What is the delay?
Congratulations to Lisa Priest and Peter Power for their informative, moving coverage of hospices ( To Go Gently Into That Good Night – Focus, March 17).
Our mother was privileged to die at Perram House, in Toronto. Here's what it looks like: At 91, Mother is terrified by hallucinations. A nurse suggests we all say Hail Marys, then digs into her own past for the words, which calm Mother immediately. A very old man in PJs and housecoat dances around the living room with a nurse. Volunteers read to patients. A nurse gives medicine in chocolate ice cream. The beauty of Thanksgiving dinner for patients and families. Patients get excellent palliative medical care.
Imagine public policy that is effective, inexpensive and ensures that people die surrounded by love. What is the delay?
Mary Corkery, Toronto
The informative article on the Kensington Hospice was of particular benefit to me given that my palliative-care team at Princess Margaret Hospital placed me on that facility's "inactive" waiting list several moths ago. While I have no current need of their services, the description of the excellent care and compassion provided goes a long way to alleviating any fear of the future faced by myself and my family.
Ed Shannon, Toronto
The GOP's obsession
Margaret Wente's column on the Republicans ( The GOP Is Obsessed With Women's Bodies – March 17) raises perhaps the most pressing concern for women not only in the United States but also in Canada: reproductive health and control over one's body. The ever-present pro-life movement is slowly gaining steam in both countries, and it's about time we start talking about it, loudly.
To at once attack abortion and birth control betrays a paternalistic effort to punish women's sexuality that falls outside of the hard-right Christian paradigm of "family values." The pro-life crusade is just what Ms. Wente calls it – an obsession with women's bodies, the manifestation of a latent anxiety over women's autonomy in their sex lives and, ultimately, in all other aspects of their existence.
Annick MacAskill, London, Ont.
What does Republican fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism have in common? They are both obsessed with sexuality, women's bodies and loss of control over that segment of society. Ironic and paradoxical to the extreme.
Elie Mikhael Nasrallah, Ottawa
As a member of the federal caucus under Ed Broadbent's leadership, I do not think that he took this step lightly ( Compromised Elder Statesmanship – editorial, March 17). He knew he was putting his own status at risk. However, he saw something more important: that the basic values of the party are at risk if Mr. Mulcair becomes leader.
The NDP, what it stands for and the kind of goals it struggles to achieve are much more important than the cloud-enshrouded status of "elder statesman." Thanks Ed, for still caring.
Jim Manly, Nanaimo, B.C.
Whether you agree with Mr. Broadbent or not, he entered the debate to make important points about the future of the New Democrats and the choice before party members. Former leaders often do make their choice clear in leadership races. This was the view of Tommy Douglas when he nominated Mr. Broadbent to become party leader.
Dawn Black, former NDP MP, New Westminster, B.C.
Former leaders who choose their candidates unwisely should not resort to blasting a positive alternative. Pushing toward the centre is not the NDP's death knell, as three seats in the prairies show. If the party wants to attract new voters and supporters, perhaps a Tony Blair-style modernization is the answer. The federal NDP does not carry the baggage associated with the Liberals and Conservatives, and a small push to the centre is but a recognition that the old ways never opened the doors that are now within reach.
Donald White, Vancouver
Greg Gilhooly's impact statement (' The Horror Never, Ever Goes Away' – Sports, March 17) about his cruel abuse by a trusted coach should be required reading for all students in teacher education, social work and health-care training programs. His bravery and crystal-clear recall about how the sad events of his teenage abuse almost completely ruined his great potential and dreams are stark reminders of how any form of abuse can have a devastating life-long impact. His strength of character, resilience and capacity for reflection are an inspiration to all Canadians who believe in justice and children's rights.
Dr. Kimberley Powell, child and family studies program, Nipissing University, Bracebridge, Ont.
Doug Saunders's column ( Don't Blame Microcredit – Blame Its Distortion – March 17) should be read as a cautionary tale about the dangers of venture philanthropy. Sometimes the profit motive and philanthropic goals are a toxic mixture.
Sid Frankel, faculty of social work, University of Manitoba
Thank you, Joan Sullivan, for the story of the life of Lanier W. Phillips ( Naval Wreck Survivor Who Marched With King 'Taught All Of Us A Lesson' – obituary, March 17), the civil-rights fighter whose life and calling are indelibly connected to Canada but whom I knew nothing about. Thank you also to the people of Newfoundland, who made it so.
Peggy Berkowitz, Ottawa
Spare the travelling public
Poor Air Canada, having to continually deal with the childish and petulant behaviour of its aggrieved employees ( Travel Problems Hit Toronto After Air Canada's 'Challenges' In Montreal – online, March 18). Now the pilots, of all people, are pretending to be sick when they're not, causing inconvenience and expense for hundreds of passengers. I expected more from that already overcompensated group, never thinking they would resort to such a petty tactic.
Please pilots, sort out your differences with your employer through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, a legal strike if you must, but spare the travelling public the insult of adolescent behaviour.
Rob Murray, Calgary
Bay Street blues
Tim Kiladze's refreshingly honest article about why he gave up his finance career ( Why I Quit My Six-Figure Job On Bay Street – Business, March 17) resonates deeply with anyone concerned about the economic situation of the world today.
As Mr. Kiladze points out, Bay Street is not intrinsically evil, but "bankers and traders make millions, and their poor due diligence can bring down financial markets." But why does the rest of the world have to pay? If this industry can break financial markets, why isn't there government regulation to prevent the worst of their egregious errors? Perhaps we should return to a simpler version of right-wing economics: You only get paid if your work merits it.
Colleen McConnell, Hamilton
Plus area code
How expensive is Toronto housing ( What Have I Done – Globe TO, March 17)? I tried phoning a realtor the other day, but it turned out I had dialled the asking price.
David Priebe, Toronto