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Bedevilled by the Brexit details
Re Britain’s House Of Commons Careers Into Chaos As May Struggles To Control Brexit Debate (March 14): As the British Parliament debates Brexit or No Brexit in almost endless, acrimonious fashion, it increasingly seems we are watching Jean-Paul Sartre’s hellish existentialist play No Exit.
Alan Whitehorn, Kingston
Re Amid Cardinal Sins, Pope Francis Enacts His Culture Shift (March 14): Although Michael Higgins finishes on a positive note, the body of his article shows precisely what is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Higgins, a professor of Catholic thought, states that Theodore Edgar McCarrick “paid the heaviest price yet: compelled to resign from the College of Cardinals and stripped of his priesthood.”
Not mentioned is that Mr. McCarrick is now living in a retirement home owned and operated by the church. A life of comfortable contemplation is hardly a heavy price to pay for allegedly sexually abusing a minor and seminarians, but it just goes to show how out of touch Prof. Higgins and the church really are with the outside world’s views on how this issue is being handled.
If the church is serious about reform, it should start by making all its personnel records available to the police, and actively supporting the prosecution of sexual predators. The church should also support the abused with long-lasting financial and emotional support. Until it does these things, all I hear coming out of Rome is gobbledygook.
Janek Jagiellowicz, Waterloo, Ont.
Quit, or stay?
Re Should She Quit? In My Opinion … (March 14): A letter writer suggest that Jody Wilson-Raybould may be happy to see the Liberal Party falter, because it could create an opening for her to replace Justin Trudeau as PM.
My question to all those in English Canada who have raised this idea in the past month is: How would you feel having a prime minister who doesn’t speak a word of English? Just asking …
Until Quebeckers decide otherwise, Quebec is still one of the two main nations forming this country.
Yvan Giroux, Gatineau, Que.
Lawrence Martin thinks Jody Wilson-Raybould should quit the Liberal caucus (Wilson-Raybould Should Quit The Liberals, March 13). I disagree. She was voted into Parliament as a Liberal. To cross party lines is not acceptable. The Liberals need to find ways to accept alternative opinions and work with them to be an even better party. The argument that she should have written a letter to the PM stating her concerns amounts to more victim-blaming. Both she and Jane Philpott have been outstanding ministers who worked tirelessly for Canadians. The Liberal Party should be proud to have them in caucus.
Ann Mummenhoff, Toronto
If Jody Wilson-Raybould is looking to become Liberal leader, she is dreaming in colour. Any MP who is not prepared to be a team player and respect the leader should not expect support were she to become leader. You don’t give it, you don’t get it.
Joy Ruttan, Gatineau, Que.
Re Liberals Shut Down Debate On Recalling Wilson-Raybould For Second Round Of Testimony (March 14): Please publish, on your front page, the pictures and names of those on the justice committee who shut down attempts to recall Jody Wilson-Raybould. Put their leader’s picture at the top. These MPs must become part of this “conversation.”
Reg Warren, Ottawa
Jody Wilson-Raybould has already testified for three and a half hours before the justice committee. Are opposition MPs taking acting lessons to perfect their wounded-outrage skills at not getting a second go-round and getting it now?
SNC-Lavalin has become code for posturing and electioneering. “What does this say to Canadians?” asks opposition MP Tracey Ramsey. It says politicians of all parties take us for fools. Cue the outrage. At least on voters’ parts, it’s genuine – whatever our views on this media-fuelled mess.
Sarah Anderson, Winnipeg
Re Ontario Doctors’ College Dismisses Gun-Control Complaints Against Surgeon (March 14): “The response from the college says a committee has determined the complaints are ‘frivolous’ and ‘vexatious’ and don’t warrant further investigation.”
The committee’s medical diagnosis politely omitted troglodytic, myopic and vindictive.
Tim Jeffery, Toronto
Tech off = smoke free?
Re Hey, Kids, Leave Those Phones Alone (March 13): Your editorial on the Ontario smartphone ban speaks to a pervasive problem in today’s classrooms.
I taught in an independent school for four decades, retiring in 2016. The last decade in the classroom was notably different from preceding years. The smartphone demonstrably altered the dynamic of the classroom.
As students were free to carry their phones all day at school, I tried to have them used effectively for research or reading. But such permissiveness was soon taken advantage of. It often seemed like me versus the cellphone.
I encountered a few students who, I was certain, were addicted to their phones. Anecdotally, those students who didn’t have phones or who were disciplined enough not to use them during class achieved higher grades and were more alert in class.
But the other problem is what happens with phones at home at night. Students told me they slept with their cellphones next to them, in case someone texted or e-mailed. If that happened, they felt obliged to respond lest, as one student told me, the texter would think they didn’t like them.
Sleep interrupted usually meant a sleepy day at school, equivalent to being severely jet-lagged.
Marshall Webb, Vancouver
Cellphone addiction is finally being seen as a public-health issue.
Now we need to invest in effective ad campaigns so that “tech off” will follow the path of “smoke free.”
Sue Gal, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Before the cellphone ban is implemented in classrooms and schools, there should be a four-week trial. Not by kids, however, but by the adult population.
Adults created and modelled addictive phone/social media behaviour. Most Ontario adults would be fine with having no access to their phones during the day for a month, right? So we wouldn’t be placing undue expectations on our kids.
Good luck with the ban.
And pity the poor teachers, who will be the ones attempting to enforce it. (No, I am not a teacher.)
Graham Watson, Peterborough, Ont.