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People stand with signs during a "Count Every Vote" rally the day after the U.S. election in Los Angeles, Calif., November 4, 2020.

LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters

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U.S. outlook

Re Regardless Of Vote’s Outcome, We Must Remember The U.S. Is Turning Inward (Nov. 4): I can understand people who put their needs ahead of their country’s. I can also understand those selfless enough to put their country ahead of themselves. What I can’t figure out is why roughly half of a nation voted for someone who, I find, is both bad for citizens and bad for the country.

Hershl Berman Toronto

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During the U.S. election campaign, we frequently heard Democrat candidates and supporters tell their fellow Americans that “this is not who we are. We are better than this.” So far, the election results show clearly that it is, and they’re not.

Alastair Moran Brampton, Ont.

Behind the scenes

Re Ultimately, Selfishness Is Behind The Latest COVID-19 Surge (Nov. 4): The Alberta-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is a right-wing organization funded largely by a small number of wealthy conservatives and some foreign entities. It should not be made to sound so mainstream and acceptable, even if to disagree with its recommendations. I believe their political leanings should be presented up front to ensure that others do not imitate this line of thinking.

Kathryn Kossow Toronto

Northern reflections

Re Broadcasting Bill Targets Online Streaming Services (Nov. 4): My problem with Canadian content isn’t a lack of funding – it’s that the system can create perverse incentives, where cynical box-ticking exercises are often better rewarded than attempts to create programming that people actually want to watch.

Extending the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s rule to cover the internet will likely not solve anything – it would be more like an empty promise to build a walled garden and make Americans pay for it.

David Arthur Cambridge, Ont.

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All-encompassing

Re A Jail System That Is Failing Everyone (Editorial, Oct. 31): Overrepresentation of Indigenous people applies across the whole correctional system. While federal prisons house about 14,000 inmates, provincial and territorial systems house more than 24,000 offenders – a larger percentage of which, across Northwestern Ontario and the Prairies, are Indigenous.

COVID-19-induced releases in provincial systems (Ontario, for example, has released about 30 per cent of inmates) create a perfect opportunity to make these reductions permanent, and move toward community-based justice that is restorative and rehabilitative.

Peter Kirby Kenora, Ont.

Off-target

Re When It Comes To Fiscal Policy, Quality Matters As Much As Quantity (Report on Business, Nov. 3): As the federal government increases pandemic spending, it seems business groups (that have been happy to accept billions in bailouts in the past) are increasingly agitated that more might be spent on social programs during a raging health crisis.

Arguments that “not all types of spending are born equal,” and a larger share of money might have gone “to create a more productive economy,” read like oblique ways to justify more funds for corporations, and not for workers and families struggling to pay rent during a time of heightened anxiety.

Larry Kazdan Vancouver

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WWJD

Re Ford Video Shows Ties With McVety: NDP (Nov. 3): By writing that “the NDP hates Christians,” it seems Canada Christian College president Charles McVety is the one who foments hate. He has targeted the LGBTQ and Muslim communities in the past and now, facing challenges to his plans for a degree-granting university, he is stirring up hate against a major political party.

Diversity, tolerance, care for all: These qualities are what should make Canada, and true Christianity, strong. We should have no place here for politics of division – nor Mr. McVety’s so-called Christian college.

Angie Heydon Toronto


Any educational institution that teaches evolution as a “theory” should have no business granting degrees. Evolution is a fact and creationism is an “alternate fact,” and we have had enough of those already.

Paul Conway Toronto

Freedom of oppression

Re Freedom (Oh Freedom) (Nov. 3): A letter-writer believes that if someone, somewhere, objects to something I do, and I respect that objection, then I may be living in fear. But that would assume we, in the West, are not telling other cultures what to do, what to say and what to believe all the time, and frequently at gunpoint.

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Cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which I find offensive, are freighted with centuries of oppressing non-white, non-Christian people.

No one should die for saying or believing in something, in France or anywhere else. But Voltaire’s argument was for tolerance of beliefs, not for wholesale mockery of the powerless by the powerful.

Melinda Munro Windsor, Ont.

Bedrooms of the nation

Re One Man’s Tough Mission To Hide From Beijing’s Watchful Eye (Nov. 2): I find it ironic that people are so concerned about privacy in public while being neglectful at home. Gadgets such as the Google Home and Amazon Echo can also spy on us, plus they can be vulnerable to hacking.

Street cameras can enhance public safety and help authorities identify lawbreakers. Moreover, many people carry phones with cameras, so they can take pictures and videos any time, anywhere. It is unrealistic now to expect privacy in public. Paranoia, it seems, is only for people who have reason to fear being recorded.

Irene Fung Mississauga

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Postscript

Re The End (Letters, Nov. 3): Like other readers, I was moved by essay-writer Nikita A. Crook’s recollection of her mother and her choice of medical assistance in dying. I felt for Ms. Crook’s shock and sadness. Mostly, though, I was thrown by how utterly different this was from my family’s experience with MAID.

Next January, it’ll be four years since my mother became one of the first people in our region to choose MAID. I feared the tangible difference of a world without her. But I also felt obliged to celebrate with her. Like Ms. Crook’s mother, she was grateful, almost jubilant, when her request was approved – such was her desperation for relief from the MAID requirement of “intolerable suffering.”

I miss her still, as I know I will for the rest of my days, but my most prevalent emotion remains gratitude for my incredible mom, for the happiness we shared. In the end, she was allowed to die very much as she lived: with grace and laughter, and on her own terms.

Here’s hoping that, in time, Ms. Crook finds similar peace with her mother’s path.

Kai Rannik MAID activist; Kearney, Ont.


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