Letters To The Editor | SNC-Lavalin affair: there is no scandal here

Plus, it's Israel that goes too far on Palestinian unrest and cops clear the air on Your Ward News hate crimes probe

SNC-Lavalin affair: it’s complicated

SNC-Lavalin’s prosecution is proceeding as it should (NOW, March 14-20). The PMO has exercised due diligence by ensuring ongoing communication with the new attorney general to ensure all factors are taken into account in this complex matter. There is no scandal here. We have real challenges we should be focusing on. 

Chris Higgins, Toronto

Corporations who break the law

Canadian governments have had a long history of cozying up to corporations. Justin Trudeau has shown that he is willing to ignore Indigenous rights to satisfy corporate greed.

Trudeau believes corporations should be given special treatment, perhaps because he mistakenly believes they are job creators. Corporations who break the law do not consider employing Canadians a priority. These corporations put profit above people by farming out jobs in countries without unions to protect workers. 

I am proud to have left the Liberal party for the NDP.

Kathryn Stockwood, Toronto

Politics that Canadians have come to hate

Something smells a little fishy with the red herring that jobs would be lost if the federal government doesn’t cave to SNC-Lavalin’s pressure to stop the prosecution for their extremely bad behaviour abroad. This whole affair is “same old, same old” – and what Canadians have come to hate about politics as usual.

Steven Aikenhead, Toronto

It’s Israelis who go too far

Michael Coren writes that some critics of Israel just go too far (NOW, March 7-13). Yet it seems to me it’s Israeli tactics used to suppress Palestinian unrest that often go too far. The recent deployment of [Israel Defense Forces] snipers along the border comes to mind. 

When several years ago Israelis were being attacked with knives, mainly in Jerusalem, the IDF responded by bulldozing the home of one young assailant. 

Benjamin Netanyahu spokesperson Mark Regev said the bulldozing was one more option in the Israeli toolkit. As long as the Israeli response to Palestinian agitation remains military force, there will never be peace in the Middle East.

Ian Scott, Toronto

The harm in harm reduction

I was surprised to read the rebuttal article by a group of activists and educators (NOW, March 7-13) to Tim McCaskell’s strong statements on the dangers of crystal meth use in the gay community (NOW, February 7-13). 

They claim that his approach of giving real information in bathhouses and on gay dating apps like GRNDR about the potential harm of Tina would stigmatize users and make it even harder for them to seek help by increasing the shame and the silence. 

The writers feel the need to assert as well that “chemsex” is something that is fun for some if managed properly, and we should seek to understand the nuances of this experience. 

But by suggesting that crystal meth is not as dangerous as it seems, and that it can be a way to make sex more enjoyable, they are contributing to the very narrative of why so many young people are tempted to try it. 

They come at the issue from a harm reduction mindset, but what is the harm in providing real information about the potential effects of using the drug – like what symptoms you experience with withdrawal and what it can do to your body? 

Elana Moscovitch, Toronto

Cops clear the air on Your Ward News probe

I would like to offer a few points of clarification on the article written by Bernie Farber on the recent court decision involving Your Ward News. (NOW, February 14-20) 

The Toronto Police Service has had a dedicated hate crimes unit since 1993. 

Its mandate is to collect and analyze data on hate crimes, assist with the prevention and investigation of hate-motivated offences, raise awareness and educate the public regarding hate-motivated crimes. 

The unit also works clo-sely with local hate crimes coordinators, one in every division, and meets regularly with law enforcement colleagues, government agencies and community partners of all faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds to discuss areas of mutual interest and concern. 

The investigation into Your Ward News, like many hate propaganda investigations, was lengthy and complex. As a service we were committed to bringing justice to all of the communities impacted, including the Jewish community. 

While we are always cognizant of how our actions are seen and felt by communities, to suggest Toronto police were not completely invested in achieving a successful outcome in the most timely way possible in this case is simply unfair.

Meaghan Gray, Corporate Communications, Toronto Police Service

Wildlife management, Doug Ford-style

Re Killing Cormorants by Zach Ruiter (NOW, March 14-20). In 2016, the Ontario Tories introduced a private members bill which was very similar to the Ford government’s current proposal to cull cormorants. This is a sop to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, which for years has been demanding this slaughter. This is not scientific wildlife management. It’s political expediency.

Ted Turner, Toronto

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