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Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman and fellow Hollywood actress Lori Loughlin were among dozens who have been indicted in a multimillion-dollar scam to help children of the elite cheat their way into top universities, including USC.FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here:


Cures for cheating

Re Sidoo Leaves CEO Posts Amid U.S. Admissions Probe (March 15); Vancouver businessman and former CFL star David Sidoo is charged with paying another man US$200,000 “to take college entrance exams on behalf of his two sons” so they could get into elite American colleges/universities. Mr. Sidoo’s alleged involvement in the scam shines a Canadian beacon on what can only be described as an exposé of widespread, disgusting cheating.

This scam is said to involve dozens of so-called “privileged” families and payments into the million-plus range to exam-takers, as well as unscrupulous school officials, to help fake test scores and even Photoshop athletes into sports they have never played!

So what’s new?! I vividly recall our visit to Olympia on one of the “classic” tours of Greece and learning of the punishments for cheating and bribery in the Games of Ancient Greece. Culprits faced being fined, publicly flogged and banned from competition. Best of all, statues of Zeus were erected on stone bases paid for by fines imposed on the families of those who were found to be cheating. The names of the athletes were inscribed on the base to serve as a shaming to all involved.

Sounds good to me!

Ronald Davidson, Ancaster, Ont.

Conservative afflictions

Re Does Scheer Have The Courage To Unite The Two Sides Of The Conservative Base? (March 15): Andrew Scheer became leader of the Conservatives at a time when the party needed someone to do balm duty after the scourge of scandal. And the Conservatives were scared of Mad Max.

Apart from mouthing boilerplate bromides for the centre-right, Mr. Scheer says little. He suffers from the conservative affliction of fake gravitas that beset Joe Clark, who ultimately had to make way for Brian Mulroney. Mr. Scheer, too, is a placeholder.

Stephen Harper will have little trouble reclaiming his office when he decides to.

Howard Greenfield, Montreal


Over the past several weeks, we have been bombarded with repeated comments too numerous to mention here by Andrew Scheer on the SNC-Lavalin affair – everything from demanding that Justin Trudeau resign, to insisting Parliament be recalled during the recess to deal with what he terms a crisis, to suggesting that this is nothing but an issue of votes in Quebec. He has been joined by his acolytes Pierre Poilievre and Michael Cooper, not to mention Lisa Raitt, of whom I for one expected more.

Mr. Scheer has made a meal of it without telling Canadians what he would have done differently if faced with this complex issue.

Nonsense is probably too weak a word to describe this deluge. Does he think Canadians are “that” stupid or politically ignorant? Mr. Scheer needs to take a look in the mirror.

Monica Cullum, Ottawa

Pipeline play, not replay

Re A Pipeline Bill With Too Many Holes In It (March 12): The repeated reference to Bill C-69 as the “pipeline bill” almost has me convinced that rather than an impact assessment process for all projects of national interest, we should just create a bill for pipelines.

The proposed new energy regulator could get a bunch of buds together and narrowly define the project, involve only those directly affected, and by focusing on the environment, eliminate the need to consider job implications and other social impacts. They could also be given the power to approve those projects. Sounds efficient – but also eerily like the plan that got us into this mess, with the passing of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, and the granting of new powers to the National Energy Board.

The report of the Expert Panel on environmental assessment is essential reading to understand the complexity of the problem we face. We need innovative new thinking – not a replay.

John Sinclair, acting director, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba


Your editorial called “ridiculous” Western claims that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s embroilment in the SNC-Lavalin scandal is proof that the Liberals will bend over backward for Quebec, but are indifferent to the struggles of Alberta.

If Mr. Trudeau, the PMO and the Clerk of the Privy Council had put as much effort into building pipelines as they have into worrying about SNC (which has a much smaller impact in Canada than the oil and gas industry), many more jobs would have been preserved and created throughout the country.

Western Canadians are therefore rightly and properly outraged by Mr. Trudeau’s government’s conduct in rejecting the Northern Gateway project, watching the Energy East project fail due to objections from Quebec, and fumbling the Trans Mountain project – then riding hard and fast to rescue SNC from any hint of difficulty.

Donald H. Watkins, Calgary

Tell us what to do!

Re The Time-Travelling Hooks Of Galt MacDermot (Arts, March 9): It was a pleasure last Saturday to read J. Kelly Nestruck’s remembrance of Galt MacDermot and My Fur Lady, the 1957 musical comedy originally staged as the annual McGill Red and White Review.

Mr. MacDermot was one of three composers who wrote the music for the sparkling songs by Timothy Porteous, but between the time the show opened in February, 1957, and when the touring company stopped in Brandon, where I had the pleasure of seeing it in June, 1958, at least one song had undergone a major revision, necessitated by the end of a Liberal era in Ottawa, and the election of John Diefenbaker’s Progressive Conservative government.

The original show had a debate in the Commons on the subject of a flag for Canada, but Parliament could reach no decision, and the matter was left to then-prime minister Louis St. Laurent, whose cabinet included the feisty C.D. Howe. The song, sung by “the Minister of Supply and Demand and the Male Chorus,” was titled And Howe! and included the lines, “Uncle Lou, Uncle Lou, tell us what to do! / And Howe.”

The touring company replaced this number with Ora-tory-o, written by Bill Sully and sung by “the Leader of the Conservatives and Male Chorus.” The new refrain was, as I recall; “Honest John, Honest John, lead the country on, / And On!”

How delightful it would be if some theatre company revived the original show.

Trevor S. Raymond, Georgetown, Ont.

Testing, testing …

Re The Driver’s Test Is Scarier At 80 (First Person, March 14): My mother was in the driver’s-test waiting room last August for her annual test for a licence renewal. A gentleman, just turned 80 and there for the first time, asked the assembled group to each report on how many times they had done the test. He was nervous, and seeking tips.

My mother was reluctant and the last to speak. Her response was “13.” They gasped, and I am okay with that, as she is sharp and physically capable. While age is not the only criteria, the test is well warranted.

Viva 80 (plus, plus!)

Diane Paget, Toronto

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