Canada's newest premier
Let's hope Ontario's new premier Kathleen Wynne is up to the job (Clock Ticking On Wynne's Ambitious Wish List – Jan. 28): She has a huge task ahead of her.
The caption under Ms. Wynne's front-page picture – "Kathleen Wynne's leadership victory makes her Ontario first female premier, and its first openly gay one as well" – does not reflect well on The Globe and Mail. Using your standards on what constitutes relevant information, how should I sign off on this letter? Should I say mother, grandmother, retiree, divorcee, a lover of fine wines and opera?
Armida Spada-Mcdougall, Vancouver
I was in general agreement with your editorial about Kathleen Wynne until I got to the last paragraph. Which other party in Ontario are you saying is ready to rise to the province's challenges? I'm not acquainted with them – at least not based on the recent election, or the current sleazy attack ad produced by the Conservatives. I think Ms. Wynne offers the best hope for a truly balanced approach of social progression and fiscal responsibility.
Jim Gough, Toronto
While Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, wants "real change and real commitment" from the Prime Minister when dealing with the deplorable conditions on some reserves (Newsmaker Interviews – Jan. 28), it is assumed that Stephen Harper will be seeking real change and real commitment as well – real change in the way some reserves are managed, and a real commitment from chiefs to treat all natives equally.
In other words, quid pro quo.
Dick Dodds, Napanee, Ont.
Re New Brunswick Pipeline Plan A 'Game-changer' (Jan 28): The reality? It's not a plan, it's a pipe dream. Three of the top reasons: Eastern refineries can't handle Alberta heavy crude; cost: the route is over three times longer than the West Coast pipeline route; Quebec opposition. The only game being changed is the PR game. Dream on …
David Thompson, research associate, Parkland Institute, University of Alberta
What he didn't write
You write that John Kraglund's music reviews were sometimes criticized as sardonic, acerbic and "killing serious music" (Rave Review – editorial, Jan. 28).
In the mid-1980s, I attended a Toronto Symphony performance where Yehudi Menuhin was the guest violinist under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. Soon after the beginning of the Bruch violin concerto, Menuhin dropped his bow as he was playing. Sir Andrew, who did not even turn around, returned his score to the beginning and the orchestra started again. Later on, Menuhin, as an encore, played beautifully a very complex piece.
The next morning, I rushed to The Globe to read Mr. Kraglund's review. He wrote a wonderfully balanced column, never mentioning the dropped bow.
Roger Allen, Toronto
Accept vs. tolerate
When people ask me, as a second-generation immigrant, why ethnics often congregate together, I tell them to imagine themselves as a new student in high school on the first day, anxious and alert. Now magnify that by 10 (Immigrants' Children Find Multiculturalism Obsolete – Jan. 26).
Post-1970s, the first generation of immigrants assumed a "guest worker" mentality, while their Canadian-born offspring hovered between their parents' culture, and being "Canadian." But facing stereotyping and inquiries of "where are you really from?" many second-generation immigrants have wondered: "When will I not be considered foreign?"
Multiculturalism has been superficially looked upon as food, dance and music, leading to tokenism, to being seen as something exotic, and to targeting the "ethnic vote." Statistical studies on economic integration and political engagement only tell so much. In-depth strategies on social inclusion are needed if we're to accept, and not just tolerate, differences.
Roland Mascarenhas, Toronto
How remarkable to read a sentence from Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works, in which she uses the words impeccable, community, consultation – qualities she says we can attribute to the Crown corporation, Canada Lands (Not For Sale – letters, Jan. 26).
I urge her to encourage her cabinet colleagues to study the consultation practices of Canada Lands. Given her government's great reluctance to engage in consultation with the community – see legislation affecting first nations issues as only one recent example – all of us would benefit from that cabinet teach-in.
Esther Shannon, Vancouver
Our better judgment
Re Should Colton Orr Be Allowed To Play? (editorial, Jan 26): No, but he will be. Mankind has always had a morbid fascination with risks, brutality and tragedy. From ancient gladiatorial spectacles to today's bullfighting, boxing, UFC or slowing down to look at a traffic accident, we are drawn to doom. We enjoy a vicarious thrill as we watch and cheer – against our better judgment.
Tim Jeffery, Toronto
Your editorial asks "why was [Colton Orr] permitted, after all those fights and such a serious concussion, to continue playing?" Isn't the appropriate question: Why does the NHL allow, perhaps encourage, fighting during games? Even American football doesn't allow fighting.
The league needs to get serious about the consequences of violence.
Peter Perkins, Montreal
A suggestion for topics for the China Diaries series: In our home, we'd like a glimpse into everyday life at a personal level, looking at daily life the way most Chinese must. Do they shop like us? Finance their cars? Agonize over their favourite sport teams? What do staples cost? Is their beer any good? Are their TV programs varied? Is Western fashion something they follow? Do they find their teens as exasperating and trend-conscious as ours? Are they fast-food fans? If so: what kinds do they like? We live in the same world, but on these basic levels, we don't really know them, do we?
Gordon S. Findlay, Toronto
It doesn't surprise me that Rob Ford – to the detriment of Toronto – won his appeal and remains mayor (Invigorated Mayor Back From The Brink – Jan. 26). What does surprise me is that he didn't commandeer a TTC bus to do a victory lap around the city.
Blair Boudreau, Toronto