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Something sensational to read

Re Amid Multiple Crises, Weakened Liberals Face An Uncertain Future (July 21): To columnist John Ibbitson’s witty Lady Bracknell reference from The Importance of Being Ernest might we also add Algernon’s comment, which nearly sums up the WE Charity mess? “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

Michael Kaczorowski Ottawa

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I spy

Re Abandoned And Coerced (Opinion, July 18): Contributor Wesley Wark’s views on a Huawei ban, along with the latest numbers from Globe pollster Nik Nanos on Meng Wanzhou and the imprisoned Canadians (Canada Is Stuck Between Its Former Rock And An Increasingly Hard Place – Opinion, July 18), will hopefully lead to an urgent review of government policy on Canada-China relations and an immediate solution to freeing Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, no matter how embarrassing.

Mr. Wark also strongly demonstrates the limits of Canadian sovereignty in regards to foreign policy. On practically every important international issue, predominance seems almost exclusively given to narrow national security considerations, and how decisions will affect our membership in the Five Eyes network. This should not go on indefinitely.

I find it urgent that we create a national foreign policy framework. Otherwise, national security considerations, often fallacious as Mr. Wark mentions, will invariably prevail.

Marc Faguy Former Canadian ambassador; Ottawa

Re Why Is It Even A Question Whether To Let Huawei Into Our 5G Networks? (Opinion, July 18): Columnist Andrew Coyne refers to experts who believe that Huawei technology would pose a serious threat to Canada’s national security. But as far as I know, there has been no public evidence of this.

Elsewhere, columnist Eric Reguly points out that the United States has “offered no evidence” that Huawei is a spy for the Chinese government (Shutting Huawei Out Of Big Western Markets Will Spur Innovation – Report on Business, July 18). On the other hand, we have abundant evidence from Edward Snowden that U.S. companies such as Microsoft have collaborated closely with the U.S. National Security Agency to intercept customer communications.

Government officials should provide the public with credible evidence that Huawei’s equipment would be used for spying. Unless that happens, it’s going to be hard to shake the feeling that this uproar is all about helping the U.S. damage a company that has been called an “indispensable telecoms company.”

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Bill Rupert Toronto

Who watches the…?

Re Why Do Bad Police So Rarely Lose Their Jobs? (Editorial, July 20): The hallmark of professions is that they are often self-regulated and self-governing until trust is broken. I would not call police service a profession in the traditional meaning of the word, but they are self-regulating in that police oversight and discipline seems to be managed by other police.

This rather cozy arrangement leads to numerous examples of police protecting police, even when egregious examples of behaviour take place. Time for it to stop.

David Collins Victoria

The issue of police accountability brings to mind the conduct of the Catholic Church in regards to priests who abused children. In many cases, confronted by complaints, the Church reassigned delinquent priests rather than defrock them. This continued for decades until accountability finally caught up with the practice.

Perhaps when victims of police misconduct achieve civil and monetary redress in the courts, governments might be encouraged to change our various Police Acts to prevent the shielding of rogue police officers. Shannon Phillips might be a good test case, since evidence that her rights were violated by police officers – who were demoted but not dismissed – is now public.

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Manuel Buchwald Toronto

Re Police Policing (July 20): How about giving independent, municipally elected civilian boards control of investigations into complaints against police? This would ensure that victimized communities can elect publicly accountable representatives to protect them, and finally allow accusers the opportunity to confront alleged police offenders.

Harry Kopyto Toronto

Law and order

Re Calls Grow For TPS To Drop Charges Against Protesters (July 20): I recognize Black Lives Matter as a timely and important protest movement, but we should not allow it to result in vandalism and other illegal actions. We should support police when they enforce laws which are designed to protect us.

If certain statues or other memorials are now offensive to many people, we should follow a thoughtful process to determine whether or not they should be removed. I certainly have my own views, as do others, and we should be entitled to express those views to determine an appropriate course of action.

Over the years, we have found ways to resolve difficult social issues with mutual respect and consideration. Let’s give our institutions, and ourselves, time to properly consider the best course of action, then let’s all support it.

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Thankfully, we live in Canada and not anywhere else.

Eric Slavens Toronto

Whose line?

Re Toronto Mayor Urges Ontario To Add More Restrictions In Reopening City’s Bars, Restaurants (July 20): Say what you will about Canadians, one of our defining national traits is that we are generally quite good at following the rules. Tell us to line up and we do, ask that we stay at home and we will, require us to wear masks indoors and most of us comply without hesitation.

So it is, or should be, with the reopening of bars and restaurants across the land. The problem is, in Ontario at least, that we are not getting clear and precise guidance. Judging from my conversations with owners and operators, they are being fed a patchwork of directives from provincial and municipal sources, with one sometimes contradicting the other, while we patrons are not told anything at all.

We would like to have dinner out or meet friends for a (safe) drink, but we have to be told what to expect and how we should comply. Communication and clarity are, as ever, critical to the safe and secure reopening of our hospitality sector.

Stephen Beaumont Author and hospitality consultant, Toronto

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Well told

Re A Steep Climb To COVID Recovery and A Virus Of Many Symptoms: Survivors Share Their Stories (July 21): It’s easy to find data on COVID-19, but there’s nothing like first-person accounts to bring the horrors of this disease to the fore. The survival stories of these young people show that being sideswiped by COVID-19 is far from a cakewalk. We should continue to double-down on distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing.

I wish Becca, Dwayne, Heather, Kevin and Carrie full recoveries.

Nancy Hill Hamilton

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