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Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, testifies before a Congressional subcommittee in Washington on Oct. 5, 2021.T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times News Service

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Systemic racism

Re What Really Killed Joyce Echaquan (Editorial, Oct. 5): Joyce Echaquan should be Canada’s George Floyd. Where are the protests to reflect this?

Lynda Olson Esquimalt, B.C.

Re Coroner Urges Quebec To Recognize Racism (Oct. 2): Social constructs are often the enemy of right-wing politics. Margaret Thatcher denied there was such a thing as society so she could shirk government’s obligations to the disadvantaged. François Legault tries to get government off the hook by denying systemic racism.

Maybe government is a social construct, too. What is it really? All I see are politicians who take oaths of office every four years or so – people who drop the ball not long after they drop the writ.

Howard Greenfield Montreal

Political vetting

Re In Politics, Ego Is The Enemy (Opinion, Oct. 2): I have no quarrel with the opinion that “MP Kevin Vuong has displayed the kind of entitlement that is anathema to our democratic politics.” I am only concerned that the Liberals are being excused for their part in this assault on democracy.

Had they diligently vetted him, they would have known Mr. Vuong was previously charged with sexual assault; it would not then have mattered that he failed to disclose it himself. Even when the media reported the charge, the party merely asked him to “pause” his campaign.

All this aside, the Liberals should already have known that Mr. Vuong may be unsuitable as a candidate, as the party has a rule against being involved in potentially controversial litigation. If the Liberals hoped to forget, The Globe and Mail made it public on Sept. 1: “Liberal candidate facing lawsuit over mask business.”

Mary Boyce Toronto

Prison reform

Re Undaunted (Opinion, Oct. 2): Thanks to contributor Yusuf Faqiri for bravely recounting the brutal death of his brother Soleiman at the hands of guards in an Ontario prison. It is a damning indictment of our prison and mental-health “systems.” Mr. Faqiri needed to be in hospital. He died in solitary confinement.

Do not assume this situation is unique. Our prisons are full of people with mental-health challenges, some of them, such as Mr. Faqiri, so ill that they should be admitted to hospital, not incarcerated for days or weeks without medication. If we transformed half of the capacity of jails into treatment centres staffed by caring and knowledgeable individuals, it would be a start.

Having volunteered in the field of mental health for many years, I have no faith this will happen any time soon, if ever. As a Canadian, I am ashamed.

Carol Town Hamilton

Fact: Ontario’s chief forensic pathologist found that Soleiman Faqiri was killed in prison by guards.

Question: Has our justice system collapsed to the point of not being able ensure that justice be done, by holding these men to account for what they did to Mr. Faqiri and to his family?

Answer: It should lie with the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Attorney-General of Ontario, people in a position to ensure that the family does not wait once more for justice to be done.

Gerard Moore Winnipeg

Rules broken

Re China Challenges (Letters, Oct. 6): A letter-writer suggests there is a “golden rule” to be followed when trading with China. That would be quite appropriate if we were dealing with a typical trading partner, but with China that doesn’t seem to be the case.

As we learned with Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, as well as with canola, China often ignores the rules, including the golden rule, whenever it’s deemed appropriate by the government.

One doesn’t turn a cheek with a bully – they see that as a sign of weakness.

David Enns Cornwall, Ont.

Labour and immigration

Re Bare Shelves, Empty Pumps: Britain’s Self-inflicted Brexit Wound (Opinion, Oct. 2): On one page I read about the shortage of people to keep Britain supplied with goods and services. Then on another I read about people fleeing their countries and now in need of homes, jobs and a chance to make a life (Middle East Migrants Become Border Pawns In Belarus Regime’s ‘Hybrid War’ With Europe – Oct. 2).

What if Britain started thinking outside the box and went further afield than the European Union for the human support it needs? With serious thought and planning, this could be a start to solving its labour problems and, along the way, make this sad world of ours better for distressed refugees.

Tricia Rowan Calgary

Let’s face it

Re Facebook Has Become Modern Nicotine (Oct. 6): Facebook whistle-blower Frances Haugen has done society a favour with her revelations about the social-media company and its affiliates. Let’s be honest though: Any objective observer of Facebook and its competitors has known for years that they consistently put profit ahead of the interests of users.

What Ms. Haugen has done is make it perfectly clear that they did so consistently, knowingly and unashamedly.

James McSherry Creemore, Ont.

I cannot think of a more Orwellian job title than Frances Haugen’s former role as “lead product manager for civic misinformation.” Big Brother would be so proud.

David Knight Oakville, Ont.

Keep on rockin’

Re Why We Still Need Greenpeace (Opinion, Oct. 2): I am reminded of Greenpeace’s first mission to Amchitka, an Alaskan island where the United States conducted nuclear tests.

In an effort to raise funds for the young organization, co-founder Irving Stowe audaciously proposed a rock concert, which came to pass in Vancouver on Oct. 16, 1970. With Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs, James Taylor and Chilliwack donating their musical services and Joan Baez donating $1,000, a total of $17,164 was raised to help launch the historic voyage to Amchitka.

We should get busy and try harder to save the planet from our mistakes – mine being excessive consumerism.

Margaret Ross Edmonton

Back in the day

Re Typewriters Are Hot Now. Why? (Oct 2): If typewriters ring a nostalgic bell, then one will also remember when smartphones were brick-like objects that never left hall tables, car-navigation systems were giant paper maps hidden in erroneously named glove compartments and Amazon was an 800-page booklet called the Eaton’s catalogue.

Tim Jeffery Toronto

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