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Re China Demands Release Of Huawei Executive (Dec. 7): Canada should have opted to “study” the file pertaining to Meng Wanzhou – you know, until such time that irritants such as the steel and aluminum tariffs are resolved. Cite all of those national security concerns that require vetting. Send a message.
Vic Bornell, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
I am deeply ashamed that our government would participate in the kidnap and ransom of a leader of a foreign company. This brazen act has brought dishonour to our current leadership, and placed at risk Canadians who are conducting business abroad.
Ask yourself, how would Donald Trump respond if the CFO of Apple were arrested in Hong Kong and awaiting extradition to a country that disagreed with Apple’s business practices?
Alex Duhaney, Ottawa
China has no problem grabbing Chinese nationals from other countries or territories. Sometimes it grabs dual-nationality citizens as well. It seems that, poof, one day you are gone from where you live and the next thing the world knows, often months later, you have been “tried” and sentenced all on the QT.
At least in the case of the Huawei executive, there is a possible case for extradition, and Meng Wanzhou hasn’t disappeared into the U.S. with no one knowing.
Jeff Sutton, Ottawa
Former Canadian ambassador to China David Mulroney praises Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, saying that despite the backlash in Beijing, the action is “a clear signal that Canada is willing to face China’s fury to do the right thing.”
What Mr. Mulroney calls “the right thing,” however, means siding with the U.S. in its highly disputed sanctions against Iran. Recently re-imposed by the Trump administration in defiance of a prior United Nations Security Council agreement, the punishing blockade of Tehran has been widely condemned.
Rather than doing “the right thing,” Canada appears to have thrown itself willy-nilly into an international dispute on behalf of an isolated rogue administration intent on provoking conflict with most of the states of the world.
Larry Hannant, Victoria
Why you, Mr. Taverner?
I am now 73, worked as a public servant for 38 years, and as much as I support seniors in a productive life, it is inconceivable to me that the best, most qualified candidate to head the OPP is a 72-year-old, mid-rank officer of the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
Ron Taverner joined the TPS in 1967 (the same year I graduated from university), so he’s had a long and successful career there. But he can’t possibly be the “best” candidate for the OPP’s top job, leading more than 6,000 uniformed officers, not to mention more than 3,000 auxiliary and civilian personnel. He’s never had responsibility for more than 700 officers at the TPS, where he never made it past the middle ranks.
I think it is time for us to hear from Mr. Taverner and publicly ask him why he wants this job, what can he offer and why he does not think it is time to retire? Other, younger, more qualified officers could do better.
Fred Pincock, Oakville, Ont.
Keep whales in oceans
Re No One Should Love Marineland (Dec. 5): Orcas in the wild lead multifaceted, complex lives. They are intelligent animals who work co-operatively, form close relationships, communicate using distinct dialects and swim up to 100 miles every day.
Belugas thrive in the wide-open ocean. They are extremely social animals who play, chase each other and interact in extended pods. Belugas have been called “sea canaries” because they speak and seem to sing to each other.
At Marineland, belugas and a lone orca named Kisha are forced to exist in small, monotonous tanks. They are deprived of the ability to swim long distances, court and mate in autonomy, or engage in other activities that give their lives meaning. They are reduced to cartoonish props that diminishes everything they are.
People who really care about dolphins, whales and other marine animals can help keep them in the oceans where they belong by refusing to patronize aquariums and marine theme parks. It’s that simple.
Jennifer O’Connor, Fort Erie, Ont.
Praise for a president?
This week, you printed articles full of praise for the late president George H.W. Bush. Former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s eulogy for Mr. Bush offered the view that “no occupant of the Oval Office was more … principled and more honourable than George Herbert Walker Bush” (A Nation And A Son Say Goodbye – Dec. 6).
The South American victims of Operation Condor, which flourished while Mr. Bush was head of the CIA, who were tortured, murdered, and deprived of their democratically elected governments would think otherwise.
So would the hundreds of Panamanian civilians killed in 1989 by the U.S. military in an assault on that country to oust president Manuel Noriega, once supported by the U.S., but demonized when no longer useful.
And so would the thousands of Iraqi military retreating from Kuwait in 1991 after a failed invasion of that country, bombed by the U.S. Air Force, an act described as “shooting fish in a barrel.”
Mr. Bush can rest in peace, knowing that the legacy of his “principled” and “honourable” presidency carries on.
Janet E. Harris, Ottawa
Kudos to former prime minister Brian Mulroney for his stirring eulogy at the funeral of the late president George H.W. Bush.
If the incumbent President is as thin-skinned as some people say, he must have been squirming in his seat when Mr. Mulroney used such words as “courageous,” “principled” and “honourable” to describe someone who was truly presidential in the old style. Let’s hope we may soon see such qualities in the White House again.
Dave Ashby, Toronto
Lost in smog
Re Toxic Smog Blankets London (Moment in Time, Dec. 5, 1952): Your photograph cannot convey the true thickness of the smog that gripped London. My aunt reported it was so thick, she could not see her feet. She found her way home by walking with one foot on the sidewalk, one in the street, counting the intersections. She then counted gaps in the front yard railings once she reached the correct block.
My father went to London that week to visit the Smithfield Livestock Show. He rapidly returned: Humans and animals were dying.
I experienced some smog in 1958. I could only see half way across roads, and the sound of traffic was deadened. Smog getting inside the buildings was the worst – I couldn’t see the end of the corridor in my hall of residence. My aunt, however, was scornful of my complaints. “That’s nothing,” she told me, compared to what it was in 1952.
I now laugh at reports of fog here in Toronto.
Anna Leggatt, Toronto