Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

President Donald Trump greets supporters at the Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg, W. Va., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.Evan Vucci/The Associated Press

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:


Restrained retaliation

The fact that Canada has responded to Donald Trump’s 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum by putting 10 per cent tariffs on a wide range of American goods, rather than high tariffs on a few major goods, shows substantial restraint.

Our tariffs are designed to raise approximately the same revenue as Mr. Trump’s. But they will inflict significantly less economic harm. Revenue represents only part of the impact. There is also a distortion of economic activity that generates an “excess burden,” in economics jargon.

That excess burden tends to rise with the square of the tariff rate. This means that a 25 per cent tariff generates more than six times the excess burden of a 10 per cent tariff, other things being equal. By imposing a low retaliatory tariff on a large number of goods, we’re avoiding the severe distortions caused by Mr. Trump’s tariff on steel. If I had my way, we wouldn’t impose tariffs at all, but given we’ve decided on retaliation, we’re showing considerable self-control.

Jim Davies, professor, Department of Economics University of Western Ontario

Honoured, and white

Re Rideau Hall Names Order Of Canada Appointments (June 30): In addition to the fact that “nearly two-thirds of the appointees are men” and “half are from Ontario,” the appointees are overwhelmingly white. O Canada, indeed.

Ernest Lam, Toronto

Left, right, limited

Left, right, limited

Re Mexico’s President-Elect Vows To Preserve NAFTA (July 3): Why does the mainstream media, including The Globe and Mail, refer to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) as “left-wing”? Do you refer to Stephen Harper as “right-wing?” Some more appropriate adjectives from AMLO’s election platform: “anti-corruption,” “anti-cartels,” “committed to reducing poverty.” There are more shades to the political spectrum than right and left. Why describe the world in such limiting terms?

Janet E. Harris, Ottawa

70 years of gratitude

Re Trump Must Learn From The Berlin Airlift Victory (July 2): Berlin built a monument to honour the pilots and crews who carried out more than 270,000 flights during the airlift in 1948-49 that kept the Western-controlled parts of Berlin supplied with food and fuel during the Soviet blockade.

Pilots and crews had a very few minutes to land, dump their cargo, and depending on the remaining minutes until the next flight was to swoop down, to collect a few kids, waiting in a lineup on the field, who were hastily latched to cargo posts, luggage tags around their necks giving names, ages, and the identity of person receiving them at the other end. Sometimes four kids made it inside, other times there were 20.

We are grateful to this day to the British crew who took our undernourished little brother to Hannover in August, 1948. The skill and courage of these remarkable airmen must not be forgotten.

Anne Millyard, Utterson, Ont.

A hurdle too high

A hurdle too high

Re The CRA Makes Life More Difficult For People With Disabilities (July 3): André Picard is doing a public service by exposing the unfairness and arbitrariness of the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).

The threshold for qualifying for the federal DTC is higher than that required for provincial disability welfare plans and coverage under private disability insurance policies. It is so high, many colleagues have for years been guided by the simple but true axiom: “If a patient can walk into the office with the DTC form, they are ineligible for the tax benefit.”

Ottawa should move quickly to bring the DTC back to its purpose of authentically assisting low-income Canadians with disabilities.

Philip B. Berger, MD, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto

Some Americans First

Re Canada Must Recognize That The Game Is Changing (Opinion, June 30): Frank Buckley, Brian Lee Crowley, and Sean Speer’s recommendations for how Canada should respond to Donald Trump’s trade war amount to subservient capitulation. Canada has often been unable to support “a strategic partnership that’s directly tied to U.S. interests,” including the Vietnam and Iraq wars, and our ongoing refusal to support the isolation of Cuba. Canada co-operates with its powerful neighbour, but not when it violates our national values and aspirations.

Yes, in the current trade war, the power differential involved requires caution. However, any suggestion that we can defend ourselves by embracing the deregulatory, tax-cutting regime of Trump Republicans, racing them to the bottom, is misguided.

We cannot survive by becoming a mirror image of Mr. Trump’s America.

A policy of imitative deference and compliance may appease the Trump administration, but it will not preserve our distinctive values. We must retain robust social services and responsible environmental and fiscal regulations.

Whitney Lansing Hoth, London, Ont.


While the authors give us much to think about, they give too much credit to Donald Trump when they rationalize his impulsive “tweet” approach to national and international policy by characterizing it as an “America First” model. With his approach to minorities, immigrants and Americans who did not vote for him, Mr. Trump’s real model is “Some Americans First.”

H.W. MacFadyen, Canmore, Alta.

Kits, kith and kin

Re Hail The Trash Panda, Spirit of Canada (June 30): Yes! Let’s make the raccoon our national animal. In 2017, my husband and I acquired – by accident – a pregnant mom who was looking for a place to give birth to her kits.

She was in my green bin with the lid down when I found her. I turned the bin on its side and she crawled out, went through our cat door and chose our basement to give birth. Whoops!

She never destroyed any property while she and her babies were with us. We have cats, so she was fed kibble and water daily, until such time as she moved her brood out. (She and the cats ignored each other by the way.) The experience was so rewarding, I began blogging it to friends who suggested I write a kids book. And so I did: My Raccoon Family.

Marg Churchill, Ottawa

The licence of ink ...

I was delighted to see two headlines based on Shakespeare in Monday’s paper: “Canada, The United States Cry ‘Havoc,’ And Let Slip The Dogs Of Trade War” and “Nothing Rotten About Denmark’s Play.” I could have suggested two more: When The Hurly Burly’s Done, When The Battle’s Lost And Won (signing John Tavares as a Maple Leaf); and, of course, ’Tis A Tale Told By An Idiot, Full Of Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing (any story from south of the border).

James MacDonald, Kamloops, B.C.

Interact with The Globe