Today’s letters: “Strong mayor” would undermine democracy

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Premier Doug Ford’s proposal to impose an un-asked-for “strong mayor” model on the City of Ottawa and Toronto, which would require two-thirds of council to overturn a mayoral decision, undermines the principle of democracy of majority rule, and emasculates the ability of locally-elected councilors to represent their constituents. It is a bad idea.

Many have complained in this current City Council of the “Watson club” dominating council votes. At least Mayor Watson had a majority willing to do his bidding. Under Ford’s model, Watson would only need the support of eight members of council (out of 25) to impose his agenda on him. How is this better? It is not. It is worse.

We just had a provincial election only a month ago, where this was not once raised as an issue. Given the municipal elections occurring this October, it would be better to let the taxpaying public decide if this is how they wish to see their city governed.

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I checked out this story’s claims with friends who have extensive contacts within the Ukrainian military. They found it all rather fatuous, saying that anyone who alleges they are selling their weapons while fighting off the Russians is either ignorant of military realities or sowing disinformation.

Unfortunately, they can’t spend a lot of time weeding this sort of nonsense out just now, being quite busy liberating Ukrainian lands from their foes, whom they delight in calling “orcs.”

Lubomyr Luciuk, Kingston

Re: Canada sent repaired Nord Stream turbine to Germany on Sunday, July 18.

It used to be official Canadian policy to refrain from paying off hostage-takers. Why then have we reversed that honorable policy with respect to the turbines for Gazprom? Once appeasement starts, where does it stop?

Germany’s claim that it needs us to deliver the turbines is spurious. In the first place, they’re the authors of their own need, having shuttered electricity generation to rely on Russian energy imports. In the second place, they have the recourse of rationing.

My Ukrainian friends and I find Canada’s decision morally repugnant. We need to reverse it.

Colin Alexander, Ottawa

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