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Beat back bias
Re Bias Behind Bars (Oct. 24): A heartfelt thanks to reporter Tom Cardoso for exposing the racism endemic in the assessments of Black and Indigenous inmates. Calls for action should begin with the easiest of remediations: Fire those responsible for exaggerating Black and Indigenous scores, and watch how quickly this problem goes away.
Pete Reinecke Ottawa
An outstanding piece of investigative journalism – which I am afraid will go on the pile with all the other reports, commissions and promises to do better. We have repeated examples of rampant abuses in the prison system, failures of the RCMP and other forces to clean up their acts, unconscionable delays in the courts – it just goes on.
Underlying it all is the undeniable stink of firmly entrenched systemic racism. It is clear to me that our criminal justice system is a festering sore no one in government will touch, except to kick the can down the road.
Perry Bowker Burlington, Ont.
Such a timely article as many people, including myself, have been subject to risk assessments that are “static” and backward-looking. The risk assessments in presentence reports are equally problematic.
How many Canadians have to be subjected to these biases and robbed of their futures before action is taken?
Shahriar Edwards Toronto
Re Calling For RCMP Head To Step Down Misses Mark In Addressing Force’s Various Issues (Oct. 26): Brenda Lucki has been thrown a couple of “balls” over the last short while, from systemic racism to the lobster fisheries in Nova Scotia, that she has been unable to catch with rigour and determination.
Public pronouncements of abject failure will no doubt follow her if she misses a third “ball.” Would the Peter Principle be implicated here?
Farel Anderson Collingwood, Ont.
Re Miller Assails RCMP Assessment Of Role In Fisheries Dispute (Oct. 23): Once again we have a minister all too eager to lay blame at the feet of an RCMP officer trying her best to do her job. Cabinet should be supporting the RCMP instead of constantly criticizing its actions.
I find that Brenda Lucki is doing a great job in incredibly difficult conditions. She has officers on the ground in Nova Scotia briefing her. She is actively involved. What has Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller brought to the table? What expertise in policing does he have?
I suggest that government deal with the political aspects of this situation they have created, and leave the RCMP to do its job without interference.
Roger Emsley Delta, B.C.
Re The Liberals Are Making A Mockery Of Our Parliamentary Democracy (Opinion, Oct. 24): Increasingly, the WE Charity affair smells to me of cover-up. For the public to have confidence in the government, it must demonstrate a willingness to be transparent and accountable.
Because of (not in spite of) the pandemic and its lasting social and financial impact, the public begs for even more assurances of good democratic practice and proper oversight. The Liberals should have actively engaged the opposition in its program- and expenditure-planning from the outset, convened Parliament regularly and encouraged a robust Question Period.
We want to know what happened with WE.
Ricarda McFalls Ottawa
Of course the Liberals have mastered legislative tricks, just as the Conservatives did before them. Both parties hate being in minority positions and would do anything to squirm their way out.
In this instance the NDP called the Liberal bluff, not because they were altruistic, I believe, but because they were down in the polls. It seems none of the parties can be counted on to do what’s right for the electorate.
That’s why minority governments often produce the best results for the electorate, and why proportional representation should be brought in to ensure a majority of minority governments in future.
Gerrard Weedon Toronto
Re Parliamentary Committee Says China’s Mistreatment Of Uyghurs Is Genocide (Oct. 22): Every day on The Globe’s front page, I read the reminder of how many days Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been imprisoned in China. That simple message is very powerful.
We should not forget another Canadian citizen also held in a Chinese prison: Huseyin Celil, a Canadian Uyghur from Burlington, Ont., has been unjustly jailed since 2006. His wife and children here in Canada also wait and hope for his release and return.
Rod MacLeod Toronto
The parliamentary subcommittee on human rights has taken a bold and courageous stand on the Uyghur question by recognizing it as genocide – a longstanding demand of Uyghur rights organizations. The government should now accept and implement the subcommittee’s recommendations. It should also mount a concerted diplomatic effort to make the international community similarly acknowledge a genocide.
China should know that it cannot act with impunity, and that the world will act when innocent civilians are subject to the most gruesome form of oppression.
Khurram Musti Khan Milton, Ont.
Re Laurentian Bank’s New CEO Breaks Glass Ceiling (Oct. 21): Kudos to Rania Llewellyn on her appointment as the new CEO of Laurentian Bank, making her the first woman to head a Canadian chartered bank. However, it seems only fair to point out that Ms. Llewellyn is not the first woman to helm a major financial institution in Canada.
That distinction belongs to Monique Leroux, who was president and CEO of Desjardins Group from 2008 to 2016. Desjardins is Canada’s largest co-operative financial group with $313-billion in assets, dwarfing Laurentian in terms of size and sway.
In addition to honours from the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and the Investment Industry Hall of Fame, Ms. Leroux’s stature has been underscored by her appointments as a member of the Order of Canada, officer of the Ordre national du Québec and chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in France.
Richard Conrad Westmount, Que.
Re Growing Number Of Schools Look To Phase In Pandemic-safe Extracurriculars (Oct. 23): When my independent school shut down on March 13, our planned interschool debate tournament was an early victim.
Formal classes quickly pivoted to Zoom. After a short while, at the suggestion of our student debaters, we realized we could proceed with a virtual debate house league. And so we did, debating such burning issues of the day as: “This house advocates for do-it-yourself haircuts.”
Donnie Friedman Toronto
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