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Re What We Know About Those We Lost In The Crash (Jan. 9): Thank you to the dozens of reporters who worked so quickly to assemble biographical sketches of the Canadian victims of Flight 752. Words and pictures turned mere numbers into heartbreaking portraits of loss – not just for the families of those who died, but for all Canadians.
Paul Benedetti Hamilton
Donald Trump is wrong?
Re On Iran, Donald Trump Is Right (Jan. 9): I was disappointed by columnist Konrad Yakabuski’s defence of this assassination. I don’t believe the Middle East has benefited from Western interference over the past century and, in addition, it is in the middle of religious conflict between the two main branches of Islam. Thank God this assassination has not resulted in all-out war.
The execution of foreign leaders should not be justifiable, otherwise we may be placing the world on a slippery slope – there are many bad leaders out there.
Vittorio DiCarlo Whitby, Ont.
According to a 2017 article from the Council for Foreign Relations, Barack Obama had authorized 542 drone strikes, resulting in the extrajudicial killings of 3,797 people, including 324 civilians, in foreign countries. Drone strikes and assassinations are not new tools in U.S. foreign policy. As odious as I find Donald Trump, he simply seems to be resorting to the well-used weapons of his predecessor.
Duncan MacKenzie Guelph, Ont.
Re Drugmaker Offers Lottery To Treat Rare Deadly Disease That Affects Babies (Jan. 6): Does Health Canada abrogate all responsibility toward us by allowing Novartis to hold a treatment lottery? Treating all babies afflicted with spinal muscular atrophy would show the effectiveness of the new pharmaceutical. A lottery looks to benefit only the company and a small pool of families. Is it setting a procedural precedent for future drug trials?
Lynn Tobin Hamilton
A Christmas story
Re Why I Carry On The Traditions Of Ukrainian Christmas (Opinion, Jan. 4): Contributor Anna Maxymiw’s vivid descriptions of her Ukrainian Christmas meals are very similar to the Polish traditions of my childhood. My father, however, was loath to acknowledge commonalities between the two cultures, especially curious in light of our Ukrainian-sounding surname, as well as his birth in the border region of southeast Poland.
Polish Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk writes about the shifting borders of central Europe, and the shared and blurred identities of its peoples, as a counter to the surging nationalist fiction of ethnic purity. The history between Poles and Ukrainians is especially disturbing, particularly during the Second World War when ethnic violence resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.
More recent lessons of similar cultures with intense conflicts, such as that between Serbs and Croats, should remind us to encourage a unifying national pride without hatred and exclusion. This distinction may help divided peoples better appreciate shared cultural traditions, without claiming exclusive ownership.
Chester Fedoruk Toronto
When I was a student in Toronto, I had the joy of renting a room, at $20 a week, from an elderly couple who, decades earlier, had abandoned their Ukrainian farm and all to crawl across frozen fields in the night, risking everything for freedom. They’ve long passed, but I’ll never forget their kindness, my adopted Baba introducing me to their Orthodox traditions and Gedo saying “Canada is good country.”
Hopefully Canada will never close its doors on new immigrants.
Rodney Savidge Fredericton
Re Home Truths (Letters, Jan. 2): Millennials can’t afford houses, it seems, because they won’t sacrifice pricey Starbucks coffee, exotic vacations, restaurant meals and really not wanting to work. As a baby boomer, there were no $14-an-hour jobs as a teenager. Our first house was modest and affordable on one salary (and today’s huge price increases in real estate only apply to a few cities). We made difficult choices, worked hard and didn’t buy stuff we couldn’t afford.
I find that young people expect to immediately have what it has taken boomers a lifetime to achieve.
Beverly Berry Dunrobin, Ont.
Transit in Ottawa
Re Ottawa Poised To Grow, Meet Rising Work-force Demand (Report on Business, Jan. 7): Central to Ottawa’s prosperity is good transit. The centrepiece is a new light-rail line that has many virtues: It goes through the downtown, discouraging sprawl, forms part of a deliberate policy to foster car-free travel and emits no carbon.
The LRT has had growing pains, but the strategy behind it is stellar. The federal government should quickly fulfill its promise to fund zero-emission buses and rail, and urge municipalities to visit Ottawa to see how transit should be run.
Gideon Forman Toronto
I love living in Ottawa. What mars my enthusiasm for this article on its growth is the failure to flag a serious risk: The city’s public-transit system is off the rails – much more than “marred by technical issues.”
Almost four months after its launch, the LRT is still frustrating riders with shutdowns and delays. Additionally, bus trips are cancelled, sometimes without informing the public (more than 6,000 cancellations happened in one month last year). When public transit is this unreliable, it disrupts lives and has economic impacts.
Ottawa will grow, but until the city’s leadership delivers better public-transit performance, it may frustrate many who live, work and try to get around.
Sarah Anson-Cartwright Ottawa
Carney in Ottawa
Re Next Stop, Ottawa (Report on Business, Jan. 4): Does Mark Carney have “the guts for the cut-and-thrust of federal politics?” After dealing with the shenanigans of British political turbulence over the past six years as Governor of the Bank of England, as well as the British press, and being governor of the Bank of Canada under Stephen Harper (which was no easy gig), I’d say Mr. Carney certainly does. He has both a national and international outlook that can only benefit Canada on the world stage.
Paris Jefferson Ottawa
Re Harry, Meghan To Curtail Royal Duties (Jan. 9): Twenty months ago when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tied the knot, remember the talk that their marriage could revolutionize the monarchy? Who would have thought it might happen so quickly?
Delia Carley Ottawa
There seems to be two vacancies at the Windsor firm operating out of London. Does anyone know where to apply and what the qualifications are? I know that waving and smiling are highly important, and I assure that my performance has been judged superior in both skills.
Alex Doulis Toronto
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