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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks to reporters following a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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Leading Canada

Re Scheer Outlines Economic Policy, Takes Aim At Trudeau’s Leadership (May 17): Twice now in two weeks we have experienced the rare treat of a Canadian political leader expounding at length on significant national responsibilities. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is increasingly conducting himself like a prime minister should. Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, continues with virtue-signalling platitudes. Canada needs a leader, not a cheerleader.

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Marty Burke, Guelph, Ont.

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With China pushing Canada around following the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, and the U.S. bullying Canada into buying American-built fighter jets, Andrew Scheer has the perfect solution: Hold hands with the bully and bully the Chinese into submission. I’m sure that approach will work out just fine.

Marty Cutler, Toronto

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In what decade or century are Conservative leaders living? Why are they so oblivious to the realities and urgency of climate change?

It is dismaying they are offering nothing constructive on the most crucial question of our time. There was a time when some Conservative leaders (prime ministers and premiers) cared about environmental matters. As your editorials have pointed out, a carbon-pricing regime is a conservative idea. I live in a province where the new Premier is creating a “War Room” to attack people like me, with my money. What is becoming of us?

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Bill Phipps, Calgary

Pension. Salary. Both?

Re Why Are Professors Allowed To Double Dip? (May 17): These professors earned their pensions, and are now receiving them at age 71 (as required). They are earning their current salaries. To prohibit them from the latter would be discriminatory ageism.

David Hannaford, Barrie, Ont.

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As a non-resident of Ontario, but with former connections to a university, the news that Ontario professors are allowed to draw their pension and a salary at the same time is outrageous. Working past retirement age on salary is understandable in some cases, but receiving one’s pension, too?

This practice affects the salary budget, and prevents “new blood” from entering the academic sphere. Amazing.

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Janet Doyle, Victoria

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The professors who remain teaching past 70 are among the best researchers and teachers, and are often employed in high caliber research institutions. Indeed, prior to Ontario abolishing mandatory retirement in 2005, the University of Toronto had already jettisoned the age rule because so many well-regarded senior professors were heading to the U.S. to escape ageism here.

In our day, when progress is bringing about miraculous increases in human life span while birth rates are flattening, it is high time that petty and vindictive attitudes toward elder workers are decisively shelved.

David MacGregor, professor emeritus, London, Ont.

Global corruption, us

Re How Canada Helps Advance Global Corruption (May 14): Some brush off the bribery allegations in Libya, South Africa, Azerbaijan and elsewhere, saying it’s just the cost of doing business. Overlooked is the huge toll on the environment and the local populace where this kind of thing takes place.

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Not only do bribes win contracts, but the corrupt local authorities receiving those bribes have their power enhanced – money talks. The victims are the local people and their environment. These bribes mean the pollution of local wells and rivers might be overlooked, construction might displace an inconveniently placed village, and mine tailings ponds may not be built to standard.

A lax approach to corruption by Canadian companies contributes to the suffering of the poor and vulnerable, and hurts our world environment.

Cathie Campbell, Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham, Que.

War on Toronto

Re Province’s Budget Cuts Are A ‘Harsh Offensive’ Against Toronto, Tory Says (May 15): One of Premier Doug Ford’s so-called “bastion of lefties,” i.e. Toronto’s City Council, voted virtually to a person against the provincial government’s draconian cuts, aware of the damage they would cause to the health and well-being of Canada’s largest city. (We can disregard Mr. Ford’s nephew’s sole dissenting vote.)

Health Minister Christine Elliott’s offer to work collaboratively with the city, given her full complicity in the cuts, presents as nothing more than a sick joke.

Patricia Hanley, Toronto

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You describe Doug Ford’s actions toward Toronto as undemocratic, vindictive and capricious (Doug Ford’s Misguided War On Toronto – editorial, May 13). Surely this childlike behaviour toward Canada’s largest wealth-creating city should prompt the federal government to re-examine the relative roles of governments – federal, provincial, municipal – to align needs to populations?

The current structure was established at a time when more than 90 per cent of the population was agricultural. It is certainly inappropriate with today’s population and wealth distribution. As you conclude, Mr. Ford’s conduct “will hurt the city, and the province.” I would add “and the country”!

John Arnott, Toronto

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I have no idea why Doug Ford dislikes Toronto so much, but I suspect given his “cut, clear cut, and more cuts” approach to the basic services upon which we all depend – health, transit, paramedics, children and youth services … the grim reaper hit list just goes on and on – he may, in fact, dislike everyone in the province equally, but like an abusive parent, he picks on Toronto the most simply because we’re the biggest, and we love him least and he knows it.

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Bottom line: We’re getting our insides scooped out in exchange for a buck-a-beer, so I choose to believe we have all been as blindsided by these policies as Toronto’s former city council was on the day it was summarily decimated. The real question is: What, if anything beyond complaining to The Globe and Mail, can we do about it?

Rita Fundner, Toronto

Vindicated?

Re Black Says U.S. Pardon Is Vindication As His Prosecutor Laments ‘Sad Chapter’ In Justice (May 17): Forgiveness is a response to grace and not, by any means, vindication. Strangely, I have always thought Conrad Black to be the kind of theologically astute person who would know that. The response is gratitude, not “I deserve this.”

Lloyd Lovatt, Reverend, Edmonton

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So Conrad Black has received a presidential pardon, allegedly as a reward for a sycophantic biography of Donald Trump? Does that make him a white-scholar criminal?

Rob Maxwell, Toronto

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