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One reader writes believes that if Harry and Meghan, seen here on Jan. 7, 2020, 'truly want to become ordinary citizens, then they ought to be prepared to do ordinary things.'

Frank Augstein/The Associated Press

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Harry and Meghan and Tim

Re Royal Watch (Letters, Jan. 16): Canada ought not to foot the bill for Harry and Meghan’s security. Our country is in great debt. My taxes should go to improving medical care, education, roads, etc. – not to wealthy members of the Royal Family.

Lois Greisman Toronto

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As some Canadians wrangle over whether Harry and Meghan should have their security paid for by taxpayers here, no one seems to be questioning their need for security in the first place.

If the couple truly want to become ordinary citizens, then they ought to be prepared to do ordinary things. As we huddle in line for our morning Tims, we aren’t usually accompanied by large men in sunglasses with earpieces and menacing looks. Harry and Meghan should just relax, pull out their free coffee cards and be like the rest of us.

Geoff Rytell Toronto

Lifetime achievement

Re In Praise Of Career Politicians (Jan. 15): As much as columnist Andrew Coyne appreciates the skill sets and professionalism of long-serving politicians who help make for efficient and knowledgeable legislatures, I find there still are definite limits to being around too long. Perhaps at the provincial and federal level, there is sufficient electoral turnover that the problem is minimal. But at the local level, more churn would be welcome.

In communities such as mine, we seem to have forever mayors and councillors because there is little media coverage of municipal activities. Name recognition at election time becomes a determining factor when voters know nothing about new candidates.

Large corporations such as banks have term limits for boards of directors. Best practices in the business require executives and even the bookkeepers to take forced vacations. There never were any term limits on Hazel McCallion as the very long-serving mayor of Mississauga, but I believe her political best-before date expired before her last term ended.

Forced sabbaticals would be good for promoting renewal in political systems.

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Ian McKay Georgetown, Ont.


I believe columnist Andrew Coyne’s article misses two key points.

First, many career politicians rely on their elected positions to earn a living. Therefore, it seems their primary concern would be to get re-elected. I find this motivation tends to drive decisions based on what is popular, and not what is right or what they truly believe. This is akin to government by referendum.

Second, politics do not exist only in the elected offices of government. I would argue that political skills are necessary for anyone rising to a level in any organization where they lead people and are accountable to stakeholders. Therefore, the pool of political talent should be much larger than existing politicians.

Mark Roberts Calgary

Look (just) west

Re Hydro-Québec Can’t Seem To Catch A Break (Report on Business, Jan. 15): Transmission lines already exist to send Quebec’s electricity to a much closer market: Ontario.

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As Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator has reported, existing Quebec-Ontario transmission capacity is substantial – able to move 16.5 billion to 18.5 billion kilowatt hours a year. That’s more than enough power to replace what we use from the aging Pickering nuclear station, which would in turn give millions of Toronto residents a more restful night’s sleep – not to mention lightening the load on their wallets.

Both Quebec and Ontario would benefit from a made-in-Canada electricity deal.

Angela Bischoff Director, Ontario Clean Air Alliance; Toronto

Money in the bank

Re Ontario Says It Will Reimburse Parents For Child-care Costs During Education Strikes (Jan. 16): It is important to remember that the current labour strife in Ontario was caused by the Ford government’s attempt to fix something I don’t believe was broken. And with the government treating education more like a line-item expense, instead of an investment in children’s futures, it seems parents are now being reminded of the inconvenience when teachers take job action.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce can blame the unions all he wants, but in the final analysis, the government should have only themselves to blame for this mess. The way I see it, what amounts to bribing parents with their own money doesn’t change this reality.

Frank Malone Aurora, Ont.

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The announcement of funding for child care during an education labour action feels like a cynical attempt to manipulate the public. If the Ontario government has a pot of gold at the end of the child-care rainbow, I’d like to see it used to put education support staff back into my daughter’s integrated school program.

Ron Buliung Toronto

Fair ball

Re The Houston Astros Are Cheaters – And Baseball Loves Them For It (Sports, Jan. 14): I agree with columnist Cathal Kelly that “there are two sorts of cheating in sports – a good kind and a bad kind.” Unlike the bad kind such as the Black Sox scandal and drug cheats such as Alex Rodriguez, the Houston Astro’s sign-stealing seems much ado about nothing. A case in point: Nobody could hit Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax – cheating or no cheating.

In a 1999 Sports Illustrated article by Tom Verducci, fellow Hall of Famer Ernie Banks said of Mr. Koufax: “He’s the greatest pitcher I ever saw. … Most of the time we knew what was coming, because he held his hands closer to his head when he threw a curveball, but it didn’t matter. Even though he was tipping off his pitches, you still couldn’t hit them.”

David Honigsberg Toronto

Russia rising?

Re Russia’s Economy Is Tanking, But Putin’s Pipeline Politics Are Winning (Jan. 13): To write that Russia’s economy is in tatters is reminiscent to me of what German papers prematurely said of Stalingrad’s surrender in 1942.

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My country is expanding territorially all the time and we have developed a frontier-town mentality. And unlike Americans, we don’t need to fill our homes with 300,000 things. Our leaders, such as Nicholas II, Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev, are ousted only when our shops are empty.

They have been bursting at the seams even since the collapse of Russia’s planned economy in the 1990s. And with pipelines connecting us with China’s strong manufacturing economy, it seems the West’s hopes of Vladimir Putin no longer being in power is but a pipe dream.

Mergen Mongush Moscow


Re Putin Moves To Shore Up Power As Russian Government Resigns (Jan. 16): So it really is Tsar Vladimir now? Russia never had a tsar by that name in some 800 years of history. Maybe the city of Sochi will be renamed Putingrad.

Richard Seymour Brechin, Ont.


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