Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

June 23: Senate, star-rated. Plus 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: letters@globeandmail.com

...............................................................................................................................

Senate, star-rated

Story continues below advertisement

Re Angered Senators Leave Budget Bill In Limbo As MPs Break For Summer Recess (June 22): The Senate is like John Travolta's movie career: Sometimes he's in great movies, creating characters that have resonance and life beyond the screen. And sometimes, the opposite: irritating and unpleasant to watch, and worse, remember.

The Senate's just like that. Sometimes, senators do things that make us glad they're there. Other times, we wonder how fast can we change the Constitution and get rid of those clowns. With its refusal to pass the budget bill, the Senate is Chili Palmer. Most other times, it's the Terl guy from Battlefield Earth. Either way, we still need the Senate as it is.

Clay Atcheson, North Vancouver

......................................................

All this debate about the Senate is a distraction from the biggest problem with our democracy: the Prime Minister's Office.

While the Senate is unelected, at least the debate there is transparent. The PMO is an unelected, opaque body that continues to run the country. The Commons is a joke. MPs are elected but they're not free to represent their constituents. They largely follow the party line. Independent thought is frowned upon. The opposition's objections to the legislative proposals of the PMO are often met with derision, stonewalling and/or time allocation.

Thank goodness we have some senators who are capable of original, critical thinking and discussion of important issues.

Story continues below advertisement

Andrew Hodgson, Ottawa

......................................................

Angry, disappointed

Re Canadian Sniper Sets World Record With 3,450-metre Confirmed Kill (June 22): Where are the editors? Since when is "killing" something to be proud of?

It is part of our daily routine to read the paper as a family during breakfast; on Thursday, we had to put the paper to the side. You can't explain something like this to your kids. Sad and shameful.

Ingrid Amezquita Montoya, London, Ont.

Story continues below advertisement

......................................................

Surely the record-breaking sniping incident should be recorded in your Sports Section rather than the front page. It's clearly podium material, although the human targets required for such an event, should it become an Olympic event, might be difficult to recruit. I'm disgusted.

Darlene Marzari, Vancouver

......................................................

The victim was not some avatar in a video game. This was a fellow human. We rightly decry the death of one person we know who dies "innocently," then turn around and celebrate death when it's someone who is faceless and nameless. These are shamefully warped values that should not be trumpeted as a source of pride.

Paul Thiessen, MD, Vancouver

......................................................

You think killing people is a game? A sport? Beyond that, thanks for drawing worldwide attention to Canada. Let's help make sure the terrorists of the world see Canada as a target. World-record dumb and dumber.

Marc Whittemore, Kelowna, B.C.

......................................................

Instead of approaching the topic of military action, and the killing of combatants with the solemn, dignified tone appropriate to reporting on state-sanctioned murder, this makes it seem like the sniper was playing some kind of macabre arcade game. I am not nearly as concerned about how "bad" this dead person might be as I am concerned at how miserable reading this made me feel as I tried to eat my toast. There seems to be little hope for peace in this world, if this is what passes for general interest news on the front page of The Globe and Mail.

Lisa Neighbour, Toronto

......................................................

Uber's shaky model

Re The CEO Is Out, But Uber's Rough Ride Is Far From Over (Report on Business, June 22): The wheels are starting to fall off the Uber machine and the forensics will not be pretty. Just how exactly is Uber supposed to generate a return on investment?

The traditional taxi industry is a relatively benign monopoly, with licences presumably appreciating in value but few getting rich, least of all the hard-working drivers. How can Uber offer a 30-per-cent (approximate) discount to users and still make money?

Only by a sleight of hand. Uber drivers are paid a nominal amount for their time and the short-term operation of their car, but are not adequately compensated for the less obvious depreciation and maintenance of their vehicle, which account for two-thirds of the cost of ownership.

Uber drivers may feel cash-rich in the short term; they can make the rent and pay for gas, but they can't pay down their Visa as the real cost of vehicle ownership, particularly under brutal urban driving conditions, asserts itself.

It's no surprise then that on average, people drive for Uber only a little over a year. It takes about that long for the new to wear off and for them to realize they are being hollowed out financially.

The same laws of gravity that apply to the "old school" taxi industry apply to Uber. Uber may have introduced some new technologies but its business model is starting to rattle and squeak.

Glen Williams, Montreal

......................................................

Langevin and legacy

Re Trudeau Announces Space For Indigenous Centre (June 22): Canada has much history to deal with when it comes to the treatment of Indigenous people. The decision by Justin Trudeau to rename the Langevin Block building as a way to demonstrate the government's seriousness in refusing to any longer recognize those historical figures who supported residential schools is a welcome gesture.

There is a quandary, however. Langevin was not that different from virtually all the politicians of the time, including numerous prime ministers from John A. Macdonald forward when it came to supporting residential schools.

Another step that can be considered is to recognize those brave whistle-blowers like Dr. Peter Bryce, Canada's first Medical Officer of Health, who courageously tried to warn government officials of the ravages tuberculosis was taking on children at residential schools in the early 1900s. With the government unwilling to act to save the lives of Indigenous children, Dr. Bryce went public with his concerns and was summarily dismissed.

Perhaps then the Langevin building could be renamed the Dr. Peter Bryce building.

Bernie Farber, executive director, Mosaic Institute

......................................................

Re No Way To Right A Wrong (June 22): I think the obvious move now for Indigenous peoples is to tear down the old U.S. Embassy building the government has given them and have Douglas Cardinal, the architect of the Museum of Canadian History and the Museum of the American Indian in Washington, design something wonderful.

Aesthetically it would improve the view from Parliament, and symbolically it would be priceless.

Kathleen Brooks, Toronto

......................................................

Hmm …

Re The Real Sickness of Medical Notes (June 19): True story – sign seen in a human resources department, "I used up all my sick days so I called in dead."

Catherine Burr, London, Ont.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.