How c-c-cold is it?
Re Love It Or Hate It, 'Wind Chill' Is Here To Stay (Jan. 4): If wind chill does such an important job of making a cold day "feel like" it's so much colder, why don't we have it in summer?
Doesn't a breeze on a hot day make it "feel like" it's cooler? As soon as the seasons change, however, we have the humidex to make it "feel like" it's even hotter.
While it's important to warn about genuine extremes, exaggerations are making weather reports increasingly useless.
Ian Smillie, Ottawa
Some years ago, after I'd moved from my hometown of Vancouver to Ottawa, as winter came on I began to hear a term, new to my West Coast ears, called the Winchell Factor on the CBC weather report. I had no idea what it was, but I assumed this mysterious factor, like Humboldt and his eponymous current, was named after a Mr. Winchell, who perhaps was an early eastern Canadian scientist or meteorologist. By mid-January, I still didn't understand the meaning of the Winchell Factor, but I had learned the phrase about the metallic monkeys.
Linda Schachter, Victoria
Cut justice's costs
Re High-Priced Justice (editorial, Jan. 6): I've been a divorce lawyer for 20 years. When I look across the table at a "self-represented litigant" (the opposing spouse without a lawyer), we know our side's legal bills will climb. Not understanding the law drags out legal cases, it does not speed them up.
No government is going to throw millions of dollars at building new courthouses, appointing more judges and providing training courses for "self-represented litigants." The solution to the high cost of access to justice is simplifying legal processes: Courts are notoriously process-driven; our legal system still relies on paper, not technology (the court system does not take advantage of electronic documents or electronic calendaring, for example).
With half of Canadians predicted to face a justiciable event, all Canadians should demand new laws and rules to cut time and paperwork, and therefore costs.
Andrew Feldstein, Markham, Ont.
Put a lid on pot studies
Re Colorado Lights Up A Big Experiment (editorial, Jan. 6): There's no need for anyone – citizen, politician or editorialist – to wait to find out the impacts of Colorado's decision to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana.
A Goggle-assisted tour instantly reveals links to dozens of government-commissioned and academic studies published over the past 25 years that overwhelmingly affirm that liberalizing marijuana use or penalties does not lead to an increase in marijuana consumption or affect adolescent attitudes toward drug use.
Similarly, study after study has found there is no conclusive evidence that smoking marijuana is linked to a later use of other illicit drugs. Rather then continuing to suggest these myths are worth our consideration, The Globe should be dismissing them.
Esther Shannon, Vancouver
The largely untold story of Alaska's and Washington's plans for legalizing marijuana is how this will drain billions of dollars from the province of British Columbia.
Pete Reinecke, Ottawa
Gender, the C-suite
Re In The Business Media, A CEO Remains A Lady First (Jan. 4): Naomi Wolf does a disservice to the important issue of gender inequality in the executive suite and its reporting in the business media by making inaccurate and biased observations. For example, Ms. Wolf claims that CNN's reference to General Motors CEO Mary Barra's "knack for climbing the corporate ladder" is a phrase that would "never be used with a man at the top." In fact, the business press is rife with references to climbing the corporate ladder.
Gender inequality in the executive suite and its reporting in the business media is an important and complex issue. To achieve continued improvement requires thoughtful analysis and policy responses. Crying wolf will only hinder progress in this area.
Brian Imrie, Toronto
If Naomi Wolf is right (and she probably is), isn't it ironic that Mary Barra is pictured beside that ultimate symbol of North American maleness: the red Chevy?
Peter Barrow, Guelph, Ont.
Re Reinventing The Refugee Camp (Jan. 2): Thanks to Will Ferguson for writing about the efforts to provide normalcy for the Congolese refugees in Rwanda's Kigeme Camp. And thanks to The Globe for giving him two pages to do so. I don't usually cry while reading the paper, but here is what brought me to tears on Thursday: the names Steven Nshizirungu, Eric Iradukunda and Appoline Nyiramugisha.
By honouring these young people, by bringing their names to our comfortable, sun-drenched (sorry, rest of Canada) porches with our morning coffees, we are connected to real people, with real hopes to make their lives better, with dreams to return to their homes in peace.
I will remember this story and Steven, Eric and Appoline. I hope they realize their dreams.
Paula Lindsay, Langley, B.C.
CBC Radio's draw
Re CBC's Future Should Look Like Its Radio Past (Jan. 6): We represent four generations of proud CBC Radio listeners. Our grandparents, parents, ourselves and now our children are faithful CBC Radio listeners. It is our most reliable source of stimulating information and trusted news; it's free of advertising and, one hopes, government influence.
Internet-based streaming and Podcasts have greatly enhanced this experience. CBC Radio should be embraced as an essential part of the Canadian cultural fabric. CBC can do what it wants with TV (as ratings and economics dictate), but please leave radio alone.
Eric Gozna, St. Andrews, N.B.
Not everyone's hero
Re Who Was The True Father Of Confederation? (Jan. 3): In pursuit of his "National Dream," John A. Macdonald implemented a policy of starvation against First Nations people to move them out of the way for white settlement and the railway, forcing them onto reserves. Thousands died.
As we approach the 200th anniversary of Macdonald's birth, we must acknowledge this part of his legacy, which James Daschuk describes in his bestselling book, Clearing the Plains, and understand that not everyone sees Macdonald in heroic terms.
Bruce Walsh, director, University of Regina Press
Next stop: Mars
So 75 Canadians are in the running for a one-way trip to Mars. Given recent events in the Toronto mayor's office and Canadian Senate, I can think of several more I would like to recommend for this honour.
Teri Jane Bryant, Calgary