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A pot and a kettle
Re Don’t Mess With Stormy Daniels (March 27): Right about now, Donald Trump is no doubt wishing he’d found a place for Stormy Daniels on The Apprentice. And like Margaret Wente, I am enjoying the “Hell hath no fury” moment that Ms. Daniels is having at the expense of Mr. Trump and his lawyer. But I need further guidance from Ms. Wente on Ms. Daniels being a feminist role model. Should I encourage my daughters to become porn stars, sleep with powerful men, tell all and then use their 15 minutes of fame to enhance their income as strippers?
Let’s face it. Stormy Daniels is in the business of the objectification of women as sex objects. Whether that business increases the prevalence of sexual harassment, or decreases it because potential harassers are glued to their screens, it is hardly a feminist mecca. Indeed there are many mistreated female victims of Ms. Daniels’s various occupations who cannot, like Ms. Daniels, rise to the top and control their destinies.
To her credit, she does not see herself as a victim in her relationship with Mr. Trump. There are no victims there, and no role models.
Just a pot and a kettle.
Rudy Buller, Toronto
Re Trudeau Pardons Six First Nations Chiefs (March 27): The word “pardons” implies the six Tsilhqot’in chiefs were guilty of the crimes with which they were wrongfully charged, and for which they were hanged in the 1860s. What the Prime Minister did (and what Gloria Galloway reports in her article) was to exonerate them. “Exonerate” means “to free from blame,” implying that there was no guilt in the first place.
Lindsay Bryan, Welland, Ont.
Justin Trudeau’s infelicitous apology for events in 1864 is an embarrassment to Canadians. Canada wasn’t a country then; British Columbia was a British colony and didn’t even join Confederation till 1871. The Prime Minister’s Pollyannaish attempt at political correctness is wholly overshadowed by historical incorrectness.
Paul Pepperall, Penetanguishene, Ont.
What the chiefs who were hanged deserved was an apology and reparations, not death. It was, as the Tsilhqot’in said, war.
We took their land and brought them smallpox. Who is the murderer?
Heather Macleod, Toronto
Don’t aid the brain drain
Re Will Canada’s Universities Step Up To Stop The Brain Drain? (Report on Business, March 22): There isn’t much Canada’s universities or the government can do to stop the brain drain. No task force or study needed, because the nature of the problem is very basic: Grads make considerably more money in the United States and pay considerably less tax.
However, what we do need to do is stop subsidizing the brain drain. Canadian STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workers in the U.S. have the best of both worlds: They carry significantly less student debt than their American counterparts, courtesy of the Canadian taxpayer, and their take-home pay is significantly more than the grads who stay in Canada.
Claude Gannon, Markham, Ont.
Canada’s interests in Mali
I confess to being perplexed by arguments that Canada shouldn’t go to Mali because it’s dangerous, or hopeless, or not in Canada’s interests (Trudeau’s Mali Misadventure – editorial, March 22).
Peace support operations are by definition dangerous, they take place where political accord and governance are severely compromised. That doesn’t mean quagmire, it means it takes a long, long time to transition from armed conflict to political stability and the rule of law. And it is certainly in Canada’s interests to support the international community in its responsibility to support such transitions – for the sake of the people affected, to be sure, but also for the sake of building a more stable international order from which we all benefit.
The Mali case is urgent precisely because it is complex and dangerous. It does have the benefit of a peace accord, and the government needs to tell us a lot more about what it will be doing in support of the non-military elements of the UN mandate in Mali.
That mandate includes helping implement the fragile peace pact, supporting reconciliation, implementing institutional reforms, preparing for elections this year, promoting security-sector reform, and demobilizing and disarming combatants and reintegrating them into society. How much of that will be part of the Canadian mission? Success is not guaranteed – but there’s little doubt where Canadian responsibilities and interests lie.
Ernie Regehr, Waterloo, Ont.
Why is Mali so important? Follow the natural resources, follow the money. Mali has huge deposits of gold and uranium. Canadian mining investments there are estimated at more than $1-billion. Powerful interests in Canada and France are at stake.
When leaders fail to inform us, taxpayers are taken for suckers. After all, it is taxpayers who fund the governments and the wars.
John Foster, Kingston
Whatever happened to the “responsibility to protect” – and why, as The Globe and Mail sees it, doesn’t this UN doctrine apply to the conflict in Mali? While it’s correct that at least 162 UN peacekeepers have been killed since 2013, it should also be noted that thousands of Malians have died or become refugees.
According to a Human Rights Watch report on Mali, “government forces conducted counterterrorism operations that resulted in arbitrary arrests, summary executions, torture, and ill-treatment.” Rebel forces “threatened villagers collaborating with authorities, recruited children, destroyed schools, and beat villagers who engaged in cultural practices they had forbidden.”
Given these horrific circumstances, Canada should step up, not run for cover.
I commend our government and our courageous, well-trained Canadian troops. If it wasn’t dangerous, if the lives of thousands of civilians weren’t at risk, we could, like Candide, “take care of our own garden.”
Michael Craig, Owen Sound, Ont.
A duty to uphold
Re Elizabeth May Arrested At Trans Mountain Protest (March 24): It would be appropriate for Elizabeth May to pay back whatever it cost to arrest her. She is an MP, with a duty to uphold and abide by our laws. She chose to breach a valid order of the B.C Supreme Court. Taxpayers should not be burdened with the costs incurred because of her showcasing to the media. Others who breached the order should likewise pay all costs. Our police have more important things to do.
Charles Marshall, Vancouver
I refuse to go as far as her Twitter fans and call Elizabeth May an eco Joan of Arc, but she gets my thanks for standing up to say no to a pipeline expansion that makes, as she has argued repeatedly, neither economic nor climate sense.
Sarah Johnson, Winnipeg