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SNC and Wilson-Raybould
Re Wilson-Raybould, Philpott Need To Lay Out SNC Affair For Voters (Sept. 12): Popular phrases arise quickly, and sometimes without due consideration of their accuracy. Since former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould’s appeal last February in the House of Commons to be able to speak "my truth,” that phrase has loomed large in the Canadian lexicon. But does the term make sense or mean anything at all?
Truth should be an objective fact and belong to all of us, not just one person. Perceptions vary, but facts don’t. There is no more “your truth” or “my truth” than there is an “alternative fact.”
Perhaps Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott should be permitted to speak outside of cabinet confidentiality. To be clear, however, they would be expressing their opinions – as heartfelt as they may be – and not reciting immutable facts upon which everyone can reflexively rely.
Eric LeGresley Ottawa
Re RCMP Interview Wilson-Raybould On SNC (Sept. 12): To commit the crime of obstruction of justice, must not a process leading to justice be obstructed? How would justice be pursued in a decision to criminally prosecute SNC-Lavalin, where all of the alleged perpetrators of fraud and bribery are no longer present in any capacity?
That is the question to which the former attorney-general and the director of public prosecutions should be compelled to answer.
Mark Roberts Gananoque, Ont.
SNC and Trudeau
Re Not Even Justin Trudeau Is Above The Law (Sept. 12): Brian Giesbrecht, a senior fellow with the conservative think tank Frontier Centre for Public Policy, says the RCMP should launch an investigation into the SNC-Lavalin case, and that “perception is everything." Indeed it is: The mere suggestion of an RCMP investigation already serves to embed the perception of potential wrongdoing in the public mind, on the eve of an election, whether or not there is a case for it.
Sheila Petzold Ottawa
When Justin Trudeau was asked about the Clerk of the Privy Council’s decision not to waive cabinet confidentiality for an RCMP investigation into the SNC-Lavalin case, he responded: “We respect the decisions made by professional public servants. We respect the decision made by the Clerk.”
Where was this respect when his office, as found by the Ethics Commissioner, fought to influence the original decision made by the director of public prosecutions, a professional public servant if ever there was one?
Élise Levesque Ottawa
I am surprised that Justin Trudeau and his advisers seem to have forgotten that usually it is not the offence that creates a problem. More often, it is how one deals with the aftermath.
Ivan McMorris Winnipeg
Justin Trudeau has simplified the decision for anyone considering a vote for the Liberal Party. The overriding question should be: Can Mr. Trudeau be trusted after the SNC-Lavalin affair?
Now the government will not waive cabinet confidentiality for an RCMP investigation. Does such behaviour reflect Canadian values on ethics and integrity? The answer to that question should surely guide any election decision.
Randy Gillis Calgary
Who floats your boat?
Re To Rock The Boat, You Have To Vote (Editorial, Sept 12): Is it really a sign of democratic maturity to have two main parties with very little daylight between them? From a millennial’s perspective, it seems to be a clear sign of democratic failure.
With Liberal and Conservative governments, carbon emissions have continued to rise. With Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, housing has grown even less affordable. Regardless of the party in charge, wealth inequality has only increased.
Liberal and Conservative economic policies seem to be killing the planet and undermining the prosperity of a generation. Propping them up with our votes would neither rock the boat nor save our sinking ship.
Chris Rapson Toronto
I will not vote based on environmental policies, because the differences between the parties would amount to a rounding error in the larger context of global climate change.
I will not vote based on the leaders, because to me they are all execrable.
I will not vote based on the performance of the economy, because no government or party should claim to have single-handedly created jobs.
I will not vote based on health-care promises, because that is primarily a provincial jurisdiction.
So what is left? I will vote for a party that can create a broad vision for Canada’s future that goes beyond the four-year election cycle, and that will empower my children so that they will not have to rely on government largesse and endless deficits for their well-being.
I haven’t found such a party yet, but there is always hope.
Paul Clarry Aurora, Ont.
Canadians will have had 40 days of campaigning before going to the polls to choose their federal government leaders. I am not looking forward to so many days of candidate-slamming, publicity-seeking and mud-slinging between competing parties. If this campaign follows the ways of previous ones, the real competition will seem to be just how far these political foes can go in their down-and-dirty accusations.
As a voter, I want just the opposite. I want the parties and candidates to speak to me about their views and vision for a better Canada. I’d like to know just how and why they think their policies are best – for all Canadians. It won’t be easy, because it is a gigantic task to seriously think and plan for every region of our vast nation, for all our diverse populations, for all our needs and opportunities.
This should more than fill every hour and minute of these 40 days. Why waste time and money denigrating the competition? Is it possible to hope for better political campaigning in Canada?
G. A. Teske Sherwood Park, Alta.
Stuck in the middle
When did Canada develop a “middle class?" This term felt largely absent from the Canadian consciousness before the last election, when Justin Trudeau seemed to mention it at every opportunity.
Middle class is a horizontal description, thereby inferring that there is also a better upper class and a worse lower class. The Canada I know has never had such divisions. This might be the reality in countries like Britain or India, where class and caste divisions have fermented over generations, but that does not make it a reality here.
A more accurate term would be “middle income”; “class” is so imbued with historical inferences that some people are worth more than others. If, as Mr. Trudeau says, he believes that “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” then I ask him (and other politicians) to stop using a term that values people so differently.
The pervasiveness of the term is the start of a slippery slope. Do not let “class” become a reality in this wonderful land of Canada.
S.A. Hayden Kelowna, B.C.
Up in the air
On Day 1 of the election campaign, Andrew Scheer and Justin Trudeau flew across the country. I wonder how much carbon emission will be generated by the party leaders by Oct. 21?
Will Elizabeth May travel by train?
Tony Burt Vancouver
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