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Narrative on the left
Re What’s Left For The Centre-Left ? (Sept. 29): What you call the “hard left” is functioning well in many countries – Norway and Finland come to mind as nations where state control is dominant.
External and internal capitalist forces have always put constraints on socialist agendas (eg. Socialist President François Hollande in France) and will continue to do so, producing the continual narrative of a split on the left.
Perhaps Leon Trotsky was right in calling for world revolution. There is enough discontent with established capitalist practices for this to become a reality through the ballot box. Only then will external capitalist forces be minimized and a people’s agenda (yes, a “hard left” term) can move forward.
Robert Milan, Victoria
High court diversity
A letter writer argues that “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” (Bench The Bias, Sept. 29).
Regional representation has nothing to do with bias and everything to do with perspective. The point of a socially and regionally diverse bench is so that Canadians from all walks of life and all provinces believe their unique perspective is being brought forward to the country’s top court of justice. Decisions are made there that affect us all.
How would your Calgary correspondent like it if the court were composed of judges only from Ontario? They might be the most meritorious and totally unbiased bunch, but they cannot possibly authentically understand the Alberta perspective and Albertans would feel excluded and dissatisfied. There are excellent judges everywhere.
Courtney Barnes, Whitby, Ont.
Although Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s statement that the East Coast is a “very significant part of the country that tends to be underrepresented” is undeniable, the same could have been said of aboriginal people in Canada.
Atlantic Canada (and the rest of white Canada) has always had a voice in the Supreme Court. There has never been an indigenous one. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces a tough choice. He can respect judicial convention with an East Coast appointee, or actively acknowledge that there are other voices – including indigenous ones – that should also be heard on our highest court.
Atlantic Canada’s contribution to the court is important, but there remains a need to balance regional and cultural diversity.
Marguerite Gollish, Ottawa
The MH17 file
Re Death From Below (editorial, Sept. 29): That Russia and Ukraine both engage in propaganda is not surprising.
That the Joint Investigative Team (JIT) would intentionally do so is less credible. But we have reason to question whether the sources that formed the basis for JIT’s conclusion are reliable.
The JIT’s information appears to have been largely provided by Ukraine’s SBU intelligence service. I am reminded of how Bre-X duped gold mine investors about their supposedly rich ore in Indonesia, backed by a pricey analysis of ore samples. Investors may not have noticed the far-from-independent origin of those samples.
I don’t know the full truth about MH17, but I doubt that The Globe and Mail does either. It bothers me that “the dog that didn’t bark,” namely U.S. intelligence, has been silent on the matter.
Randal Marlin, Ottawa
Yes, minister. Linked
Re Ottawa Approves LNG Terminal In B.C. With Environmental Conditions (Sept. 28): In approving the Pacific Northwest LNG project, the Trudeau government has at a stroke added nearly 1 per cent to Canada’s 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target of 524 million tonnes at a time when we should be going the other way, betrayed future generations and shredded its nascent good reputation on climate change policy.
I cannot understand whether it was ignorance or cupidity that led Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, to declare that “there is no linkage” between approving this project and other energy policy decisions yet to come, such as the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Yes, minister, there is linkage. It’s called the planet’s atmosphere and climate change.
These decisions are not separate but cumulative, to deal with them as separate and discrete is the height of foolishness.
Trevor Hancock, professor, School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria
Re Opposition to Nestlé Based on Misinformation (Report on Business, Sept. 29): Guelph MPP and Treasury Board President Liz Sandals says that the public outcry over this multinational sucking water out of a community aquifer is misinformed. Well now. Just where is her information coming from? Certainly not from the dogged and diligent researchers at Guelph-based Wellington Water Watchers who are working to protect the local watershed.
But, even without getting into the debate as to whether there is enough groundwater to go around, there is the whole indisputable environmental travesty of putting water into little plastic bottles and shipping it by truck thither and yon.
This is one carbon footprint that would be easy to shrink. Water that comes out of the tap is regularly tested, healthy and a fraction of the price.
Toni Ellis, Elora, Ont.
Re A Question for Maryam Monsef (editorial, Sept. 29): I find myself scratching my head: When did The Globe and Mail’s editors become birthers? Iran, Afghanistan – who cares where Maryam Monsef was born? What matters is how she does as a minister. Enough already.
Jay Nicholson, Toronto
Refugees can have strange birth certificates. I was born in 1940 in the Soviet Union three months after my mother was forced out of her home in Poland, pushed into a freight train, and sent off to a slave labour camp near the Arctic. Nobody was issuing birth certificates; nobody expected babies to survive. Two years later, a birth certificate was issued in Tehran, written in Polish, signed by [illegible].
Having been born in captivity, I would never identify as a Soviet citizen. I was certainly not considered an Iranian citizen. My extraordinary mother did manage to hold on to this certificate, although she subsequently travelled to India and Tanzania in truck convoys, trains and troopships. Since at age 2 I still couldn’t walk, and my mother also had a six-year-old barely recovering from tuberculosis and a very skinny eight-year-old who did help carry whatever contained our meagre possessions – certainly not Louis Vuitton luggage – it would be quite understandable had she lost my certificate.
Refugees have complicated stories, and complicated or missing documents. I can understand why Maryam Monsef said she was Afghan – and I can’t see why it’s such a big issue.
Irene Tomaszewski, OttawaReport Typo/Error
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