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Fans filled Nathan Phillips Square in anticipation of the Toronto Raptors arrival on June 17 2019. Millions of fans lined Toronto streets as the Toronto raptors made their way to Toronto city hall for a celebration of the NBA championship win.

Fred Lum

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‘We the North’

Did you see the unbelievably massive crowds at the Raptors parade? I think there were more people there than at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

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Lydia Vale, Toronto

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Wow! What a parade. What a moment. I haven’t been this excited since I found out we were having twins, ironically enough, in 1995.

Jody Summers, Toronto

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While enjoying the Raptors parade, I remembered the coast to coast support they enjoyed. Vancouver was lit up. In Calgary, it was packed at my pub with chants of “Let’s go, Raptors.” I never thought I would see the day when Montreal cheered for a Toronto team. (In fairness to the Blue Jays, when Toronto won the World Series, the Montreal Expos were alive and well.)

The difference between the Raptors and every other NBA team is that they all play for a city in a country. The Raptors play for a country in a city. This may have been the gentle push they needed to go the extra mile.

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Dan Petryk, Calgary

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You say some 10 million Canadians were watching in the final minute of the Raptors’ amazing championship game (Are You Ready To Be A Hoops Powerhouse – editorial, June 17). I was wondering if that total includes my wife, who while never previously having been known as an ardent basketball fan, was too nervous and excited to stay in the same room as the TV?

Jim Duholke, North Vancouver

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Long before the Raptors’ brilliant win, there was the brilliant slogan “We The North.” Unique, distinctly Canadian, defining of who we are and easy to recognize all around the world.

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Perhaps Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the Raptors can find a way to license it so all Canadian athletes can wear it proudly – at world championships, the Olympics, major golf and tennis tournaments, everywhere Canada is represented.

For years, we have been searching for that branding that truly tells our story. We The North is it.

Peter Barrow, Guelph, Ont.

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As a letter-writer noted, most Canadians live below the 49th parallel (Below The 49th, June 17). I would add that Toronto, home of the Raptors, is below the 45th – closer to the Equator than to the Pole.

“We The North” is poetic licence, not literal truth. Nevertheless, great branding – and it sounds much better than We The Mid-Latitude.

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Paul Kernighan, Cambridge, Ont.

Gulfs, explored

Re A High Stakes Game of Chicken Is Playing Out In The Gulf Of Oman (June 17): “Iran’s aggressive nature and unwillingness to play by the rules”? What?! Dennis Horak does not mention that the world finds itself in this frightening position because Donald Trump unilaterally decided to rip up the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) agreement, which was working as intended.

Do rules only apply to certain parties, and only to certain occasions?

Bill Bousada, Carleton Place, Ont.

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Gulf of Tonkin. Gulf of Oman. Credibility gulf.

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Patrick Martin, Westmount, Que.

Fake ‘fake news’

Re When Even The News About Fake News Is Fake (June 14): In Simon Houpt’s perceptive column discussing a survey that asked people worldwide how they reacted to fake news, he noted the definition of fake news that the survey gave people was wrong, because it left out a key ingredient – that the creator of the content either knows or has reason to know the information is false.

The results of a survey on fake news, however, is fake news in itself, as surveys can’t know the meaning of people’s responses to the questions without knowing exactly how respondents understood each question. But surveys don’t ask people how they understand the questions. They’re only interested in quantifying the answers. Asked about the definition of fake news, one of the survey designers said “people would know what the term meant.” Fake news!

Richard Heyman, professor emeritus, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

Canada’s goodness?

Re Justin Trudeau And The ‘Woke’ Generation (Opinion, June 15): The essence of white privilege is not recognizing it. Racism isn’t necessarily a conscious choice to be mean to a certain race. A racist society can exist despite its citizens being of goodwill.

I love this country, there is nowhere else in the world I would rather live. It’s painful for me to admit that we have not been our best selves in our relationships with First Nations. We have behaved, and continue to behave, in racist ways, even to the point of genocide. Admitting it is the first step to fixing it.

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Paul W. Bognar, Toronto

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I disagree with Margaret Wente that her opinion about Canada’s “intrinsic goodness” is shared by “most of us (in the older generation, anyway).”

Not all of us in her generation have had our heads in the sand. Many of us who are white and of the same generation have not been blind to the mean kids in school teasing Indigenous, Chinese, black and other children because they were different, nor have we been blind to discriminatory employment practices over the years.

We have seen what some police officers do to non-whites; we have noticed the difference in the intensity of the investigations into the murders of young white girls, and those of different skin colour.

By the way, Indigenous people did not “win” the right to negotiate about land that was taken from them. Those rights existed, but were ignored or trampled.

Mark O’Neill, Montreal

Humour in translation

Re To Wit: How Does Humour Work? (Opinion, June 15): As a Maritimer transplanted to southern Ontario, I’ve found humour to be culturally linked, and sometimes it does not travel well. My ongoing (and occasionally awkward) experiences expose that much of what I view as enormously funny anecdotes and stories are, to my Ontario confrères … well, not so much.

Even by those who claim to appreciate it, I’ve been told my humour reminds them of someone from Britain or Newfoundland (I’m from New Brunswick). My attempt to regale colleagues with the true story of my 91-year-old mother being told by her family physician that her longevity was the reason for his plans to take early retirement, and that he had ideas of how she could relieve him of his torment, brought my mother, myself (and all those in his office’s waiting room) to tears with laughter, but sadly, did not have the same effect here.

Perhaps what matters is that we all can find humour somewhere, even if it occasionally is lost in translation.

Christine Griffith, London, Ont.

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