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'Better off' with …?

Re Conservatives Lead In Donations, But Liberals Close In (July 4): So the Conservatives think that the number of donors to their party shows that "more Canadians know we're better off with Prime Minister Stephen Harper." Hmm.

I'd say the fact that there were a third more donors (129,519 to 80,135) to other parties shows that more Canadians know we're not better off with Mr. Harper.

Patricia Clarke, Toronto


"Stephen Harper's Conservatives once again led Canada's political parties in fundraising last year." That's because Conservatives know a good leader when they see one and are prepared to put their money where their convictions are.

Look at the financial mess Ontario is in. When I think of that kind of government happening nationally …

Jason Huang, Vancouver


Floyd Laughren, NDP finance minister in Ontario's unlamented Rae government, was a decent chap who the press quickly labelled as "Pink Floyd."

The Rae government was severely challenged financially and it wasn't long before the New York bond types visited Toronto to let Bob Rae and Mr. Laughren know that piling debt onto debt was going to get terribly expensive. Shortly after that we had Rae Days and much unhappiness in the public sector. The public wasn't particularly happy either.

I predict that long before the 2015 budget, a similar visit will be made to Kathleen Wynne et al., and the current triumphant Liberal government will have its Pink Floyd moment, too. Be it Wynne Days, an increase in the HST or selling off the LCBO, choices will have to be made.

Ms. Wynne is a tough political operative with what appears to be a weak understanding of economics. Her learning curve will be steep but unfortunately it will be Ontario's taxpayers who will pay for her education.

N. Leslie Williams, Oakville, Ont.


Given the circumstances, it is understandable that the mayor of Toronto is being reviled as a political train wreck – but can you imagine if he had been Ontario's premier instead?

There is no way he would have approved long-term contracts that drove up the cost of electricity, or cancelled the means to produce cheap, clean and reliable power at a cost of over a billion dollars. He would not have chased away jobs and turned Ontario into a have-not province.

Even a self-professed alcoholic and drug addict would never have stooped so low.

Richard Zylka, Calgary


Bees before business

The headline "Pesticide Linked To Bee Deaths Causes Headaches For Retailers" hit me as absurd (Re-port on Business, July 3). Which problem is more serious here? Bees and other pollinators dying from neonicotinoids? Or the headache it is causing retailers to have to deal with the plants containing this bee-killing pesticide?

Pull the plants off the shelves and send them back to the growers. Don't sell more with warning labels. Farmers need to look for better alternatives than bee-killing pesticides.

Lynn Harasti, Barrie, Ont.


Argentine debt: Pay

Stephanie Nolen writes that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner "knows that the public entirely opposes repayment" (Argentina's Lose-Lose Debt Problem – Report on Business, July 3).

However, a poll by Buenos Aires-based research company Poliarquía Consultores found that two-thirds of Argentines asked believe the country should accept the U.S. Supreme Court decision and pay the debt they owe to the bondholders who refused to accept the 70 per cent "haircut" when Argentina defaulted on its bonds in 2001, in full.

Argentines are tiring of Ms. Kirchner's bluster. A consensus is emerging that the time has come to pay off the debt to limit further damage to the country's economy. Abiding by the rule of law, both at home and abroad, will do Argentina's economy wonders.

Patricia Adams, executive director, Probe International


Pelvic indignities

Re End Torture In Stirrups (July 3): After reading of Margaret Wente 's complaints concerning the indignities of the annual pelvic exam for women, I compared her issues to my own dental care.

Twice a year, I have two people with four hands employing X-ray film holders, drills, needles, ultraviolet lights, drain hoses and cotton wads working in the middle of my face. I don't complain afterward. When the swelling goes down, I smile and have a meal.

Ms. Wente might wish to follow my example.

Brian Beckett, Nepean, Ont.


Margaret Wente suggests looking forward to an end to the torture of pelvic exams. Ha! The torture really comes with age. Note the acreage in every drug, grocery and department store devoted to incontinence products.

Pelvic-organ prolapse causes far more and prolonged discomfort, pain and embarrassment than those often unnecessary pelvic exams. In 2010, it affected some 316 million women of all ages worldwide. Like many women's issues, it is "not mentioned" but it's a huge problem that has not been adequately addressed.

Cherrie Gilliland, Belleville, Ont.


We used our luck

Re Why Is Canada The Most Tolerant Country In The World? Luck (online, July 2): I think John Ibbitson is minimizing the agency and choices made by Canadians – past and present – which helped contribute to Canada's success as a multicultural country.

The British in the late 18th century made a fateful (if pragmatic) decision to allow the French language, culture and laws to continue to hold a dominant influence, a choice not echoed in many other colonies (think India). Politicians in the Union of the Canadas saw strength (again, pragmatic) in uniting under a common desire for greater independence from the Mother Country.

In the 20th century, leaders like Pierre Trudeau saw little to gain in promoting anything but widespread and label-free acceptance of cultural differences.

Throughout Canadian history, the choice to accommodate difference has, with a few notable exceptions, proven to be more useful – politically, socially, economically – than the promotion of social and cultural barriers.

We may have been dealt a luckier hand than some, but we should not discount how we maximized our returns from it.

Adam Green, Ottawa


Thanks, guys

Not only has the World Cup disrupted my life and schedule, but so too has the first-class reporting of Messrs. Cathal Kelly and John Doyle. My usual morning Globe and Mail strategy was to read the front section, then Report on Business, and the Sports section et al. as time permitted. Now, it's straight to Sports and the excellent coverage of the event by the aforementioned scribes.

Please tell the guys to keep up the great work. I'm in no hurry to return to my regular schedule.

Ashley Walkley, Toronto

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