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Ron MacLean (left) sits beside Don Cherry as Rogers TV unveils their team for the station's NHL coverage in Toronto on March 10, 2014.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

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Canadian connection

Re Prince Andrew’s Future Role Questioned After BBC Interview About Epstein (Nov. 18): Is Prince Andrew still Royal Patron of Toronto’s SickKids Foundation? How is this appropriate, given the accusations that have been laid against him by a 17-year-old woman, as well as his association with Jeffrey Epstein?

Richard Stubbs Toronto

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Charge it

Re U.S. Groups Rebuff Ottawa’s Digital-Tax Plan (Report on Business, Nov. 16): The Trudeau government is facing criticism from the United States for proposing a 3-per-cent corporate services tax aimed at big U.S. technology companies.

At the same time, the government does not require the targeted firms to charge GST on their Canadian digital sales. Why doesn’t Ottawa follow the lead of Quebec?

This year, the province has charged the 9.975-per-cent provincial sales tax on digital services.

It was a matter of fairness in order to eliminate the previous price advantage granted to global giants relative to homegrown firms. Consumers would not necessarily prefer the corporate tax over GST, since much of any new tax would likely be passed into prices anyway.

As a bonus, following Quebec’s strategy would mean one less diplomatic tussle with the U.S.

Constance Smith Victoria

Second intermission

Re Hockey Night In Canada Has Been Sanitized (Nov. 18): Reporter Simon Houpt’s observation that Don Cherry had been “airbrushed” out of existence, like Leon Trotsky, seemed in poor taste. Comparing Trotsky’s assassination to a long-overdue change in television programming lends credence to some peoples’ feeling that Mr. Cherry’s firing was unfair.

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I believe Mr. Cherry survived as long as he did because of Toronto-centric market considerations. Many of us had already stopped watching him long ago.

Rather than bemoan Mr. Cherry’s dismissal, the media giants who control Hockey Night in Canada should examine their practices and come up with a new roster of commentators – and better programming.

Carl Hager Pontiac, Que.

I’ll be 80 years old in a few months, and I admit to being a grumpy old man. The Association of Grumpy Old Men have a licence to be grumpy.

I think Don Cherry has earned the right to be grumpy, even if he succeeds only in giving grumpy old men a bad name.

Alistair Macdonald Thomson Oshawa, Ont.

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I am an Allied Second World War veteran and a member of the Royal Canadian Legion. Over the years, I have seldom agreed with Don Cherry. But I believe a silent majority of Canadians agree with Mr. Cherry, except for that one unfortunate expression, and his dismissal goes against the freedom of expression.

Nicholas Varmazis Toronto


Like many others, my first reaction to Don Cherry’s words was that he has to go.

Now that I have had time to consider this further, as well as hear what many who know Mr. Cherry well have had to say, I have changed my position. I thought back to the years I practised criminal law and recalled my frequent plea to the court: The punishment must fit the crime. In this case, I see it does not.

Mr. Cherry made a thoughtless, stupid comment.

For this, he deserved to be called out and certainly to be sanctioned. He did not deserve what amounts to a professional death penalty.

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It appears that little, if any, thought was given to the many years he provided entertainment to the hockey crowd, or whether a lesser sentence, such as taking him off the air for a certain number of games, might have been more appropriate.

The immediate reaction was "off with his head,” and that was it.

After 37 years, Don Cherry deserved better.

Alf Kwinter Toronto


Ron MacLean claimed he was in a “foxhole” with Don Cherry.

In fact, he seems to be the last guy you’d want in that hole to cover your back: One who throws down his gun and runs the moment you are attacked.

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Paul Pepperall Penetanguishene, Ont.


Re Behind The Scenes At Coach’s Corner, A Culture Of Extreme Deference To Its Stars (Sports, Nov. 16): For all the fuss over Don Cherry’s demise, it feels Ron MacLean has been protected from his visible “thumbs up and nod” assent of those now-infamous comments.

Mr. MacLean did reverse his position later, and one could argue his agreement was less offensive than the comment.

But approval and joining in is not nothing.

In Canada, we seem to have had a culture of denigration toward minorities for so long that we whitewash, deny and minimize covert biases.

To me, Don Cherry is only one icon of this discriminatory attitude. The rest of us are Ron MacLeans, agreeing in our hearts and small nods.

Therese Chatelain Stratford, Ont.


Re Don Cherry Became A Caricature Of Himself (Sports, Nov. 16): There is a remarkable time commitment made by many communities across Canada to ensure that hockey programs run for all ages.

We saw the benefit of team involvement as a marvelous tool in raising a healthy boy.

On Saturdays, Coach’s Corner was the cue for bedtime. The unlikely friends, Ron and Don. Part of the appeal was that Mr. Cherry is not perfect, sometimes not likeable. He pointedly spoke to young people of all backgrounds.

I do not believe many Canadians see things as columnist Roy MacGregor does.

On a recent radio show I heard, almost everyone, be they new to the country or lifelong Canadians, reflected kindly on Mr. Cherry.

No one denied that he made an error. And everyone agreed that it was time for him to retire.

It was also clear how much everyone appreciated all of the time, style, work, support and knowledge that Mr. Cherry devoted to minor hockey.

You can not take that away from him. Stylish. Difficult. Opinionated. Loyal. Entertaining. Appreciated.

What a man.

J. Miles Simpson Toronto


Re Canada Never Was Hockey, Any More Than Hockey Was Canada (Sports, Nov. 18): Columnist Cathal Kelly has hit the nail on the head. Yes, Canada is much more than hockey. But hockey is still a component of our nationality. It has long needed a major overhaul and it is happening, finally. The passing of Coach’s Corner has signalled that transformation.

The game is no longer a “Rock ’em, Sock 'em” affair.

It has morphed into a more skilled sport. It is made up of players from all over the world. And hockey fans, young and new, are a real reflection of the ethnic and racial diversity.

The media is catching on and reflecting more of this new reality. We have moved and are moving on.

Robert Milan Victoria

Just like Buddy Holly

Re Democrats Invite Trump To Testify In Impeachment Inquiry (Nov. 18): In the immortal words of that American idol Buddy Holly: "That’ll be the day.”

Michael Vollmer Burlington, Ont.


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