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Conservative leadership contestant Pierre Poilievre meets supporters at the conservative BBQ during the Calgary Stampede in Calgary on July 9.TODD KOROL/Reuters

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Word for word

Re Promised ‘Investigation’ Of Abuse Left Open To Interpretation (July 27): Metaphysicians in the audience may be charmed by the Pope’s meditation on the “subject of evil,” but the rest of us still await a full-throated admission of criminality. However moving, his apologies seem to have been partially crafted by the Vatican’s legal division.

If, in response to Martin Luther, Pope Leo X had lawyered up as effectively as the current pontiff, the church might have been spared all the nuisance of the Protestant Reformation.

Farley Helfant Toronto

Evidence given

Re Hockey Canada Gets Dragged, Kicking And Screaming, Into The Year 2017 (July 27): As Hockey Canada continues to unravel, I recall a 2013 meeting of scientists and hockey officials in Whistler, B.C. It was to discuss the evidence of three-times risk reduction for removing body-checking from boys hockey and hastening implementation. Attending were Hockey Canada and USA Hockey.

When asked why USA Hockey had already banned body-checking for young boys, officials replied that it impedes skill development. I asked Hockey Canada officials why they had not yet followed the research. They replied with “governance.” The room went silent with the realization that the hockey establishment was closed to evidence. It was disheartening for me to hear that Hockey Canada was not accountable.

Hockey Canada should be reformed with a transparent and accountable governance body that really does put the health and safety of our youth first. Tragic that it may require the spectre of sexual assault to catalyze these changes.

Bill Barrable CEO, Praxis Spinal Cord Institute; Vancouver

Policing and politics

Re Interference In N.S. Inquiry ‘Unacceptable’ (July 27): I reject this RCMP commander’s comments. The government should use this and any other gun tragedy to promote gun control.

I also suggest that most Canadians agree with me.

John Patton Toronto


It’s a mug’s game whether a policy response to a precipitating event is “responsible government” or “political profiteering.” I guess it depends on whether one is ally or foe, or whether one wishes to deflect blame and attention. I fear such is the case with some RCMP brass regarding the tragedy in Nova Scotia.

While mistakes may have been made in how urgency was communicated, I find it hard to see scandal in accelerating legislation regarding automatic weapons in the face of a tragedy involving them, and making sure it covers weapons actually used.

I would have been more shocked had the government not done so. I find it to be responsible policymaking, not “political profiteering.”

L.J. Ridgeway Ottawa

Slick presentation

Re Our Allies Need Canada’s Natural Resources (July 25): Candace MacGibbon, a Canadian mining executive, makes a sales pitch to Canadians to become the global supplier of choice for ethical and sustainable natural resources. I don’t buy it.

Even though it sounds appealing to help out Europeans by expanding fossil fuel infrastructure in Canada to allow for increased exports, this action would not be in the long-term interest of Canadians. More fossil fuel infrastructure would make it even more difficult to meet commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The ethical and sustainable thing to do is stay the course with climate-smart initiatives and work to decarbonize even faster – in Canada and in Europe. That would be the best way to help our allies in the long term.

Cathy Page Calgary


Re Striking A Fine Balance In The Oil Patch (July 25): It seems we may never, ever account for, or dare mention, the aftermarket destiny of Canadian hydrocarbons. “Just pump ‘em and make ’em emissions-friendly – whatever that means. New and improved, come get ‘em.”

I’m not sure they’ll buy it.

Larry Prickett Gatineau, Que.

Walk and talk

Re What The Spectre Of Alberta Separatism Means For Canada (July 25): The idea of Alberta separatism is not new.

As a 10-year-old in 1943, I attended the Calgary Bull Sale with my dad. We went to a cattlemen’s banquet in the Palliser Hotel (now the Fairmont Palliser) with several of his colleagues. The guest speaker, I can’t remember his name, began ranting about why Alberta should separate from Canada.

I vividly remember the response of my father and his friends: After a few minutes, we got up and left in the middle of the speech.

Ross Gould Calgary

Conservative numbers

Re The CPC Has Engineered Its Own Takeover (July 27): Columnist Andrew Coyne did not get into the arithmetic of Canadian elections. Wading into those stagnant waters tells us that roughly 30 per cent of Canadian voters will likely support Conservative candidates regardless of any circumstances.

Because of the reality of our first-past-the-post electoral system, the Conservatives know they only need to attract another 5 or 6 per cent of votes in order to gain what passes for a majority. If the number of new party members claimed by Pierre Poilievre is to be believed, it’s at least possible that those numbers could be achieved. And in the next election, I see voters faced with a miserable choice of Mr. Poilievre, the untested NDP or a Liberal government that talks endlessly but often does nothing.

As for the Liberals, the one thing in their favour is that, with Mr. Poilievre as a target, the attack ads write themselves.

Steve Soloman Toronto

Squeeze play

Re Africa’s Leaders Aren’t Ready To Face Its Coming Population Surge (Opinion, July 22): Finally, an article challenging the virtues of eternal population growth.

One of the main reasons for the prosperity of the West and parts of Asia has been the acceptance and use of contraception to limit family sizes. The notion that growth and a rising standard of living can continue forever should be seen as magical thinking. Nothing can grow forever.

Our planet is currently plagued by excess consumption in the developed world and population growth elsewhere. Global warming and extinction of species will likely continue until these two problems are recognized and dealt with.

Patty Benjamin Victoria

In support

Re Why I Lie To My Mom (First Person, July 25): I was overwhelmed reading this story. I too “used” my mother as a reason to try to keep living. And then in reverse when, in sickness, she needed me.

To essay-writer Daphnée Lévesque: You are not alone. Keep on fighting and holding on.

Karen Genge Ottawa


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