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Brenda Lucki is the new commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

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:


Good luck Lucki

Good luck to the new commissioner of the RCMP tasked with reforming the culture of this sprawling underfunded organization that’s struggling to fulfill its various responsibilities (A Big Job Ahead, May 8).

The commissioner’s mandate letter from the Public Safety Minister does beg the question: How much of the task can one reasonably expect the commissioner to handle, and which challenges are the responsibility of the politicians? Even if new commissioner Brenda Lucki succeeds in eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace, ensures a smooth transition to a unionized work force, and improves relationships with Indigenous people, the issues related to the RCMP’s diverse and conflicting mandates will remain. These challenges include the fragmented and underresourced capacity to address transnational organized crime; an outmoded Specialized Policing Services operation, which was created in the 1970s and never been reformed to reflect present public safety issues; and a sprawling contract policing mandate with the provinces, territories and hundreds of municipalities.

It is surely time for the Trudeau government to shift its focus from national security (i.e., Bill C-59) to law enforcement and community safety. This challenge includes creating a new federal organization to address organized crime, including criminal exploitation of vulnerable sectors through the internet and social media. The starting point for this review should be the recent statements by outgoing RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson to the effect that organized crime is a greater threat to Canadian society than terrorism.

Scott Burbidge, Port Williams, N.S.

Saudi aggression

Your story says a recent federal probe found no “hard evidence” that Canadian-made armoured vehicles were used to commit human-rights violations in Saudi Arabia in 2017 (Saudi Use Of Force Against Civilians In Video ‘Proportionate,’ Report Says, May 8).

There is indisputable video evidence of Saudi forces using Canadian-made armoured vehicles against its civilian population. The article says that authorities in the kingdom used “proportionate and appropriate force” when they engaged in combat with local residents. It goes on to say that investigators relied on what the Saudis and allies told them.

Instead of quoting an unnamed “credible” military source who assured them the kingdom’s use of force was “proportionate, necessary and timely,” I would suggest Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland consult with the Saudi civilians who were on the receiving end of the machine gun fire. Maybe the conclusions of the probe might be different.

Michael Gilman, Toronto

All respectable human rights organizations agree that the Saudis committed human rights violations against its own citizens and continue to do so in the Qatif province. The Canadian probe into the matter is nothing short of willful blindness.

The military attacks are an escalation on a decades-long campaign to oppress the Shia minority. The Shia minority receives almost no social or health care spending and regularly faces arbitrary arrest, detention, or execution on bogus charges. In defending Canada’s export of military weaponry and even its usage against the downtrodden Shia minority, our government has made collateral damage out of Canadian foreign policy.

Ali Manji, Thornhill, Ont.

Asylum seeker solution

I am in favour of a generous and regulated immigration policy. What I am opposed to is illegal immigrants streaming across our border, straining our social safety net. This situation is appalling (Immigration Minister To Visit Nigeria To Stem Asylum Claims, May 8).

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen should shut the border and insist all immigrants apply through the usual channels. No need to waste money sending him to Africa.

Derryck Smith, Vancouver

Subsidizing pipelines

Though I wasn’t a participant in the recent Globe and Mail-Nanos poll you reference, it accurately reflects my views on one point for sure (Most Canadians Back Pipeline Expansion But Oppose Public Funding: Poll, May 7).

Like two-thirds of those polled, I don’t support my taxpayer dollars being used to “help salvage the pipeline project.” I believe such support amounts to yet another subsidy to the oil and gas industry, just a slightly more visible addition to the longstanding tradition of subsidizing this industry in ways most Canadians are hardly aware of. No doubt those who decry government subsidization of renewable energy development will disagree.

Elaine Blacklock, Sudbury

Preposterous prize?

Elizabeth Renzetti appears greatly anguished that U.S. President Donald Trump could be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (Trump Deserves A Prize For Chaos, Not Peace, May 5).

If there was some prestige to this prize, Ms. Renzetti would probably have a point. However, the prestige was considerably cheapened just a few years ago when the tall foreheads on the Nobel committee decided to award this once-valuable prize to Barack Obama, who had only been in office for less than a full year.

What great deed or deeds did Mr. Obama do to earn this recognition? Why, he simply won an election. That’s it.

So, from that day to this, any value or prestige that the Nobel Peace Prize may have once had is now severely diminished, to the point where it has no more value than a trinket in a box of popcorn.

That said, does Mr. Trump deserve being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize?

Absolutely not. But then, neither did his predecessor.

Jae Eadie, Winnipeg

In writing about Mr. Trump, North Korea and the Nobel Peace Prize, Ms. Renzetti ignores any fact that would detract from her weekly anti-Trump rant. In doing so, she failed to address how Mr. Trump has changed the United States’s response to North Korean threats.

Mr. Trump is willing to talk with Kim Jong-un, but he is also willing to make severe military threats and to put sanctions on Chinese companies — things which his predecessors would not do.

By closing the loopholes in existing sanctions and threatening to exclude anyone who did business with North Korea from the U.S. economy, Mr. Trump forced China on side.

Chinese trade with North Korea dropped 90 per cent and they started to work with the United States to find a solution to the North Korea nuclear threat.

If it turns out that his influence ends a 70-year-war and denuclearizes an authoritarian dictator, then yes, he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.

After all, they have been awarded for much less — Mr. Obama got one for being elected president.

Dave Morgan, Ottawa

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