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Never attack the individual


Canadian Alliance leader Stephen Harper was quoted as using the word "despise" to describe how he felt for Calgary Southwest byelection candidate the Reverend Bill Phipps.

No doubt we will forever wonder what the Phipps has done, said, or thought, to provoke such malevolence from Mr. Harper.

He could do worse than to accept a lesson in civility taught by one who is no longer with us.

Eulogizing at the funeral of his father, Justin Trudeau spoke of a lesson well learned as a result of a "generic silly little grade school" joke he once made about Joe Clark.

"My father looked at me sternly with that look I would learn to know so well, and said: 'Justin, never attack the individual. We can be in total disagreement with someone without denigrating them as a consequence.'

"[It] was at that point that I understood that having opinions that are different from those of another does not preclude one being deserving of respect as an individual," Justin said.


Michael Watkins

Councillor or cleric?


Sue Halsey Brandt, you were elected as a municipal councillor, not as an arbiter of morality ("Gambling is back on the table," May 9).

Your "sanctimonious pronouncements" on the subject of gambling, display an unyielding, puritanical character that is not required at the municipal level.

If I need advice on morality, I'll consult a clergyman.

Meanwhile, perhaps you will devise some way of replacing the several millions of dollars you so cavalierly dismiss!

This council appears to be even more fiscally incompetent than previous ones.

Certainly, in the next municipal election I am sure a more suitable can be found.

T. Murphy

Gaming should be in the cards


Re: "Public gets to place their bets," May 16.

I support expanded gaming in Richmond. This will bring in more revenue for the city, improve tourism, create jobs, lower property taxes and provide more business opportunity.

If opponents don't want expanded gaming here in Richmond, what alternative do they offer? Is it feasible? Is it a short term or long term solution? Will it bring more revenue or equal what the casino could bring in?

There are more good things into this expansion than people realize. Let us not be influenced and close our mind to this opportunity.

Nida Francisco

Stop political terrorism


The recent firebombing of Mrs. Nancy Campbell's school office, the shameful ambushing of our premier by political activists during his recent airplane trip and the attempted Molotov cocktailing of Premier Gordon Campbell's Vancouver constituency office are troubling signs.

British Columbia is now experiencing a shift from legitimate, democratic political protest to cowardly acts of criminal, political terrorism. Yes terrorism. Strong word but we must call it what it is.

Thankfully no one has yet been maimed by the perpetrators. The message in these acts however, is unmistakable: "we despise your position and will physically harm you and your loved ones to force you to change."

As expected, the apologists for the government's opponents state that there is no proof of any political motivation to these incidents. Silence is support for the perpetrators-evidence enough.

British Columbians have a right to engage in political protest and it is encouraged provided it is done in a civil manner which respects the laws of our land and steers away from threat to life and limb.

I applaud Mr. Campbell and all the members of his government for their courage in the face of these acts of terrorism. I pray for their safety and the safety of their families and associates while they continue to make difficult decisions for the benefit of us and future generations of British Columbians.

I demand that the members of the official and "organized" opposition (MLAs Joy McPhail and Jenny Kwan, and assorted union leaders) immediately speak out and condemn these acts of terrorism. Stop before it is too late.

George Wilson

Hefty buyouts only breed discontent


Large severance packages continue to be a contentious issue. With so many people being laid off and facing hard times, it is not so for the executive class.

Lucrative severance packages are agreed upon at the time of hiring. Where it may be acceptable to a certain degree, if the recipient becomes redundant through no fault of their own, it is an entirely different matter if that person was fired.

The excuse is that these contracts have to be offered to get the best person for the job. So be it. If they get fired then they can't have been the best person and should not receive this package. In fact, those who hire him or her should be fired or the value of the severance package should be paid out of the following year's budget for that department.

So some kind of effective accountability can be seen, then something has to be changed to show fairness to all. This kind of activity just breeds discontent amongst those less fortunate.

Vincent Murray

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