Much has been made of Calgary MLA Len Webber’s decision to quit the Alberta Progressive Conservative caucus, saying he could no longer stomach Premier Alison Redford’s “temper tantrums” and “abuse of subordinates” (‘Thank You. Good Night’ – March 20). He said she wasn’t a “nice lady” and accused her of bullying.
I have no sympathy: Mr. Webber’s decision can be seen as entirely self-serving. By sitting as an independent, he is giving up any party responsibility he may have had and getting more time to campaign for the Conservative nomination in the newly created federal riding of Calgary Confederation.
If he sees Ms. Redford as a bully, he will need to grow a thicker skin if he’s to serve federally. Ms. Redford, for all her faults, was a pussy cat compared to the folks he’ll have to deal with in Ottawa.
Nigel Brachi, Edmonton
Alison Redford should have stayed on as Alberta’s premier. She has been a voice able to show that the redneck view of the province is not justified, including in Alberta’s relationship with the rest of Canada, especially Quebec.
How much of the outcry against Ms. Redford is really coming from those who back Stephen Harper and Wildrose’s relentless effort to remove the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta from the ballot?
Brian Marlatt, White Rock, B.C.
A premier, a mayor
What a study in contrasts: Alberta Premier Alison Redford resigns over little more than a few injudicious expense claims and a lack of warm and fuzzy feelings among the electorate.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, meanwhile, refuses to stand down under pressure from almost his whole council and is even looking to foist himself upon the Toronto electorate for another term (Mayor Mum On New Police Revelations – March 20).
Who is the more responsible and honourable politician?
Luke Mastin, Toronto
Rob Ford sells himself short when he observes that nobody is perfect. Toronto’s mayor has managed to bring the art of political buffoonery to a state of perfection.
Rick McCloy, Orillia, Ont.
What will they say, the paparazzi of Toronto chasing the mayor, when their wounded prey collapses on the staircase of stroke or cardiac arrest?
What will they say?
K.J. English, Peterborough, Ont.
Halt the abuse
Re Vancouver Building Seized, Sold Without Charges Laid (March 20): It’s time to call a halt to the abuse taking place under the Civil Forfeiture Act.
An $800,000 commercial building is seized and sold without charges being laid against the building’s owner or manager. A police spokesman says they “ought to have known that what was going on [drug dealing] was criminal activity.”
I have no problem with confiscating property used to commit a criminal offence once the owner has been convicted. What is offensive is doing so as a method of punishing people against whom there is insufficient evidence even to lay a charge.
Following that reasoning, why bother with a trial or a legal system, just let the police decide who they think is guilty and punish them. I think we all know where that type of reasoning leads.
Garth M. Evans, Vancouver
Thanks to Mike Fegelman, of the pro-Israeli advocacy group HonestReporting Canada, we better understand why Palestinians should not have the right to return to the land from which they were banished in order to establish the state of Israel (Mideast Flames – letters, March 20).
Perhaps, in the interests of better informing the public about Israel and the Middle East, more discussion of the present conditions and history of the Palestinian people should be encouraged. That could lead to some real honest reporting.
Albert Howard, Montreal
No creds on taxes
Re Why Ontario Needs To Raise Taxes (Report on Business, March 20): I love living in this country and have no problem with paying taxes to support our services and to pay off debt when required.
However, I do not believe any politician, bureaucrat or civil servant will spend my money wisely. Putting increased taxes on the table to maintain the “responsibilities of fiscal leadership” would only be reasonable and possible if there had never been eHealth, Ornge, cancelled gas plants or bloated levels of civil servants and their benefits.
“Fiscal responsibility” and “government” shouldn’t be used in the same sentence when talking about the past 10 years in Ontario.
Colin Wheeler, Whitby, Ont.
Re Crimea’s Choice (March 19): The letter to the editor suggesting that the crisis in Crimea today would not have arisen had not Nikita Khrushchev “given” Crimea to Ukraine ignores an even bigger “had they not.”
Had not the Kremlin ethnically cleansed the native Tatar population, followed by cleansing almost all other non-Russians, and then shipping in most of the current Russian colonizers, there’d be no Russian colonial majority for the invading Russian army to “protect.”
There would be all those Tatars, Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Italians, Ukrainians – and Russians, too – in their summer resorts and naval bases, getting along as they had for a couple of centuries before Stalin, and for many, many centuries before Catherine II – without almost any Russians.
Walter Daschko, Toronto
So long, Mr. Flaherty
Jim Flaherty has been an excellent representative of Whitby-Oshawa and, as finance minister, a pillar in the government.
If we elect someone, how can they just decide to quit? A high-ranking politician shouldn’t be allowed to resign except for a health issue that affects their performance or an indiscretion that detracts from their office.
I think much of Mr. Flaherty, hence my passion. He has a great legacy in politics and I’m sorry that his end leaves more questions than answers – especially for his constituents.
Renae Jarrett, Ajax, Ont.
As predictably as rain in Vancouver, the words “steady hand” are being ascribed to Jim Flaherty now that he’s leaving (Little Flash, But Flaherty Seldom Fumbled – March 19). Really?
This is the man who did an abrupt about-face on income trusts, shaving billions off the market and oversaw a colossal run-up in the national debt.
Canadians will remember him for a lot of reasons and for a long time, but steadiness won’t be one of them.
Thor Kuhlmann, Vancouver
I can imagine the conversation that took place in Stephen Harper’s office. Was this a case of “income-splitting or I’m-splitting”?
Eric Mendelsohn, TorontoReport Typo/Error