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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened the search for a Supreme Court judge to all of Canada but joined a unanimous vote in the House to respect regional representation on the court. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened the search for a Supreme Court judge to all of Canada but joined a unanimous vote in the House to respect regional representation on the court. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

WHAT READERS THINK

Sept. 29: Bench the bias. 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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Bench the bias

Re Trudeau Waffles On Approach To Appointing Top-Court Judge (Sept. 28): Perhaps the question of why regional diversity, let alone other targets, is a criterion for Supreme Court appointments in the first place should be answered?

In the interest of maintaining an exemplary judicial system for all Canadians, meritocracy should be the guiding objective of Supreme Court appointments. Any other standard is a tacit acknowledgment of bias.

Albert Howard, Calgary

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Sad, mad, cynical

Re Ottawa Approves LNG Terminal In B.C. With Environmental Conditions (Sept. 28): For my birthday cake last October, the words on top were “Stop Harper” and we did – or I thought we did.

Now, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approves permits for the Site C Dam, and the LNG terminal on Lelu Island, it seems that Stephen Harper is still with us: Mr. Trudeau falls back on that defeated government’s groundwork as a (lame) excuse to carry on with the same old devastation.

I believed Mr. Trudeau’s promise to deal nation to nation with First Nations. I believed his promise to reduce greenhouse gases. I believed his promise of a science-based approach to environmental issues.

Those promises are a major part of why he won last October. Now it seems they weren’t worth a wooden nickel. Will approval of Kinder Morgan be next?

Mr. Trudeau, with Jody Wilson-Raybould beside him, has the power to take a new path.

In 2012, Ms. Wilson-Raybould characterized an approval of Site C as running roughshod over aboriginal treaty rights. Now she’s basically gone silent. Ms. Wilson-Raybould should stand up for her people and Mr. Trudeau should prove he meant what he said.

But I’m not crossing my fingers.

Call me sadder but wiser.

Call me the queen of cynicism.

Call me mad as hell.

Dorothy Field, Victoria

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It’s complicated

Thank you for your excellent editorial on the abortion pill (Why Is This So Complicated ? – Sept. 27). Your scathing language – glacial bureaucracy, paternalistic view, slap in the face, appalling, absurd, ludicrous, insulting – is entirely appropriate.

You note that this medication has been available in France for 29 years and in the United States for 16; now, further hurdles here with its affordability are in place to prevent its wide distribution in Canada. What is wrong with our federal and provincial governments, and with Health Canada in particular? Is this religion-based opposition or just a bureaucracy reflective of a pervasive societal misogyny?

Pauline A. Thompson, Toronto

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It’s so complicated because many Canadians do not want their tax dollars used to pay for abortions – by pills or any other method. Count me among them.

Helena Rossi, Montreal

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Debate won, lost

Re Trump Lost, But Watch Out Next Time (editorial, Sept. 28): Observers would only believe that Donald Trump lost the debate if they focused on content, which most do.

But televised election debates are not about content, they are about meta-content, about form. And on form Mr. Trump trounced Hillary Clinton.

How?

By pointing out that if voters are dissatisfied with America today, they have Ms. Clinton (and her ilk) to blame, for the time they were (and are) in power.

Mr. Trump effectively portrayed Ms. Clinton as “yesterday’s” woman who landed America in its current position and is incapable of a new approach to politics, but will only deliver more of the same.

That doesn’t make Mr. Trump any more attractive as a candidate, but it sure solidifies the “time for change” political dynamic.

Ron Freedman, Toronto

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Retired. Who pays?

Re Pension Have-Nots (letters, Sept. 27): The difficulty of growing investments in today’s market is precisely why so many companies are switching from defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans.

The bigger issue is why an organization should have financial responsibility for an individual once someone has retired. This should be society’s responsibility and not the corporate or public sectors’. We need both a more integrated approach to retirement income and a more level playing field. To that end, all levels of government (that haven’t already) should switch to defined contribution plans for new hires. We should continue to expand the Canada Pension Plan if it’s economically feasible.

The plan to delay eligibility for Old Age Security payments to age 67, which was cancelled, should be reinstated and the OAS clawback level should be sharply lowered. Plus, a new version of the Guaranteed Income Supplement should kick in at 55 to cover the increasing number of individuals who are let go in their late 50s and can’t find another job.

Adam Plackett, Toronto

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Climate, squared

Re Justin Trudeau: Climate Denier? (Sept. 27): Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not a climate denier. He’s just trying to square political reality with, well, reality.

Political reality says that a carbon tax will somehow give the government the social licence to build more pipelines. And reality? According to a recent study by geoscientist David Hughes, Canada will not meet its weak C02 reduction targets if new pipelines are built.

Margaret Wente states that an effective price on carbon will need to rise to $200 per carbon tonne by 2030 to help meet these targets, but – according to her – the public would never stand for it. They won’t, unless 100 per cent of the revenue collected from the fee is returned to Canadian households. They may also stand for it when they see that the steadily increasing carbon price stimulates Canada’s clean-tech sector, which some projections say could employ 100,000 Canadians by 2022.

Cheryl McNamara, Toronto

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We should have …

Re Police Probe Officer’s ‘Racist’ Take On Suspicious Death Of Inuit Artist (Sept. 28): Annie Pootoogook “was internationally renowned for her ink and crayon drawings of life in her Arctic community.”

That she was a renowned artist, yet she was living in a shelter on and off the streets, is a sign of something wrong with our society as a whole. She was Inuit, she struggled with her own demons, she was an artist. Recipe for a reason to respect the need for our beautiful, caring country to provide care for all of its vulnerable citizens. We lost a talented, remarkable human being whose work will outlive her, and will be “valued” more because of her “loss”! We should have taken better care of her, and those like her.

Andrea Marcus, Toronto

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