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Ontario’s morning after
After last night’s election results, here’s my playlist for the morning after in Ontario. Depending on your political persuasion, you may want to listen to Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd), The End of the World as We Know It (R.E.M.), Everybody Hurts (R.E.M.); The First Cut is the Deepest (Cat Stevens); Taxman (Beatles); You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones ) – although that one is a maybe as it was misappropriated by the Trump campaign. And just to end with a bit of optimism, Slender Thread of Hope (Steppenwolf) and Don’t Worry Be Happy (Bobby McFerrin). Regardless of who got elected, life goes on.
Steve Pomeroy, Ottawa
Did Elections Ontario really want us to vote? I live in rural Ontario where there is no public transportation. In the past, our polling station was either 4 km or 8 km from our place, both locations in small towns where we would also do our shopping. This time, as I found out just before voting day, our polling station was 20 kilometres away, in a town which we never visit. Which mindless bureaucrat made that decision?
It was also by chance that I found out. I’ve been on the electiors list for 30-plus years here. As I didn’t receive a voters card and had a few idle moments, I checked my status and discovered I wasn’t on the voters list, so I registered. I received a “revised” card the day before the election with the polling station information. I thought there was a mistake, so I contacted Elections Ontario. No mistake. Voting meant driving 20 km!
Werner Reitboeck, Chesterville, Ont.
Usually after doing what I consider a civic duty (donating blood, voting, even doing my taxes) I feel a sort of civic pride. After voting in Ontario’s provincial election, I felt like I needed a shower.
Kevin Byrne, Brights Grove, Ont.
With all the scandalous behavior by politicians in both Canada and the United States, it’s not surprising that most of us believe all politicians are devious. It’s not true of course. Ninety-eight per cent of politicians give the honest 2 per cent a bad name. Pity.
William Bedford, Newmarket, Ont.
Tariffs? Avoid the U.S.
Re Trump Will ‘Talk Tough’ On Trade At G7, Adviser Says (June 7): It hurt, but I’ve cancelled our reservations for next winter’s Arizona holiday. Yes, we booked that far ahead because we love it there. But we love our country more. It’s our personal version of a countervailing measure. If enough of us stay away, maybe Americans will get the me$$age.
Rachel Gold, Montreal
Price of milk
Re Cheesy Politics (editorial, June 7): The Dairy Farmers of Canada do not fix prices of milk. Milk sales are based on a cost of production formula. America’s dairy farmers will never solve their milk marketing problems by selling their surplus dairy products to Canadian processors.
Canadian politicians must recognize that giving in on supply management is simply “bowing to the bully.” Any changes in the supply management of our food industry should come from the producers in negotiation with government, and be based on a full awareness of the research quality and environmental controls that Canadian producers finance and adhere to.
Edward (Ted) Burnside, professor emeritus, University of Guelph
The attack by Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer on the Prime Minister for his comments on the dairy industry add new meaning to the term “s(c)heer gall.”
Alan Smith, Ottawa
Nepal, testing, testing
Re The Nepal Test: Can Communism Become Democratic? (Opinion, June 2): It was the Communist Party (Maoist) that fought a 10-year civil war to establish democracy in Nepal, which is a highly pluralistic state with more than 70 registered political parties. Proportional representation may have contributed to greater representation of differing views and interests, but it also added to political instability and hence the 10 governments over 10 years. No party had a clear majority so coalitions formed and reformed. The merger of the two main Communist parties that now form the newly elected majority government promises five years of stability until the next election.
The Communist Party of Nepal is Communist in name only. In U.S. politics, it would probably be to the right of Bernie Sanders. Investment relies heavily on the private sector, with little involvement or direction from government. Health and education are largely private. The largest investment ever undertaken in Nepal, a 900 MW hydro project, is being built by state enterprise, but it is an Indian government state corporation. Nepal is adept at playing off India versus China in protecting its interests.
The greatest threat to democracy in Nepal is not from the so-called Communism; instability will recur if there is a failure to achieve meaningful economic development and poverty alleviation, and a failure to tackle endemic corruption. The new Communist government is promising to tackle both. Whether action follows rhetoric remains to be seen.
George Davies, senior economic adviser to the Investment Board of Nepal (2012-2016); Toronto
They beat the bank
Re Protecting Yourself When Your Bank’s Online Security Fails (Report on Business, May 31): On Wednesday, I received a registered letter advising me that I was a victim of the recent hacking of two of our major banks. A low-level bank functionary calmly assured me that the bank was doing everything it could to safeguard my information and protect my privacy. The proffered redress capped the financial liability of the bank, but covered the consequences I might face in a restrictively defined and time-limited manner. I was also offered some arrogant, tone-deaf advice on strengthening my security password.
The hackers didn’t beat my password, they beat the bank! It is their security that needs improvement.
Here is some real security advice for fellow financial non-professionals: Keep in mind individuals are powerless against corporate might. Corporations’ own best interests are their priority. Take the same approach. If you’re considering a financial relationship with a bank that has been data hacked, choose another bank.
Gary Vickers, Nepean, Ont.
Wanted: not Cherry
Re Don Cherry Expected To Return To Sportsnet Next Season (June 5): Don Cherry “continues to be relevant, he continues to be must watch television,” says Sportsnet president Scott Moore.
Unfortunately, I don’t share Mr. Moore’s enthusiasm for Mr. Cherry, who hasn’t been “must watch” TV in our house for years. Some of us are tired of biased (old) white men continuing to pontificate about a “rock ’em, sock ’em” style of hockey. A new voice and new style would be most welcome.
Jan Ethier, Port Hope, Ont.