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Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs, has promised a new suicide-prevention strategy for veterans. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs, has promised a new suicide-prevention strategy for veterans. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

WHAT READERS THINK

Nov. 24: Honour living veterans. 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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Honour the living

In my clinical practice as a psychologist, I treat injured veterans and their families, and strongly support trauma counsellor Tim Black’s plea for a day in spring designated to honouring living veterans (Home For Good: We Must Honour Living Veterans – Nov. 23).

A story I heard last year speaks to the plea. A veteran of a conflict of more than 25 years ago finally sought help. The counsellor began the session with two words that resulted in the veteran experiencing deep, unbridled sobbing.

The words were, “Welcome home.”

Ronald Warner, Kingston

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Smell of access

Re Trudeau Defends Fundraiser As Effort To Encourage Investment From China (Nov. 23): Promoting foreign investment is a good thing to do.

The Prime Minister’s actions would smell better, however, if this were done out of his Parliament Hill office or at a government-sponsored event, rather than at a private party as the star attraction to line the pockets of the Liberal Party.

Marc Grushcow, Toronto

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I totally agree with the suggestion that party donations should be limited to $100 per person (Trudeau Didn’t Start It – But He Can End It – editorial, Nov. 23).

Perhaps we could encourage those who still wish to donate the other $1,400 to send it to any number of local or national health-care or community non-profits and charities. That would increase “access” to worthy services with no questionable ethical implications.

Andrea Cameron, Toronto

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With the latest revelations about fundraisers, more questions arise about “cash for access.”

A $1,500 donation to the Liberal Party, followed by a million-dollar donation to the Trudeau Foundation (and Pierre Trudeau’s alma mater, the University of Montreal’s law faculty) is a really nice gig if you can get it.

However, someone, somewhere, might begin to wonder what else the Prime Minister may have learned from Hillary Clinton …

Ken Johnson, Lindsay, Ont.

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It’s my name

Re I’m Taking Back My Name (Facts & Arguments, Nov. 22): Dief the Chief would have applauded Shekhar Paleja.

I was a seatmate of the former prime minister on a flight late in John Diefenbaker’s life and early in my career. After learning my name and how it is spelled, he proclaimed, “Never change your name. Canada is not a great country if people feel they need to change their names in order to get ahead.”

Robert Czerny, Ottawa

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Back in the USSR …

Re A Trump-Putin Entente? Why Not? (Nov. 23): Lawrence Martin cites the Ronald Reagan-Mikhail Gorbachev understanding as an example for Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

The Reagan/Gorbachev situation was about the USSR’s defeat (the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), and ultimately led to the demise of the “Evil Empire,” the liberation of Eastern Europe and the rebirth of enslaved nations, such as Ukraine.

The Trump/Putin situation, as presented, would renew spheres of influence, thus allowing the rebuilding of the Empire, which would strike back.

Andrii Veselovskyi, Consulate General of Ukraine in Toronto

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A Trump-Putin entente?

Wonderful. Will this mean peace for our time?

Nigel Waters, Calgary

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Press, pols, polls

John Ibbitson concludes his column on journalism and Donald Trump with, “Doing journalism the old-fashioned way, reporting and analyzing the facts, will also be the best way to cover this most unconventional of presidents” (In Coverage Of This Presidency, Facts Trump Everything Else – Nov. 23).

I applaud the sentiment, but that ship sailed a while ago.

The statement implies an absence of editorial viewpoint. While I’m a loyal Globe and Mail reader, I regularly review the news sites of the CBC, National Post and others. It’s not unusual for an item to be prominent in one and absent or buried in another. That’s an editorial choice.

Even when reporting the same event, the choice of language can be quite different, a further editorial choice.

Recently, at the end of an interview on the CBC, the person interviewed referred to herself as a journalist and an activist: What are we to make of what she writes, analyzing the facts?

Many years ago, John Ralston Saul warned of surrendering the development of public policy to technocrats; a Massey lecture series speaker in the same period warned of similar concerns. Both authors’ prescription: Get informed, get involved. In that order.

Getting informed involves absorbing the news and analysis of the day and must include multiple sources to be able to distinguish editorial views. While developing one’s own.

John Madill, Oshawa, Ont.

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I do not think that the pollsters got the election results wrong. With Hillary Clinton’s two million vote lead over Donald Trump in the popular vote, it seems to me the pollsters got it right.

Bruce Hutchison, Ottawa

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Since Donald Trump’s win and the outcome of the Brexit referendum, there has been a lot of soul searching over what has gone wrong with the polls.

But where is the soul searching over the possible effects that published polls might have on the way people actually do vote – or don’t vote?

Is it not reasonable to wonder if the widespread dissemination of polling results might have unexpected consequences on voting day?

For example, in the recent U.S. election, complacent Democrats might not have bothered to vote, not just because they didn’t like Hillary Clinton all that much or because the lineups were too long, but also because she was going to win anyway and didn’t need their vote. Or so it seemed, according to the polls. While Republicans could have been galvanized by the polls, and motivated to go out and vote so they could prove that pollsters are liars.

Perhaps the authors would do well to consider how the science of prediction could be one of those sciences that changes what it studies.

Frank Olenski, Brantford, Ont.

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Wing warning

Re Liberals Delay Fighter-Jet Decision With ‘Interim Fleet’ (Nov. 23): The Canadian government would be well advised to read the small plastic tag which vendors of fighter aircraft attach to the underside of a wing.

WARNING: This aircraft is for sale only. Any warranties are void, should the purchaser attempt to fly it. Avoid exposure to harsh environments. Dry clean only.

Eric Mendelsohn, Toronto

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