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April 26: Male, young, disaffected – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Male, disaffected

The common thread among most recent incidents of mass violence in Canada and the U.S. is not being Muslim or Islamist, but being a young, disaffected male (How Faith Forged Security – April 25). Some of these young men purchase guns and shoot into a crowd. Some build bombs they set off in public places. Some are egged on by extremist groups on the Internet, some plan alone. Perhaps we need a public campaign that says, “Young man: Feeling alone, angry, sad, confused? Thinking of killing a bunch of people? Call this number for help.”

Leslie Myers, Calgary


In the law’s eyes

Re Criminal Code ‘Not A Holy Book,’ Suspect Tells Court (April 25): Other people, standing accused, have also declared they don’t recognize the Canadian Criminal Code. They all discover that, innocent or guilty, you don’t have to recognize the Criminal Code, because the Criminal Code will always recognize you.

Murray Rayner, Toronto


Craig Forcese argues that the contentious measures in the anti-terrorism bill amount to a “catch and release” paradigm (The Politics Of Anti-Terrorism – April 24). Where that analysis falls short is in its exclusion of the broader effects such measures have when an individual is wrongfully subjected to them.

The stigma associated with being suspected of terrorism is akin to being labelled a child molester. Irrespective of a later outcome of innocence, the stigma will remain. There will always be those who assume that “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

This is compounded by living in a digital age. Even Maher Arar, who was cleared of any connection to terrorism in a multimillion-dollar public inquiry, still faces detractors who throw mud on his name. So what chance does an average person have in resuming life as normal after being “caught” and “released”?

Ihsaan Gardee, executive director, Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN)


Wartime revisionism

The Japanese Prime Minister’s seeming denial of his country’s invasion of China and Korea during the Second World War amounts to cowardly revisionism (Abe’s Remarks Enrage Japan’s Neighbours – April 25). This is in stark contrast to Germany’s open repentance of Hitler’s attempted annihilation of the Jews.

What’s next? Will the Japanese deny attacking Pearl Harbor, and tell the world it was a conspiracy on America’s part to justify dropping two atomic bombs on their country?

Irene Fung, Mississauga


$2-million, $100-million

Congratulations are due to Ontario, Manitoba and the International Institute for Sustainable Development for working on keeping the Experimental Lakes Area operating (Ontario Moves To Save Research Station – April 25). At least someone has their priorities in line.

The federal government’s ideologically driven decision to shutter the world-renowned facility to save the $2-million in annual operating costs is completely nonsensical. The Conservatives thought nothing of spending $100-million of taxpayers’ money over three years on the partisan “Canada’s Economic Action Plan” ads, a blatant abuse of power.

Drew Davison, Kirkfield, Ont.


Kudos to the Ontario government for stepping up. Let’s hope the Harper government, as it likes to be known, does not now announce that, along with the buildings, it is destroying the data collected since 1968.

Joe O’Brien, Halifax


Just wondering

Let me get this straight: New high-school students may receive counselling to deal with the stress caused by, among other things, not getting their newly assigned lockers opened on the first try (Starting High School: Stress That Can Last – April 25). Really?

Who’s going to hold their hands when they hear about death, taxes and Conservative attack ads?

John Lawrence Reynolds, Burlington, Ont.


Egalitarian health care?

Re A Black Eye For Health Care? (April 25): Conrad Black had a time-sensitive emergency; Joe Blow would have received similar care had he shown up in the emergency department. These success stories happen every day across the country. Mr. Black did not receive special care; we happened to hear about it because the care was received by Mr. Black.

Canadian health care is by no means perfect, but generally does well in times of crisis. If The Globe wants to improve health care, highlight true failures. This, however, is an example we should all celebrate.

Rodger Shortt, Oakville, Ont.


Lysiane Gagnon has accurately described the functioning principles of our “egalitarian health-care system.” Those who “know someone” and/or are persons of influence do move to the front of the line and do so without funding the system on their own to obtain this priority. Basically, they have priority for free. This is what sustains the current “system.”

Harry Birman, MD, Toronto


Airborne debate

Re Porter Warns That Time Is Short, Offers To Fund Airport Jet Study (April 25): After Air Canada abandoned the island airport, upstart Porter Airlines appeared and built a highly successful airline that offers efficiency, stellar customer service, first-class amenities, reasonably priced fares and a culture of social responsibility. If Toronto is smart, it will get the lead out, conduct a thorough and timely review and, in the absence of compelling reasons to the contrary, let this baby fly.

Marty Cutler, Toronto


Wait: Porter Airlines is offering to foot the bill for a study that will tell the city whether it’s a good idea for Porter to expand the island airport? Isn’t that a bit like asking the foxes – or maybe in this case, the raccoons – to be in charge of the expansion plans for the hen coop?

Dale Hildebrand, Toronto


Perish the thought

Re Theft Of $26,000 Scotch Not Your Average Heist (April 24): While I was sorry to hear that such a rare bottle of Scotch had been stolen before I got a chance to buy it, I was somewhat consoled to hear that the suspected thief was “clean shaven” and “nattily dressed in a Burberry shirt and wearing black framed glasses.”

Lord knows, one wouldn’t want just any old riff-raff walking off with the goods: Two days of stubble, a six-year-old Blue Jays T-shirt and a pair of fake Ray Bans? Perish the thought.

Nigel Brachi, Edmonton

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