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Doug Ford, in 2013, back in his Toronto city council days.Deborah Baic

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here:


Shrinking city council

I can accept that Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government will do things I don’t like because he won a majority. However, his decision to meddle in municipal and regional elections has crossed the line from indecent to infuriating (Ford To Slash Toronto Council By Almost Half, Tory Calls For Referendum, July 26).

Mr. Ford did not campaign on this. Savings (if any) will be less than a rounding error in the budget at a great cost to representation. And, contrary to anything his party might spin, the citizens affected by this did not ask for it.

I hope that our elected and community leaders will explore every legal avenue to stop him. But if he is successful in further eroding our democracy, Mr. Ford will be well on his way to achieving something no one ever thought possible: making Ontario long for the previous Liberal government.

Hershl Berman, Toronto


I think it’s an excellent idea for Mr. Ford to shrink the size of Toronto’s council. Smaller government is always a better solution to spending. And he is right. Saving in salaries and ridiculous pension plans is fantastic.

It’s time to actually run this province like a private corporation and actually make a profit for its citizens – not the other way around.

Michael Corsini, Hamilton

Legal guns on the loose

To answer your editorial’s question, Canada’s gun laws are failing us (Are Canada’s Gun Laws Doing The Job, July 25).

The major failing is that “legal handguns – which Canadians can buy in any quantity they choose – are falling into the hands of criminals,” as the editorial puts it.

These weapons may be purchased only by a holder of a firearms possession and acquisition licence. Apparently, possession of moral scruples is not a condition for the licence; as reported, some legal owners then sell their weapons illegally, profiting from the demand in the criminal world.

Surely the way to remedy this is to make it a serious criminal offence to sell or otherwise convey a restricted weapon to anyone who does not themselves hold a licence, and has therefore passed the screening (which could be more stringent). This could be enforced by requiring each owner at regular intervals – say, three or five years – to produce the weapons to prove their continued possession. Conveyance to another licensee, or loss by theft or otherwise, would have to be reported, with a penalty for failure. Given such a measure, the trade in these weapons should dry up.

John Edmond, Ottawa

A gun is just a gun

Letter writer Philip Shepherd trots out the social engineering of Marshall McLuhan to suggest that picking up a loaded gun changes who we are as people (Recoiling From Guns, July 25).

I suppose the same principle applies to those who choose to pick up a hammer, a saw or a sewing needle.

I do not have a firearms possession and acquisition licence. Nor do I own a gun. But I have fired pistols and vintage Second World War rifles at a supervised gun range. It was an interesting and challenging experience, but hardly transformative. I am not a better or a worse person for having handled a loaded firearm. I did not run out to buy a gun, nor did I feel the sudden urge to join the National Rifle Association. But I do better understand guns and the motivations of legal owners as a result.

Paul Clarry, Aurora, Ont.

Who’s anti-business now?

Doug Ford’s Conservative government in Ontario has rushed to kill cap-and-trade, resulting in private companies being left with $2.9-billion in now worthless emission allowances (Ontario Aims To End Cap-And-Trade, July 26). The government says little or no compensation will be forthcoming.

Additionally, Mr. Ford has killed a number of green economy projects, at least one of which was already under construction.

During the recent election campaign, one of Mr. Ford’s bumper-sticker slogans claimed that under his government Ontario would be “open for business.” His early actions have demonstrated quite the opposite.

And people persist in believing the NDP is anti-business.

Steve Soloman, Toronto

Put retirees first

The way that Sears Canada has treated its close to 16,000 former employees and 18,000 retirees is appalling (Sears Retirees Ask Court For Firm’s Last $135-Million, July 23).

Those retirees are now going to court to ask for $135-million of potential cash and properties still held by the company – and Sears’s other creditors are probably going to do whatever they can to prevent it.

Those creditors are owed more than $30-billion. That $135-million represents less than 5 per cent of what they are owed.

What that $135-million would represent to the lives of the non-Ontario retirees who are facing 30-per-cent pension cuts is the difference between a reasonable pension and poverty. They’ve already lost all their health and insurance benefits that were promised when they retired from Sears, and now they stand to lose even more. Creditors, let the retirees have the remaining assets.

Teresa Cooper, Winnipeg

Civil cycling

Like your letter writer, many of us are all for a greener and less congested city (Let’s Copenhagenize, July 25). But one element the letter fails to bring to light is the need for biker responsibility and accountability.

Too many times we have seen cyclists pedalling on roads, swerving between vehicles and sometimes even on sidewalks. They tend to be aggressive both vocally and while in motion to both pedestrians and automobile drivers alike.

Would this be the case if bikes had licence plates like all other vehicles? Having “non-anonymous cyclists” accountable for any infraction (just like any other vehicle driver) should be the starting point before even contemplating a green and aesthetic biker city.

Soheil R. Baouji, Toronto

Who needs men?

Re Ending An Era Of Religious History, Catholic Nuns Leave Quebec’s Ursuline Monastery Almost 400 Years After Its Establishment (July 26):

Your story lists six of the Quebec nuns who died in May alone: “Sister Fernande Bolduc, 96. Sister Rolande Landry, 96. Sister Marie-Ange Gagnon, 97. Sister Thérèse Tardif, 97. Sister Georgette Rioux, 99. Sister Bernadette Richer, 100.”

It makes one wonder whether not having men full-time in their lives had any effect on their longevity.

Jack Tennier, Toronto

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