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‘Sex, drugs and booze’
Re Ontario Delays Debut Of Private-Sector Cannabis – Aug. 14): Wow, a new cannabis-retailing policy imposed with no public consultation, and a well-researched, well-regarded sex-ed curriculum withdrawn because of a supposed lack of consultation.
What is Ontario Premier Doug Ford smoking?
Michael D. Arkin, Toronto
The contest over how cannabis will be legalized in Ontario is over, and the answer is … on the back of the envelope. Of course, it’s just a start, this six-month government monopoly operating only online. But even so, a bit sketchy.
We guess at questions for online forms customers might need to answer: Names, addresses, postal codes, credit-card numbers, proof of age or residence? How verified? Copies of official documents to be provided on-line? Deliveries be signed for? Plain packaging or emblazoned?
Then there’s the necessary customer data base. For each customer, how many orders? For how much? How often? How varied? Always the same address, or moving around? How to match payments with banks and credit agencies? Something secure, of course. But if the system is tailor-made? “New systems, new problems” seems to be the industry standard. So, something off the rack? Whose rack?
If even off-the-rack systems need some tailoring, by whose tailor? What models and compatibilities will they have in mind when they tailor? Files on police records? Immigration files? Tax records? Delinquent payments? Demographic and social profiles?
Of course, a really business-oriented system-operator might want to sell subsets of that database to agents for advertisers. What fun new pop-up ads can we expect Mom and Dad and the kids to surprise each other with?
And only six-months later, a new storefront retail environment! I can hardly wait.
James Russell, Ottawa
Interesting how Doug Ford’s three priorities since becoming Premier are sex, drugs and booze.
Marty Cutler, Toronto
Re Maxime Bernier Puts Scheer In A Sticky Political Conundrum (Aug. 14): If Maxime Bernier believes “more diversity” in Canada (i.e. immigration) will bring ghettoization, perhaps he should consider the ghettos of wealthy Canadians in exclusive areas in every corner of Canada. His approach sounds more like racial prejudice than concern about diversity.
Ron Slater, Ile des Soeurs, Que.
Why is celebrating diversity but being against “ever more” of it “dim witted”? Too much is justified in the name of “diversity,” which we are all left to define in our own way.
Many use it as a synonym for immigration. By all means, “Welcome to Canada,” but do so legally, not as a border-jumping economic migrant. We’ve had more than enough of that kind of “diversity.”
Sarah Pelletier, Montreal
Teachers’ math skills
Re Teachers’ Math Training a Variable Equation (Aug. 14): Our prospective teachers’ knowledge of basic math skills is truly appalling. I had to laugh, though, at Question #10 of the Grade 6 and 7 level math test, part of which states, “120 pages equals to 40% of the entire book.”
Could we back up and start with grammar lessons?
Jo Meingarten, Toronto
Surely the best way to deal with mathematical incompetence in teachers is to make competence in mathematics a prerequisite to gaining admission into any education faculty.
Barry Stagg, Toronto
Saudis off the wards
Re Saudi Students’ Early Exits Leave Hospitals Reeling (Aug. 14): Is it any wonder Canada is facing shortages of well-trained physicians if, “In some parts of the hospital, including the neonatal intensive care unit and on pediatric patient wards, the Saudi trainees make up one-third to one-half of the resident work force”?
I understand the financial attraction of this arrangement for the hospitals, but let’s make sure we prioritize training doctors who want to stay and care for Canadians. Could be great news for future Canadian medical students competing on merit, not financial contributions to the program.
Cindy Hill, Gravenhurst, Ont.
To answer a letter writer’s recent question: Yes, I can imagine the reaction if the Saudi foreign minister suddenly announced Canada must immediately supply all its disenfranchised First Nations people with potable water, appropriate educational opportunities and housing (all good ideas, by the way). And it would look nothing like what we’re seeing.
Most likely, there would be a statement. It would acknowledge our shortcomings, stress Canada is a “work in progress” and, depending on the political persuasion, would probably include some boilerplate about “strength through diversity” and how Canadians are working together to create a better future. We would, in short, be hypocritical, even a tad cynical, but we’d be cool. This is called being a grownup.
But not even the most vindictive, thin-skinned, partisan Canadian leader would recall our ambassador, send theirs packing and throw the lives of thousands of our citizens into turmoil by dragging them home from their studies and residencies. That’s a hissy fit from an entitled bully out to prove how tough he is.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: Could it be he’s just not ready?
Tom Sullivan, Toronto
Looking for a birth mom
Re The Day I Met My Birth Mother (First Person, Aug. 14): As an adopted child, I always read with interest stories of children reuniting with birth parents, particularly mothers. My adoptive parents in Thunder Bay were very open about how I became a part of their family in 1977 as an infant. For me, there was no surprise, no betrayal, just a loving family. Since my adoptive mother passed away from cancer when I was 16, I, too, have imagined what my birth mother would be like.
Yes, there is the summary non-descript information that was made available to my parents, but I always wondered where my temperament, creativity and drive came from. After learning in 2008 that Ontario was releasing identifying information about birth parents, I eagerly applied.
Unfortunately, my birth mother filed a disclosure veto. And sadly, it will only expire when the person who filed it dies.
I understand her desire not to have her life disrupted, a second time if you will. But I was not looking for a reunion and lasting relationship, I merely wanted to look her in the eye, show her a photo of my three year old son, thank her for making that big decision, and show her everything worked out just fine.
Maybe she’ll be reading this in our national newspaper or maybe not, but I can always hope before it’s too late and the veto expires.
Paul Hookham, Edmonton