Royals pay their way
Elizabeth Renzetti is obviously a republican by sentiment, but even so, her column (Look At The Cute Prince, Not The Accounts – Aug. 22) has a streak of mean running through it, dealing as it does with Charles's reluctantly paying as little income tax as legally possible and disparaging the fact that he has political opinions. She also gets a sly dig at the Queen by mentioning her pay raise after public spending cuts.
It could be argued that the royals more than pay their way. To an extent, they lead lives of cosseted privilege with valets and equerries and Bentleys, oh my; but having their every move aired out in the pitiless glare of public fascination is an existence that I, for one, would never willingly embrace. The obsession with the world's most famous and visible royal family has been a boon for British tourism, for the makers of ceramic regally themed tchotchkes, and for the producers and sellers of print and television media, to name some examples.
Ms. Renzetti got paid for her column, no? As such, she owes the royals a little credit for the interest in her writing.
Manuel Cappel, Toronto
The question is which system works best. Having your head of state as head of a political party, for instance, is divisive. In our system, the amount of money you have makes no difference to who becomes head of state, whereas it dominates the U.S. system. I doubt the monarchy would be found to cost more if a true comparison of costs were to be made – choosing a president is horrendously expensive.
Ted Dew-Jones, Victoria
More questions on the costs of keeping so many royals. Does anybody in this day and age really believe he or she is a fairytale prince or princess?
Here in Canada, we have our government ramming the royal jelly down our throats by weaving their emblems into our own armed forces as well as promoting them pictorially in our embassies and missions. God bless the Queen, but can we please now have equal time to Canadians who have come from other lands?
J.P. Mulrooney, Toronto
Do no harm
As a physician, my first motto is to do no harm. Being forced to assist in someone's death is contrary to my training and years of caring for my patients (Fear Prevails As CMA Fails To Take Leadership Role On Issue Of Euthanasia – Aug. 22).
I am not saying physicians should not be involved in euthanasia, but asking the CMA to speak on behalf of doctors and say they all should assist in euthanasia is just wrong.
Henderson Lee, M.D., anesthesia department, Toronto East Hospital and faculty of medicine, University of Toronto
Andrew Ryan points out that the Fraser Institute erroneously omits childcare from its estimates of the costs of raising a child because they vary across families (Can Canadian Parents Really Raise A Child For $3,000 A Year? – online, Aug. 22). Even more incredibly, they eliminate additional shelter costs attributable to raising a child for the same reason. Beyond this, no account is taken of saving to make investments in a child's education.
The report's author notes that healthy children have been raised by parents at all income levels. What he fails to note is the evidence that lifelong morbidity for a broad range of diseases decreases as the income of a child's household increases.
Sid Frankel, associate professor, faculty of social work, University of Manitoba
It isn't too late
Re System Must Focus On Senior Care Strategy (Aug. 19): Canada has had decades to prepare for baby boomers to hit retirement, but rather than planning ahead, governments have undermined our health-care system through funding cuts and privatization.
However, it's not too late. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, population aging is driving up costs by only 0.9 per cent per year. And the way to meet those costs is clear.
Publicly funded and delivered health care is less expensive than private care, so let's focus on public care. Let's improve home care and long-term care, which are a fraction of the cost of acute care. Let's create a national pharmacare program that would save billions of dollars every year. And let's reverse the planned $36-billion in federal health cuts, followed by a new federal-provincial health accord that includes pharmacare.
Elisabeth Ballermann, president, Health Sciences Association of Alberta, Edmonton
That's not Putinesque
Re Positively Putinesque (editorial – Aug. 21): Quebec's plan isn't Putinesque; it's racist. Religious minorities are frequently racial minorities. True concern for secularism would have seen the removal of the cross in the National Assembly. Any countenance is unreasonable accommodation.
Anil Srivastava, Toronto
Giving people the right to be religious while engaged in publicly funded work was how access to abortion disappeared in various places in Canada. It's why some schools in B.C. have gay-straight alliances and others do not, even when recent studies show everybody benefits from them.
Take away the religious paraphernalia and you remind the public servant that from 9 to 5, he serves a democratic government and not God. Trust me, many of them need reminding.
Ian Cameron, Orillia, Ont.
Although I'm from the United States, these past two years I've had the good fortune to study and live in Canada, and must say that it truly is a country that represents freedom of all sorts, standing above even its fellow Western nations. To ban religious headwear here – in any part of this great country – is absurd and contradicts the paramount values of religious freedom of this land.
Farhad Rana, Laurel, Md.
Behind the Quebec commotion on religious apparel is a far larger question that puzzles me. Why do people feel the urgency to advertise their religious convictions? Presumably, except for Buddhism, religion is a relationship to the perceived divine, and therefore an essentially private matter. Why the advertisement to other people except as an effort to convert or impress them? If that is the motivation, I have little sympathy.
Job Kuijt, Victoria
OK, that's Putinesque
Now that The Globe has treated us to a centrefold of Stephen Harper doing Arctic target shooting (Refreshing His Image With An Arctic Blast – Aug. 22), can photos of a topless Mr. Harper racing on horseback, Putin-style, through Prairie fields be far behind?
Ila Bossons, Toronto