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Sept. 7: A very Canadian story (Hint: It involves diversity). Plus other letters to the editor

People wear flags as they walk down Elgin Street on Canada Day in Ottawa on July 1, 2018.

Justin Tang

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: letters@globeandmail.com

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A very Canadian story

Re The Other Side Of Canada’s Diversity Story (editorial, Sept. 6): Thank you so much for this message of reason in times of disturbing intolerance. I am a fourth-generation Canadian and own and manage a small contract garden maintenance business. I have four employees because that’s all I am able to hire. One is an Ecuadorean business graduate, another is a worker/student from Chile, a third an engineering student from the Czech Republic and the fourth a Chinese electrical engineer. All are glad to be working in Canada; all are excellent workers; all are glad to have a job. Not one is a born-Canadian. Without them, I would be out of business.

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We begin our day at my house. On the front is a Canadian flag. Beside it are flags of the four countries represented by my employees. My business is 18 years old: Over the years, most of my employees weren’t born here. Without Canada’s policy of diversity, I’d be sitting in my rocking chair.

Barry Auger, Vancouver

Certain points of view

Re The New Yorker, The Economist And Bannon’s Squad Of Useful Idiots (Sept. 6): According to Denise Balkissoon’s logic, media outlets should not allow alt-right figures, such as Steve Bannon, to defend their ideas in debate, since this furthers the spread of their odious views. However, columns like Ms. Balkissoon’s, which declare critical discussion of these ideas “stupid” and outright immoral, feed the perception that the “mainstream media” is simply closed to even considering certain points of view, and therefore cannot be trusted. Surely it is this disturbingly widespread perception, not mentions in the Economist, that is allowing “alt news” hucksters to thrive.

Glenn Parsons, Toronto

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Freedom of speech and informed, fact-based debates are essential for a healthy democracy. Responsible individuals and organizations have to draw a line on what is healthy debate, versus that which is subversive, dark, manipulative and does not serve the common good. Like Denise Balkissoon, I believe that the sponsors giving Steve Bannon a platform have seriously erred in allowing him to infiltrate Canadian culture and values with his disruptive alt-right propaganda.

Jim Hollingworth, Goderich, Ont.

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Challenging people espousing beliefs that are contrary to ours in open debate is a way to expose these ideas for what they are, whether hateful, misogynistic or racist. What happened to “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it”? I’ve bought a premium membership to the Munk Debates.

Paul Conway, Toronto

ABC’s of play

Re Schools Put Play Back Into The Playground (Sept. 6): Gosh, without a battalion of educators and researchers to figure it out, we never would have guessed that, when given the opportunity, kids will get busy with active, creative, fun play activities during recess – and that it’s good for them!

Tuula Talvila, Ottawa

Unsigned opinion

Re Trump Blasts Unsigned New York Times Op-Ed (Sept. 6): In response to the anonymously authored op-ed essay published by the New York Times on its Opinion pages on Thursday (The Quiet Resistance Inside The Trump Administration), Donald Trump has tweeted out “Treason!” In responding to him, the Times may be well advised to quote the motto on the editorial page of The Globe and Mail, “The subject who is truly loyal to the chief magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures.”

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Wael M.R. Haddara, London, Ont.

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When I was editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, we discussed this kind of thing, and I banned it. It usually came from immigrants or refugees who feared for people back home. I argued that accepting anonymity here was “importing” the horrible intimidation of terrible places elsewhere, and we would not do it. I don’t recall we ever did.

This time the NYT has allowed it, not because someone fears a foreign regime, but because they fear their own. The NYT has acted shamefully, not just importing these autocratic values, but fully recognizing them as domestic.

A properly checked and balanced story, including this anonymous source, has an honourable tradition. Giving full reign to anonymity is something different.

William Thorsell, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail (1989 to 2000); Toronto

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Re What Was The New York Times Thinking? (online, Sept.6): Lawrence Martin’s response to The New York Times’s decision to publish an anonymous essay by a senior insider in the Trump administration has me fuming. It puts me in mind of someone criticizing the uniform worn by a fire fighter rescuing people from a burning building. Extraordinary threats require extraordinary solutions and the Times saw that. Mr. Martin clearly did not.

David Moores, Oakville, Ont.

Anything but relaxed

Re Relax. The Tories Are Not The Devil (editorial, Sept. 4): I would ask Gerald Butts, rather than sharing a Twitter thread calling some Conservatives “monsters,” to defer to something his leader said while campaigning in 2015: “The Conservatives are not our enemies. They are our neighbours.”

I have not forgotten that. None of us should. We have great challenges concerning healing, reconciliation, and stewardship of the planet. We need our leaders, and we need them to work together.

Lloyd Lovatt, Edmonton

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Your editorial fails to point out how the Conservative Party’s position on climate policy is mimicking populist parties around the world. Andrew Scheer’s persistent battle against the use of market mechanisms such as carbon pricing, and claims the Conservatives can meet climate targets with only regulations is inconsistent with the party’s position on less regulatory burden and smaller government. So either they are abandoning their ideology and will develop a suite of complex regulatory measures that industry will balk at, or their position on carbon pricing is a coverup to shield the fact that they are not going to do anything at all. Either way, under Mr. Scheer’s leadership Canada will not bring its emissions in line with the 2030 targets.

A debate on ways to improve efforts by this government is welcome. Using climate policy to polarize voters is no different from other right-wing populist parties, and won’t fix the problem.

Jen Lash, Sointula, B.C.

Hmm …

Re Bear Wandering In Downtown Ottawa Prompts Road Closure In Byward Market (online, Sept. 6): Given the recent court decision on pipelines, uncertainty in the auto sector due to Donald Trump’s threatened tariffs, and the ongoing anxiety over NAFTA, no wonder there’s a bear market in Ottawa.

Ken DeLuca, Arnprior, Ont.

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