Re “Sajjan says he was unaware of senator sending travel documents to Afghans because ‘I wasn’t reading my e-mail’ ” (April 27): During the time of the Canadian Armed Forces’ chaotic scramble out of Afghanistan, the former defence minister tells MPs he did not, and still has not, read two months of e-mails.
What is the definition of “dereliction?”
Mike Firth Toronto
By the numbers
Re “Public productivity” (Letters, April 27): A remote government worker acknowledges that he’s been able to save on commuting.
Please calculate the average savings enjoyed by remote workers represented by saved costs for commuting, but also for reduced work wardrobes, dry cleaning, coffee breaks, lunches and day care, plus greater flexibility for personal appointments. Take into consideration that employees can now claim home office space as a tax break.
How do these savings measure up against wage increases sought? What measures demonstrate that productivity has not decreased? Particularly when remote workers cannot access confidential files necessary for work assignments.
Ellen Anderson Summerside, PEI
Re “Nickel and dime” (Letters, April 25): To say we are “bidding” against Joe Biden and the United States seems somewhat premature.
I have no doubt that when the time is right, just like Bombardier’s C Series jets, the U.S. will claim unfair subsidies, impose an egregious import tax on Canadian batteries and flush our $13-billion down the drain.
Canada has so much to develop and market to the world that would bring untold revenue to our country. Instead our politicians seem to walk around with green blinkers firmly strapped to their heads.
Martin Wale Dorval, Que.
Re “Involuntary treatment for addiction and mental illness is a tough call. But failing to provide it is cruel” (Editorial, April 22): Family caregivers of those with addiction and concurrent conditions have been advocating years for the right to intervene to protect our loved ones.
I find widespread discrimination in the application of the protections of our mental-health laws to those struggling with addiction. They are intended to provide solutions for when someone lacks capacity to make treatment decisions, or when they are at serious risk of harm to themselves or others.
Responding, as so many do, with “it doesn’t work” has never been appropriate. Then what? Allow them to self-harm to death or harm others?
Similarly, opponents argue that given long waitlists for voluntary treatment, we should treat those people first. This would be mental-health triage with no moral or ethical angst.
Time to question the ethics of not intervening.
Angie Hamilton, Executive director, Families for Addiction Recovery Toronto
My wife worked for the assertive community treatment teams that help the mentally ill and addicted here.
With her empathy and warm regard, she soon knew the names of most clients and was much appreciated by them. Yet she held strong opinions on how they could be better served.
She noted that nearly all mentally ill clients were self-medicating with illicit drugs. It was rare to support a client who also was not an addict. In these rare cases, the outreach teams’ tasks were safer and easier.
I believe it is a mean policy to let those who cannot survive on their own be turfed out on the street to fend for themselves. Involuntary treatment would be the kindest intervention to allow many to live in greater comfort and security, and others to return to the community and survive with support.
Mark Ambery Victoria
Re “China launches ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ study campaign, forcing CCP members to hit the books” (April 22): Sixty years ago, my brother and I were using our shortwave radio and chanced upon an English-language broadcast from what was then known as Radio Peking.
There was a quiz, with three questions along the lines of, “What was the Chinese rice production in 1958?” Listeners were invited to submit their answers and there would be a prize.
My brother took up the challenge, did the research and mailed off his reply. He did not win the prize, but for several years continued to receive packages from China including calendars, Mao Zedong’s little red book and numerous booklets based on his musings, with abstruse titles such as “Russian revisionism is a paper tiger.”
Plus ça change.
Howard Dallimore North Vancouver
Bring it back
Re “Two Canada-connected literary prizes have announced shortlists short on Canadians” (Opinion, April 22): No surprise to me that Canadians are few on this year’s list of finalists for the Griffin Poetry Prize.
Poet and editor Paul Vermeersch explains what the loss of a separate category devoted to the fine work of Canadian poets means, in an environment already far too short on such opportunities to profile their art.
I join him in urging administrators of the Griffin prize to reinstate separate categories for international and Canadian poets.
J.C. Sulzenko Ottawa
Re “Farewell to Tucker Carlson, a pox on every democratic system we take for granted” (April 25): Critic Barry Hertz took the words out of my mouth. Good riddance, indeed.
I found Tucker Carlson to be no journalist, but a toxic conspiracy theorist. His show reached more than three million viewers a night in 2022.
His abhorrent takes on so many issues should make it easy to ignore him But my secret fear is that Donald Trump is just cynical enough to look at him as a running mate in 2024.
If that happens, we’ll never hear the end of him.
Nigel Brachi Edmonton
Sometimes, it appears that the media overestimates the impact of talk-show hosts such as Tucker Carlson.
The number of viewers watching his Fox New primetime show was apparently little more than three million; that means roughly 328 million Americans weren’t paying any attention to his conspiracy theories and rants.
While his viewers included a lot of journalists who would write about his diatribes, I deleted the Fox News app long ago.
David Enns Cornwall, Ont.
Call me smug, call me ignorant, call me lucky: Until the latest news, I had never heard of Tucker Carlson.
I call myself lucky that the CBC, BBC and Al Jazeera give me news. I can form my own opinions.
It keeps the mind alert, curious, amused, irate, indignant, independent and profoundly thankful to be free to sort and subtract facts from garbage.
Sylvia Bews-Wright Victoria
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