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Re Ottawa Can Free Meng Now, Arbour Says (June 23): Allan Rock states: “In SNC, they shouldn’t have and they did. Here they can and they should, but they won’t. Because they think they can’t, and they’re wrong.” It feels like not since former U.S. defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld (“as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know”) have we been treated to such unwieldy language that ignores the potential real-life consequences of such a line of thinking.
One might be tempted to say to Mr. Rock: “There are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
Edward Carson Toronto
More than half a century ago, John Ll. J. Edwards, then director of the University of Toronto’s Centre of Criminology, recommended separating the roles of justice minister and attorney-general to prevent “the subjection of the law officers to dictates of political pressures” and to help reduce public “disillusionment” with the criminal justice system (End Combining Attorney-General, Justice Roles: Edwards – Nov. 13, 1969).
Canadians could reasonably have expected the separation of roles after the SNC-Lavalin affair, but it was not to be. Perhaps the detention of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig by Chinese authorities will finally persuade the government to distinguish the roles, and allow for Meng Wanzhou’s release by a justice minister unencumbered by an attorney-general role – with the hope that freedom for the two Michaels will follow.
Philip Berger Toronto
I see that Canada is stuck economically and culturally between two big bullies – one that might become less so in November, and another that will only become more so as its control over the world’s economies and resources increases. There is a small glimmer of hope with regard to the former, but a disturbing spectre of widening totalitarianism in relation to the latter.
The big question should be: What kind of survival skills will Canada have to adopt over the coming decades so as to not be subsumed by both?
Ray Arnold Richmond, B.C.
Re ‘I Remain Resolute And Resilient,’ Kovrig Says In Letters To His Wife (June 23): It seems Canada can never bend over backward far enough to satisfy China and the United States. What Canada could do is show some moral fortitude and do the right thing.
Bringing the two Michaels home would be the right thing. If I were in their shoes, I would sure as hell want that to happen.
Marianne Orr Brampton, Ont.
Allan Rock says that it may be 2024 before a judge rules on the extradition of Meng Wanzhou. If so, it will mean Ms. Meng will have been subjected to a form of house arrest for between five and six years by the time a decision is rendered. I believe this is just plain wrong.
China’s treatment of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor is inexcusable. But the serene indifference of our justice system to the toll it takes on people’s lives, while it meanders through its interminable processes, should also be inexcusable. Ms. Meng’s case should have been decided within a month of her arrest.
Countless other people in this country have experienced legal processes that do not deliver timely justice. We should reclaim our justice system.
Jim Paulin Ottawa
There are ample precedents in the past 60 years for the exchange of “spies” or other detainees between the West and communist countries. Such exchanges are not a loss of face, but are motivated by humanitarian concerns. I believe there is no ethical reason why one more such exchange could not take place now.
The government’s intervention in the SNC-Lavalin scandal was improper, but motivated by a concern for Canadian interests. There seems no more compelling interest than the suffering of the two Michaels and their families. If the government could show concern for an impersonal company, then it should show compassion now for real people who have suffered enough.
Rodney Symington Jomtien, Thailand
My first job
Re Rule-breaking Farmers To Face Sanctions (June 23): I was so happy to get my first job in Canada in 1973.
As a live-in caregiver, I was to look after two children, clean the house, make the meals and do the laundry. For my bed, a cot was placed in the kitchen that could only be set up overnight and had to be put away before morning. At the end of the week, I received $15. Even at 40 hours a week, $15 was barely 40 cents an hour (in practice, I was on duty 16 hours a day). Ontario minimum wage that year was $1.80 an hour.
Sadly, some people in Canada are still expendable.
Maria Christina Conlon Toronto
Re Peel Shooting Spurs Calls For Inquiry (June 23): I grew up in Malton. Even in the late 1960s and 70s, the Mississauga neighbourhood had the tough edge that comes with a working-class community. Moreover, even all those years ago, it was among the most diverse communities anywhere. I believe this rich mosaic contributed to my life in the most positive ways imaginable.
All this to say that it breaks my heart and raises my anger when I continually see Peel Regional Police exerting such a heavy hand when exercising discretionary authority, particularly in Malton and parts of Brampton, Ont. I am quite certain that officers would not have used that same discretionary judgment – as they did in the recent death of Ejaz Choudry during a “wellness check” – if attending to an upscale home in the Port Credit neighbourhood, even if someone were in distress and there was likely a set of Henckels knives on a granite counter top.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, along with the local police services board and Attorney-General’s office, should take the initiative to address what I see as another example of systemic racism and class bias. I hope that the outpouring of the past few weeks will finally signal that this death is simply one too many as the result of discretionary action.
Paul Thomson Bath, Ont.
Re A Beautiful Feeling (Letters, June 23): A letter writer had it lucky with her teen awakenings to her father singing Rodgers and Hammerstein. We would get military marching music cranked up at full volume by our gleeful father, an artillery officer. Nothing gets the heart pumping like the Colonel Bogey March first thing in the morning!
Trish Crowe Kingston
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