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May 2: Harjit Sajjan’s blunder. Plus other letters to the editor

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has apologized for exaggerating is importance in a battle in Afghanistan. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Sajjan’s blunder

Re Sajjan Faces New Criticism Over ‘Architect’ Blunder (May 1): Tim Johnson, former manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, slithered away to the depths of the minor leagues in shame after his “misrepresentation” of his horrific Vietnam experiences. He hadn’t any.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan took credit for key military planning. He didn’t do it.

Demotion to the minors in shame? I doubt it.

Resignation? Unlikely.

Politics as usual. Regrettably, it is what we have come to expect.

Peter McDonald, Oro Medonte, Ont.

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Get over it! We have a Minister of Defence who actually served in the military and knows the complexities of involvement in modern-day warfare.

He has apologized. That should be the end of it.

There are more serious things to be concerned about – including contending with Donald Trump.

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The next 100 (plus)

Re Only 1,360 Days To Go. Sad! (May 1): I enjoyed your rather glum editorial about the next 1,360 days of the Trump presidency, with your musing about him becoming just an afterthought of history as people in the future try to remember his name.

However, the contrast with Sarah Kendzior’s column – opposite your editorial – was almost too sharp (Want To Survive Another 100 Days? Don’t Get Complacent).

In trying to figure out how to get through just the next 100 days, she worries about a frustrated, autocratic leader who might see a serious crisis as a pretext to “strip citizens of their rights, as authoritarian leaders have done since time immemorial.”

It will, no doubt, be fascinating to watch this play out. Will Donald Trump be a president no one can remember?

Or will he be the one president no one is allowed to forget?

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Many Americans assumed that Donald Trump actually was a successful businessman because he played one on “reality TV.” Now he is using he same strategy for the presidency. If the news shows him signing a bill, what does it matter what is in it?

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Donald Trump thought it would be “easier” being President, and he misses his old life.

I predict The Donald will quit before his presidency reaches 200 days … citing as his reason that he wants to spend more time away from his family.

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Stumped by Trump

Re Retroactive Lumber Duties Hit Canadian Producers (Report on Business, May 1): Am I missing something? Why not impose a stumpage surcharge on all trees harvested to supply lumber for export to the United States sufficient to bring the Canadian stumpage fee up to the U.S. level?

At least it would keep the money in Canada, available to assist in forest management. I see no point paying it out to the United States.

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As most Canadians know, the province of Nova Scotia sends a very large Christmas tree as a gift to Boston every year to thank her citizens for the help they gave Halifax after the explosion of 1917. I wonder if Donald Trump intends to start collecting a 20-per-cent tariff on that particular softwood lumber, too …

Dave Benjamin, Beaver Bank, N.S.

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‘Shocked & appalled’

Re Critic Of Assisted Dying Made Chair Of Advance-Request Board (April 29): It’s difficult to find the appropriate derogatory adjectives relative to the appointment of Harvey Schipper to chair a working group reviewing advance assisted-dying requests, although the usual “shocked and appalled” comes to mind.

For sure, Dr. Schipper is not impartial, which this issue certainly requires.

It looks like the Liberals are just going through the motions and do not intend any material changes to their disappointing legislation.

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Spiritual? It’s private

Re A Community Divided (April 29): When religions intrude on the public and civic sphere, they can divide communities, even alienate them.

There are those in all religions who believe in theocracy – the rule of the clerics, not the rule of law. Ancient theocratic rules were probably very useful to help govern civic life in homogeneous, pre-democratic societies. In democracies, religion gradually lost public influence with the evolution of secularism, and the separation of church and state. Canada last prosecuted someone under its blasphemy law in 1935.

In the 1960s, pluralistic Canada needed to promote harmony by replacing ethnic nationalism with civic nationalism. To promote harmony now, Canadians need to replace our public theocratic traditions and rituals with a more private focus on the spiritual.

It is a modest sacrifice which will be yet another strength of Canada.

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Inspired by Joey

It is a rainy Sunday morning in Ottawa as I write this and I have Joey Moss in my heart (Oil King, Sports, May 1).

It is hard to believe almost 50 years have gone by since I was doing a play-by-play radio broadcast of a senior hockey game in Bathurst, N.B. I was all of 23 and our Down syndrome baby of nine months was struggling to live. He had pneumonia. Timothy James Alexander Munson would not make it through the night.

Joey brought me back to what Timmy could have been, an inspiration to our community, and certainly not institutionalized. It seems my life has always evolved around a hockey arena, whether as a rink rat, a player or spectator. That connection continues to this day as a 70-year-old left winger (No. 12), and I imagine Timmy in Joey’s shoes.

What I don’t have to imagine is the inspiration Timmy has been in our lives.

The focus of everything I do as a senator is about him. Working with the Special Olympics movement, the autism community and in other disability environments, it is about inclusion and human rights.

Oiler Jordan Eberle describes Joey Moss as “kind of the backbone of our team.” I want Marty Klinkenberg and Joey to know that just reading Mr. Klinkenberg’s story about Joey takes us far beyond a hockey rink. It goes to the heart of who we are as a nation and the value of inclusion.

Jim Munson, Senator, Ottawa

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Wouldn’t it be nice if the Edmonton Oilers considered putting a statue of Joey Moss beside Wayne Gretzky in front of their arena?

I think Wayne would agree that Joey was and is an inspiration to everyone, just as Wayne was – and in some ways for many of us, I hope, even more so.