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A sex-trade worker is pictured in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday, June, 3, 2014. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A sex-trade worker is pictured in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday, June, 3, 2014. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)


June 6: Sex and guns for sale – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Sex and guns

Re Tough New Rules On How Sex Is Sold (June 5): Now that we know the Harper government’s response to the Bedford decision concerning prostitution in Canada, we also know what its legacy on this issue will be.

You don’t need a crystal ball to predict what will happen. Criminalizing sexual activities between consenting adults will simply drive these activities further underground, creating a screen for illusive and dangerous persons to do harm to vulnerable people.

By criminalizing the purchase of sexual services, not only sex workers but also their clients will be vulnerable, at risk for violence, blackmail and extortion.

The real question for Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay is: How many more sex workers have to be murdered before the Harper government takes the necessary steps to protect sex workers’ Charter rights? Five? Seventeen? Thirty? More than 100?

Michael Hendricks, Montreal


The government will allow me to buy a gun (I would pass every test and assessment for such ownership), but I cannot buy sex, if I were so inclined, even from someone who might be quite willing to sell.

Brian Williams, Belleville, Ont.


Police and politics

Cassandra King writes in her letter to the editor, “If a policeman approaches a car, he can get his head blown off when an occupant rolls down his window.” This letter was one of several on Thursday under the headline Political Police.

The first headline I read Thursday was Three Mounties Killed In An Ambush. A subheading said “Two other officers injured as RCMP launches massive manhunt in Moncton.”

Perhaps all those who think the Ontario Provincial Police union was wrong in speaking out will reconsider their opinions in light of what happened in Moncton when the Mounties were ambushed by a heavily armed gunman.

Barbara Michel, Toronto


A Canadian CEO

Great news: The compensation of CEOs of Canada’s 100 largest public companies has gone up again – 11 per cent this year (CEO Compensation By The Numbers – Report on Business, June 2). Your middle-of-the-pack CEO in that group made $5.6-million in 2013.

Let me see now what that means, because those big numbers tend to give me trouble. A teacher making $70,000 a year would have to work 80 years to earn that much.

Or, let’s say William Shakespeare started at age 16 to make a nice 12 bucks an hour working the usual 20-hours-a-week shift at a Renaissance Tim Hortons. By now, he’d be closing in on that CEO’s annual take of $5.6-million, reaching it in the year 2030, give or take. At age 466.

It’s good to be a Canadian CEO.

Bill Piket, White Rock, B.C.


A toilet, any toilet

All due respect to those who do not see themselves reflected in the familiar male and female stick figures on washroom doors, but perhaps we should spend a little more time thinking about the real tragedy of the more than one billion people in this world without access to any toilet (The Next Frontier For Human Rights: The Humble Public Toilet – June 4).

These people suffer the indignity of defecating in the open every day. I suspect they would be grateful for access to any toilet at all, regardless of the symbol on the door.

Joshua Takenaka, Toronto


1 job + 1 job = guess

Re Advice For The Undecided Voter (2) – editorial, June 5: You tell us that “A series of economists has pointed out that [Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak’s] million jobs plan suffers from whopping errors in basic arithmetic. For example, one job in existence for eight years is counted as eight jobs. Whoops.”

Whoops? Employing Mr. Hudak’s math, the 100,000 jobs he pledges to cut from the civil service are actually 800,000 jobs. A million jobs minus 800,000 jobs is … 200,000 jobs.

Your editorial continues: “The plan also assumes, correctly, that in a modestly growing economy, more than half a million new jobs will be created even if a pet rock is premier and a garden slug is finance minister.”

In that case, since Mr. Hudak is only delivering 200,000 jobs, electing him would mean 300,000 lost jobs for Ontario: 500,000-300,000=200,000.

Ridiculous calculation? Sure it is – but no more ridiculous than Mr. Hudak’s. Political gimmickry, pure and simple – just like the promise to step down in 2022 if he doesn’t deliver on what he can’t define.

Norman O’Neill, Toronto


There have been few, if any, leaders in this country who have gone so far as to admit that they might have overstated what they were promising to do if elected. I can think of none who, like Tim Hudak, offered to resign by a certain date if he/she didn’t fulfill those promises.

Let’s give him an opportunity to change the way politics is practised in Ontario. Maybe it will be the start of something big. If he doesn’t deliver, we the people, through our real opposition – the media – can call him to account and force him to resign.

Cy Abbass, Thornhill, Ont.


We need to start calling out politicians who make such outrageous promises as Tim Hudak’s million-jobs pledge.

The only way Mr. Hudak has a chance to make good on such numbers is by using GARFAP (Generally Accepted Rob Ford Accounting Practices). It plays well to Mr. Hudak’s base.

David Bell, Toronto


The tank, the man

Re Tiananmen Now (June 5): Chinese officialdom remains unapologetic and closed-mouthed 25 years after the massacre in Tiananmen Square. Not much has changed in that grim political reality. The Western powers, meanwhile, do business as usual with the Communists.

I wonder about the name and fate of the young person who faced down the line of tanks captured in that iconic photo – an indisputable graphic testament to what was happening that day as unarmed Chinese youth tried an exercise in freedom of expression.

Is he dead? Jailed for life? Was he killed by soldiers following the orders of tyrants? Knowing the answers might help put an end to the pathetic Communist spin and reveal once and for all precisely how the Chinese leaders treated these heroic young people.

A government of any moral backbone would raise banners in the square, depicting every one of their felled students.

While they’re at it, they should freeze the bank accounts of every Communist leader involved in the decision-making that day.

R. Harry Langen, Vancouver


Name that party (3)

Re Name That Party (2); letters, June 5: I suggest forming the Surprise Party. The difference between campaign promises and once-elected realities – Surprise!

Sharon Speck, Pointe-Claire, Que.

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