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: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 6, 1944: Bravery and sacrifice
Re After 75 Years, A Journey Back To Normandy’s Beaches (May 30): In June, 1974, I was fortunate enough to be a member of the party from the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, representing the regiment on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of D-Day. We had a number of members of the regiment who were in the assault on Juno Beach, including the Dalton brothers, Charles and Elliot, who commanded the two companies that were in the first assault wave to set foot on the beach that day.
Neither brother had been back to Juno Beach since, and among the many poignant memories I have is one of following these two men as they retraced their steps from the landing craft to the inshore objectives. My most powerful memory of that day was of visiting the Canadian War Cemetery at Bény-sur-Mer, and following the brothers as they walked down the rows of headstones, paused at each grave of a Queen’s Own, and discussed their memories of the man now resting there.
The bravery and sacrifice of all those who stormed Juno Beach that day cannot be overstated.
William Barnard, Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret’d), Peterborough, Ont.
Lies are lies. Not fibs
Re Oh, The Things Democracy Has To Put Up With (editorial, May 30): What a sad day for Canadian journalism. The country’s preeminent newspaper accepts politicians’ willful right to lie. Even if, in your editorial’s own words, by doing so it paralyzes an entire country for years.
“In a free society, people largely need to be able to speak their piece – no matter how wrongheaded – without fear of prosecution.” But when you say “speak their piece,” you don’t mean just holding an opinion. The editorial cites a politician who chose to tell demonstrable lies. “A widespread abuse of the public trust, powered by outright falsehoods about the magical post-Brexit world, helped the Leave side narrowly win the 2016 referendum.”
And then for you to conclude the public should leave it to other politicians (because of course they’ll tell the truth) and the media to call them out. But you’ve just agreed Brexit and the insanity of the Trump administration happened regardless of the media and other politicians’ opinions.
The complete opposite of what your editorial states is true – every country and its citizens should hold their politicians to the highest standards. The truth should be expected and demanded – and yes, there should be legal repercussions. The outcome of lies should be to bring dirty politicians down, not put them in power.
Carole Williams, Toronto
A politician is in a position of trust. Boris Johnson, while holding elected political office, lied about a very important number – the figure paid by the British taxpayer to the European Union per week.
For many, this was an important factor in determining their vote regarding whether to remain in the union or not. They trusted that they had been told the truth by someone who was in a position to know the facts, and who was obligated by his position to transmit them without tampering with them. This was not “telling a fib.” Call it by its name – a lie.
I am absolutely disgusted with The Globe and Mail.
Clare Ford, Port Perry, Ont.
Your editorial makes the case that politicians can tell virtually any lie at any time, because that is how democracy and free speech must work. I don’t agree.
If, for example, a grocery store sold horse meat labelled as beef, we would have legal recourse. It is true that we need to permit obviously false claims that cannot easily be verified as false – for example, a politician may say that the sun will fail to rise in the East if the opposition party is elected. In this case, we rely on public discussion and voting to deal with falsehood.
But let’s not promote the view that politicians can tell any lie, package it as beef rather than horse manure, and feed it to us at will.
Marvin Ens, Oakville, Ont.
In addition to swearing allegiance to the Queen, MPs should also be required to promise truthfulness to the public in all their political dealings. Perhaps the prospect of a perjury charge and possible incarceration for lying to the public to win votes or sway the outcome of a referendum would be enough to keep them honest.
I look forward to following the Boris Johnson case. Before giving testimony, he will have to swear to tell the truth. Will he be up to the task?
Deborah McLean, Napanee, Ont.
Drafting and doctoring
Re How Architects Ruined Health Care (May 24): While, as a physician and architect, I agree that focusing on aesthetics has tipped design toward patient satisfaction with less emphasis on behind-the-scenes clinician space, hospital architecture is a complex process – not unlike patient care.
Health-care design is a subspecialty certification, undertaken in addition to the arduous journey through architecture. Health-care architects have shifted to an evidence-based model, focusing on research to reinforce design decisions, similar to medicine’s data-driven care.
It can be easy to criticize space based on what you see. Consider the research-based design decisions you don’t see – lower infection- and medical-error rates secondary to lighting and acoustics, or decreased medication needs and shorter stays, through incorporation of nature.
We health-care architects strive to understand the health-care experience. Perhaps clinicians should join us at the drafting table.
Diana Anderson, founder, Dochitect; Montreal
Naming Cindy Gladue
Re Will There Be Justice For Cindy Gladue? (May 29): I take issue with Jean Teillet’s observation that publicly naming Cindy Gladue is tantamount to her being “the one on trial.”
Publicly naming someone is also a way – as many are doing in Ms. Gladue’s case – of honouring their memory. It draws awareness to the tragedy that happened to them, and that should never be repeated.
That’s a far cry from making them the perpetrator in any way.
Paul Salvatori, Toronto
Re A Beautiful Dream (May 30): Opinions regarding Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould range from supportive to critical. Let me add mine. By deciding to run as independent candidates, the most likely result will be to assist the Conservative Party in winning the seats they currently hold. In the improbable chance one of them is elected, she will be impotent to effect any of her desired objectives in a Conservative government.
Manuel Buchwald, Toronto
A letter writer suggests that Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott “are not being naive, just optimistic and principled.”
In today’s callous, partisan, political climate, being optimistic and principled may, sadly, be the very definition of naive.
Jim Young, Burlington, Ont.