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Ontario Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne, left and Scarborough-Guildwood candidate Mitzie Hunter, right, leave Queen's Park after speaking to the media in Toronto on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

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Voting in a skeptical age

Re Wynne Cashed In Her Chips Too Early And Too Late (June 4): The column about our parliamentary system and Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne’s bizarre appeal to Ontarians – We are losers. Vote for us! – is fine until the end, when it suggests that Ms. Wynne, armed with a balance of power of a scant few seats, could have emerged as the leader of a coalition government.

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How much of Doug Ford’s $1-beer would the voters of Ontario need to consume to accept such an outcome?

J.C. Henry, Mississauga

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Kathleen Wynne’s advisers have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe, except what they poll.

Yes, there is an election. It exists as certainly as hydro bills and light rail and climate change, issues which imbue Ontario politics with its greatest intrigue and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no elections, as dreary as if there were no democracy at all. There would be no faith in the will of the people, no claims of legitimacy of power, no means to make better all that ails this province.

With echoes of the 1897 New York Sun, my message to Ms. Wynne: Give the people back their choice and have some faith in your Liberals and that they may not in fact fall.

Josef Szende, Ontario expat, New York

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To concede before people vote is an insult to the process.

To base the decision on opinion polls is incredible but also telling. I long for an election where the media – radio, TV, online, print – ignore polling (and don’t pay for any to be done!) and report on the issues facing the electorate, the citizens of the city, province, country.

Cady Williams, Toronto

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The whole problem with democracy today is that we are no longer voting for a candidate, but against a candidate, be it against Stephen Harper, against Hillary Clinton, against Doug Ford, against Kathleen Wynne etc. This is not how democracy was designed to work. The results speak for themselves.

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Carol Gottlob, Burlington, Ont.

Final journey

Re Act Of Love (Opinion, June 2): I have read Lawrence Hill’s article twice now and will probably indulge myself again. It is a beautifully written “poem” by a son about his vivacious, courageous and loving mom. His every sentence described the young and the old version of his mother so vividly that I could see her and feel her. What a gorgeous tribute he paid her.

I agree with Mr. Hill about the right and opportunity to die with dignity in Canada, and am very thankful for his presentation.

Shahrzad Manouchehrian, Thornhill, Ont.

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I read Lawrence Hill’s poignant reflection on his mother’s “final journey” with great interest. It is clear that he, and the rest of his family, did indeed love her “unreservedly and unequivocally.”

But my experience of 17 years of working alongside the frail elderly in a long-term care facility showed me that, sadly, the Hill family is far too often the exception, not the rule. I encountered situations of financial abuse and cleverly applied emotional and psychological pressure again and again. And that was when the death option wasn’t a real possibility. It is now. And my serious concern is that the question many family members will now be asking their sick relative is not, “Are you sure you want to die?” but rather, “Are you really sure you want to keep living?”

Manya Egerton, Vancouver

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Provinces differ on assisted death. Here in B.C. I know of several cases in which two doctors assessed an elder patient’s request for assistance in dying. This assessment stage is a legal requirement. Medical diagnosis relevant to the request for assisted death was “advanced age” and a reduced quality of life. My legal role was as one of two volunteer witnesses to initial and sign the patient request for assistance in dying (MAID). In each case, the patient thanked us. One gentle, 92-year-old man kissed my hand after the signing.

I am humbled and proud to be part of Dying With Dignity. It is well to remind those opposed that it is one’s choice for assisted death. I am sorry the courageous Donna Mae Hill had to endure the travel and expense of a Swiss death. Indeed, Canada failed her.

Carol Taylor, Kelowna, B.C.

Plastic-choked world

Re Our Addiction To Plastic Needs A Cure (Opinion, June 2): It’s all very well saying “reduce, recycle, reuse,” but this is only a pitiful and futile attempt to deal with the plasticization of our world.

We have to ban the one-time use of plastic containers and wrappings. This means plastic for food containers in supermarkets and take-out meals, plastic for packaging products of all kinds, the huge amount of plastic used, for example, for lumber products and for winter storage of boats, to say nothing of the inefficient idiocy and extravagance of bottles for drinking water.

One person, one family, one city, one country cannot do enough to affect the volume of throw-away plastic. Only governments can make an impact.

Sad to say, even if a ban were imposed tomorrow we’d still have the massive task of dealing with the plastic already contaminating our lands and our oceans.

Phileen Tattersall, Toronto

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The recent story of a pilot whale dying with a stomach full of more than 80 plastic bags is a sad reflection on today’s throw-away society. The whale basically died of starvation as it couldn’t consume any food with a plastic-clogged stomach – a situation that would be met with screams of condemnation if it had happened in any aquarium, but has become little more than a newspaper space-filler in this case.

Plastic is a wonder of science but its time as a common grocery bag must be stopped. All people must stop using them and legislators need to ban them – now.

Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Australia

Sing a song of tariffs

Re G7 Pushes For ‘Decisive Action’ On Tariffs At Summit (June 4): I was at a hotel in Berkeley, Calif., when Donald Trump announced the steel tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Having seen the headlines on the Canadian news, I expected something in the American press.

Listening to ABC News in the hotel breakfast room, I heard about Roseanne Barr and a dog that died on an airplane. Not a word about trade. The story was covered In USA Today, the newspaper distributed in many hotels, but inside the business section. The coverage was good, with many politicians echoing the points our government has made, but how many people actually read it?

This made me wonder how many Americans even know they are engaged in a trade war with their closest allies. It reminded me of the old fundraising song Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which was used to raise awareness of famine in Africa. Perhaps it’s time to put the musicians to work again crafting a song that will raise American consciousness.

Marcia Zalev, Toronto


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