Readers make their views known on campus encampments, Canada’s new ‘agenda of shame,’ the not-so-‘fair’ capital gains tax hike, and more

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Action needed on campus encampments

Re: NP View: Universities must take a stand against hate-filled radicals taking over campuses — Editorial, May 4; and Universities bowing to anti-Israel mobs by barring opposing voices: activists — Bryan Passifiume, May 21

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Within a university’s policy statement is a code of student conduct that outlines the behaviour expectations of students, including those behaviours that are deemed unacceptable.

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For example, the policy statement of the University of Toronto states in part “(e) No person shall engage in a course of vexatious conduct that is directed at one or more specific individuals, and that is based on race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, or disability …”

Additionally, “(b) No person shall assault another person, threaten any other person with bodily harm, or knowingly cause any other person to fear bodily harm.”

Students who incite hatred towards Jews and Jewish students, cause Jewish students to be fearful and/ or disrupt classroom studies and university ceremonies must be held accountable for violating the code of conduct to which they are supposed to adhere.

It is time for university administrators to enforce the rules of their institutions. If university administrators cannot or will not do this, they should be replaced.

Phyllis Levin, Toronto

In light of the current practices of those in charge of Canadian universities, I would urge all homeless citizens who have been evicted by police from their encampments in various city parks to relocate to a safe haven — university campuses. Clearly this space is now open for any group to squat.

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While I support freedom of expression, in no case ought it to be limitless; guardrails are required when it comes to promulgating hate. Allowing hate speech is wrong. Applying the law inconsistently against different groups is equally wrong.

I also urge any and all lawmakers to start their summer vacations now; why bother making new laws when existing laws are being totally ignored?

S.R. Isenberg, Vaughan, Ont.

Canada’s ‘new narrative of shame’

Re: Parks Canada’s agenda to erode any pride for John A. Macdonald — Jamie Sarkonak, May 21; and FIRST READING: Parks Canada officially ‘decolonizes’ Sir John A. Macdonald’s house — Tristin Hopper, May 22

Jamie Sarkonak and Tristin Hopper showed us the national guilt-trip and negative narrative our federal government has inflicted on us, as our history is rewritten in true Orwellian fashion. Officials in the Ministry of Truth should be pleased with the revised history now on display at the newly reopened Bellevue House in Kingston. “Presentism” has replaced history in a new narrative of shame.

John A. Macdonald’s life, reputation and accomplishments are downplayed and denigrated at the only historic site in Canada exclusively dedicated to our first prime minister. Bellevue House now appears steeped in the divisive ideology of identity politics. As it rewrites historic plaques across the country, Parks Canada will continue to demonize our history and the earlier generations who worked hard to build a successful democratic country across the northern half of North America.

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Brian Porter, Brockville, Ont.

Grow the economy, not government spending

Re: Posthaste: Canada at ‘critical turning point’ as poverty worsens, warns report — Pamela Heaven, May 22

Food Bank Canada has issued a warning that Canada is reaching a critical point where the increasing cost of food and housing is pushing more Canadians below the poverty level. Like many other social agencies sounding this alarm, the suggested response is for more government spending on social benefits and housing programs.

What is rarely suggested is growing the Canadian economy to create greater wealth for individual workers and government through subsequent taxation. Our economic strengths as a country are in energy and mineral resources yet government policies discourage rather than encourage development in these areas. Why does it seem so difficult for governments and social agencies to understand that wealth must be created before it can be redistributed?

Mike Edwards, Garibaldi Highlands, B.C.

National Post columnists ‘heard, appreciated and loved’

Jews everywhere in North America are feeling the Jew-hatred all around them, many of them for the first time in their lives. It is sometimes hard to know who is a friend and who is an enemy.

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One thing that gives Jews an emotional and spiritual boost is an article or column, or a radio commentary, by a non-Jew sticking up for them. These communicators — operating in a cacophony of blaring sights and sounds that is the internet age — are the 21st century’s Righteous Gentiles. They include the unseen editors and news producers who support these communicators to frightened Jews.

We have much appreciation especially for the columnists of the National Post, including Conrad Black, John Robson, Randall Denley, Rick Hillier, Michael Higgins, Rahim Mohamed, Fr. Raymond J. de Souza and so many others. The death of Rex Murphy was a figurative stab in the heart for Jews who came to love and cherish his uplifting pieces. In fact, it was his death that delayed the writing of this well-earned thank you.

There is not much left to say, except please know that self-loving Jews appreciate you and your words from the bottom of our hearts.

We understand the Jewish issue — however you define it — is a minuscule part of a non-Jew’s perception. Supporting us cannot be a full-time job, not even a part-time job. Only Israel can afford the resources it takes to protect us full time, and that tiny but brilliant democracy is doing a darn fine job, thank G-d, despite increasing condemnation from around the world, including shockingly from some countries you’d never expect it from.

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Just know you are heard, appreciated and loved for your support.

Lynne Cohen, Ottawa

Article ‘speaks volumes of the courage of all members of the military’

Re: Newfoundland’s last fallen WWI hero set to make the journey home — Rick Hillier, May 17

I sit with tears in my eyes after reading Gen. Rick Hillier’s telling of the fate of so many Newfoundlanders in WWI. The elegance of his appreciation of the contribution of Newfoundlanders to the defence of king and country speaks volumes of the courage of all members of the military and their traditions of loyalty that continue to this day.

At a time when the government of Canada continues to demonstrate its ignorance of the importance of the military to our nation’s very existence, the outstanding scholarship of the Canadian military past and present cannot be overstated. We can only hope that the intellectual contribution of Gen. Hillier and his companions in combat will resonate with future aspirants to our increasingly feckless Parliament.

Raymond Foote, Ottawa

Hamas’s Western ‘fangirls’ incredibly naive

Re: Radical Islam’s western fangirls — Barbara Kay, May 19

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Yes, one has the right to protest the suffering of humanity and the horrors of war but there is no right to vilify the entire culture and religion of Judaism. Especially when the majority of Jews are thousands of miles away from a conflict over which they have absolutely no control.

If one is empathizing with civilian suffering, why does one require a mask? The “fangirls” Barbara Kay refers to want to preach hatred and violence against Jews but they also want to make sure no one can identify them when that post-grad interview presents. Lacking in understanding of the complex issues in the Middle East, they have been incredibly naive. Dressed in their appropriated apparel, they carry the water for a malicious terrorist organization that broke a ceasefire to start a war. Hamas must be thrilled that the hate it preaches has spread around the world thanks to its new recruits.

Our leaders have joined the fray as fence-sitting contributors to the hate and violence brought upon citizens they were elected to protect. Olivia Chow, mayor of thousands of Jews in Toronto, refused to attend a Jewish event because it might appear “divisive.” Maybe she should look out her office window at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, one of many contributions by our stalwart Jewish brethren. And Justin Trudeau has brought a new low to the word appeasement. Instead of encouraging Canadians to protect fellow citizens against hate and violence while allowing peaceful expression of opinion, he and his government have cowered in a two-step.

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I hope these “fangirl” students someday read some history, appreciate their responsibility to use their voices to spread peace and understanding, and show their faces with pride in working for a better world.

M.P. Arnaud, Bath, Ont.

Capital gains tax hike does not constitute ‘fairness’

Re: Capital gains tax changes to proceed — Nojoud Al Mallees, May 22 (print)

Can Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland please explain how taking away more hard-earned money from hard-working Canadians who aspire to retire on their ”nest egg” is “tax fairness”?

Rather than increasing the inclusion rate on capital gains I suggest that our government rethink its lavish spending habits and give more consideration to the futures of our diligent Canadians.

Roslyn Pfefer, Laval, Que.

Recommended from Editorial

Wars’ tragic death tolls

Re: A principled Canada would protect its Jews — Joe Oliver, May 15; and The Israelis who wish for peaceful co-existence — Adam Zivo, May 21

Joe Oliver compares the low ratio of civilians to fighters killed by Israel in Gaza to the substantially higher ratio in the 2016 Battle of Mosul in Iraq. Still, Israel has been condemned for the number of civilians killed.

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After the Second World War, the world supposedly entered a new era of “humane” and just wars. Yet civilized countries such as France, the Netherlands and Britain still fought colonial wars in Algeria, Indochina and Kenya, respectively. In the case of America’s war in Vietnam, it had no business at all being in a distant country that didn’t threaten it. They were all brutal wars; the civilian casualties were horrific. In the more recent wars involving the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq, the death toll of civilians was also high.

None of these democracies had border enemies — such as Hamas and Hezbollah at Israel’s borders — whose goal was to destroy their neighbours. There is no doubt whatsoever that if these democracies had undergone an October 7 catastrophe, their reaction would have been the same as Israel, probably worse.

It is pure hypocrisy that the world is outraged at Israel’s war in Gaza and the civilian casualties there when they are a small fraction of the recent savage war of Ethiopia in its Tigray region (2020-2022). The death toll of fighters and civilians was estimated to be as high as a staggering 600,000. And rapes were widespread. But the world was silent.

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Jacob Mendlovic, Toronto

An honest, objective article from a journalist — Adam Zivo — who actually visited Israel.

While both Israelis and Palestinians are suffering, the Israelis are always seen as the victimizers and the Palestinians as the victims. Oppressor and oppressed. Israelis have even been deemed to be white so they can easily be included in the intersectional hierarchy of the day. Being a Jew and white gets you close to the top of the pyramid.

Far too many people have fallen into the trap of believing Israel committed genocide, when the truth is that the deaths of Palestinian people have been collateral damage, unavoidable in any war, but more so in this kind of compressed urban warfare.

Israelis love life, not death. If the Israelis wanted genocide, why would they treat Palestinians in Israeli hospitals to save their lives? I suppose the cynical will say it is part of the “Zionist” propaganda.

Jerome Henen, Vancouver

‘Stop this stupidity’

Re: Deer cull on Sidney Island

Parks Canada should not be wasting taxpayers’ money by hiring snipers from the U.S. and New Zealand to cull deer on B.C.’s Sidney Island. Spending more than $800,000 to cull 80 deer — $10,000 a deer — in the first phase of the cull was absolutely ridiculous. And now they plan to spend much more — to a total of nearly $12 million.

Legitimate hunters would have paid for the opportunity to harvest the deer. Parks Canada could have generated money instead of wasting taxpayers’ money.

This is wrong on so many levels. Stop this stupidity immediately.

Duane Keller, Drayton Valley, Alta.

National Post and Financial Post welcome letters to the editor (200 words or fewer). Please include your name, address and daytime phone number. Email Letters may be edited for length or clarity.

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