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Federal Court Justice Robin Camp arrives at a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Federal Court Justice Robin Camp arrives at a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

WHAT READERS THINK

Sept. 9: Trust. And the bench. 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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Trust. And the bench

Re Camp Sincerely Remorseful About Rape Remarks, Mentor Says (Sept. 8): The misogyny of the Canadian justice system is widespread and reflected in the sexist, gratuitous comments of Justice Robin Camp. It is the reason why most sexual assault victims do not report.

More than 500,000 sexual assaults occur in Canada every year. Out of every 1,000 cases, 33 are reported to police, 29 are re-corded as a crime, 12 have charges laid, six are prosecuted, three lead to conviction, and 997 assailants walk free. If this happened in any other area of law, such as break and enter or theft, the public outcry would be vociferous.

If Judge Camp is not removed from the bench, it will serve as additional evidence that women’s lack of faith in the judicial system is well founded. It will further cause us to question the workings of the Canadian Judicial Council.

Sandra G. Mitchell, Regina

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With respect to Justice Robin Camp, I suspect that someone who owns their errors in judgment and undergoes extended thoughtful education with respect to those errors, may well be a better, more thoughtful and considerate judge than many others. Stereotypes are insidious and we all use them in our thought processes. It requires education and self-reflection to identify when those stereotypes lead us to unfair judgments.

Personally, I would trust someone who has been through what Judge Camp has undergone and who has been affirmed by feminists who have worked with him on his journey. Would that all justices put that much effort into addressing their weaknesses.

Catherine Shaw, North Saanich, B.C.

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Kathleen Wynne’s shovel

Re Wynne Vows To Broaden Cash-For-Access Fundraising Ban To Cover All Candidates (Sept. 8): Can someone please take the shovel out of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s hands? The hole on cash-for-access is deep enough.

The latest attempt to gloss over the rather inept Government House Leader Yasir Naqvi’s ham-fisted attempt to somehow punish the opposition for the Liberals’ own malfeasance doesn’t even make sense. All politicians can become ministers? Well, for that matter all citizens can become politicians and then onward and upward to cabinet.

I guess that would leave cats, dogs and small children as the sole source of income for political parties. Rather than the unedifying sight of ministers trotting around expensive cocktail lounges shaking begging bowls at fat cats, why not treat everyone the same? One donation, say $75 per person, per year. No big business interests, no unions or lobbyists.

Democracy, if it means anything at all, is the simple fact of every vote and every person being equal, irrespective of your personal or corporate wealth.

Frank Taker, Prescott, Ont.

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Culture’s sour note

Re Father’s Cultural Demand Ends On A Flat Note With Toronto School (Sept. 7): As the recently retired Canadian principal of a well-established, respected international school in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates) I’d like to express my support for the position put forward by Marcus Gee.

Despite the location of our school, our board and parent groups understood the importance of music and student performance to academic and social development. Most of our students came from prominent Muslim families. Over time, our school became known as a hub for the arts. This year a multimillion-dollar performing arts centre was built on campus.

Having just returned home, I’m incredulous a parent here with such extreme views on music is being coddled through offers of compromise. He has options.

Wayne MacInnis, principal (retired), Raha International School

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When our organization is approached by parents seeking religious accommodations, we take the position reflected in our human rights codes and in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All efforts should be made to reasonably accommodate a student – based on any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination, including religious identity. However, the key word is “reasonable.”

Our organization has worked with educators and school board officials across the country to advocate for a balanced approach, and it is what we also promote when community members seek advice. It isn’t always music to everyone’s ears, but then again, not everyone sings from the same songbook. Toronto’s Donwood Park Elementary school should be congratulated for its efforts.

Ihsaan Gardee, National Council of Canadian Muslims

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My Canada includes

Re A Season Of Immigration Politics Is Coming (Sept. 8): All I can say about the proposals to screen immigrants for acceptance of “Canadian values” is that it’s too bad that the native peoples of the Americas didn’t think to establish a Department of Immigration and Culture to test newcomers to their lands for adherence to aboriginal values, or at least a strong acceptance of pluralism.

James O’Sullivan, Fredericton

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A wise man once said that the end of tolerance is the tolerance of intolerance. My Canada includes Kellie Leitch.

Drew A. Bednar, Ancaster, Ont.

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Carolyn Bennett replies

Re Empty Glasses, Empty Promises (editorial, Aug. 30): All Canadians should have access to safe, clean, reliable drinking water. Unfortunately this is not the case in too many First Nations communities.

Our government intends to deliver on its commitment to end long-term drinking water advisories on reserves in the next five years. We are making progress.

In June, Pic Mobert First Nation opened a new water treatment plant, putting an end to two long-term boil-water advisories.

Slate Falls First Nation’s recently approved water treatment plant will eliminate nine boil-water advisories in place for 12 years.

Budget 2016 committed historic investments of an additional $1.8-billion to accomplish our goal, plus $141-million to improve water monitoring and testing. We are committed to working together to make this promise a reality.

Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

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Down periscopes

Re Submarines Near End Of Lives (Sept. 8): In this modern day and age, our atrociously expensive submarine “fleet” is good for two things: full-scale toys for our admirals’ amusement and handy targets for U.S. Navy vessels in their war games.

The problem-plagued subs cannot perform the tasks for which they were originally purchased. When it comes to protecting our shores, they’re about as useful as biplanes. (Actually, biplanes would be more useful.) To spend even one loonie more to add to their already exorbitant cost is stupidity of the first magnitude.

Let the U.S. Navy find other war-game targets. Perhaps they’d buy our subs? Nah, they’re not stupid.

Al Vitols, Sidney, B.C.

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