Skip to main content

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter. Sign up today.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his remarks during a ceremony on Parliament Hill on the eve of the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, on Sept. 29, 2021 in Ottawa.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

On reflection

Re Trudeau Should Feel More Than ‘Regret’ (Oct. 8): How many of us would put our jobs before our families? That is exactly what a politician leading a country does for years on end. Perhaps just this once, the Prime Minister put his family first.

The timing, of course, is unfortunate, but let’s stop this condemnation. It feels all too sanctimonious of many Canadians who, until recently, were oblivious and in some cases dismissive of the history of Indigenous people.

The government established the Sept. 30 holiday for recognition and reflection. Let’s each do our part to honour this history, stop unnecessary criticism and set a positive path forward.

Carol Victor Burlington, Ont.

Ballot bust

Re Outdated Ballots Misguide Voters And Elections Canada Needs To Fix The Problem (Oct. 7): Contributor Jo Ramsay finds it confusing that by voting for a candidate who no longer represents the party she prefers, her vote still went to the candidate and not the party. Her confusion is common: Canadians in fact vote for a local representative who would join a party’s caucus.

She goes on to point out the prioritization of party allegiance and lack of acquaintance with local candidates. This is the real problem. Our electoral system only makes sense if a candidate is a genuine representative of their constituents, rather than just a party placeholder.

If citizens would rather vote for a party or its leader, then they should lobby for a change to a system of party lists and proportional representation. Ms. Ramsay’s proposal feels like a kludge to defeat the design of the current system, instead of a radical change to something that works the way she wants.

Mik Bickis Saskatoon

Facebook follies

Re Facebook Has Become Modern Nicotine (Oct. 6): When we ask how we can stop Facebook from spreading false information and encouraging people to believe in untrue things, it is worth remembering that religious belief was promulgated and widespread before we even had the internet.

Maybe the problem is us as much as it is Facebook.

Richard Spencer Vancouver

Facebook’s descent into yet more scandal has seen every aspect of the company thrust under a microscope – except its board of directors. That is where ultimate responsibility for ensuring a company’s public trust belongs.

What’s increasingly clear to me is that on this board, where membership is heavily skewed toward technology, there is but one speaking part: CEO, chair and controlling shareholder Mark Zuckerberg. It’s the same picture that has seen many companies stumble into bad outcomes.

Without the intervention of more robust corporate governance, including some fresh thinking from new directors with broader humanistic backgrounds, it is hard for me to see how Facebook avoids a similar fate.

J. Richard Finlay Founder, Centre for Corporate and Public Governance Toronto

A common yet questionable refrain prevails among capitalist governments and corporate circles: Best business practices, including what’s best for consumers, are best decided by business decision-makers. I find that is proven false with Facebook prioritizing the expansion of already huge profit margins over the health of users.

Western business mentality and collective society allow the wellbeing of human beings to be decided by corporate measures. Governments mostly dare not intervene, perhaps because they fear being labelled anti-business.

Sadly, maximizing profit by risking the health or lives of consumers will likely always be a significant part of the big business beast’s nature. But that does not mean we should give in to it.

Rather, there should be a call to society, and especially our elected leaders, that the economy and jobs be there foremost for people, not for corporate profit’s sake.

Frank Sterle Jr. White Rock, B.C.

On so many levels, Facebook seems to reflect much of what is wrong with society today, yet many of us cannot see it nor accept it.

Our need for instant gratification, hubris in unfettered grandstanding and, above all, ability to judge can reach epic levels that destroy the best of social humanity. Has this pandemic not proven that we need to be in place, in tactile connection to family, friends, neighbours and colleagues?

Staged, stale selfies have become virtual gauntlets that dare us to do one better, all while we gleefully give up privacy. Facebook is threatening to become our undoing by the clicks of our own hands.

Marian Kingsmill Hamilton

Population perspective

Re Pandemic-driven Fertility Decline Is A Crisis For China (Oct. 7): In the 1970s, David Suzuki made it crystal clear to any Canadians who were listening that population growth was rapidly reaching saturation, and more so on some continents than others. Now there are ever-decreasing places free from flooding and with potable water and arable land for growing crops, never mind the increased cost of housing in Western countries.

The burden of an aging or imbalanced population is inarguably real. The Earth should also have a smaller global population to house and feed in the future. However, the new malaria vaccine, for example, could explode population in Africa beyond sustainability very quickly.

Might it be that the issue is an imbalanced population, not an underpopulation?

Joanna Anderson Burlington, Ont.

Mortgage math

Re The Debate On Renting Vs. Owning Homes Is Over (Report on Business, Oct. 6): One of the most intangible properties of paying a mortgage is that it can improve one’s credit rating.

Everything from being hired, particularly in the financial sector, to getting lower rates on loans for businesses, cars, etc., may depend on a credit rating. Even rental applications may now include credit checks when processed. (Rental payments have little effect on credit ratings.)

I think increasing one’s credit rating yields far greater potential benefits than the interest costs on a mortgage.

Moses Shuldiner Toronto

I’m listening

Re Vancouver Mayor Became An Unlikely Ally Of Drug Users (Obituary, Oct. 9): In 2000, a group of Vancouver parents got together to form an association of families and friends of drug users. We called ourselves From Grief to Action.

Our first pubic forum was held at St. Mary’s Kerrisdale. We hoped we might get an attendance of 100. That night, we had to close the doors because the fire marshal said we couldn’t fit any more people.

Among that audience was then-mayor Philip Owen, who came as a private citizen with no fanfare and no speeches. He just wanted to listen to what we had to say. Bless Mr. Owen, he made a huge difference.

Nichola Hall Vancouver

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:

Report an error

Editorial code of conduct