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Opinion From the comments: Readers discuss proposed statutory holiday, removal of statues and illegal border crossings

Today’s comments were selected because they address divisive issues thoughtfully and respectfully.

From Federal government to declare statutory holiday to mark painful residential-school legacy by Gloria Galloway

We do not need another statutory holiday. We do not need a federal government that forces us to apologize, or feel sorry about, or regret, the residential schools. We need concerted action on the social, economic, educational, and health issues that are barriers to the well-being of indigenous peoples, and their communities, in ways that are sustainable and effective over the long term. We need to do this because we fundamentally believe that all people have rights and need opportunities to build their futures, not because we feel bad about the past. - Gavin Perryman

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From Removing my statue of John A. Macdonald from view is not going to change our history, a column by John Dann

Artist John Dann working on his sculpture of Sir John A. Macdonald in 1981. The statue was installed outside Victoria's City Hall in 1982 and has now been removed. Credit: Carl Nøhr

Carl Nøhr

Reading an article such as this gives me hope for humanity. Very well thought out and expressed as other comments have stated. John Dann suggests a reasoning and path to what may have been a better solution and yet may still be for other problems facing the world today. Thank you to the author and the Globe and Mail for publishing this piece. - DAX59

An incredibly articulate, cogent and sensitive article. I only wish our leaders had the thoughtfulness, coherence and courage of Mr. Dann. - Brant Randles

Every country has done things, that by today’s standards, should have been done differently. No country has a history without blemishes. However, without Sir John A. Macdonald it is unlikely that today’s Canada would exist in the form in which it does. He founded one of the most welcoming, free and tolerant countries in history. He created an infrastructure that has allowed us to stay as one nation. Perhaps he was a drunk and possibly he was a racist (but bear in mind that in his time he was considered a progressive). Most importantly, he was also a visionary who realized the need to link Canada’s east and west via rail.

The country that he created has championed freedom and tolerance and has fought against extremists of both the left and right and have been a leader in tolerance for race, religion and sexual preference. Perhaps it is fairer to judge historical figures for their achievements than for their opinions. Taking our First Prime Minister off of banknotes and tearing down his statues is not an act of intelligence or of reconciliation. It is one of revenge, bitterness and hatred. - nrh

From: Illegal border crossings from U.S. increase by nearly 23 per cent from June to July by Michelle Zilio

People are crossing at the unauthorized crossings because of the Safe Third Country Agreement, which says the U.S. is a safe country. Acknowledge that the U.S. is no longer safe (nor has a reasonable refugee review process). Eliminate the agreement, and people will declare refugee status at the regular border crossings. Then the media will maybe stop using the word illegal.

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I'm not saying that the immigration process works well. It does need to be overhauled and given more resources to do its job. But let's stop demonizing people who come via the U.S.

Also, as far as I know, it doesn't cost more to support (temporarily and at a very minimal level) a person who comes via the U.S. through an irregular crossing compared to a refugee who arrives via another country with which we don't have a "safe third country agreement". It's only privately sponsored refugees that cost less for the government, but that program is also now being reduced (at least in Quebec, maybe across Canada as well). Many of the refugees crossing from the U.S. will see their applications accepted and go on to become citizens, get jobs, and pay the taxes that support all of us. - esmerelda4

The vast majority of Canadians (including most of those who immigrated to this country by following our immigration rules) want the government to take action to stop this illegal entry. Their refusal to do so is creating ill will against refugees and possibly against all immigration The fact is that Canada does have sovereign control over its borders and has the ability to put a stop to this immediately.

Let’s continue to accept genuine refugees who apply through the established process and to continue to welcome qualified immigrants into this country - however, we need to immediately stop the illegal border crossing and to bring to justice the human traffickers and coyotes who are largely behind the problem and who are operating in the open. - nrh

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