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In this file photo taken on Dec. 4, 2015, a Canadian flag flies in front of the peace tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images

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Conflict over Korean War

Re Chinese-Canadian Groups Laud China’s Fight Against U.S., Allies In Korean War (Oct. 29): I am Chinese and, first and foremost, a proud and grateful Canadian of 31 years. I have no common ground with those who sympathize with a political system I find morally bankrupt.

Tracy Law, Lu Hongmin and Liu Luyi should go back to history class. They may be confused about where they ought to live.

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Sarah Khoo Stouffville, Ont.


At the start of the Cold War, the world was ideologically divided. This resulted in spheres of interest and influence across the globe and I, as a Canadian soldier, commenced my 35 years of service. It is right, I believe, to respect both Western and Chinese military involvement in the Korean War.

While I cannot condone the military aggression of North Korea, I find that armies on both sides were justified in this struggle. When the U.S.-led United Nations forces crossed the 38th parallel, they provoked a justified Chinese intervention. To rationalize this comment: Consider what a U.S. response would have been to a Soviet coalition occupying northern Mexico.

Instead of fighting the Cold War and Korean War, the international community ought to have co-operated and built a more just and peaceful world.

Rollie Keith Chilliwack, B.C.

Non-confident voter

Re What, Exactly, Is A Non-confidence Vote? Parliament Should Get To Decide (Oct. 28): Columnist Andrew Coyne writes that “ours is an adversarial system. It’s how we get at the truth.” In my experience, rather than delivering truth, our adversarial system delivers distortion, obfuscation, cherry-picking and, sometimes, outright lies.

It would be nice to have a system where honest, collaborative truth-seeking was rewarded.

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Andrew Hodgson Ottawa

B.C. Liberals history?

Re B.C.'s Liberals Face An Existential Crisis (Oct. 28): While it’s true no politician runs under that name any more, my understanding is that the Social Credit Party simply morphed into the B.C. Reform Party. Then, when the Liberals re-emerged under Gordon Wilson, Reformers moved in and took over that party. In my view, BC Liberal supporters, politicians and policies all hark back to Social Credit, where social conservatives accept exclusionary tactics and language, business is king and they never met a “little guy” they couldn’t ignore.

The NDP, with its fiscally responsible policies and (somewhat) strong stand on climate change, has been working to bail this province out of the “dumpster fire” at the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia and the rampant money laundering alongside housing speculation (among other disastrous policies). Why would forward-thinking voters in British Columbia return to a Liberal party with a Socred heart?

A. L. Craig Burnaby, B.C.

(Limits of) free speech

Re Canadians Should Stand With Macron, Even If Trudeau Won’t (Oct. 29): Just because one has an absolute right to freedom of expression shouldn’t exempt one from a duty to consider the wisdom and tact involved in exercising that right. In Canada, a slur can be painful and offensive (Removing John A. Macdonald Isn’t ‘Cancel Culture’ – It’s A Sign Of A Cultural Renaissance – Oct. 23). We learn not to do it.

Similarly, the display in France of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed may be a fundamental liberté, but is surely a violation of the idea of fraternité. This is not, for any moment, to condone the gruesome murder of teacher Samuel Paty, but only to suggest that a brief description of these cartoons should be enough to make any point one wants about free speech.

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Robert Fothergill Toronto


As a young Muslim living in Canada, I unequivocally condemn the deplorable attack that led to the death of teacher Samuel Paty. My heart cannot help but ache for Mr. Paty’s family and all those who are mourning his passing. However, it should also be understood that this is not Islam; this attack does not represent the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world.

When I hear Emmanuel Macron supporting so-called caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, which have notoriously provoked Muslims, it makes me question his leadership during a time when Islamophobia is on the rise. How many times must a community be discriminated against before changes are made?

Kunwar Karim Alliston, Ont.

For namesake

Re Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Coming Inuit Art Centre Receives Inuktitut Name (Oct. 29): The development of Qaumajuq is a significant achievement.

When many Canadians picture Inuit or Indigenous art, they tend to think of historical artifacts in museums. The fact that the new gallery will feature mostly contemporary art communicates the relevance of Inuit culture to visitors. Featuring artifacts in a glass vault communicates an openness not often present in museums.

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When a space is given an Inuit or Indigenous name, it is usually secondary to the English name. In the case of Qaumajuq, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s commitment to decolonization is admirable. It will be interesting to see if Qaumajuq continues to be the name that the public uses or if it becomes more commonly known as the Inuit Art Centre – and what the societal implications of this will be.

Natasha Godard St. Eustache, Man.

In the weeds

Re Let Hope Spring (First Person, Oct. 22): Essay-writer Kim Harris considers creating a “magical wild flower meadow on top of the septic bed” by throwing down a “huge bag of wild flower mix." I had the same inspired idea about 20 years ago.

After a few years, I noticed a thick tangle of vines with beautiful pink blooms growing over the septic bed: Lathyrus latifolius, the perennial pea. The impenetrability of it alarmed me. If the roots continued to grow, they would destroy the septic bed.

I decided to eradicate it. I dug down a metre before giving up on extracting the whole root, and cut out what looked like a tree limb with the thickness of my forearm. I knew I was in trouble.

After mowing it down, it just grew back. I covered the area with a large black plastic tarp and left it for a summer, but nothing. Weed killer only staggered it; every plant grew back in a different, barely recognizable form.

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The only method that works is to dig out every part of every plant. Any parts left behind will grow back. Many thousands of pulled-up plants later and hundreds of hours over many summers, the war is still not over. But I think I’m winning.

Michael Doran Peterborough, Ont.


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