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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Canada House in London, Britain on Jan. 7, 2020.

POOL New/AFP/Getty Images

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Homecoming

Re Bring Them Home (Opinion, Jan. 18): Returning Meng Wanzhou to China, as contributor Eddie Goldenberg writes, isn’t necessarily a golden gesture for the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. Rather, I believe her release would let China know it can get away with hostage-taking – and which it may likely do again.

Andy Buchan Burnaby, B.C.

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I want Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig brought home as quickly as possible. The United States would have no problem in brokering a deal with China to get their citizens back home. This is a great country, but when do we stand up for our citizens? I would do whatever is necessary and deal with the fallout later.

William Campbell Ajax, Ont.


Re Canada Faces China, And The U.S. Is AWOL (Editorial, Jan. 20): In a moot court, one might get good marks for arguing that Canada should persevere in holding to the letter of the law and respecting the U.S. request for extradition. In the real world, this approach would leave two innocent Canadians to rot in a Chinese prison.

I believe contributor Eddie Goldenberg makes a more compelling case, basing his position more on common sense and human compassion. He demolishes the extradition option, insisting Canada let Meng Wanzhou go home – which means, of course, let them all go home.

John Graham, former diplomat Ottawa

Dotted line reporting

Re Why We Can’t Blame Trump For Flight 752 (Jan. 20): Contributor Clifford Orwin writes that the line from Donald Trump to Flight 752 isn’t direct. But that’s the point, isn’t it: unintended consequences.

One outcome that hasn’t happened yet, but is top of mind, is that war with Iran might yet ensue. When certain results are predictable, even if not precisely known, we apportion guilt and responsibility. So yes, partial blame of Mr. Trump should be deserved in this case. But if there was war, would we be having this debate?

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Robin Collins Ottawa

The saga continues

Re Will The Royals Degrade Ideals Of The Crown? (Opinion, Jan. 18): Regarding “Meghan and Harry’s possibly not-so-excellent adventure,” the key concern really is captured in the suggestion that we might all indeed realize the Royal Family will be "no different from the rest of us.” Hasn’t that rather been the point? They are the Royal Family; they are different from the rest of us. Over a century ago, when discussing the British monarchy, Walter Bagehot wrote: “Its mystery is its life. We must not let in daylight upon magic.”

If Harry and Meghan’s new status somehow renders the viewpoint that the Royal Family is exactly like us, it will indeed beg some very challenging questions.

Annette Kavanagh-Turner Guelph, Ont.


Re Harry Addresses ‘Years Of Challenges,’ Decision To Break From Royal Family (Jan. 20): Prince Harry did not choose to be born into a family that seeks and thrives on publicity and public adulation. The unavoidable collateral damage is that family members are at risk of much unwanted attention, including the possibility of violence. No matter what life choices Harry makes, it seems he will always be a potential target – he has been since birth.

That Harry has chosen to defy family tradition should not suddenly absolve them of the responsibility to ensure his safety. It is the Royal Family who should foot the bill for protecting him, not Harry himself – and certainly not Canadian taxpayers.

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Olga Eizner Favreau Montreal


If reports of the potential income Harry and Meghan could earn over time with their Sussex brand are even remotely accurate, and if Canada can convince them to pay our exorbitant tax rates, then $10-million a year for security would be a great investment for the government.

James McCarney Oakville, Ont.


Re Premiers of B.C., Ontario Say They Would Welcome Meghan, Harry As Residents Of Their Provinces (Jan. 17): Doug Ford would welcome Harry and Meghan “with open arms.” With all the money Ontario saves with his cuts to public education, he would easily be able to foot the bill. All those redundant teachers, education assistants and early childhood educators could retrain for the royal security detail.

Alan Lawrence Toronto

From the front lines

Re Ontario School Strikes: A Look At The Key Issues (Jan. 20): Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said on numerous occasions that he is in the corner of parents and students. As an elementary educator, I question whether he has the knowledge and understanding of the daily experiences of students to be in their corner. Therefore, I would challenge Mr. Lecce to visit elementary classrooms around the province to better understand various learning settings: for example, classrooms with multiple special-education students, English-language learners or students exhibiting violent behaviours.

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If Mr. Lecce would take part in such a challenge, I believe he would be able to empathize with the bargaining demands of elementary educators.

Adam Dharsee Toronto

Re Province’s Teachers, Education Workers Using More Sick Days: Report (Jan. 17): As a veteran substitute teacher in Ontario, I take umbrage with the Ministry of Education’s assertion that contract teachers’ absenteeism “can undermine the quality of learning for students.” When a teacher in Ontario is sick or otherwise unavailable, a qualified, certified teacher is, in most cases, there to deliver the lessons as planned.

Would the ministry prefer sick teachers showing up to work? A contagious martyr in the classroom would undermine students’ and colleagues’ health (not to mention their own) and would demonstrate discourtesy to the school community. Let’s keep our classrooms as incubators for knowledge, not germs.

Brooks Rapley Toronto

360°

Re Aging Boon (Letters, Jan. 20): In responding to me, an 84-year-old writer may be right about my vigorous exercise in my earlier years (Aging Boom – Letters, Jan. 16). I started young and hard and may have wrenched a few bits here and there. But the Pyrenees in bright sunshine were worth it. As for her avoidance of the parts department, perhaps good luck in the genetics lottery and a wonderful sense of humour are more to blame than Irish stew and Anderson Cooper.

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Speaking of parts, what’s the point of having all of them if one doesn’t use them? It is not too late for such a young woman to change her ways! If she would give me a call, I’ll whip down to Oakville. We could take a nice, brisk walk to a pub and discuss the merits of Irish stew, Anderson’s wardrobe and Canadian health care over a pint of Guinness. Humbug, indeed.

Jacques Soucie Newmarket, Ont.

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