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A matter of intent
Re Tories Denounce Google Ad With False Border Claims (Feb. 5): I am so tired of hearing politicians offer a version of “It was not our intent to offend anyone.”
I am an undecided voter. Leadership and accountability are deciding factors for me, and so-called leaders whose parties stoop to attack ads during the run-up to the election will not get my vote.
We don’t have to look far for our political entertainment these days. This is an opportunity for our leaders to take a higher road.
Glen Dyrda, Kitchener, Ont.
There would be a worldwide lumber shortage if poor Geppetto had to adjust Pinocchio’s nose every time a politician explained their “intent.”
Beverley Schmidt, Edmonton
Venezuela’s dirty work
What a relief to hear Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland assert that “Canada is absolutely not considering a military intervention” in Venezuela (Canada, Allies Urge Venezuelan Military To Back Guaido, Feb. 5). Instead, she wants the Venezuelan military to do the dirty work of overthrowing its elected government?
Larry Hannant, Victoria
Education in Aisle 9
Re Trouble In Aisle 9 (Pursuits, Feb. 2): I enjoyed Julie Van Rosendaal’s article about the potential unintended health consequences of click-and-deliver grocery shopping online. In addition to the social isolation and loss of intergenerational connection she mentions, another potential health outcome is failing to educate the next generation on the consequences of healthy food choices, both for themselves and for the environment.
In the past 30-plus years, obesity rates are reported to have tripled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. Much of the education around healthy food choices and where food comes from (what is processed versus what is “real food”) is communicated in the home and market-shopping contexts. It is imperative for the health of growing children that, as technology changes, these conversations continue to take place, and the intergenerational market experience and knowledge exchanges persist.
Tripler Pell, MD, author, Freddie and the Real Food Fix; Toronto
Not a ‘George’
Re How Black Train Porters Helped Put Canada On Track (Opinion, Feb. 2): My thanks to Cecil Foster and The Globe and Mail for giving Stanley G. Grizzle the recognition he so richly deserves. Mr. Foster’s latest book, They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada, recalls Mr. Grizzle’s book, which he wrote with John Cooper, called My Name’s Not George: The Story of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters: Personal Reminiscences.
Mr. Grizzle told me he would rather be called the N-word than George. Calling every porter George robbed each of his personal identity. The name “George,” by the way, was inspired by the inventor of the sleeping car, George Pullman. The railways thought it would be classy to hire only black porters as a symbol of obsequious service – you can’t make this stuff up. And for a man of colour in the 1950s, it was almost always the best job available.
Robert Eisenberg, Toronto
When driving errors kill
Re The Humboldt Truck Driver Could Have Been Any Of Us (Feb. 5): Yes, it could have been any of us with the youthful arrogance and carelessness to blast through a flashing stop sign at some 90 km/h, causing 16 deaths.
And while we can feel compassion for the truck driver who caused the crash with the Humboldt Broncos’ bus, we need not sanctify his guilty pleas to dangerous driving as a wonderful gesture that spared everyone a painful trial. He pleaded guilty because he was guilty, and he also spared himself the pain of a trial. Spare me!
Patrick Martin, Westmount, Que.
While I agree that we all become distracted or make poor choices while driving, I disagree with the assertion that we should relate with the driver, as anyone can make a mistake.
I noted in an earlier article about the victim-impact statements that Jaskirat Singh Sidhu “had 70 violations of federal and provincial trucking regulations in the 11 days prior to the crash.”
I had to read that sentence numerous times to ensure that my eyes weren’t deceiving me (Parents Recount Nightmare Of Humboldt Identity Mix-Up, Jan. 31). It is highly likely that the great majority of drivers (professional and otherwise) haven’t had that many citations in a lifetime. As much as I hate to say it, this was an “accident” that was predictable.
When so many collisions can be prevented with safe driving techniques, we all need to make a concerted effort to end the carnage or our roads.
Ronald Corber, Vancouver
ABC’s of free parking
Re TDSB Needs A Lesson On The High Cost Of Free Parking (Jan. 31): Every school has parking, whether the school is in downtown Toronto or in the suburbs. It’s not unique to the Toronto District School Board, Toronto or even Ontario. Schools, hospitals, libraries, and countless other public institutions across the country have parking for staff and visitors. Some are serviced by transit, some are not.
Regardless, it is not reasonable to expect that all staff and visitors can take transit. Maybe they live outside of Toronto or maybe they drop their kids off at daycare before heading in to work each day: There are countless reasons why transit may not be an option.
I appreciate that not everyone, especially in the downtown core, has access to staff parking, but why must that mean that others shouldn’t have it?
Yes, we have to be creative depending on the footprint of the school, and we should be cognizant of nearby transit, but that does not mean we should scrap parking altogether. In the end, we want to ensure that our schools are as open and as welcoming as possible – not just to staff, but to parents and other visitors who come through the doors daily.
Robin Pilkey, Chair, Toronto District School Board
Not bummed …
Reading Tuesday’s business briefing, Consumers Are Bummed, Businesses Are Bummed, David Rosenberg Is Bummed, I’d like to ask these Canadians where else they might want to be:
Britain, which is tearing itself apart over Brexit? France, with its ongoing Yellow Vest demonstrations? Belgium, whose government fell over the UN migrant protocol? Germany, where a racist, anti-migrant party is the largest opposition party in the Bundestag? Italy, where a coalition of anti-migrant parties insists on running a big deficit, even with a high national debt?
Count your blessings, Canada. We are in reasonably good shape.
Andrew Chong, Toronto