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Anthony Rota leaves the speakers entrance of West Block after announcing his resignation as Speaker of House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sept. 26.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Still not enough

Re “The Speaker’s belated resignation is not enough” (Editorial, Sept. 27): As an immigrant, I have always been proud to be Canadian. Until a few days ago.

Now I am embarrassed. Anthony Rota’s lame apology and subsequent resignation was too little, too late. And the Prime Minister should still take full responsibility for the shameful humiliation of Volodymyr Zelensky, and of all Canadians.

Incompetence and ignorance should be no excuse.

Michael Benedict Toronto

No comparison

Re “With friends like these” (Letters, Sept. 26): The murders of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar seem to have few similarities.

Mr. Khashoggi was murdered, details were released, foreign governments confirmed both the murder and the culprit and Saudi Arabia admitted to it. In the present case, the Prime Minister has created an international scandal on the basis of “credible information” that has not been released.

Was a murder committed? Yes. Has the public been provided with details? No. Have foreign governments confirmed anything? No. Has the Indian government admitted anything? No. Has any evidence been offered? No.

All we have so far is the word of one man. This is one of the most serious allegations – a step short of military incursion – that can be levelled against another country. It goes beyond election interference.

Justin Trudeau should either back up his statements, or apologize to India.

Tom Curran Prince Edward County, Ont.

In theory

Re “Danielle Smith’s plan to withdraw from CPP would leave all Canadians – including Albertans – poorer” (Report on Business, Sept. 26): In my opinion, the overriding contributor to the Canada Pension Plan’s success has been its independence.

Fortunately, since inception, Ottawa politicians have consistently respected the independence of the fund’s investment decision-making process. It seems apparent that Danielle Smith has dissimilar aspirations for an Alberta pension plan.

If this proposal reaches an Alberta referendum, I suggest that Albertans, regardless of their political stripe, ask themselves the following question: “Would Danielle Smith be my first choice as my personal investment adviser?”

David McCaslin CFA Calgary

Re “Give and take” (Letters, Sept. 27): I find it odd that pundits are taking Danielle Smith’s partisan posturing seriously. Commenting over and over on her silly proposal for Alberta to leave the Canada Pension Plan and parcel out the largest share of its assets to the province – even if only to deride and dismiss – seems to give far too much attention to her nonsense and inept attention to evidence.

Have we not learned that the repetition of nonsense leads to it being normalized and, worse, believed? One need only refer to columnist Gary Mason’s review of Brexit (”Alberta’s pension proposal is a Brexit-like disaster in the making” – Sept. 27), and the “gross distortion of reality” by conservative British politicians such as Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, to see how easy it is to deceive the uninformed.

We would do best to let Ms. Smith’s latest foray into imaginary economics die a natural death.

Nancy Bjerring London, Ont.

What measure?

Re “A new era of competition law dawns in Canada – finally” (Editorial, Sept. 25): This issue highlights the need for more integration between legal and economic specialists.

The big question is economic: How does relatively unfettered use of monopoly or oligopoly power affect overall economic performance? The answer, as usual, is “it depends.”

What it depends on are complicated economic, political and legal mechanisms. The standard discussion focuses on the short and longer-run impacts on GDP, but this leaves aside a predictable impact on income inequality.

The widespread presence of monopolies leads to high incomes at the top and lower incomes at the bottom, since any profit-maximizing monopolist produces less than is socially desirable, thereby pushing down wage rates. Admittedly, oversimplified economic models suggest this impact can be very great. Empirical analysis to test for its magnitude is complicated and has to date been limited.

The big increase in U.S. inequality since the 1980s may be related to monopoly power.

Albert Berry Toronto

Essential education

Re “The Holocaust shouldn’t be the only thing schools teach about the Jewish community” (Sept. 25): Contributor Tia Sacks is right that for Holocaust education to be both ethical and effective, it should address Jewish life before and after the Holocaust.

It should provide an appreciation for Judaism as a living religion, culture and civilization of creative expression, communal identity, peoplehood, resilience and diversity, with a rich and dynamic history and vibrant contemporary expression in Canada and globally. Other provinces should follow Ontario’s example of mandatory Holocaust education, while ensuring that curricula attend to the concerns that Ms. Sacks raises.

At a time of rising racism, bigotry and discrimination directed against Jews and many other minorities in Canada, the United States, Europe and well beyond, I find her commentary relevant, urgent and demands our attention and responsiveness in defence of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Noam Schimmel Associate fellow, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, McGill University Newton, Mass.

Keep it fresh

Re “Flour power: Montreal bagels make cross-country journey to delight Vancouverites” (Sept. 25): There is also Siegel’s Bagels on Vancouver’s Cornwall Avenue, with a Granville Island branch, duplicating fresh Montreal bagels.

They bake, sell and deliver bagels in Vancouver 24 hours a day. The key is for bagels to be fresh from a wood-fired brick oven.

When I was at McGill University in the 1960s, I remember arguments over whether St-Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel were best. Today Toronto has locations of the Bagel House all over, and Montreal bagels are even found in Brooklyn and Melbourne.

Important is immediate consumption. In central areas of Vancouver, many bagel aficionados presumably already know about fresh Siegel’s Bagels. Stale 24-hour delivery, then, is for those who may not know fresh and accept “fresh yesterday,” a standard that should not be recognized for quality bagels.

Allan Fox Toronto

To bagel or not to bagel is not even a question worth pondering.

Seeing those beautiful, mouth-watering beauties leaving the oven made me think that the yeast I could do was get some dough together and see if they might roll a few my way.

But I better get round to it fast, or there won’t be a hole lot left.

Dave Hurley Belleville, Ont.

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