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Letters to the Editor May 10: A vice-admiral and a government. Plus other letters to the editor

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman listens to a question during a news conference, after his court case was dismissed May 8, 2019.

Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

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:


A Vice-Admiral and a government

Re Norman Headed Back To Active Duty (May 9): Prime Minister Justin Trudeau loves to apologize for what others did a long time ago. That’s easy to do. At the press conference on March 7 where Mr. Trudeau addressed the SNC-Lavalin scandal, he did not apologize to Jody Wilson-Raybould. He missed a golden opportunity to show some humbleness.

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Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was stuck like a fly in the spider web of Liberal government machinations. All charges against him have now been dropped.

Will Mr. Trudeau apologize to Vice-Adm. Norman, or will this be another missed opportunity to show some humbleness?

Reiner Jaakson, Oakville, Ont.


The political interference was by the Harper government in the usual competitive procurement process. The Liberals’ decision to review the single-source contract was the right one.

The prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman failed because leaking the information about the review was apparently “normal practice.” That doesn’t make it right.

Leslie McIntosh, Toronto

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Vice-Admiral Mark Norman believes he “acted with integrity” and “in the best interests of Canadians.” So how did this man become the scapegoat for what appears to be yet another file bungled by the PMO? So many unanswered questions in L’Affaire Norman.

Susan Schacter, Toronto


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman “is headed back to active duty.” What? The federal prosecutor says some of Vice-Adm. Norman’s actions were “secretive and inappropriate” but not criminal. As we know full well from our American neighbours, inability to prosecute does not equate to exoneration.

So what actions? As a taxpayer who helps fund all of this, I want to know.

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Perhaps The Globe and Mail could spend time reporting these details instead of repeatedly trying to drop flaming bags of dog poop on Justin Trudeau’s doorstep in its opinion offerings.

Doug Gregory, Pickering, Ont.


I’m not surprised the breach of trust charge against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman has been dropped. It was a political issue from the beginning and it demonstrates how little a man’s reputation means to some people in power. Will we now have to think about who will handle the defence in any defamation suit he files against a government which has stolen more than a year of his life and sullied his reputation?

If there’s any justice, the Liberal Party should pick up his legal tab, not taxpayers. Was all this so that a messy trial wouldn’t be taking place just before an election?

Peter Ward, Ottawa

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Poland’s codebreakers

Re Moment In Time (May 9, 1941): History is complex, and continuous. Although there is no doubt that Alan Turing and the extraordinary team of scientists, mathematicians and crossword-puzzle experts at Bletchley Park – at its peak, more than 10,000 people laboured there – did amazing work on codebreaking, the initial, arguably most important work was done by the Poles in the 1930s.

They had an earlier version of the German machine, and passed on their findings to the British, but their contributions have long been underplayed. Poland’s main codebreakers were Jerzy Rozycki, Henryk Zygalski and Marian Rejewski.

Nigel Smith, Toronto

Cluing in on China

Re Trump’s Latest Tariff Threat A Response To China’s Backtracking On Trade Deal, Sources Say (May 9): It appears that China’s newly revised draft trade agreement with the United States is actually a knock-off: Nice and shiny on the outside, but it falls apart when you try to use it.

Marty Cutler, Toronto


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Re Extradition Proceedings For Meng Delayed (May 9): What is Canada gaining by continuing to hold Meng Wanzhou? And for years, probably. We can certainly tally what we’re losing. Sure, sure, somewhere there’s a dusty treaty, and we’re righteously law-abiding, when the Americans and (particularly) the Chinese are not.

Washington would drop its extradition request in return for an extra comma in its trade deal with China, and we’ll look about as dumb as Donald Trump thinks we are for not cluing in sooner.

Ross Peacock, Woodbridge, Ont.


Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s legal team says the Canadian government is withholding key evidence relevant to her arrest, and in so doing is violating her constitutional rights. A Huawei spokesperson later said the company has confidence in Canada’s judicial system, and that “law enforcement officials are expected to follow rules of law … in all cases for all people.” It is lucky for Ms. Meng that she is being tried in Vancouver – and not Beijing.

Tony Falsetto, Ottawa

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A not-so-useful win

Re B.C. By-Election Shows Canada On Right Path (May 8): Commenting on the election of a Green MP in a B.C. by-election, John Ibbitson writes that “the progressive movement as a whole had a great night.” A moral victory, perhaps, but not a useful one.

With the progressive vote now more equally split among three parties, it will be so much easier for the Conservatives, as the only party attractive to the right, to win pluralities and therefore seats.

Yes, the Canadian centre-left is in better shape than it is in most other countries. Yet our first-past-the-post system now looks even more likely to award electoral victory to the minority of voters on the right.

Brian P.H. Green, Thunder Bay, Ont.

Example for us all

Re L’Arche Founder Jean Vanier Transformed The Lives Of People With Disabilities (May 8): Thank you so much for Ian Brown’s article on this incredible Canadian who transformed the lives of so many. As the mother of a beautiful young man with Down’s syndrome, I am grateful to Jean Vanier for teaching us to value the gifts of the disabled.

Valerie Hoffman, Markham, Ont.


Some years ago, at the outset of my self-employed career, I engaged office space in an Ottawa building that also provided space for the Vanier Institute. On the day I moved in, I was visited by one of my new neighbours, who wanted to ensure that all was right, and to let me know that if I needed help with anything, his temporary office was right next door. I was floored when I discovered who that neighbour was.

Here was a busy man doing what I considered to be near saintly work, and he was offering his welcome and assistance when he no doubt had far better things to do.

The world is a lesser place with Jean Vanier’s passing. I hope that somewhere there are more like him, not just to continue his work but to set the example for us all.

Ken Duff, Vankleek Hill, Ont.

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