Seniors fit to be tied
Re Fetch The Mail And Stay Fit, Canada Post Tells Seniors (Dec. 19): I’m sure seniors all over the country are grateful for Canada Post’s new interest in health promotion. When income-support cutbacks mean difficulty paying the heating bills, will Ottawa be extolling the benefits of the wood-chopping workout?
Barbara L. Marshall, professor of sociology, Trent University
Having endured a super mailbox for more than 20 years, I can assure Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra that, in my case, the “community mailbox” has contributed zip to laudable fitness goals. What a wonderful fantasy to imagine that we are all happily trooping to the mailbox.
Perhaps it’s because we have no sidewalks in our section of a residential street and walking on a snowy, icy road is dangerous. Nonetheless, I have rarely seen anyone walking, in any season, to pick up or drop off mail.
From what I’ve observed, people simply drive to the mailbox. Super mailboxes do not promote physical exercise, but result in greater use of vehicles with attendant costs to the environment.
Mary Valentich, Calgary
Deepak Chopra’s remark about seniors is patronizing in the extreme. Canadians expect better from someone in his position.
Why else should they pay him and his 21 group presidents and vice-presidents so many millions?
Nicholas Tracy, Fredericton
I wouldn’t mind getting mail delivered every other day or twice a week. It’s snail mail: A day or two delay is okay with me. Canada Post could reduce delivery frequency at a controlled pace. Fewer deliveries would mean fewer expenses and fewer employees. Seniors or disabled people would still get their mail.
I’d like more information about Deepak Chopra’s “extensive” consultations with Canadians. Who are these seniors who want to walk to community mailboxes in the dead of winter through ice and snow for exercise?
Mike Hahn, Grimsby, Ont.
Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra’s advice to seniors to fetch the mail and stay fit is as dumb and callous as Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake” – and we all know what happened to her.
Irene Smith, St. Catharines, Ont.
Re Ottawa Cracks Down On Wireless Fees (Report on Business, Dec. 19): Apparently, if you’re too addled or incompetent to save for your retirement, the government says forget about an enhanced Canada Pension Plan. On the other hand, if you’re too addled or incompetent to avoid roaming charges while watching a hockey game on a cellphone, the government is with you all the way.
Bob Halliday, Saskatoon
Dead. For what?
Re Ashley Smith’s Jail Death Was A Homicide, Inquest Finds (Dec. 19): With all the horrific details about Ashley Smith’s confinement, her choking death as prison guards watched, it’s sometimes easy to forget the original reason she had been been confined. This girl was guilty of tossing crabapples at a postal carrier.
She never received a death sentence for that crime. Nevertheless, she’s dead.
John Steeves, Sussex, N.B.
Beyond equity stakes
Re CEO Rejects Energy East Equity Sharing (Report on Business, Dec. 18): Resource development necessitates a new way of doing business with First Nations and Métis peoples. One uniform plan will not address the diversity of the aboriginal communities we are engaging with across Canada. While many may view the equity partnership model as a complete solution, it is not necessarily the answer to long-term economic sustainability.
We are still in the early stages of the project’s process but have already begun discussions with many of the 180 communities along the Energy East pipeline route to understand how they would like to be engaged and how they can benefit.
Russ Girling, CEO, TransCanada
Re Why Rob Ford Is Mad As Hell (Dec. 19): Ken Dryden has cogently addressed the reasons why Toronto’s embarrassment of a mayor continues to enjoy wide support in our city. My only complaint is Mr. Dryden’s failure to suggest a way out of the situation.
We should look for guidance in the words of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who refers to “a labour-electoral complex that is undermining our collective future” (Bloomberg Taking Governance Model To Global Stage – Dec. 19). The grievances of unhappy Ford supporters are real, and our city needs leadership that will confront those grievances by ensuring that municipal services are delivered in a cost-effective way, that issues such as traffic congestion are urgently addressed in a rational (i.e. non-political) way, and that public servants and politicians do not receive advantages that are unobtainable by the majority of tax-paying citizens.
Peter Love, Toronto
Ken Dryden says that Canadians are “mad that life isn’t what they thought it would be.”
I work with refugees in Canada and with school children in a very impoverished region in Rwanda. If anyone has reason to be mad as hell, they do. But they aren’t. They’re grateful, deeply grateful, for what Canada has done for them. No native-born Canadian has suffered what they have.
Canadians should be counting their blessings, not whining like a spoiled child who didn’t find the latest iPad under the tree.
Donald Smith, Ottawa
Chew on gum’s place
Re Caught Chewing Gum In Class? It’s Okay (Life & Arts, Dec. 18): Gum-chewing improves attention and concentration through activation of the proprioceptive system located in muscles and joints. Activation of the proprioceptive system acts as an “energy dump,” blowing off pent-up energy from sitting around.
The reason today’s children can’t pay attention and learn is that they spend most of their time plugged into tech. Sedentary, overstimulated, neglected and isolated, the new-millennium child can no longer pay attention or learn.
Instead of chewing gum (quick fix), children would do better by putting down the tech and going outside to play (also activating the proprioceptive system – but more intensely – long fix). While gum may fix the problem, solving the problem requires more than simply chewing.
Cris Rowan, Sechelt, B.C.
Re The Loss Of O'Toole Is The End Of An Era (Life & Arts, Dec. 18): Years ago, I clipped a quote that is affixed to my current daily calendar even now.
It is a suggestion that Peter O’Toole made for his epitaph, based on a dry cleaner’s tag: “It distresses us that we cannot return this merchandise in less than perfect condition.”
Rita Healey Grave, Toronto