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Feb. 28: The joy of exhaustion, and other letters to the editor

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:


Runner's high

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Leah McLaren's article is well-written, and I understand that, for many, exercise is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself (Paleo, CrossFit And The Art Of Joyless Living, Feb. 23).

If you ask me, I think one can take pride in pushing into discomfort and not giving up, and can revel in feeling truly vibrant and healthy. I see many people who truly enjoy hard physical work as a simple pleasure. It's one way to be exhilarated and feel alive. I'm guessing the author doesn't count herself in that cohort.

There are a great many adventures to be had out there, and to say that pursuing those of a physical nature necessarily means that you become a puritanical, boring old so and so seems like a silly and unfounded generalization.

Peter Roberts, Toronto



You are quite correct – some very hard questions should be asked of some very responsible people regarding Ottawa's Phoenix payroll system (Someone Should Take The Fall For Ottawa's Botched Pay System, Feb. 27).

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During my working years, I had the experience of seeing new systems or methods taken into an organization much smaller than the federal government. On every occasion, there was an elementary step which appears no one thought of here – try a pilot project to see if the system works and help a few employees learn how to operate the new system. When the new system is shown to work, the experienced cadre of employees can be "missionaries" to the larger organization. Why was the pilot project step omitted? Perhaps former prime minister Stephen Harper bears the responsibility for this?

Ian Guthrie, Ottawa


Expedite fast trains

Your budget editorial cited the opacity of the government's growth-sparking infrastructure program (Ottawa, Show Us The Money, Feb. 25).

Why not finally make a commitment to high-speed rail in this country? There have been enough feasibility studies to fill a library and make a generation of consultants wealthy. As we rapidly become one of the most urbanized nations on Earth with cities of increasing density, the justification becomes clearer each year. The technology has long been in place in other countries and there will be no better time to take action in corridors such as Montreal-Windsor and Calgary-Edmonton. Our grandchildren will thank us.

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Gerald Fitzpatrick, Toronto


We're next

In her superbly rational and cogent analysis of the current immigration situation, Margaret Wente hits the nail on the head in terms of both responsibility for the U.S. crisis and the reality of the pros and cons of immigration (America's Spectacular Immigration Crisis, Feb. 25).

I would, however, add one word to the story's headline: North. Anyone who believes Canada will escape the trials and tribulations of the current U.S. crisis (in terms of illegal actions by aliens and resentment in the population) should look at history. Like all social phenomena on the continent, the immigration and refugee crisis happened first in the United States but recent illegal border crossings into Canada in Quebec and Manitoba indicate that our turn is just around the corner. Unfortunately, our government's approach of pulling a blanket over its head and hoping it will all go away is only going to make it that much more difficult to deal with when the crunch finally comes.

Peter A. Lewis-Watts, Barrie, Ont.


O'Leary looms

So there is a Conservative leadership debate in Ottawa with 12 candidates. Kevin O'Leary sucks the air out of the room in true Trumpian style and he gets the headline (O'Leary Vows To Claw Back Carbon Tax, Feb. 25).

Below that article in my edition of The Globe and Mail is a story highlighting Mr. O'Leary's bum touching on Dragons' Den (oh, the level of discourse).

Is this Canadian celebrity going to get all the free PR à la Mr. Trump in the Conservative leadership campaign as well as in the next election? He is the least qualified candidate for the leadership as well as for prime minister. Are Canadian media outlets going to facilitate his dominance of the news or can we expect to see more balanced headlines as we move along?

Mel Blitzer, Calgary


Michael Ignatieff won the leadership of the Liberal Party and, consequently, became the leader of the Opposition from 2008 until 2011.

Previously to that, he had lived in Britain from 1978 to 2000, where he held senior academic posts at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. From 2000 until 2005, he was a professor at Harvard University, and lived in Massachusetts. Nobody in Canada seemed to object to his long absence from Canada when discussing his qualifications of becoming Liberal leader.

Yet, Mr. O'Leary is chastised by the media and his fellow Conservative candidates for spending too much time in the United States. That is where he conducts most of his business. And, last time I checked, we live in a country where the population is privileged to exercise freedom of choice, and thus individuals can select their place of residency.

Caspar Pfenninger, Calgary


Remembering Custis

The article about Bernie Custis implied that he was denied the opportunity to play quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in 1951 because of racism (First Black Quarterback Bernie Custis Dies At 88, Feb. 24). I think that is not the complete story.

The quarterback for the Browns that year was Otto Graham. He was in the midst of a spectacular career. Mr. Graham played quarterback professionally for the Browns from 1946 to 1955 and he never missed a game. His team went to the league championship game in every year that he played. He won seven of those 10 championship games.

Another explanation for the decision by the Browns that Mr. Custis would play safety was because neither he, nor anyone else, would have been able to replace Mr. Graham at quarterback.

Charles Simon, Toronto


Plot twist

It could be said that accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which controls and manages the Oscars ballots every year, was caught in La La Land itself rather than savouring the Moonlight as it should have been (Oscars 2017: Epic Best-Picture Mixup Steals The Show, Feb. 27).

Vipin Bery, Toronto

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