Letters to the Editor: 'Not done in Canada? What nonsense!'

National Post readers weigh in on the latest issues, including the U.S. Supreme Court hearings, COVID lockdowns and 'mansplaining'

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Politics and supreme spectacles

Re: A spectacle not done in Canada, Oct. 13

In your analysis of the current public hearings in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee over prospective jurist Amy Coney Barrett, former Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin sniffs that “people here aren’t appointed (to the Supreme Court) because they represent a certain point of view.” What nonsense. Of course they are. The only real difference is the American system is open to the public, while in Canada, the politicking takes place in the privacy of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Claire Hoy, Toronto

The way Supreme Court judges are chosen in the United States is probably more democratic than in this country. Our southern neighbours make the process public and involve numerous representatives on all sides. In this country a Supreme Court justice is appointed by the prime minister, after he or she is given a list of names, and only after the Governor General concurs. Whoever is chosen to these posts generally incites vigorous arguments and opinions, but the perception of the process does seem like it’s all done behind closed doors. Because it’s composed of members representing the entire country, Parliament should be consulted and the Supreme Court should not be above Parliament.


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Douglas Cornish, Ottawa


Differing views on MAID

Re: Proposed changes to MAID pure madness, Ramona Coelho, Leonie Herx, Timothy Lau and John F. Scott, Oct. 9

Thanksgiving is the time to say what we are grateful for. The article on proposed changes to MAID made me realize that I am truly thankful for all those Canadian doctors who still put people first and are compassionate without discrimination. Vulnerable Canadians deserve doctors like Coelho, Herx, Lau and Scott. Thank you!

Carolina Christiansen, Toronto

Bill C-7 gives people the choice to extend or suspend their life. There is no legal form of coercion to end one’s life or prohibition to use government resources to “increase health-care personnel (or) improve our quality of care.”

The bill does provide the option for people in pain and suffering from an irremediable medical condition to choose their time of leave taking.

That wasn’t possible for my mother who was stricken with dementia and spent six years of her “so-called life” without the ability to communicate, move her arms or legs or control her bodily functions.

Before she lost her decision-making capabilities, she begged me to end her life. With an advanced request option as part of Bill C-7, it would have been possible for her to end her own life.

I urge other readers to contact your MPs and request that an Advance Request be a provision of Bill C-7. The quality of our parents’ lives and their freedom to exercise their right of free choice depends upon it.


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R. David Stephens, North Vancouver


Sins of the few

Re: The critics’ numbers don’t add up, Randall Denley, Oct. 9

It is wrong of the Ontario government to shut down an entire industry for the sins of the few. Dr. Eileen de Villa makes the claim that 44 per cent of new COVID-19 cases come from bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. What she does not say is that those numbers are almost entirely from a mere 20 venues — in a city that has 7,600 of them.

Why punish an industry for the sins of a few? We know there are drunk drivers, but we don’t disallow drinking, and we don’t disallow driving — we punish the offenders. So, too, with this. Punish the offenders. Close them down, fine the heck out of them. But why cause so much suffering for so many others? Some (perhaps even most) of these businesses won’t be coming back.

Allen Earle, Toronto

A pedestrian wearing a mask walks past a shuttered restaurant for lease on Toronto’s Queen Street during the COVID-19 pandemic, Oct. 13, 2020. Photo by Peter J. Thompson/National Post


Show some respect

Re: That’s Doctor to you, Lisa Machado, Oct. 10

The hurtful disappointment expressed by Lisa Machado, regarding her feeling that the objection of physicians to allow their patients to address them by their first name undermines a caring patient-physician relationship, has nothing to do with providing compassionate patient care but everything to do about respect.

One shouldn’t call their parents, their friends’ parents, their teachers, or other service providers by familiar first names, simply out of respect for their role in that individual’s life. Using a first name signals a familiarity that blurs the power of the communication, the purpose of the roles and the discipline of respect. Formal education comes from teachers who formulate our future; whereas experiential learning comes from friends (maybe more valuable but serving quite a different purpose than academic education). Health care comes from doctors and nurses, who are dedicated through knowledge, skill and compassion to maximize patients’ quality of life. Parents should provide loving guidance throughout our lives by being parents, not friends. These role models are not “buddies” to be greeted on a first-name basis. They are our guides through life and should be honoured accordingly. Proper salutations reinforce roles and they should be respected. The discipline of respect must be preserved.


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Lawrence B. Cohen MD, Toronto


Black right on West

Re: The assault on Western Canada, Conrad Black, Oct. 10

Conrad Black hits the nail on the head. The same messianic crew that very nearly brought Ontario to its knees economically is now on the verge of doing the same for Canada. I can think of no other country in the world that would turn its back on its largest revenue-streaming industry, and certainly not in the misplaced vainglorious belief that it will lead the world to a green future. We can’t get a Tory government in Ottawa soon enough.

Nancy McDonald, Stratford, Ont.


Murphy’s ‘mansplaining’

Re: ‘Mansplaining’ a few things about language, Rex Murphy, Oct. 10

After reading Rex Murphy’s column about mansplaining, I was ready to cancel our subscription, but my husband said I’m not allowed.

Walk a mile in our shoes, Rex, and then see if you feel the same way. I can lend you a pair of heels.

Lydia Vale, Toronto


The National Post welcomes letters to the editor (150 words or fewer). Letters should be emailed to letters@www.sarahtuke.com. Please include your name, place of residence (town or city and province) and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length or clarity.?

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