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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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Financial wizardry

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Oh, yes: Let's get more financial wizards running the economy (Team NDP Has A Big Hole To Fill – July 7). After all, they've done such a brilliant job so far, both here and abroad, in and out of government.

Greece, Spain, Italy, the Great Recession, record-breaking Canadian deficits, subprime mortgages, Lehman Brothers, WorldCom, Enron, etc.

Perhaps the NDP could appoint someone with practical knowledge of balancing a household budget to the Finance portfolio.

Rupert Taylor, Waterloo, Ont.

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If the election produces an NDP/Liberal coalition, one not so obvious choice for Finance would be Ralph Goodale.

It would take courage to have the junior coalition partner in the role of minister of finance, but it could help to stabilize a coalition.

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Bill Cooper, Kingston

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NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair might want to drop former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis a line.

I hear he's looking for work …

Nancy Robinson, Saskatoon

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After Lawrence Martin's condescending reference to "blue-collar grunts," I hope he has to wait a good long while the next time he needs a plumber.

Brad James, Toronto

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Debt and threat

Re Europe, This Is Your Last Chance (editorial, July 7): When do we all stop propping up what is clearly failing: the phenomenon of nation-states? Nationhood is becoming problematic.

Nations once helped humans flourish in geographically separated parts of the world but now serve no purpose other than to keep an old idea of (false) distinction alive.

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We bend over backward to honour these distinctions, but helping one country shoots another country in the foot.

The sooner we adopt a global vision, a unified "one humanity," the sooner the people of the world will be secure.

Brian Kirsh, Toronto

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If Greece "should never have joined [the euro zone] in the first place" and "would benefit from having its own lower currency," why are you urging Europe to keep Greece in?

Because the weaker members, with their trade deficits and risky euro-denominated debts, help depress the euro, to the great benefit of the German and French economies?

If I were Angela Merkel, I would be yelling and pointing at my weaker sisters full-time, too. It's good for German exports.

Charles D. MacRae, Toronto

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Lac-Mégantic's pain

It wasn't enough that the people of Lac-Mégantic lost their families, their friends, their homes, their businesses, and so much else (Bells Toll For 47 Killed In Disaster Two Years Ago – July 7). On top of all that, they have lost the last tangible survivors of their community – the buildings in the old city centre.

Engulfed by so much change and so much renewal, the residents desperately needed something familiar to hold on to and to connect them to their past lives. But the last stand of surviving, undamaged old-growth buildings in the downtown core was taken down. Shame on the decision-makers, for they have destroyed what little was left of the downtown heritage – literally, the residents' inheritance.

Harold Kalman, member, Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada; Vancouver

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Sailing off the edge

Re Course With Anti-Vaccine Content Stays (July 7): What's next? Geography students at the University of Toronto taking a course taught by the Flat Earth Society in order to have "a discussion from all perspectives"?

Gordon Foy, Burnaby, B.C.

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If you gotta go

André Picard's article on public washrooms was particularly timely here in the nation's capital, where we are spending $2-billion on a new light rail train (to open in 2018) with no plan to include public washrooms in 11 of the stations, and to have them only in the two "terminus" stations, as required by the provincial Building Code.

Great cities have public washrooms – and so do great transit systems.

Joan Kuyek, chairperson, GottaGo! Campaign Ottawa

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Would it be okay?

A letter writer suggests that because there are lots of other law schools, it's okay for Trinity Western's to have rules that discriminate against LGBT students (Law School Debate – July 7).

Would she use that reasoning for other sectors of society? There are lots of restaurants, so it would be okay for some restaurants to always seat Catholics and non-Christians near the kitchen? There are lots of places to work, so it would be okay for a company to have a policy against a woman being a manager, an engineer or the CEO? And there are lots of beaches, so it would be okay for cities to prevent people with dark skin from swimming at some of them?

Good on the Law Society of Upper Canada for upholding the principle of equality. It was hard won and should not be undermined.

Howard Goodman, Toronto

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Snake sense

Re Rattling My Manhood (Facts & Arguments, July 7): A friendly reminder that as a threatened species, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake is protected in Ontario. Killing one can result in a fine of up to $25,000, and/or a year in prison.

Just sayin'.

Mark Vicari, Toronto

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Leonard Graholm writes that he's "braver than women are when they meet an insect."

What century is he in and what planet is he on?

In my home, I take care of the unwanted insects, ants, spiders, moths etc. I'm sure I am not the only woman who does this.

Perla Riesenbach, Toronto

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The Nature Conservancy of Canada offers some wise words about massasauga rattlers, which your fearful essayist would do well to read. It describes the snake as "shy and docile," and eager to avoid humans when it can.

This is the only venomous snake in Ontario and its numbers are dwindling, in part because humans in their ignorance continue to kill them even though the species is protected.

One tidbit from the Conservancy did amuse our daughter, who did a science project on these threatened snakes after we, too, saw one: "The massasauga is the only snake in Ontario with a vertical pupil. But this should not be used as a means of identification because if this is how you are identifying the snake, you are obviously too close."

Indeed.

Jennifer Campbell, Owen Sound, Ont.

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