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Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons, Nov. 15, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons, Nov. 15, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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Nov. 16: On drugs. 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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On drugs

Re Sajjan Puts The Onus On Troops While Defending Use Of Harmful Malaria Drug (Nov. 15): I am a healthy person who travels once or twice a year to volunteer in Uganda for an NGO called Water School. Malaria is widespread there and I always take prophylactics, usually Malarone.

Three years ago, my GP prescribed mefloquine instead, because it was cheaper and came as a weekly pill, rather than a daily dose. After the first pill, I suffered severe stomach cramps and very bad thoughts about death (quite out of the ordinary for me). After that first pill, I decided not to take any more; on my way to Entebbe, I stopped at a travel clinic in the U.K. The nurse was shocked that we still used mefloquine in Canada, saying it had not been used in the U.K. for many years. She gave me Malarone, and all was well.

Wake up, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and protect our troops!

Tony Woodruff, Burnaby, B.C.

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Twenty-odd years ago, the go-to drug for foreign service employees and dependents on posting to malarial-endemic countries in Africa was mefloquine, a once-a-week pill that promised to be effective. Within a month, four pills, I was ill enough to question the side effects. By month three, I was suicidal and was taken off the drug.

I find it astonishingly negligent that the Canadian military is still offering this drug and urge Minister Sajjan to order its immediate withdrawal.

Sylvia Bews-Wright, Victoria

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Sugar, sugar

Re The Taxing Problem Of Sugary Drinks (Nov. 15): André Picard is spot-on about what is needed to curb sugar consumption. A sugar tax, coupled with a cultural shift to denormalize sugar, as was done with tobacco, is the only feasible solution.

We must impose stringent regulations on the food industry’s marketing, labelling, and advertising targeted at children. Star athletes and celebrities should not be endorsing sugary food and beverages. Vending machines selling pop and high-sugar foods should be removed from sports facilities and high schools. Tax revenues from a sugar tax could be used for an education campaign including improvements to the Canada Food Guide.

We are facing an unprecedented health crisis with our younger generation and we must find ways to reduce obesity.

Mary Lapner, Ottawa

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Power talks

So both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin would like better relationships between their two countries and to work together on world issues (Trump, Putin discuss Improving Ties, Nov. 15). I don’t think Mr. Trump really cares about world issues.

As a businessman, he sees potential in Russia and will use a better relationship so that his children, who are also his closest advisers, can explore business opportunities there. I won’t be surprised if in the next several months Trump Inc. announces that it is building hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Steven Lico, Toronto

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President Putin called president-elect Trump to congratulate him on his win. No doubt, Mr. Putin also took the opportunity to give Mr. Trump his instructions for the next few months.

Nigel Brachi, Edmonton

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Once in power, Donald Trump will learn that what tests the mettle of every political leader is the unexpected and the unforeseen. When asked by a reporter as to what concerned him most while in office, the late British prime minister Harold Macmillan famously remarked: “Events, dear boy, events’’!

Frank Abbott, Toronto

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Americans have spoken. Battered by a changing world, lectured to by the media and unheeded by political elites, they have placed their faith in Donald Trump. They want change, not more of the same.

Mr. Trump has said that he will be “president for all Americans” Here’s hoping that the checks and balances of the U.S. system and the responsibility of governing will temper Mr. Trump.

Gerard Shkuda, Burlington, Ont.

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The day after the U.S. election, Margaret Wente’s column (The World’s Most Reckless President) concluded by saying, “Donald Trump’s massive flaws of character and temperament make him the biggest threat to American liberal democracy in our lifetimes.”

Her Nov. 15 column (A Trump Presidency: It Might Not Be All Bad) concludes, “Don’t get me wrong. I think the election of Mr. Trump is a disaster. But there’s enough to catastrophize about without adding to the list. Breathe deeply, and think happy thoughts!”

I’m wondering whether the latter column was meant as a satire on positive thinking?

Carl Rosenberg, Vancouver

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Why on Earth would Ms. Wente believe that Donald Trump will not repeal gay marriage, or any other law for that matter, just because “he said so”?

Florence Dobson, Moncton, N.B.

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Bitumen and water

Re Oil and Water, editorial (Nov. 14): Your editorial commending increased oil cleanup capacity on all our coasts did not mention the fact that diluted bitumen sinks, defying all current known methods of cleanup. This is at the root of opposition in B.C. to bitumen pipelines.

Until the bitumen is processed in Alberta and rendered into products where cleanup methods work, there is every reason for opposition in B.C. to continue to oppose the export of bitumen.

Ken Farquharson, Victoria

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Listing values

Professor Vic Satzewich doubts it is possible to identify universal Canadian values (What Are ‘Canadian Values’? Nov. 11). Here’s my list, in no particular order:

The value of every individual. The basic equality of all persons. Freedom and tolerance. Democracy and justice. Freedom of speech and assembly, religious freedom, a free press. Loyalty to the country and a willingness to defend it. The right to basic respect and dignity. Compassion for the afflicted. Conservation of the natural environment. Honesty and co-operation. Industry, enterprise, creativity, innovation.

Maybe I’ve missed something, but I think most Canadians would agree on these.

Stephen McNamee, Ottawa

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Game on

Re If IOC Won’t Pay Costs, NHL Players Likely Won’t Be In 2018 Games, Bettman Says (Sports, Nov. 15): So Gary Bettman and his 30 NHL owners won’t send their players to the next Winter Olympics if the International Olympic Committee won’t pay. Sounds like a great day for the thousands of amateur athletes who spend hours working at their jobs just so they can continue to train to be the very best that they can be.

Leave the whining millionaires at home. It will be a better Games without them.

Tim Friesen, Altona, Man.

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