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April 5: Feeling un-equalized in Ontario, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Feeling un-equalized

The Mowat Centre says there’s an $11-billion “structural gap” between what Ottawa collects in taxes in Ontario every year, and what it returns to the province (Ontario Can No Longer Take One For The Team – April 4).

Say I’m your ne’er-do-well brother who can never make ends meet without you helping me with extra cash. Say you’re clunking along in your rusty Ford, wondering how you’re going to replace the transmission, when you see me whizzing by in a shiny Lexus. Say you ask me why I’m spending your money on a luxury that you can’t afford. Say that here I indignantly reply that the money you give me, I use exclusively to pay the rent. The money I use for my sports car, on the other hand, is different money. It’s my money, understand?

If at this point you apologize and reach for your wallet, then you have been playing the role of Ontario in The Fabulous Tale of Canadian Equalization. It’s our traditional Canadian morality show and you’re the bad guy.

Don’t anticipate a curtain call.

Scott Gardiner, Toronto


MPs, babes, bathwater

Re Advice To Mr. Harper: Muzzle Them! (April 4): When it comes to MPs’ freedom to speak, Margaret Wente indicates she would prefer to see the baby thrown out with the bathwater – or is it the bathwater with the baby? I think Canadians can deal intelligently with any renewed discussion of abortion, but I fear a Parliament that is only a front for an untransparent and unaccountable executive. A little revolt by backbenchers is long overdue, and very welcome.

Nicholas Tracy, associate, Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society, University of New Brunswick


Both merit praise

We have known and worked with justices Michael Moldaver and Andromache Karakatsanis over many years in many capacities. We agree with your editorial Weak Process For Weighty Choices (April 4) where it praises the abilities and contributions of Justice Moldaver. We disagree with your criticism, both direct and indirect, concerning the contributions of Justice Karakatsanis.

Justice Karakatsanis has been an exemplar in each of the positions she has successfully filled. A judge’s contribution should not be measured on the basis of the number of judgments written, particularly in an appellate court where collegial decision-making and judgment-writing are so important.

From our perspective as retired judges, we have no doubt that Justice Karakatsanis has made and will continue to make a significant contribution to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Patrick LeSage, Susan Lang, Toronto


Being the NDP

Re Why The NDP Needs To Discard Its Poisoned Roots (online editorial – April 5): For the past 50 years, The Globe’s editorial board has endorsed either the Liberals or Conservatives in every election. Never the NDP. Now that the party sits as the government-in-waiting, we see an editorial offering it advice on what it must do to be successful – stop being the NDP.

The language in the existing preamble to the party’s constitution underscores the fundamental weaknesses of a capitalist system that has failed most Canadians, whether they realize it or not. The reality of rich people getting richer on the backs of the working poor is as unfair today as it was when the CCF and NDP came onto the political scene. There is no need to remove socialism from the preamble. What the party really needs to do is educate and convince Canadians that there can be a better, more equitable way.

Canada needs an NDP that will address our society’s problems, not another Liberal Party by another name.

Hershl Berman, Toronto


All about disparity

Michel Bencini’s noted disparity between the salaries of CEOs and minimum-wage employees in the private sector has no relevance to the Sunshine List (Shocked, Appalled – letters, April 4).

The concern is the disparity between those in the Sunshine List, who are primarily professional and management grades, with their counterparts in the private sector – most of whom, by the way, also work full time, at nights and in July and August.

Graeme Lamb, Fonthill, Ont.


No respect here

Hamas and its leader Khaled Meshaal have not evolved from terrorists to “moderates,” nor is the terror group “willing to live in peace beside Israel” (Israeli Response To Gaza Rockets Muted – April 4). Just two months ago, Hamas reiterated its fervent opposition to the two-state solution.

Israel in no way “respects” Mr. Meshaal, the ruthless leader of this banned terrorist organization. Hamas’s words and, more importantly, its deeds should be the yardsticks that measure whether this group has repudiated violence and become “moderate.”

Mike Fegelman, Honest Reporting Canada


Life lived

I was saddened to read of the death of Glenn Cooper of Pictou, N.S., in Lives Lived (April 3). I never met the man, and only knew him through his letters to the editor published in The Globe and Mail, but these were enough to give me a sense of him as a real human being.

I cut out his Lives Lived, and pasted it in my scrapbook alongside a clipping from a letters-to-the-editor page when Glenn gently and firmly set the record straight on the origins of the hymn Morning Has Broken. Thanks for the column, thank you to its author, and sincere condolences to the Cooper family; I will miss Glenn Cooper.

Fred MacDonald, Peterborough, Ont.


Missile backlash

The decision to deploy a “missile-defence shield” in Guam is yet another offensive move by the United States in the Asia-Pacific region (U.S. Deploys Missile-Defence Shield Against North Korean strike – April 4).

In removing the deterrence capacity of North Korea, the U.S. and its allies acquire the offensive capability of launching an attack without any anxiety of retaliation. Far from “strengthen[ing] regional protection against a possible attack from North Korea,” this tactic will undoubtedly fuel North Korea’s desire for a more effective nuclear deterrent.

Ben More, Port Hope, Ont.


Hairs apparent

When I settled down to watch the Jays’ season opener, my attention was soon interrupted by seeing all those unshaven players with ugly beards, which made me wonder if the mujahadeen had infiltrated the league. Can all these well-paid players not afford a razor and shaving cream?

Roy Pelletier, Pointe Claire, Que.

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