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Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Monarchs' return?

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Re The Monarchs Are Back (So Are The Bees) (July 25): The sight of a handful of butterflies is hardly reason to celebrate. While Margaret Wente is right that there are a multitude of reasons for the decline of a species, her conclusions about pesticides are remarkable. "Glyphosate doesn't kill monarchs. It kills the milkweed plants where they lay their eggs." Precisely what we get from the NRA: Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Robert McManus, Dundas, Ont.

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Relief? Hardly! I have been guarding the monarch population since 1989, when my new garden at the time was turned orange by the thousands of monarchs that chose it as home. Since then, my children and grandchildren have watched as I plucked tiny larva from milkweed and fed and cared for them until a pupa formed and a beautiful butterfly emerged. We are talking almost 30 years.

I have a collection of butterflies I found over a decade on country roadsides; back in the day, they were so plentiful, I could stop my car 10 times just dropping the kids off at swim lessons, pick up fallen (dead) butterflies and collect them.

I saw the devastation of loss. It wasn't gradual. One year there were visibly fewer, in two more years, there were none.

Yes, it's a far more complicated issue than glyphosate but it's all bad. I, too, have had five sightings, but seen no larva!

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The country roadsides that are the best place to grow milkweed (naturally) are plowed just as the monarchs arrive to place eggs on the fresh, plump leaves of new milkweed. People at every level of destruction need to be educated, right down to road departments, farmers and just plain citizens!

To keep our planet healthy, we all need an education on what we as individuals can do. Things are not okay with the monarch, and it's not time to relax.

Andrea Marcus, Toronto

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'Trublion à Québec'

Re 'Vive Le Québec Libre': How Charles De Gaulle's Rallying Cry Resonates With The Politics Of Today (Folio, July 24): Fifty years ago while touring Europe, we arrived in Paris after weeks without news. Newsstands shouted headlines of Montreal (we recently left) and Detroit (opposite hometown Windsor). Astonished, I bought eight Paris newspapers.

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The following is from my diary: "We heard much of French hauteur, but found none. In fact, 'hauteur' was in Montreal, where De Gaulle had just made his notorious Vive le Québec libre speech, and a livid Prime Minister Pearson cancelled his Ottawa visit…. Paris newspapers … condemned De Gaulle. Le Monde's headline was Trublion à Québec [Troublemaker in Quebec]. An editorial urged his return to fix France's problems. A folio compared the standards of living in Quebec and France. In every category Quebec was ahead; number of indoor toilets, refrigerators, cars, TV sets, etc. … In addition to De Gaulle's impudence, Detroit was aflame with the worst race riots in U.S. history."

W. Grant Thompson, Ottawa

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Bet on disagreement

Re Greater Toronto Should Say No To More Casinos (July 25): In 2015, Toronto City Council voted to accept an expanded gaming facility – with conditions – at Woodbine Racetrack.

While the process has been slow-moving, it has been moving forward. An operator will soon be selected, and serve as a catalyst for the first phase of developing hundreds of acres into a dynamic entertainment destination in northwest Toronto.

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Almost 97 per cent of Ontarians who choose to gamble do so without experiencing negative consequences. I can extrapolate further and state that Ontario has more responsible adults than not, who are able to determine how much they want to spend on entertainment, be it at a restaurant, bar or yes, a casino.

I'm sure local governments and city councils are interested in the job creation and economic benefits associated with a revitalized gaming industry. Given what's at stake (jobs, tourism, economic development) and what's being proposed (investment in existing facilities), bluster is misplaced.

Paul Burns, CEO, Canadian Gaming Association

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Last week a buddy from my university days in the 1980s came down, and on a rainy afternoon suggested we head to Mohawk Racetrack to check it out. I had never been, nor will I go back after touring the slots facility. What a scene of human misery.

Not a single grin did I witness in the hour we stayed, not even from the stonefaced staff. I saw someone win a good-sized cash prize who was with a friend. They did not high five, they went back for more "fun."

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These operators know that if you return often enough, you will eventually be broke. This is what our provincial government wants to expand. Maybe call it "The Fair Bankrupcy Act," in keeping with their compassionate mantras.

John Chiavarini, Milton, Ont.

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Raitt in the mirror

Re As Conservative Party Deputy Leader, Lisa Raitt Hopes Women Will 'See Themselves' In Her (July 21): As a father, I want my 10-year-old daughter to grow up in a world where she is treated with respect and has the same opportunities as anyone else. I want her to have excellent role models who teach her that leadership is based on skills, ideas and performance, regardless of gender.

Lisa Raitt obediently served in one of the most authoritarian cabinets in modern parliamentary history. She participated in a legislative agenda that promoted women as stay-at-home moms and discrimination against certain ethnic groups; as labour minister, she introduced legislation that trampled on the rights of ordinary Canadian workers.

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I very much hope that my daughter does not see herself in Ms. Raitt. I would much prefer she take inspiration from public figures such as Rachel Notley, Elizabeth May and Malala Yousafzai, and from the many exceptional women whom she meets who don't make the national news.

Hershl Berman, Toronto

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Priority No. 1 (and 2)

Re When You Gotta Go, But There's No Public Toilet In Sight (July 25): Unless we overcome our shame and have a public conversation about our need for public toilets, governments will continue to ignore their responsibility to provide them.

Changes to the Ontario Building Code requiring open, accessible toilets in public spaces and major transit stops could force municipalities to address this important issue. Federal and provincial subsidies to municipalities for toilets would help.

Without open, accessible, easy-to-find public toilets, people with bowel and bladder disorders are afraid to take transit or use parks; families with children limit their travel; many older adults are confined to their homes, and desperate people caught short are forced to use bushes and back alleys.

Joan Kuyek, chair, GottaGo! Campaign, Ottawa

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With governments fixated on their "bottom" line, one would think funding public toilets would be a priority.

Jim Sanders, Guelph, Ont.

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