$225 million to terminate the contract with Ontario's Beer Store and other letters dated June 2: “I'm a responsible drinker (I think) and I can wait a year so we can save the money”


Open this photo in the gallery:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points to a display of alcohol in Toronto on May 24 as it is announced that the province will accelerate the expansion of alcohol sales.Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press

Neutral party

Subject: “These are strange times to be Speaker of Parliament – ​​especially in Saskatchewan” (May 28): Wouldn’t it be better if the Speaker were an unelected official – a judge or a civil servant, perhaps – whose sole job was to mediate in an increasingly divided Parliament, without the burden of party politics getting in the way?

Otherwise, it's like asking a hockey player to referee his own team's game and expecting him to be impartial.

Lukas Mastin Toronto


Subject: “The latest unintended consequence of liberal immigration policies” (Report on Business, May 28): I call on the government to adopt a new program to recognize undocumented immigrants as vital contributors to Canada, our society and our economy. Give them the opportunity to apply for permanent residency.

Many thousands of “hidden” Canadians have lived and worked in our communities for many years and make a significant contribution to the well-being of our citizens and the economy. They have demonstrated their commitment to Canada and should now have earned a commitment from Canada to provide them with security of residence.

I am convinced that this is the right action at the right time for Canada's future prosperity.

Carol Vignale Delta, BC

Costs for this

Subject: “Bare Trusts and the UHT: How tax rules for fraudsters and global elites snared thousands of Canadians” (Report on Business, May 25): The bare trust scheme was indeed a major waste of money that “cost millions of dollars and countless hours of work for taxpayers, accountants and the government itself.” My accountant estimated that the extra work she did on this item of my tax return cost me about $400.

We claim compensation from the Canada Revenue Agency as a deduction on the next tax return.

Patrick Duffy North Vancouver

School of thought

Subject: “In the face of pro-Palestinian protests, universities must recognize that they are businesses – and act like them” (Report on Business, May 25): The role of businesses is profit. The role of the university is to produce and disseminate knowledge, regardless of profit or loss. That is the meaning of academic freedom.

Attempts by companies, donors, politicians or journalists to undermine the university’s academic mission must be resisted at all costs.

Donald Wasylenki Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto

Universities are communities where imagination, intellectual curiosity, passion for research and learning, and the promotion of critical thinking and debate inspire students to act as engaged citizens and advocate for change.

There has been much discussion about the corporatization of universities, but I find it hard to believe that a profit and loss model can define the complex nature of institutions that have the potential to make the world a better place in ways that go far beyond the production of goods and services.

Lisa Vargo Saskatoon

Other vices

Subject: “About Time” (Letters, May 23). One letter writer is concerned about the lack of information or signage about the potential risks of cannabis use in retail stores, citing a survey that found that “about 15 percent of cannabis store customers recall seeing some kind of warning.”

The other 85 percent of “customers” have probably never purchased a product, or they would probably remember a large and prominent cannabis health warning on the packaging. Either that, or they have succumbed to the message that says, “THC can cause anxiety and impair memory and concentration.”

Go to any liquor store and you will find a product that is known to be far more toxic and dangerous than cannabis, with no warning of its dangers in the store, on the products, or in advertisements on television, radio, or in print media.

Brooks Rapley Toronto


Subject: “Ontario's $225 million spending to end its beer store contract is scandalous, not cause for celebration” (May 28): As a forensic toxicologist who worked on the breathalyzer program at Toronto's largest forensic laboratory for over 29 years, I am shocked by Doug Ford's announcement to increase the number of stores selling alcohol by 8,500.

Beer is the number one alcoholic beverage consumed by drunk drivers, and his move would undo years of progress in this area and make the roads less safe for Ontarians.

James Wigmore Toronto

We lost our only son, Raymond, to a drunk driver in 1982. We and our daughters lost our son and our brother at that time. We are now in our early 90s and have never fully recovered.

The perpetrator spent about six months in prison and we, like many other families, spent the rest of our lives mourning his loss. None of us ever fully got over his absence.

Little has changed in this time. Thousands of others have had to go through grief. Perpetrators are released after short prison sentences. In our time, the perpetrators themselves do not even show remorse.

Now it will soon be even more tempting and easier to drive while drunk.

Doug Ford will never get our votes.

Peter McConnell Toronto, Ontario.

Doug Ford wants to terminate a contract early and pay $225 million to brewery owners outside Canada just to get beer to more locations. We can wait.

Does the Prime Minister also not understand that alcohol has been deemed a health hazard? I am a responsible drinker (I think) and I can wait a year so we can save the money.

Spend it on setting up recycling centers and paying these companies instead.

Betty Walton Toronto

A neglected consequence of this waste of money is the impact on the easy access of the most vulnerable to good food.

In the battle for limited shelf space, canned beer will likely outsell cans of beans, corn, or Chef Boyardee. Cheese, cold cuts, and bacon will likely be displaced by wine coolers.

For the elderly and isolated, who often rely on corner shops to meet their daily food needs (or fill gaps when they become scarce), availability is as important as affordability. This misguided move would put them even more at risk as they struggle to feed themselves on a daily basis.

This is another example of the Ford government putting profits above good public policy.

Robert Fox Ottawa

In numbers

Subject: “Buying groceries at Shoppers Drug Mart? You'll pay a dollar more for the chickpeas” (Report on Business, May 27): And before you leave the store, check to see if the items in question are on sale.

Do not expect an apology for errors discovered.

Judith Emslie Toronto

Meet the letter writers

Every Sunday in late spring and summer, The Globe will feature personal insights and letters from some of our most frequent contributors. Letters to the editor. The survey responses were collected as part of the research behind A national newspaper: The Globe and Mail in Canadian lifea collection of historical essays by past and present Globe writers, will be published this fall by Signal/McClelland & Stewart.

(The following responses were received by The Globe after a call for submissions in May 2023.)

I have written the history of every Canadian province, of federalism, and of settler-First Nations relations, and have published dozens of articles.

Since the 1950s, I have also written letters to newspapers, magazines, journalists, academics and others, dozens of which have gone to The Globe.

I read drafts many times before sending them. Letter writing requires passion, so it's often wise to tone down a first draft.

In 1961, my political science professor said that in a democracy, people get what they deserve and that they should therefore play an active role in politics and in solving problems. If they don't get involved, they have no right to complain.

Letters to the editor or letters to politicians are an excellent means of doing this.

Ed Whitcomb Ottawa

My motivation for writing was always the specific issue and not so much publication.

I am suspicious of letters that mention references or age as an obvious appeal to authority, or generally feel a need for “publication” when it seems to outweigh genuine interest in a topic. In this respect, the 150-word limit is usually a good thing.

That sometimes favors pithy aphorisms over sensible analysis, although the Globe can rightly reward wisdom and quotability. Occasionally my letters were published but edited in a way that seemed to distort the message I was trying to express. But so be it—Globe decision.

The purpose of a free press, including letters to the editor, is fundamentally for journalism to support and defend democracy itself. I value the Globe's immense contribution to these traditions in Canada.

Ellen Anderson Summerside, Prince Edward Island

My name is Thomas Dickey, but I sign my letters TM Dickey in honor of my father, a small-town newspaper reporter who signed his weekly column with his initials MED.

I believe the letters section is an essential part of any newspaper. That would have motivated me to write my first letter. Now I write them because I'm an old fart with too much time on my hands.

Because letters to the editor in the Globe can often be heavy, I usually try to lighten them with a little humor. (I've noticed that they often end up at the end of the column, like the “kicker” of a newscast.)

TM Dickey Toronto

Letters to the editor should be addressed exclusively to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Limit letters to 150 words or less. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by email, click here: [email protected]