If I wish to underwrite Chrysler's profit, I prefer to do so through purchasing a vehicle rather than through my tax dollars (The Rising Price Tag For Chrysler's Canadian Factories – Business, Feb. 12).
Corporations are adept at shaking down governments for subsidies. This might be described as blackmail in almost any other context. Let's get rid of corporate welfare.
Dennis Casaccio, Clementsport, N.S.
According to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, "Canadians work hard and should not be gouged with higher prices because of where they live." (Flaherty Faces Uphill Battle On 'Country Pricing' – Business, Feb. 12).
I'm sure every voter north of the Arctic Circle is hoping he means more than just the U.S.-Canada differential.
Geoff Williams, Stratford, Ont.
The Bentley case
André Picard's column dealing with the Margot Bentley case (The Wishes Of Patients Shouldn't Be Ignored – Life, Feb. 11) has once again stirred my very strongly held views on the subject of the right to die/death with dignity, to the point where I am moved to express disgust with the self-appointed "protectors of life" who think they know best.
Forcing someone to live with an incurable or terminal disease beyond the point where all quality of life has disappeared is cruel and unusual punishment.
John Yorke, New Glasgow, N.S.
As Mr. Picard points out, Ms. Bentley "did everything right" when she wrote her living will. But she didn't engage in that process just to spare herself a long and difficult death – she also did it to protect the people she loved from having to watch her die that death.
Elizabeth Causton, Victoria
I find it incredible that our health-care system has such great difficulty replacing hips or improving the health of those who want it, but can routinely ignore the wishes of those who don't. When the time comes, adrift on an ice floe sounds pretty good.
Ken Duff, Vankleek Hill, Ont.
Re Asking, Getting (letters – Feb. 12):
Gender wage gaps demonstrate that women are not fully integrated into the economic fabric of our society, despite higher education and labour participation levels. Women should not be penalized for choosing fields such as nursing, daycare and social work that have comparable levels of education, skill, responsibility and risk as jobs in engineering, truck driving or sales. And yet women's jobs are persistently undervalued and underpaid due to outdated and deep-rooted social norms influencing how women at work are recognized.
RBC's "The Diversity Advantage" report estimates that if the gap was addressed and men and women had similar labour market opportunities, women's incomes would increase by $168-billion. Discounting the wage gap serves to limit solutions to this complex issue.
Emanuela Heyninck, Commissioner, Ontario Pay Equity Commission
More giraffe ethics
It seems to me that we're getting our knickers in a twist over something that might be viewed as educational and totally practical (Fed To The Lions – letters, Feb. 12). I would be interested to hear what the children thought of observing the process of euthanizing and disposing of the Danish giraffe. Clearly, the zoo and the attendant adults considered it a learning experience for all.
All life carries the risk of being nasty, brutish and short. There's no harm in being aware of that from an early age.
Penelope Hedges, Vancouver
The public outcry seems to be less about the fact that the giraffe was euthanized and more about the way it was carried out: killed, skinned, dissected and fed to lions in front of a crowd that included children.
Fair enough. But I can't help but wish that the same level of public concern were extended to equally wonderful creatures such as cows and pigs, billions of whom suffer their entire lives, only to be killed, skinned, dissected and then fed to us. Just because their plight is out of sight doesn't mean it should be out of mind.
Mark Bessoudo, Toronto
Perhaps officials at the Copenhagen Zoo can explain why the policy on inbreeding shouldn't apply to humans, too. Maybe the Romans were right to feed the lions the way they did.
Patrick Cowan, Toronto
Lawrence Martin disparages Russian hockey and Russian hockey players at the time of the famous 1972 Summit Series (Russia Wants Gold – Perhaps A Bit Too Much – Feb. 11). The Russians favoured "robotic precision" in contrast to our emotional physicality, he writes.
Hmm. What I remember from the 1972 series was the beautiful skating and passing of the Russians and the distinctly unbeautiful bump-and-scramble in front of the net at which Canadians excelled. And I remember Bobby Clarke's satisfaction – much praised in the Canadian media – after he deliberately slashed the ankle of Valeri Kharlamov, crippling the most talented of the Russian players.
Over the intervening decades, Russian hockey has moved somewhat closer to the Don Cherry style we favour in Canada. But I suspect I may not be the only Canadian who wishes that we had, instead, chosen to emulate their commitment to skill.
Arthur Schafer, Winnipeg
Russia wants gold a bit too much? These words from a country that has adopted the obnoxious Olympic directive "Own the podium"?
Brian Nimeroski, Sooke, B.C.
A meddlesome British journalist suggested to Alex Bilodeau that "were Quebec a country, it would be second in the medal count" (Bilodeau's Flawless Final Run To Gold – front page, Feb. 11). But by being such a significant part of Canada, Quebec stands a chance of finishing "first" in the medal count.
Joe O'Brien, Halifax
Quebec can never separate! Their athletes bring us too much national pride.
John Van Sloten, Calgary
Lost in thought
Re Insomnia Is For Losers (Focus – Feb. 8)?
If I took that to heart, and clearly I should, then I would worry about it. And I know from experience that when I'm worried, I lie awake. And then … well … I think anyone can see where *that* leads.
Richard Harris, Hamilton