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Nov. 5: The fringe on top. Plus other letters to the editor

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The fringe on top

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Sarah Kendzior describes what is happening in the U.S. election with enviable lucidity (Trump Is Pulling The Fringes Into the Centre (Nov. 4): Everything Hillary Clinton does is made to look sleazy. The recklessly extreme utterances of Donald Trump and his fans wear us down to the point where they become routine.

Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry, Donald is rumbling into town in the surrey with the fringe on top. (Apologies to Oscar Hammerstein.)

Hugh McKechnie, Newmarket, Ont.


If only the election were a simple choice between good and evil. But it's not. Mr. Trump would deprive Muslim refugees of asylum in the United States yet, in orchestrating the bombing of Libya and the Honduran coup, Ms. Clinton deprived thousands of civilians of something far greater; their lives. Mr. Trump, the maverick, is feared by a powerful elite for his threat to tear up global trade deals while she has become a poster child for status quo; big banks, investment houses, corporations and the very rich.

Americans must now choose between a climate-change denier with a somewhat tenuous connection to reality, and a woman wholly estranged from truth and social justice. When they vote, they will be choosing the lesser of two evils. Canadians can only hope they get it right.

Mike Ward, Duncan, B.C.

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Who's selling, who's paying?

Re Infrastructure Plan May Include Tolls, Fees, Nov. 3): Public-private investment initiatives seem much like communism: Both appear logical in theory. In practice, however, human nature turns them into quagmires of unforeseen consequences. History has consigned communism to the rubbish heap, but public-private deals still allow private investors to walk away with pockets full of money, while the taxpayer is left to deal with mountains of debt and ongoing expenses.

The experiences of Ontario under the Liberal government should be a salutary lesson in what can go wrong, and invariably does.

Colin Lowe, Nanaimo, B.C.


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It sounds like this fantastic new Liberal plan to sell Canadians "on the economic benefits of private sector investment" is really just a quick sell-off of integral infrastructure (roads, airports, bridges) for a hoped-for, short-term economic lift, leaving Canadians to pay rising fees and tolls in perpetuity and long after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are history.

So much for ensuring Canada's future! If these are such good investments for the companies wanting to buy our infrastructure potential, why are the Liberals selling them?

W.E. Hildreth, Toronto


A prank well worth playing

Re Why We Pranked Toronto With Fake Condo Signs (Globe T.O., Oct. 29): Kudos to Daniel Rotsztain and his associates for highlighting a critical issue in Toronto. The pace and nature of the changes threatening the city is stunning – "progress" at what cost, and to whom?

The massively tall condo towers being planned create conditions that will cripple an already seriously hobbled city – transit, education and infrastructure groan under the weight of it all. Are developers so adept at gaining advantage, while we rage quietly to friends and family? Good for the artists who actually did something.

Adele Malo, Toronto


A 'very bad day' in many hospitals

Re State of Emergency (Globe T.O., Oct. 29) This otherwise excellent article describing increased demand on urban emergency departments may leave the mistaken impression that the problem is due to condominium development, or is limited to marquee Toronto hospitals.

The growth rates reported for emergency visits (annualized at 3.6-per-cent per annum across the eight Toronto hospitals) is modest, notwithstanding large increases in the migration of workers and residents. At Kingston General Hospital, ER visits increased by 4.8 per cent a year between 2009 and 2015, despite very modest population growth and few new condos.

Across Canada, emergency departments face relentless demands for many reasons, such as limited options for urgent care; an emphasis on out-of-hospital care without adequate supports in place; and an increasingly frail population. The "very bad day" described in the article has become the demoralizing new normal across Ontario, and relates directly to a health-care system in desperate need of appropriate resources.

David W. Messenger, head, department of emergency medicine, Queen's University, Kingston


A list in search of a name

Re Ending Cash-For-Access, Forever (editorial, Focus, Oct. 29): Rather than limiting the amount of individual political donations to $100, as Quebec has done, I would like to see legislation that compels each party to annually publish a list of donors who contribute more than $100, along with the amount each donor gave. You know, something like the sunshine list.

But we would have to give it an appropriate name, a name that is both accurate and deterring. Perhaps the "pork list," or the "greasy sleaze" list.

Jamie MacMaster, North Glengarry, Ont.

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