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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario on Oct. 21, 2020.BLAIR GABLE/Reuters

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Something different

Re Liberals Wish WE Would Disappear (Editorial, Oct. 21): Although these Liberals seem predisposed to ethical lapses, they appear to have gained some wisdom from their history.

Conceding under opposition pressure of a similar nature in 2004, Paul Martin chose to stand up the Gomery Commission, ostensibly to examine federal sponsorship program irregularities. Due, in part, to what was revealed through the commission, the Liberals were defeated in the next election by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, and would not return to government for nearly 10 years.

There should be little wonder why the Liberals would choose a different strategy today.

Peter Stewart Ottawa

Truth be told

Re Chinese Envoy Overstepped With Threat To Canadians, Freeland Says (Oct. 20): As a long-time China rights activist, I have called repeatedly for the Canadian government to wake up to how the Chinese government ignores international norms and human-rights declarations as it seeks world and internal political domination. For decades, in my opinion, our government has prioritized trade opportunities over human rights and tried to placate China.

Now, finally, Canada has awakened to the reality of Chinese aggression. About time!

Michael Craig Owen Sound, Ont.

Leave him be

Re Removing Sir John A. Macdonald Isn’t ‘Cancel Culture’ – It’s A Sign Of A Cultural Renaissance (Online, Oct. 20): As a former Queen’s University student, I am saddened and ashamed by this unfortunate decision.

Apparently Sir John A. Macdonald being the primus inter pares Father of Confederation, without whom Canada would not have happened, is not sufficient reason to be honoured. It is enough to be demonized for being a man of his time who lacked our all-knowing 21st-century sensibilities.

As for reconciliation, I do not believe that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for removing statues or renaming buildings. Being just in our time should not mean rewriting the past to suit the present.

Michael Kaczorowski Ottawa

Does this mean that, to be politically correct, I now need to burn my $10 bills?

Jim Atkinson Guelph, Ont.

A long time

Re Resolving Nova Scotia’s Fishery Conflict Will Require Both Sides At The Negotiating Table (Oct. 20): Given all the treaties, Supreme Court decisions and many consultations, negotiations, agreements and policy commitments that have been made over the past 250 years or so – all recognizing not only Indigenous rights to the fishery, but also to commercial fishing – may I suggest how ludicrous it sounds to suggest “bringing both sides to the table.”

How sad that the so-called Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1760-61 that established these rights have been reduced to the present state of violence and conflict. How many centuries does Canada have to remain asleep at the switch before it deals assertively and fairly with this issue?

Before getting anywhere near yet another negotiating table, what first appears to be required is the relevant public agencies to be staffed for the right tone, commitment and skills to resolve what should have been dealt with centuries ago.

Tim Rees Hamilton

Long-term health

Re Loblaw Partners With Startup League On Health App (Report on Business, Oct. 15): Corporate partnerships like this one risk affecting medical practice as we know it – raising concerning issues around continuity of patient care, the quality of that care and use of patient data, not to mention the conflict of interest when medical advice or services can influence a company’s bottom line.

The need for good integrated virtual care should be distinguished from stand-alone, one-off virtual care. While some consumers may value this type of “on-demand” convenience in their medical care, the evidence shows that most value the lifelong relationship with their own family physician more. Moreover, this essential relationship, built on trust over time, is the foundation of all high-performing health systems.

Ontario’s patients should know that family doctors specialize in them as individuals, not in providing care based on the latest promotions or loyalty points. Let’s not get on this slippery slope of corporatizing our health care.

Liz Muggah President, Ontario College of Family Physicians; Toronto

Oil not well

Re Canadian Firm Eyes Namibia Oil Boom, Sparking Environmental Fears In Biologically Sensitive Region (Report on Business, Oct. 15): The adjacent landlocked Okavango Delta in Botswana is an environmental jewel. The ReconAfrica petroleum licences in Namibia border on the Okavango River upstream of the Delta. A report on this development is a journalistically responsible notice that yet another unique biologically sensitive area of international fame has been targeted for plundering of its oil.

This at a time when the planet should wean itself off fossil fuels if it is to deal successfully with climate change in a timely manner. In tropical areas such as Namibia and Botswana, savvy investors should surely be putting their money into solar-energy development. Sunlight is readily available, environmental damage would be minimal and employment opportunities are legion. Solar-energy development is already successfully in place or under way in northern Africa. The way forward should be clear.

Barrie Webster Victoria

Au revoir

Re With Its Rechristening, The Town Of Asbestos Prepares For A New Future (Oct. 19): The residents of Asbestos are in a “mourning process” over a name change for their town. I’m mourning a dear friend who died last week from mesothelioma, after exposure to asbestos some 60 years ago.

Vic Rudik was a leading environmental planner who drafted cutting-edge legislation for Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment. He died because of asbestos, greed for continued corporate profit and refusal to ban asbestos long after it was known to be carcinogenic.

Reiner Jaakson Oakville, Ont.

On a cold and stormy night just before Christmas, I was born in Asbestos, Que.

According to my Mum, the doctor grabbed the nearby forceps covered in asbestos dust and guided me into the world. Miraculously, I survived the dust and had a great childhood in this town of good and evil.

Our Christmases were always white. We were fireproof, our homes insulated with asbestos. Our school trophies were lumps of the mineral engraved with our accomplishments. Our school yearbook was called “The Fiber.” We even had a small ski hill made of asbestos tailings piled high.

It was a community that had its genesis because of the “miracle mineral." The countryside is beautiful, and I do hope that the rebirth of Asbestos with another name will be a success.

So how does this work for my birthplace on my passport?

Joy Gallup Toronto

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