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Liberals’ wins, losses?
Re PM Promised Change with Fresh Cabinet Faces. He May Regret It Now (Feb. 27): Yes, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recruited and appointed to cabinet a number of diverse candidates, with solid professional credentials but no political experience.
Yes, in Jody Wilson-Raybould’s case, this experiment in doing politics differently has backfired spectacularly.
However, to suggest Ms. Wilson-Raybould is on the side of the angels, a noble victim of the system, in my view is simply wrong.
Her “unwillingness to go along to get along” on many issues the government has addressed, not just SNC-Lavalin, could more accurately be described as an inability to compromise, achieve consensus, or be a team player.
And yes, politics is about teams, not prima donnas. Every cabinet minister wins some and loses some, but what other minister in living memory has been so intent on personal vindication that they risk destroying their party?
Brooke Jeffrey, Ottawa
It seems to me that all the seeming mishandling of the SNC-Lavalin file by the Liberals is actually an astute play to ensure a majority win in the next election.
The calculation is simple: The West goes to the Conservatives, especially given the pipeline fiasco, with perhaps some seats in urban B.C., the Maritimes probably stays (mostly) Liberal.
What remains is Quebec and Ontario. To ensure Quebec’s support, Justin Trudeau is playing the “We will defend Quebec card” (SNC = Quebec business). Hence the bloodletting with the Butts resignation and the A-G demotion. When Mr. Trudeau says he is acting in the interest of Canadians and Canadian jobs, Quebec is the intended audience, and Quebec is listening. The longer the SNC issue continues, the better the chances of a Liberal majority win.
Marco Parmegiani, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Re The Hidden Messages In Monday’s Vote (editorial, Feb. 27): C’mon, the Liberals are thrilled that NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh won the Burnaby by-election.
Now that he is fully installed, his ongoing clumsiness, immaturity and all-over-the-map election promises will make the Liberals’ Justin Trudeau look like a giant. If Mr. Singh had lost, the NDP would have found a new leader.
How did a country as great as Canada end up with three lightweights as party leaders?
It makes me nostalgic for the days of Stephen Harper, Bob Rae and Tom Mulcair …
Nigel Smith, Toronto
Health-care ‘circle of life’
Re There Is No Perfect Structure To Deliver Health Care (Feb. 27): Stay tuned. Twelve years from now, a newly elected Ontario government will announce, with much fanfare, a dramatic new approach to health care. It will consist of a regional/ local delivery model that is patient-focused and eliminates a bloated centralized bureaucracy. File under “The Circle of Life” and take it to the bank.
Greg Sorbara, former Ontario finance minister; Richmond Hill, Ont.
Somehow this new Health agency will have less bureaucracy than the current system, and bring better local integration of services?
How many more homecare hours and long-term care beds will be created? I have a bridge for sale, really cheap. Any takers?
Peter Crosby, Toronto
Vexed by anti-vaxxers
Re A Shot Of Reality for Mandatory Vaccinations (Feb. 26): Here is my solution to rid us of (most) of those parents who do not vaccinate children. A parent who chooses not to vaccinate a child should become financially responsible for any ensuing medical treatment.
Ian Guthrie, Ottawa
Re Anti-Vaxxer Lies Have Put My Baby’s Life At Risk (Feb. 23): One of my most vivid childhood memories is when the measles went through our household in prevaccine days.
My normally unflappable RN mother regularly monitored our temperatures throughout our illness, but I will never forget the terror in her voice when, despite her best efforts, my younger sister’s fever reached 106 F or 41 C. Fortunately, she recovered, but that memory has stayed with me for six decades. I never had a moment’s hesitation having my children vaccinated, and have often thought there would be far fewer anti-vaxxers among us if they had had an experience such as mine.
Arlene Reesor, Kitchener, Ont.
ABC’s of absenteeism
Re Ontario School Boards Hire Non-Certified Teacher Replacements (Feb. 25): Stripping teachers’ ability to bank sick days was a big blow. I banked those days to protect myself in case I had a major illness down the road.
I was never away unless I was so sick, I couldn’t get out of bed or was in hospital.
Then the government put in a new system of short-term and long-term sick leave. There is no need to save sick days of the “use it or lose it” variety, so teachers do take these sick days.
The suggestion that these days are vacation is nonsense. The threshold for what makes a teacher take a sick day has probably lowered, but the teacher is still sick. Is this true for everyone? No, but it is for the vast majority – like everyone at my school.
Teachers are, by and large, dedicated, hardworking, and there for their students. It is never okay to question or call into question the professionalism of teachers. Articles about teachers should focus on the incredible work that we do all day, every day, for the youth of Ontario instead of making a big deal of something that is not any sort of major issue.
Am I biased? Absolutely. But I am biased because I know the situation and scenario.
Michael Anthony, Toronto
Oscar goes to ... no-host
Re What We Learned From A Boring Oscars Opening (Feb. 25): Boring? Some of us had our best Oscars in years! The “loss” of a host was a master stroke. For movie buffs, it was down to business right away, no comics’ jokes wasting time. The show moved faster, and the diversity of presenters, winners, stories, movies and costumes was a delightful, refreshing change.
I’m already looking forward to another no-host show next year.
Marie Bhaneja, Ottawa
Re Ford Demanded Changes To Security, Records Show (Feb. 26): Let’s get real. All Ontario Premier Doug Ford, man of the people, needs for the van he wants to retrofit for $50,000 on the OPP’s tab is a bar fridge with a two-four of buck-a-beer, some frozen beef patties, a portable hibachi and six folding lawn chairs from Canadian Tire.
Marty Cutler, Toronto
Re PCs Say Plan For Custom Van Signifies Ford’s Frugality (Feb. 27): Would everyone who believes this is about Doug Ford’s frugality please raise their hands?
Garth Goddard, Toronto