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March 14: Trudeau, or Trump? 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

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Trudeau, or Trump?

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In spite of very public promises and pronouncements of an open administration, when faced with irrefutable and controversial examples of candidate nominations to the contrary, President Donald Trump, defensively clouding the issue as usual, could only respond that the complaints came from those "who speculate and create conflicts."

Also, his Republican Party spokesman, typically ignoring all the published evidence, said we "are committed to fair and open nominations …"

Oops, sorry, that was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a Liberal Party spokesman (Trudeau Approved Blocking Of Candidate From Liberal MP Race, March 13).

Jacques Konig, Toronto

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Yes to Mali mission

Re Mali Or Bust (March 10): Your editorial asks whether sending troops to Mali serves the Canadian national interest.

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It's a good question.

The answer should be "yes," for several reasons. We're already invested – Mali has been a recipient of large amounts of Canadian development assistance for many years. Making personnel available to UN operations demonstrates Canada's commitment to international peace and security.

Canada is a middle-power trading nation with an inherent interest in a well-functioning rules-based international order. For five decades, successive Canadian governments determined that the national interest was well served by our being a leading contributor to UN peace operations.

The government led by Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to restore significant commitments of military, police and civilian personnel to the United Nations.

It's the right thing to do.

We should get on with it.

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Fergus Watt, executive director, World Federalist Movement-Canada, Ottawa; Jocelyn Coulon, former senior adviser to the minister of foreign affairs (2016-17), Montreal

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Blind, fair, impartial

Re Courts Shaken By Search For Solutions To Delays (March 11): Most Canadians are not lawyers and are therefore at a loss to understand the machinations of the legal system. This said, it does not take a lawyer to comprehend how dysfunctional our justice system has become.

Here are a few "everyman" solutions. Fill the 62 vacancies on the federally appointed courts. Hire the necessary number of prosecutors, clerks and any other court officials required to allow for the timely processing of cases.

Discern between first-time misdemeanour offenders, repeat misdemeanour offenders and individuals accused of felonies, including violent crimes and murder.

Intricate and complex systems do not necessitate equally complex solutions to resolve an impasse. Concurrently, straightforward solutions do not mean that they are "simple" and lack the proper depth of analysis.

Justice needs to be "blind" and equitable at the same time.

Steve Sanderson, Quispamsis, N.B.

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Reform, eventually

Re Clark To Pivot On Campaign-Finance Reform (March 13): B.C. Premier Christy Clark's last-minute conversion to investigating campaign finance reform, after the B.C. Liberals already pocketed more $12-million in donations last year, reminds me of Saint Augustine praying: Lord, make me chaste, only not yet.

Bruce Baugh, Kamloops, B.C.

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Bring it on, fast

Re A Foreign-Buyers Tax In Toronto? Bring It On – And Fast (Report on Business, March 11): The house beside mine in mid-Toronto sold in July, 2016, for $1.1-million. It is a bungalow which is going to be demolished. Last October, the same property was flipped for $1.5-million, clearly just for the land value.

This kind of price escalation is totally out of hand and needs to be reeled in.

We've saddled young people with a very different type of future than we once had. We had cheap education and stable jobs with benefits. We were able to buy a house in which to raise our children.

I noticed in another article, Experts Split On Foreign-Buyers Tax Idea (March 11), that Phil Soper, the Royal LePage president, opposes a foreign-buyers tax and worries about a sharp price correction in the housing market, as the tax could lead to a "hard landing."

A sharp and substantial correction is required. Price increases of 20 to 39 per cent in a single year are unsustainable. Yes, it would affect people who bought in an overheated market, but if something isn't done, an entire generation of future buyers will continue to be affected.

Sally Plumb, Toronto

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Oui, immersion

Re If Kids Need Tutors, Is French Immersion Up To The Job? (March 13): French immersion is the most effective way for kids to learn French at school. It is good for brain development and it opens doors for future opportunities across Canada and around the world. As is oft repeated, "anecdote is not the plural of data."

Standardized testing results show that French immersion students, on the whole, perform at the same level or ahead of their peers in the English program in math and English. This finding is based on large-scale research done in Ontario and was recently reconfirmed in a 2016/17 research report by the Toronto District School Board.

So, yes, French immersion is up to the job.

Mary Cruden, president, Canadian Parents for French Ontario

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Colonial thinking

The headline Populist Anger Is Real, And Canada Had Better Wake Up (March 13) captures the essence of the issue. Those justifying xenophobia are true believers in their "cause." And while some justify, there are probably many more who equivocate.

An example of this is found in a letter to the editor about Senator Lynn Beyak, who applauded the benefits of residential schools (A Senator's Words, March 13). The letter complains that, "Woe betide anyone who speaks outside the limits of perceived correctness."

While colonialism may be gone, the thinking that perpetuated it persists.

Masud Sheikh, Oakville, Ont.

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Hmm …

One must commend the boffins at Canada Revenue Agency for their 48 hours of toil to repair their computer issues in order to keep the taxes flowing into government coffers (CRA Online Tax-Filing Services Available Again After Shutdown Forced By Hacking Vulnerability, March 13).

Perhaps this skilled crew could now be set to work on the government's Phoenix payroll system.

Johnston Smith, Winnipeg

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