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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ‘Open and Accountable Government’ rules state that ‘there should be no preferential access, or appearance of preferential access’ in exchange for political donations. (ENRIQUE DE LA OSA/REUTERS)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ‘Open and Accountable Government’ rules state that ‘there should be no preferential access, or appearance of preferential access’ in exchange for political donations. (ENRIQUE DE LA OSA/REUTERS)

WHAT READERS THINK

Nov. 23: Elite cost-of-entry. 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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Elite cost-of-entry

Re Trudeau Attended Fundraiser With Chinese Billionaires (Nov. 22): It seems curiously perverse for politicians to ignore an underlying message of the U.S. election: The electorate has a healthy distrust of most politicians and their elite fundraisers – and $1,500 per head is an elite cost-of-entry.

These cash-for-access events confirm that distrust, especially when the elite are not only doing business with the government but also making a large donation to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (or was that the Clinton Foundation?). At the next election, voters will not forget that such practices by Justin Trudeau and his colleagues fall far short of his promise of “open and accountable government.”

Richard Holland, Grafton, Ont.

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This government is increasingly looking just like the “more of the same” approach that toppled a similar group south of the border. If this disturbing trend continues, it may well lead to the election of a Trump-like destabilizer in 2019.

Frank Foulkes, Toronto

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Outrageous

Re Ontario Ignored Warnings On Solitary (Nov. 21): You report that a young aboriginal man, Adam Capay, spent more than four years in solitary confinement, and that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne called this “extremely disturbing.” I call it incredibly outrageous. In the summer of 2008, a prisoner died in the same isolation cell in Thunder Bay Jail.

I wonder how Thunder Bay and other Canadian towns/cities will celebrate Dec. 10, international Human Rights Day. Will they open the doors of the jails?

It strikes me as strange that we (our Caucasian ancestors) came from Europe, stole the land, brought disease and alcohol, made and ignored treaties, then put the natives in jail. Do we owe them something?

Helen Hansen, Guelph, Ont.

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Credibility gap?

Re Probable Cost Of Super Hornet Jets Soars (Nov. 22): As a former fighter pilot, Air Force commander and chief of the defence staff, I must express profound dismay about the government’s intent to buy 18 Super Hornet fighters. The decision defies common sense and ignores the realities facing our military, with serious implications for the short and long term.

Burdening the RCAF with a second fleet of fighters, with duplication in training, logistic support, maintenance, personnel and operating cost, is illogical, and the operational benefit is marginal.

The government has justified its decision by declaring the need to fill a “capability gap,” whose existence mysteriously appeared when they came into power. The obvious purpose is to circumvent an unfortunate campaign promise by putting off – perhaps forever – the fair competition which would surely result in selection of the F-35 as Canada’s new fighter. (Denmark recently conducted a competitive evaluation of the F-35, Super Hornet and Eurofighter; the F-35 came out on top in all categories, including cost.)

By promising to acquire a second fleet of older-generation fighters without a competition, the government is telling Canadians that political expediency trumps national security.

Paul Manson, Ottawa

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Keep them honest

Three articles on the front page of The Globe and Mail on Tuesday demonstrate why we, the public, need to continue to support our mainstream media with paid subscriptions. Without dedicated investigative journalists, Canada would be much worse off.

Whether by exposing corruption in the B.C. housing and agricultural land markets (B.C. Minister Says Province Will Act ‘Quickly’ To Close Tax Loopholes On Farmland), or questioning the abuse of solitary (Jail Record On Capay’s Solitary Stay Lacks Key Information), or highlighting the inappropriateness of cash-for-access fundraisers (Trudeau Attended Fundraiser With Chinese Billionaires), among many other investigations, the media serves as an educator, watchdog, and advocate for honest government. A strong and independent media is how we can keep our democracy alive. Thank you, Globe and Mail, and your subscribers.

Carol Town, Hamilton

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When love speaks

Re A Warm Whisper In A Cold Room (Facts & Arguments, Nov. 18): Justin Williams’s poignant essay about the daughter holding vigil at her mother’s bedside struck a chord with me. My mother died very recently and I was that daughter, spending hours at her bedside, talking, holding her hand, hugging and even singing.

During one long evening, she suddenly gave me a tight hug and said, “I’m the luckiest mother in the world.” I hope I remember to say that to my children, when my time comes.

Mary Kirton, Toronto

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Those who lead

Re When Rob Ford Was Trump Before Trump (Nov. 22):Mr. Ford’s biggest legacy? We cannot say: “It will never happen in Canada.”

Anna Leggatt, Toronto

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Re Glad She’s Staying (editorial, Nov. 22): Considering the level of vitriol, racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism and intolerance displayed in North America of late, perhaps we should exemplify the values of Angela Merkel herself: intolerant of racists and anti-Semites, generous to those in need, and strong in her values. Now there is a leader to unite us.

Maureen Arnaud, Bath, Ont.

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Gimme that

Re Bird Is The Word (letters, Nov. 18): Several years ago, while attending a Banff International String Quartet Competition, I took a trip to Lake Louise with two friends. As we munched fresh cookies on a terrace overlooking the lake, we were joined by a few gray jays, who kept up a running commentary and were alert for crumbs. I had looked away when I suddenly felt a light touch of clawed feet on my hand, and in the split second it took to jerk my head around, a cheeky fellow had snatched the whole cookie and was headed for the trees. He might as well have chattered, “Welcome to Lake Louise, and gimme that!” I had to laugh at his nerve and perfect timing.

Betty Hesser, Victoria

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To boldly pucker

Re The First Interracial Kiss On U.S. Network Television (Moment in Time, Nov. 22): I was just 15 when this osculatory milestone took place in 1968, during a Star Trek episode. Apparently the only way the writers could sell the idea of an interracial smooch was that Kirk and Uhura were being forced to kiss by nasty, voyeuristic aliens.

William Shatner did his best to make it look forced. But after seeing Kirk grab and lip-lock every female crew member and alien (most of them blonde) who cross-ed his path during the series, it never made sense that he would not look into the gorgeous face of Nichelle Nichols and just go for it, alien voyeurs be damned.

Evelyne Michaels, Toronto

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