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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with the Aga Khan on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 17, 2016.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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Pre-emptive action

Re Oligarch Moved Money Before Ottawa Added Him To Sanctions List (Report on Business, April 26): To prevent oligarchs avoiding sanctions before they’re implemented, give Ottawa the ability – under judicial oversight, of course – to seize assets ex parte. That is, without notice to the affected party.

This is done routinely in civil fraud cases through Mareva injunctions, as a way to ensure that assets are not dissipated by giving the other party notice of intent to freeze assets. I was involved in many Mareva cases and the courts are very familiar with them.

Applicants must meet a high evidentiary standard before an injunction is granted. Within a short period after a freezing order, affected parties are able to seek relief before the courts.

This would make the process of imposing sanctions more nimble, consistent with the Charter and less open to avoidance.

Mario Possamai Toronto

Government action

Re Emergencies Act Inquiry May Not Hold Officials To Account: Critics (April 26): It’s going to be interesting to see if we still live in Canada – or have we dissolved into Animal Farm?

Leslie Martel Mississauga

Re Trudeau Faces Backlash In House Over RCMP Probe Into Gifted Trip (April 26): It now appears that the main reason Justin Trudeau avoided a criminal charge of fraud, over his acceptance of a family holiday at the Aga Khan’s island retreat, was because the law was unclear whether a prime minister had the authority to approve a paid gift for himself.

Mr. Trudeau has shown a propensity for issuing apologies for many past injustices. Maybe now would be an appropriate time for him to formally apologize to Canadians for his own behaviour.

Michael Gilman Toronto

Re Ottawa Scales Back Drug Price Reforms Costly To Big Pharma Profits (April 21): This is another example of the power of greed to dominate the common good.

For many years, governments have been lobbied by big business to maximize their interests over the needs of the public. We have endured, but how long can we go on with less power and money to fix the problems we face in society?

Unless we collectively recognize how harmful this is to our lives, the problems will compound. Together, we can use our power to stop being controlled by greed.

Heidi Vamvalis London, Ont.

Popular vote

Re Get In Line (April 25): On Pierre Poilievre, a letter-writer asks “the $64,000 question: Will his message go viral?” In light of his call to “let Canadians opt-out of inflation with … crypto currencies,” that is a 1.30 bitcoin question as of Tuesday afternoon – up from 1.08 on March 29.

Adil Sayeed Toronto

Re Poilievre’s Textbook Populism: Conjuring Unseen Enemies In The Place Of Real Solutions (Opinion, April 23): Pierre Poilievre announced that, if elected prime minister, he would defund the CBC. I have a suggestion: Don’t mess around with half-measures.

Be bold: Promise to sell the CBC to Elon Musk, and split the proceeds among the citizenry. To the daring go the spoils.

Peter Dykstra Ottawa


Re RBC And CIBC Back Musk’s $44-billion Takeover Of Twitter (Report on Business, April 26): It would be educational to know how much due diligence (currently referred to as environmental, social and corporate governance) was done by Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce before they committed gobs of money to the richest man in the world. Some of it is an unsecured loan.

As a Canadian, I am embarrassed and angry.

I hope Russia’s Tass news agency doesn’t need a loan. The reliability of the news seems about the same.

Rob Woodward Sarnia, Ont.

With his simplistic view of free speech, Elon Musk longs to open up the internet to right-wing messaging that seems at best misleading and frequently incorrect. His purchase of Twitter serves political ends, not business ones.

By putting their money where Mr. Musk’s mouth is, the leaders of Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce show me distressingly poor judgment.

John McLeod Toronto

An apparent advocate for free speech, Elon Musk has bought Twitter and says he will make some changes. Perhaps he can preserve free speech and bring an end to outrageous, dangerous and obscene dialogue on that site by following the example of responsible newspapers in their letters-to-the-editor policies.

Most newspapers of quality do not allow anonymous comments. If that cannot be done, there’s no hope for useful “free speech” on the internet.

George Dunbar Toronto

Buying power

Re Are We Witnessing The Last Gasps Of Globalization? (April 20): Consumers are more aware of genocide and forced labour issues in China, and of appalling factory conditions in India.

They are speaking out with their wallets and purchasing choices. Manufacturers and importers are listening.

Nearshoring or onshoring makes sense for many reasons, some of which are ethical.

Roger Emsley Delta, B.C.

League of legends

Re Hall of Famer Brought Flair To The Canadiens (April 23): Although, as a teenager in Winnipeg during the 1970s, I supported the Jets of the old World Hockey Association, Guy Lafleur was clearly the most exciting player of any league.

Contributor Tom Hawthorn reminds us that the Flower only “blossomed … when he abandoned wearing a helmet.” Could the Jets please play helmetless next season?

Rudy Buller Toronto

Re Lafleur Made Hockey Appear Iconic In A Way No One Had Before (Sports, April 23): Some years past, my wife and I were enjoying dinner with friends at a fine Italian eatery in Brampton, Ont., when my attention was drawn to three familiar figures. Sitting a few tables over, in “our restaurant,” was Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau and Guy Lafleur.

My Maple Leafs loyalty faded in the presence of what amounted to hockey royalty. After their meal, the trio went to the kitchen, where they must have left a lasting impression on the mama of the place. As they headed for the exit, most of my fellow diners joined these hockey heroes for a closer look, a quick chat or perhaps a hand on a famous shoulder.

They took time for each of us and to sign autographs (my wife quick-wittedly made use of a purloined table napkin for hers). Les Canadiens could not have asked for more excellent ambassadors than these fine gentlemen.

William Kort St. Catharines, Ont.

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