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Summer, 2017: Doug Ford and Ron Taverner at the Ford cottage.

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Old Ford. New Ford

Re Ford Says He Didn’t Need To Recuse Himself From Hiring OPP Head (Dec. 5): Ford family friend Ron Taverner is appointed to head the Ontario Provincial Police, there are complaints of interference by a Ford staffer in the selection of the new CEO of Hydro One. Sounds like the gravy train is stopping – right outside the Premier’s office door?

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Seems like all politicians are cut from the same cloth. Sad.

Randy Sterling, Blenheim, Ont.

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It appears Premier Doug Ford almost certainly pushed for the hiring of an old friend, Ron Taverner, as head of the Ontario Provincial Police, despite the latter’s distinct lack of impressive qualifications.

I would suggest that the Ford government’s slogan needs two more words: “Government for the People … I Like.”

Steve Soloman, Toronto

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Re Meet The New Ford, Same As The Old Ford (editorial, Dec. 5): Instead of contemplating who they were voting for, which would have produced the realization that people like Doug Ford don’t change, it looks very much like his election was an emotionally based, knee-jerk vote by people desperate to get the Liberals out – no matter what. We are in the age of voters forgetting that they are voting for someone; they have instead decided that they are voting against someone, no matter what. Well, now and for the next three years, it matters. We had better prepare for the emotional anti-Ford vote at that time – no matter who the Liberals pick as leader.

Bruce Hutchison, Ottawa

More dollars, fewer immigrants

Re Quebec Announces Reduced Immigration Targets (Dec. 5): Quebec is reducing the number of immigrants and refugees that it takes next year, but federal support to that province for receiving immigrants is still going up.

Two explanations occur to me. One, incompetence. Two, a cynical effort to buy votes.

Is there a third?

Richard Harris, Hamilton

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Wine, women … and song

Re LCBO To Restock Hardie Wines Despite Misconduct Allegations (Dec. 5): In these days of the #MeToo movement and anti-bullying campaigns, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s decision to restock Hardie wines and muzzle employees is shameful.

Consumers can fight back. Refuse to buy Hardie wines. Let them gather dust and take up valuable LCBO shelf space. If Hardie wines are featured on a restaurant’s wine list, voice your concern to the owner, and take your custom elsewhere.

Hardie wines, red or white: the perfect pairing for all your misogynistic events.

Lorraine Greaves, London, Ont.

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Re Baby, It’s Cold Outside Pulled From Some Canadian Radio Stations (Dec. 5): As a feminist, I find it deeply disturbing that the classic jazz song, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, is being banned from some stations.

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Not to attempt to minimize the very real harm done by sexual assault, I would argue that society is not just about the tragic. Men and women joust sexually all the time.

There is a healthy give and take between the sexes that is the norm, not the exception.

A careful listen to the lyrics indicates that the woman in the song is not afraid of the man; she is concerned about her family’s and society’s judgment of her. And that’s how it went years ago, before effective birth control. When the pill came along, it not only prevented unwanted pregnancy (a consequence for her, if not for him), it allowed a woman privacy in her sex life.

As a feminist, I would not paint woman as victim, woman infantilized. The anti-intellectuals are at it again.

Kerry-Lynne Wilson, Ottawa

Preparing for death

Re Brush With Death Inspires Launch Of Online Will-Generation Startup (Report on Business, Dec. 3): A bad will is not better than no will at all – and in 16 years, I have yet to recommend a funeral plan in a will.

A professionally crafted will comes with specific legal advice to fit someone’s unique business and family dynamics. Legal professionals counsel clients on business structure, executor selection, estate-tax mitigation and conflict reduction. We can ensure it is properly signed, complies with the law regarding dependents and is prepared for court filing if it is required – one hopes, years down the road.

Many estate professionals include in their fee the storage of estate documents, which can sometimes be the only safeguard against improper or illegal use of powers of attorney. Finding a self-crafted will or a power of attorney when someone else needs it can be a challenge. When all is said and done, if a mistake occurs, legal professionals are insured.

Timothy N. Sullivan, lawyer, Ottawa

A tweet suggestion

Re Trudeau Criticized For Tweet To Trevor Noah Pledging $50-million To Charity (Dec. 3): Justin Trudeau tweeted to Trevor Noah, “Hey @Trevornoah – thanks for everything you’re doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the @GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can’t be with you – but how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it.”

Here’s a tweet suggestion for our PM in response to the negative press he got for his tweet: “How about Canada pledges $50M to @AlbertaCannotWait to support an economy our entire country relies on? Work for you? Let’s do it.”

Nancy Carten, Calgary

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I wish Justin Trudeau had not sent the tweet regarding the donation by Canadian taxpayers of $50-million to a worthy cause. It implied this was new money, and was vague about the source of who actually was contributing it. The tweet would have been much more effective if it had been new money, and if the PM had said he was so impressed by the worthiness of the cause he was making a donation of his own cash.

Sending empty feel-good tweets is teaching people by example that you don’t have to volunteer your time and/or money to worthy causes, but just show your support by “liking” the cause or tweeting your support instead of actually doing something to help.

As they say in Texas, this tweet was “all hat and no cattle.”

John G. Pitts, London, Ont.

It’s a wonderful world

Re For Canada, An Uplifting Day As Astronaut Lands At Space Station (Dec. 4): The awe-inspiring front-page photo of the Soyuz liftoff, which accompanied Ivan Semeniuk’s fine reporting, brought to mind the 1844 painting Rain Steam and Speed by Turner. For the Victorians, Turner’s painting captured the menace of a barely controlled technology, the steam engine, ushering in an uncertain future. Some 160 years later, the parallel in style and message between the photo and the painting is uncanny. What a wonderful world we live in.

Tony Templeton, Thornhill, Ont.

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