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In this Aug. 13, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden stands at left as his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Del.

Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press

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So long, Scheer

Re Scheer Offers Advice For His Replacement (Aug. 13): I would like to thank Andrew Scheer for his service to the Conservative Party and to Canada.

Hopefully he will remain in politics, as I find he has performed nobly as House Speaker and Conservative Leader. It cannot have been an easy time for him, filling in while a new leader is to be declared, but he soldiered on.

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His conduct made me think of a line from Robert Burns’s A Man’s A Man For A’ That: “The honest man … is king o’ men for a’ that.” In short, Mr. Scheer suffered his lumps and took it on the chin. His actions, as I see them, serve a sharp contrast to Justin Trudeau.

Bob Erwin Ottawa

Circling back

Re Three Years Ago, Gun-Law Loopholes Paved The Way For A Rampage in B.C. Why Has Nothing Changed? (Aug. 8): The crux of this story seems painfully obvious: a mentally ill individual was able to purchase a firearm and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in Canada, then goes berserk. To attribute the ensuing rampage to a legal technicality – one that enables 10-round pistol magazines to be used in five-round rifles – feels disingenuous. In fact, pistol-calibre firearms have significantly less power, lower accuracy and shorter range than conventional rifles.

This person could have affected more mayhem with a perfectly legal 25-round magazine in a .22 rimfire rifle. And the potential for lethal carnage would have increased had he used a five-round capacity, full-bore military surplus or commercial hunting rifle. As well, the shooter could have caused multiple vehicle wrecks and injuries had he chosen to wield a shotgun with buckshot or slugs.

All in all, I find his choice of a legislative “loophole” rifle to wreak havoc was far from the most advantageous strategy.

Bert van Ingen Nepean, Ont.


The perpetrator of this rampage purchased a firearm from a store without a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence and was likely not qualified to renew it. The RCMP investigation “deemed that all store policies were followed and no charges were laid.” This is outrageous to me.

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The PAL was designed precisely to prevent the sale of firearms to persons that are not considered by the RCMP to be capable of safely handling, storing and using them, which this individual was clearly not. The RCMP are supposed to ensure such regulations are followed.

I believe this episode had nothing to do with the type of gun and everything to do with the failure of the store clerk, who should have been properly trained by management. It’s clear to me that store policies were not followed, as they would not have been able to sell firearms without having these policies front and centre.

The PAL is an excellent tool, when properly used, and I doubt any law-abiding gun owner would disagree with its main purpose.

Michael O’Brien Langley, B.C.

Universal danger

Re How Broken Systems Allowed Matthew McKnight To Get Away With Sexual Assault For Years (Opinion, Aug. 8): The account of the offences of Matthew McKnight against his victims is indeed horrific. However, contributor Karlee Kobasiuk refers to white male privilege no fewer than four times. Are we to assume that only privileged white men are getting away with sexual assault due to our “broken systems?”

Sexual violence is and always has been a crime that knows no boundaries in terms of race, ethnicity or economic background. I believe it does no one any service to point a finger at white men as being the only ones who benefit from our failure to protect women.

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Susan Cochrane Toronto

Bye, bye, baby

Re The Coming Baby Bust (Opinion, Aug. 8): While I agree with columnist John Ibbitson and contributor Darrell Bricker on the significance of accepting newcomers into Canada, I can’t help but think of the countries they are leaving behind.

Whether a person is coming to Canada for economic reasons, to flee persecution or to reunite with family, we should also understand what their country of origin is losing, not just what Canada is gaining. In a global society, wouldn’t it be better if all countries had a chance to prosper? I’m not sure how that happens if the best and brightest minds of so many countries move here.

It seems immigration solves some of our problems, but adds long-lasting ones elsewhere in the world.

Nathan Stoffman Toronto


I am a strong proponent of immigration, but what John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker argue for seems to be a beggar-thy-neighbour population policy.

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If there really won’t be enough young people to go around when the global population starts to decline, then the only true solution would be to adapt our systems so they don’t depend on youth. From that point of view, immigration can only ever be a temporary stopgap.

The real argument for immigration is that free movement should be a right. No state should be permitted to tie people to its soil – even when the soil in question is as expansive as Canada’s. But, to deal with declining global fertility, we need to change our societies so they don’t depend on exponential population growth.

Chris Borst Montreal

Word on the street

Re The Artful Flogger (Arts & Pursuits, Aug. 8): After spending 50 years in enemy territory in the book publishing business, I have rarely read such a compelling portrait of a would-be novelist as reporter Ian Brown’s of Crad Kilodney, the late outlaw of Canadian letters.

The pain and depth of his exile from any recognized publication is remarkable. Behind his desperate search for establishment endorsement, I see a lonely soul trying to make a place for himself, in an unsuccessful way, in the CanLit world.

I think he may have been our own Willy Loman. If you remove all the bluster, I think Crad Kilodney was a nice guy who wanted to be loved and appreciated, perhaps for the wrong reasons. Finally, we have an anti-hero who we can all appreciate.

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Tony Hawke Toronto

Short-term stay

Re That Je Ne Sais Quoi (Letters, Aug. 13): It seems people have to be reminded that Kamala Harris is as Canadian as Meghan Markle.

Eric Mendelsohn Toronto

Canadian capacity

Re We Should Limit Crowds In Provincial Parks (Aug. 10): I’m reminded of an observation by famous sociologist Yogi Berra: “Nobody ever goes there any more; it’s too crowded.”

Sam Rainboth Vancouver


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