Re “Afghans in Pakistan waiting for resettlement in Canada have been detained and deported” (Nov. 11): A former senior political and security analyst with the Canadian embassy in Kabul applied in August, 2021, under the Special Immigration Measures program.
He was instrumental in supporting the establishment of our embassy in 2003. Now he and his family continue to wait in Pakistan for a definitive answer from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
The SIM program was closed to new applicants more than a year ago, however those already in the system have not yet been advised of their status. They now face deportation and fear of retribution from the Taliban, if forced over the border back to Afghanistan.
Canada should act without delay to honour the commitment to former employees.
Eileen Olexiuk, Former deputy head of mission, Afghanistan; Ottawa
None of the above
Re “Lest we forget (our duty to cast a vote)” (Editorial, Nov. 11): Canadians increasingly sense that none of the viable candidates on their ballots would truly represent their interests.
Only major-party candidates have any realistic chance of being elected, which requires a willingness to follow the script and never deviate from narratives set by unelected, unaccountable political operatives who permeate leaders’ offices. Every issue, no matter how critical to the nation, seems to be viewed through a partisan lens.
I never see high-calibre people, sworn to finding solutions to our existential challenges ahead of party discipline, appearing on ballots. While it’s human nature to opt out of no-win games, leaving governance to the gamesters is a recipe for national failure.
Ron Hartling Kingston
Re “If we’re not going to use carbon taxes to reduce our emissions, it may be better to do nothing” (Opinion, Nov. 11): Columnist Andrew Coyne makes mincemeat of the Liberals’ efforts to combat climate change.
Only intransigently arrogant politicians would pass legislation with a 30-year horizon, when they know it has no support from the Official Opposition. The Liberals passed climate laws while knowing with reasonable certainty that the Conservatives would reverse them.
There is nothing wrong with legislation that looks out a generation or two, so long as it has broad support. That is the practical essence of governing for all Canadians.
But the Liberals still have plenty to do. Problems with health care, the RCMP, the Canadian Armed Forces and the airline-complaint system all go relatively unattended while the Liberals beaver away concocting laws that future governments would reverse at the earliest opportunity.
Justin Trudeau and company must think they will govern forever.
Patrick Cowan Toronto
Re “Why do people hate Israel?” (Opinion, Nov. 11): There is one key factor I hear in discourses on this subject, discourses I have sadly been hearing for years.
It is not that people lack Holocaust education. And it is not that new generations feel removed from the Holocaust. I believe it is that the lessons of the Holocaust are considered irrelevant because of antisemitism.
It is with utter despair I ask that the deeper roots of antisemitism be properly taught in schools across Canada. Only then would we have the armour to protect ourselves from this ancient form of hate.
As war rages on in Israel and Gaza, one can only pray it does not spread into a global conflict and pull us, so fraught with misunderstanding, into a sphere of global war. May the international community prevail, and the mechanisms established after the Second World War bring lasting peace to this region.
One must not lose hope.
Karin Bjornson Montreal
It is all too true that had Israel existed in the 1940s, columnist Marsha Lederman’s mother might well have been in Tel Aviv instead of in Auschwitz. It is just as true that had Canada’s immigration policy toward European Jews fleeing the Holocaust not been “none is too many,” she might well have found herself in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver.
Murray Reiss Salt Spring Island, B.C.
Re “Finding the names of the men who saved my father’s life in the war” (Online, Nov. 10): I thank author R.H. Thomson for his quest to find the names of the 49 airmen who saved his father Woodburn aboard the HMCS Sackville. It evoked strong memories of my tour of the Sackville, the last corvette maintained in Halifax Harbour, with its cramped conditions and musty smells.
It gave more meaning to me of my father-in-law Wilbert Voll, who served two years as an ASDIC sonar operator aboard the HMCS Stellarton, one of the Sackville’s sister ships. He made those same treacherous transits to Britain protecting merchant-ship convoys. He told me he was grateful to have survived.
Knowing the fitful conditions that Woodburn and Wilbert endured, I find unimaginable the constant terror they faced every hour they served. In view of the state of our world, I find it incredible that we still haven’t learned what these brave sailors and airmen taught us about the horror of war.
Sean Michael Kennedy Oakville, Ont.
Re “In a restored Lancaster bomber, Canada’s wartime history takes flight again” (Nov. 11): There were also the activities of the Lancasters in the 408 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force in the mapping of the Canadian North from 1946 and 1963. Such activity was hugely important to the commercial development of the Arctic.
In 1963, while standing in front of the officers’ mess at Canadian Forces Base Rockcliffe, I was privileged to witness the last three Lancs pass over in tight formation for their final flight. I was enormously touched.
Denison Quirk Lt.-Col. (ret’d); Belleville, Ont.
In 1950, I flew from Buenos Aires to Canada en route to McMaster University.
I was flying in a “Lancastrian,” which was a Lancaster bomber converted to carry passengers. The commercial airline company was British South American Airways and the planes were flown by ex-Royal Air Force pilots. The plane had a three-foot-tall wing beam across the cabin, which passengers had to climb over (it had steps) to get to the washroom.
En route we touched down in Santiago, Lima, Barbados and then Bermuda before flying the last leg of the journey to Malton Airport in Toronto, perhaps returning to the very place where the plane was manufactured by Victory Aircraft during the war.
After several major crashes with lost lives, usually going over the Andes mountains, the airline was discontinued. I am glad I am one of those alive to tell the tale!
Ian Johns Ottawa
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