Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

April 12: The unfriendly skies of United. Plus other letters to the editor

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

.................................................................................................................................

Unfriendly skies

Story continues below advertisement

Re United Airlines Responds To Removal Video (Report on Business, April 11): The first name on everyone's no-fly list should be United Airlines.

Al Vitols, Sidney, B.C.

......................................

Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines' parent company, tries to justify injuring and dragging a customer off a plane because he refused to give up the seat he paid for after being "asked politely."

Is he suggesting that it is acceptable to use violence just because you don't happen to get what you want after asking nicely?

Does he understand the difference between denial of boarding and expelling a passenger without cause after boarding had been allowed? Mr. Munoz further defends his company's actions as following policy. Even if such a policy is legal, it is unethical.

A ticket is a contract with a passenger, and we plan our schedules based on this. If his company is willing to break its agreements so easily, how will passengers be able to trust them in the future?

Story continues below advertisement

I know which airline I won't be choosing for my next flight.

Hershl Berman, Toronto

......................................

The brutal removal of a passenger from a United Airlines flight demonstrates that the YouTube hit United Breaks Guitars continues to inspire the airline. Perhaps the new lyrics should be, "United, you beat your passengers …"

Air Canada should rethink its Star Alliance with United.

Don Ray, Calgary

Story continues below advertisement

......................................

Support for science

Re More Science, Please, But Hold The Bureaucracy (Folio, April 11): Business innovation should not be conflated with basic research, and it is a mischaracterization to depict a cost-neutral council of volunteers as "more bureaucracy." In our report reviewing federal support for science, we agree with the concern about the proliferation of agencies, programs and institutes in the spheres of both research and innovation.

Indeed, that is one reason we recommended creating an independent oversight council with a mandate to critically review federal proposals for new research agencies and institutes, and to ensure tougher-minded evaluation of those already in existence.

Barrie McKenna seems unhappy that we did not propose major structural changes. The four big research agencies currently in operation have fine reputations and low overheads by international standards. They need better co-ordination, but glomming them together will achieve minimal savings and be hugely disruptive.

It's ironic that Mr. McKenna laments Ottawa's failure to act fully on the 2011 Jenkins Panel recommendations. That panel also proposed a consolidating mechanism and tougher reviews to streamline a welter of innovation programming. No such mechanism was created, in part because the idea was aggressively dismissed by media pundits as more bureaucracy.

Sound familiar?

C. David Naylor, chair, federal science review panel, Toronto

......................................

War's long shadow

My father also endured four years of horror in the trenches of the First World War. Unlike most of the soldiers described by your correspondents, he did talk about it. Virtually non-stop.

We tried to be patient with him, knowing that his imagination had been so stamped by the long-lasting nightmare, that for him there was no escape.

John Verney, Calgary

......................................

Decriminalize them

Re Why Stop With Pot? Let's Decriminalize All Drugs (April 11): I strongly agree with André Picard that all drugs should be decriminalized. As a provider of treatment for drug dependence, I know that drug addiction is a treatable condition.

The ludicrous idea that society can legislate its way to becoming drug-free has been proven to be futile. I have seen firsthand the devastation criminalization has imposed on drug users and their families. This must stop.

The scientifically supported way of dealing with this problem is by effective and available harm-reduction and treatment. This is a social and public health problem that cannot be ameliorated by criminal sanctions and incarceration.

We are suffering from an unprecedented overdose crisis, yet as Mr. Picard notes, our responses have been inadequate: Treatment facilities are under-resourced to the point of having to restrict access; harm-reduction initiatives such as supervised injection sites and heroin prescription programs, although supported in principle, remain for the most part unfunded while both levels of government dither about paying for them. In the meanwhile, people suffer and die.

It is time for Canada to adopt a mature and sensible approach to drug use. Criminalizing drug users is not the way to do this.

Dennis Long, professor, addictions and mental health, Guelph-Humber University

......................................

Justice, extended

Re Ottawa Schedules Emergency Meeting As Court Delays Intensify (April 11): The best way to ensure that trials happen quickly is to create more courts. We can either build more courts and appoint more judges – or we can use the ones we have for simpler matters outside of the normal hours of business. There are literally thousands of matters that could go before a judicial master or part-time judge for resolution and free up much needed court time.

Many litigants would prefer to stand before a judicial authority in the evenings when they don't have to take the time off work.

There are numerous benefits to this approach, including providing a training ground for would-be judges who can handle simple matters under the supervision of experienced jurists.

In the name of conflict resolution, many provinces have added stages to resolve civil matters, which in my view rarely achieves that goal. Lengthening the time it takes to get before a judge can increase costs for litigants.

Provincial attorneys-general should consider opening courts well beyond traditional hours, and move the dockets along.

These modest procedural changes could expedite all facets of the justice system. Night Court's Harry Stone would be proud!

Scott Thurlow, Ottawa

......................................

Trump the irony

Re U.S. Struggles With Syrian Policy And Whether al-Assad Must Go (April 11): Two lessons can be learned from the recent U.S. missile strikes against Syria: First, Donald Trump is willing to deploy military force solely in response to his own emotional impulses. Second, by doing so he can win widespread support domestically and internationally (Justin Trudeau, c'mon down!).

For a man fixated on the need for adoration, this is a bad combination that may well repeat itself whenever he needs an affirmation fix. We should all be scared.

Murray Angus, Ottawa

......................................

I find it profoundly ironic that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is off to Moscow to admonish the Russians that they "have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner." And how reliable and predictable is his own boss?

Graham Steeves, Port Elgin, Ont.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨