals had promised to eliminate. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Question Period in the House of Commons on Wednesday, April 12, 2017: The Opposition is accusing the government of resorting to omnibus bills, a Harper-government tactic the Liberals had promised to eliminate. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

WHAT READERS THINK

April 13: A PM’s promises. Plus other letters to the editor Add to ...

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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A PM’s promises

Re Opposition MPs Cry Foul Over Liberals’ Tabling Of 300-Page Bill (April 12): As someone who was very excited about a Trudeau government, I am dismayed by what I am seeing. First, the backtrack on electoral reform (not a huge issue for me, but important). Then, new rules for how Parliament works in an effort to hobble the Opposition, and now the omnibus bill (both very big ethical issues for me).

I fear a slow but definite slippage back into the oily ways of the Harper regime. When Stephen Harper stifled debate, made moves to limit the facts available for debate, and generally treated MPS and government staff with contempt, my vote became an “anyone but…” These were real and nasty swipes against our collective democratic voice.

Justin Trudeau should be careful. People can forgive policy differences, but not moves to limit debate and cloud transparency.

Who is advising him? Is he learning nothing from the swirling spectacle south of us? The forecast is far from sunny.

John Brady, Toronto

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The Prime Minister, who promised to make the 2015 election the last one under “first past the post” said that he was not implementing that promise because he didn’t get buy-in from Canadians.

Assuming that’s the reason – and I say it isn’t – one wonders why he is keeping a promise to legalize marijuana use without making sure that the vast majority of Canadians are onside.

Some promises can be kept, it appears, if the PM personally signs off on them – as he has with marijuana. Others, like electoral reform, fail because they didn’t get buy-in from him.

So much for democracy.

Geoff Rytell, Toronto

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Sorry is not enough

Re CBC Says It Didn’t Mean To Offend With History Series ‘Story Of Us’ (April 12): First, the CBC says historians reviewed the material for Canada: The Story Of Us before it was produced. Then the network airs two of the 10 episodes and thousands of Canadians are outraged at several key elements, including depicting the French and aboriginals in a very negative light, and incorrectly claiming that the first permanent settlement was in Quebec.

After the outcry, CBC executives issue an apology.

I ask myself how the so-called historians could be so ignorant of the historical facts. The best solution is to terminate those CBC executives who signed off on the script, redo the entire series and prescreen the episodes prior to releasing them. Otherwise, the whole series should be cancelled.

Robert Street, Halifax

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Fear of airlines

To put United Airlines’ contempt for its customers in perspective, imagine prepaying for tickets for the Metropolitan Opera in New York (United Airlines: Putting Shareholders Before Customers – Report on Business, April 12).

You sit down peacefully in your assigned seat. Just before curtain time, there’s an announcement that the Met has sold more tickets than seats, a standard procedure in the industry. The ushers demand that some patrons give up their seat. The opera won’t start until a given number of people “volunteer.”

You decline. You are given assurances of “re-accommodation” to another opera, another time.

But you paid for this seat a year ago, and reiterate that you’re here to see this opera. Before you know it, you are stormed by a phalanx of undercover opera police dressed in bluejeans. They haul you out of your seat, drag you across a row of patrons.

People start screaming.

Your mouth smashes against armrests and bleeds all over the place. Your midriff is on full display because your shirt has been pulled up to your chin.

Somebody yells that this isn’t right. You are hurled backstage.

The opera, greatly inconvenienced, reasserts its pride in its delivery of hospitality to its “guests.”

Anne Hansen, Victoria

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CEO Oscar Munoz’s public “apology” seems to be a corporate “bait-and-switch” and the media, including The Globe and Mail, should take him to task for it. To begin with, this was not an incident of “overbooking.” The plane was full, not “overbooked.” After all paying passengers were boarded, four non-paying United Airlines employees showed up, and a very poor decision was made to “accommodate” them over the people who pay their salaries.

I’ve been a gate agent and I would have lost my job if I’d screwed up so badly. United could easily have booked the deadheaders on another flight (even with another airline) or booked them a van to get them where they needed to be. I’ve done it many times myself.

Mr. Munoz made another poor decision – to “blame the victim.” The fallout since speaks volumes about corporate values at United.

Compounding that with a deflection of attention from an unnecessary assault on a passenger to talk about “overbooking” seems more than callous. As a former airline employee, I have also flown as a “non-rev” many times, and not once in a 28-year-career in the industry did I get to bump a fare-paying passenger.

George Olds, Hamilton

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Drones, kill lists

Re Donald Trump Comes Into Focus (editorial, April 11): It’s hard to know what to make of President Donald Trump’s recent, and certainly illegal, cruise missile strike on Syria. As your editorial suggests: “Mr. Trump’s saccharine argument for deciding to fire missiles at an Assad air base doesn’t bear scrutiny.”

So what do you suppose that means for America’s dreaded use of lethal drones – often under-taken under extremely secretive circumstances? And what will all of this mean for those unfortunate enough to be on President Trump’s undoubtedly expanding drone “kill list”?

Peter McKenna, Charlottetown

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Housing Band-Aids

When I read about “plans” to deal with Toronto’s housing bubble, I am reminded of a couple of childrens songs: The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and There’s a Hole in My Bucket (Record Housing Starts Fuel Debate Over How To Cool Toronto Market – April 11).

Governments of all stripes continue to apply Band-Aid after Band-Aid to try to deal with ever-increasing problems of their own making. The simple way to deal with elevated housing prices to is rip off one of the previously applied Band-Aids – namely, normalize interest rates.

Interest rates have been obscenely low for far too long. Both the current Governor of the Bank of Canada and his predecessor have fretted publicly about the levels of consumer debt. What did they expect? The whole point of cheap money is to get people to borrow and spend.

A byproduct of low interest rates has been a low loonie. Foreign investors are far more positive on our country and currency than we are, and they have been putting their money where their mouths are and gobbling up Canadian property.

Will governments follow my recommendation? Likely not. They’re more interested in applying a bigger, better Band-Aid.

Graham Sanders, Toronto

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