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No to Bombardier bailout
Re Must Ottawa Finally Deny Bombardier A Bailout? (June 10): Further to the excellent “heads up” article by Konrad Yakabuski regarding a possible bailout of Bombardier, such a bailout would be a pathetic travesty. Bombardier has gone from national champion to national disaster and embarrassment. Would this be bailout No. 3 or 4? I can’t remember.
What should happen to Bombardier is very straightforward. The company should be placed in receivership, voluntary or otherwise, and the balance sheet should be restructured through the courts. In the corporate world, this happens all the time. The preferred and common shares, especially the special voting shares, should be wiped out. The bondholders and the banks should then take a haircut of 50 per cent to 75 per cent or more of the debt which they are owed. In exchange, the lenders would be issued new common shares and would then control the company and could change the board and management as they see fit. They could then refloat the company to the public markets with a strong balance sheet at some future date, perhaps in conjunction with some private equity. During the bankruptcy proceedings, the company would operate under normal “debtor in possession” financing.
Over the years, bondholders and banks have irresponsibly lent Bombardier far too much money in spite of the company being the poster child for incredibly poor governance and inept management. There should be a penalty for reckless lending. Why bail out the bondholders and banks? With the current pandemic, many good companies should receive financial support, but Bombardier is not one of them. Lots of companies have been restructured in receivership and emerged as long-term successful enterprises.
The final straw in the Bombardier saga is the recent outrageous executive compensation arrangements indicating the company still has zero governance. The Quebec and federal governments and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec should stand aside this time around. The comical political gravy train must stop.
Anthony S. Fell Toronto
Body cam solutions
Re RCMP To Equip Officers With Body Cameras, But Evidence Shows They Can Be An Ineffective Tool (June 9): The article says that police body cameras “cannot be rolling continuously.” The technology allows for a camera to be in operation from start to end of an officer’s shift, and to record the entire stream securely. This footage should be stored and encrypted by a disinterested third party who, upon a complaint, would routinely remove clearly irrelevant and private events such as officers’ bathroom and lunch breaks before subjecting the remaining stream to mediated access by the complainant, the Crown and the police force. Ultimately, the courts must decide what video evidence is to be admitted, and that evidence cannot be effectively prescreened by the officer(s) involved.
If police are allowed to choose when to turn cameras on and off, it’s hardly surprising that they contribute little to resolving use-of-force incidents.
Tony Harminc Toronto
The purpose of body cameras is to monitor police behaviour. It seems like common sense, but the police should not have the ability to turn off the devices. The same way we don’t allow those on house arrest to turn off their ankle bracelets.
Jeffrey Smith Oakville, Ont.
Adding or removing technology from the police is not the magic bullet that advocates hope for. The Brookings Institute in the United States found in 2017 that “the behaviour of officers who wore cameras all the time was indistinguishable from the behaviour of those who never wore cameras.” Other researchers have found more or less the same thing with the use of body-worn cameras.
Rather than hoping that the addition of cameras or lack of guns will change the behaviour of the police, better vetting and training along with some police funds going to social services will make a difference.
Clay Atcheson North Vancouver, B.C.
Perhaps it’s the civilians that should wear body cams.
David McGinn Sarnia, Ont.
Disarm the police
Re Fewer Guns. More Cameras. Better Police (June 10): I was very pleased to see The Globe and Mail endorsing a largely unarmed police force. From massive London to rowdy Glasgow, British cities are policed effectively, without the expectation of people being killed. There’s no reason why the same shouldn’t be possible in Toronto, or anywhere else in Canada.
David Arthur Cambridge, Ont.
Twentysomething COVID-19 spike
Re COVID-19 Spike Among Ontarians In Their 20s Puzzles Health Experts (June 10): It does not puzzle this observer in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. Every weekend we see countless tourists from the Greater Toronto Area pour through our town. Despite the pleas of our local authorities, who are trying to keep us safe, these visitors, especially the younger ones, are ignoring physical-distancing guidelines.
I think that they see this virus as “an old person’s disease“ and have decided they can continue to live a normal life. Meanwhile Niagara-on-the-Lake, with zero active cases of COVID-19, remains locked down in Phase 1. Is it because we become part of the GTA every weekend?
Jim Reynolds Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Surprise, surprise. This younger cohort is still working, and/or hanging out with friends, and a lot of them were out in droves, protesting in public places. They were warned.
The seniors are staying home, wearing a mask in public and trying to avoid having their grandchildren lose their grandmas and grandpas too soon.
Gatherings of five or 10 unrelated people still provide a means of transmitting asymptomatic coronavirus.
J.M. Anderson Burlington, Ont.
I’m not sure why anyone is puzzled by a spike in Ontarians in their 20s. This age group is less afraid (and even skeptical) of the virus, tired of being isolated and, as far as I can see around Toronto, most are not practising any physical distancing – quite the contrary.
As for the numbers not going down – if we test more people, aren’t we likely to find more cases than before? And therefore how is a comparison to earlier numbers useful? The numbers have only ever showed how many people tested positive out of the number who were tested. It never showed how many cases we actually had.
So it is frustrating to be depending on these numbers in order to allow some lessening of restrictions.
Jill Wykes Toronto
Furlough the MPs
Re Parliament Has Sat Only 38 Days In Nearly 12 months. What Now? (June 10): Maybe the MPs could be furloughed. That would save Canadians a pile of cash. On the bright side, they could apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit until there may be a higher demand for politicians.
David van der Vis Winnipeg
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