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Canadian Forces soldiers in Afghanistan, December, 2009. (MCpl Matthew McGregor/Joint Task Force Afghanistan)
Canadian Forces soldiers in Afghanistan, December, 2009. (MCpl Matthew McGregor/Joint Task Force Afghanistan)

what readers think

Nov. 7: Worth remembering. Plus other letters to the editor Add to ...

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


Worth remembering

Re We Remember, Nov. 4: As the list of Canadian victims of our failed Afghan “mission” expands, surely we should consider compiling parallel profiles of those responsible for sending these soldiers to their deaths. In the hope of avoiding a repetition of the Afghan tragedy, might we not convene a national inquiry into why and how this happened?

Here is a preliminary working hypothesis: Canada has a naive foreign policy establishment driven by a toxic mix of ignorant idealism and misplaced desire to curry favour with the United States. In Afghanistan, these people were allowed to squander lives by a negligent government and Parliament, abetted by cheerleaders in the media.

The same could be said of our guilt in the Libyan catastrophe. And now we propose to go into Africa.

Michael Bliss, Toronto


Suicides among military personnel is important information for all Canadians. Another example of excellent investigative journalism on the part of The Globe. How many reminders do we need to document that all wars equal more rape, more child abuse, more PTSD for soldiers, and untold civilian deaths and injury?

Judy Lightwater, Victoria


After the vote

Re Dear America: Please Don’t Vote Trump (editorial, Nov. 3): In their greed for ratings, the news media conjured up an equivalency between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Her flaws became craters of moral turpitude; his, as disgusting as they are, merely the peccadilloes of a celebrity. Donald was just being Donald! The gallery bayed for more and the media delivered.

It’s almost over. But wait – The Donald has a TV station in his sights. Losing, he wins! With a massive, unruly following, just imagine the possibilities.

Barney Harris, Toronto


If I were a woman, a Muslim, a Mexican, an African-American or a disabled person, I would not be keen to live in the Trumped-up America. Poisonous sentiments that must have always been under the surface have bubbled over for the entire world to see. Now, many around the world place their hope in Hillary Clinton. She must know exactly what she is facing.

A historically toxic election is about to close and the real troubles are just beginning.

Stewart Lamont, Tangier, N.S.


Reform from within

Re Reform Must Focus On More Than Justice (Nov. 3): More needs to be done to correct the injustices perpetrated by the criminal justice system upon Canada’s indigenous people, including tackling racism.

Indigenous people are disproportionately stopped by police, denied bail, and given longer sentences, often for administrative rather than criminal violations. The Supreme Court’s Gladue ruling is generally ignored in Saskatchewan, as if it were an irrelevant opinion rather than a legally binding decision.

I grew up in a social culture on the Prairies that was highly racist toward indigenous people; by the time I was a young adult, I noticed that I had become part of that culture. I took a hard look at myself, I listened, I read, and I had the fortune of being befriended by a number of indigenous people. This caused change.

If enough judges, police officers, prison guards and lawyers had the courage to do the same, things would change. Reports and rulings alone won’t budge the unconscious, intergenerational transmission of racial prejudice.

Conrad Sichler, Hamilton


Family fare

Re Helping With Grandchildren Can Be A Blessing And A Burden (Life & Arts, Nov. 4): I am a new grandmother, thrilled with our granddaughter and proud of her parents. I thought this would be an article I could really relate to.

However, you totally lost me, on so many levels, at “the veneer of family harmony cracked because the beloved nanny was given only a few hours’ notice to attend her Canadian citizenship ceremony.”

Goldy Dyson, Winnipeg


Better, not bigger

Re A Supersized Canada Is So 20th Century (Nov. 2): The No. 1 problem facing the world is not climate change, it is overpopulation. It is estimated that by 2050 the world population will near 10 billion. Overpopulation drives climate change, loss of habitat, water shortages, pollution, urban sprawl, loss of productive farmland, overfishing of the oceans.

Canada does not need to significantly increase its population through immigration or by any other means. We need to be smart about how we influence our demographic makeup, as do all other countries, otherwise our global problems are going to increase. Growth is not always good.

David Swales, Douro Dummer, Ont.


Where’s my refund?

Re Liberals Refuse To Further Reimburse Taxpayers (Nov. 3): Well, they could just fire up the well-oiled cash-for-access machine a few extra times and pay it back pretty quickly, but I think it’s the whole idea of paying money to taxpayers that’s anathema to the Liberals. After all, taxpayers, are a source of funds, not a destination for them.

Paul C. Bennett, Richmond Hill, Ont.


Valued sharing

I want to thank Cindy Hunter for her thoughtful piece on the challenges of living with seizures (My Roommate, His Seizures, And Me (Life & Arts, Oct. 31). Hundreds of thousands of Canadians live with seizures, whether as epilepsy or with some other cause. Seizures can involve brief changes in behaviour and language resembling intoxication, momentary lapses in awareness, or physically collapsing to the floor.

But the all-too-common element for people with epilepsy is fear about when the next seizure will happen and how those around them will react; and loved ones worry that they aren’t able to do more to help. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Across Canada, community agencies of the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance work with people living with seizures and those closest to them, to provide counselling, education and support. We know how important sharing stories, as Ms. Hunter has done, can be in eliminating those fears.

Drew Woodley, director of communications, Epilepsy Toronto


That old thing

Re Liberals Prepare To Pitch Infrastructure Bank To Investors (Nov. 4): With cash-for-access, and now potential privatizations that will likely enrich some at the expense of many, it looks like the Liberals are dropping the sunny ways of their election campaign for an old favourite of parties in government: crony ways.

Brett Lintott, Hamilton

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