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Canada's then-ambassador to China John McCallum arrives to brief members of the Foreign Affairs committee regarding China in Ottawa on January 18, 2019.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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According to McCallum …

Re Freeland Castigates McCallum Over An Unauthorized Warning To Beijing (July 12): While Americans are still rending their garments over Russian interference in the last presidential election, John McCallum extends what could be considered an invitation for a foreign power to intervene in our coming election. No, Canada’s former ambassador to China is not asking the Chinese to resort to social media, drones, etc., but his vade mecum on re-electing the Liberals is a slippery slope that may encourage such activity.

Of course Mr. McCallum, private citizen, is exercising the right of free speech. Something not terribly familiar to his audience, especially come election time.

Howard Greenfield, Montreal


May I raise my glass to our former ambassador to China?

John McCallum seems to be the only person in Canada at present who knows what to do about our crucial relationship with China. He again showed his deep understanding of the awkward Canada/China dilemma, skillfully warning China how to deal now with an otherwise-hopeless diplomatic situation. Canadians have to recognize that we have made a serious error in arresting Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou on what many consider foolish and unfounded grounds. Now is the time to give Mr. McCallum (and Jean Chrétien) the space to resolve this particularly delicate matter.

Marc Faguy, Ottawa


Many of us wonder why the media is still reporting on the sanctimonious blathering of John McCallum, even after his removal as our ambassador to China.

It appears he is willing to sell this country out to a state in which the rule of law is foreign, and which remains a Communist power. Although trade with China is important, surely our national security is paramount.

J.G. Gilmour, Calgary

Governments need cash

Re Indigenous Involvement In Trans Mountain Won’t Resolve Expansion Debate, Bellegarde Says (July 10): In his comments to the premiers assembled at the Big River First Nation, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde missed an opportunity to make a constructive contribution to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion debate.

While, on the one hand, he argued there was too much opposition to the expansion for it to go ahead, on the other, he called on governments to invest more in First Nations communities, and help alleviate Indigenous child poverty.

Governments, however, need revenues to be able to fund the programs meant to benefit all residents of Canada, Indigenous and non-Indigneous. In a resource economy such as Canada’s, an important source of revenue will be the royalties resulting from the export and sale of oil and bitumen to markets other than the United States.

Mr. Bellegarde ought to have supported the Trans Mountain expansion, but with the guarantee that a portion of the profits from the sale on international markets of Canada’s oil would be set aside for investment in First Nations communities – a proposal the Western premiers, tired of opposition and delays to the expansion, would surely have welcomed.

Edward Zile, Toronto

Climate clock: Tick, tock

Re The Real Cost Of A Good Night’s Sleep (editorial, July 10): Regrettably, the editorialists of our national newspaper are still sidestepping the real issue facing Canadians. The analysis of the reasons so many Canadians put the cost of living as their top concern in the recent poll, and the advice to a “federal party serious about making life more affordable,” are both a good 40 years out of date.

Any party serious about addressing the 21st-century financial reality for the Canadians who are not among the privileged 1 per cent must formulate strategies for housing affordability, food security, and income security in old age in the context of climate change – not instead of, or even alongside of, a climate-change strategy.

The clock is ticking. This is not business as usual. This a battle.

Sharon Bider, Toronto

Ordered to stop

Re Stem-Cell Clinic Plans To Defy Health Canada Order To Stop Offering Injections To Patients (July 10): Scott Barr is a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). The CPSO is the regulatory body of the medical profession in Ontario, and as such has the absolute authority to order Dr. Barr to comply with the Health Canada order.

There is no evidence stem cells are effective in the treatment of any of the conditions listed on the website. And there is no sound rationale for the use of stem cells, because the pathogenesis of diseases such as ALS and MS is not fully understood.

In Canada, new treatments must undergo rigorous, controlled, double-blind clinical trials to establish their safety and efficacy. The CPSO operates on the credo: Guiding the profession, protecting the public. It cannot then take the approach that in the case of new, unproven and possibly unsafe treatments, physicians such as Dr. Barr can use their own clinical judgment.

The treatments being offered by stem-cell advocates are controlled acts, as defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act. If Dr. Barr is allowed to flout the Health Canada order, the CPSO will have abdicated its responsibility to the public and to the profession.

Ashok Sajnani, MD, Toronto

Out of their way

Re Novak Djokovic, The Other Tennis Star (Sports, July 11): Cathal Kelly’s dismissive comments about tennis star Novak Djokovic – calling him a “not loved, not despised, not nothing” try hard – are disgraceful.

There have been no players in tennis history so amazing as our current top three.

Roger Federer may be the ultimate, handsome tennis gentleman from a neutral country everyone admires. Rafael Nadal is the naughty child who can shake off a fault with an impish grin. Novak Djokovic is the steady, determined champion, one of the best of the best.

English is the second language of all three, and Mr. Djokovic may not speak it so easily, but we give him our full respect and admiration. He deserves an apology from Mr. Kelly.

Pauline J. Littlewood, Burlington, Ont.


Re Still Lethal (Sports, July 10): When a reporter at a Wimbledon press conference asked Serena Williams why she hadn’t put her hair up in the “business bun” sooner, as it seems to give her a “boost,” she rolled her eyes and smirked. Glamour wrote that fans think the bun “helped her win” at Wimbledon.

Here we go again: If it’s not the business bun, it’s the catsuit at the French Open. Women can never just work hard, be resilient, and in this case, have maybe the most talent in tennis history. Her hair was in her way, and she got it out of her way. Maybe the media should do the same.

Lindsay Page, Toronto


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