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Re Remembering The Victims Of The Nova Scotia Tragedy (April 21): News from the tiny but beautiful community of Portapique, where this horrific incident began and most of the tragedy occurred, broke early Sunday morning. Only the next day did we begin to learn just how many people had lost their lives.
This event paints a scar on our province that deflects from what we have always felt about Nova Scotia as a friendly, welcoming place. Now, it seems, we are the home of the largest mass murder in Canadian history. The arbitrariness of it all makes me wonder if I should go out for my daily walk today. Will I be safe? The commonsense answer is “of course I will,” because Hubbards, where I live, is a warm, friendly community. But then, so was Portapique.
While it is true that this was but the act of one person, and does not reflect what our province and community really is, it nevertheless deflects our attention from COVID-19, against which Nova Scotians have overwhelmingly done as advised and directed by our government and health officials.
Yes, the shock of this event will pass, but none of us will forget it. And, like it or lump it, I think most of us will carry the memory of this horrendous event with us for a very long time. At the same time, our thoughts are focused on those who lost their lives and those who loved them as friends and family.
Peter McCreath Hubbards, N.S.
War on war
Re The Harm Of Portraying COVID-19 As A ‘War’ (April 21): As a military historian (and estate lawyer), I say let folks call fighting disease a “war.” It’s not, of course. In fact it’s “war-light,” because no one is actively striving to kill us – just an indifferent nature. It’s an easy war, as wars go.
But one underappreciated truth of mankind I believe is that, if one must die, one prefers to die gloriously, for a worthy cause, rather than ignominiously, pointlessly. It’s okay, and certainly no worse than our other fictions at death’s door.
For the doctors dealing with this, I offer up the immortal words of Lt. Colonel Henry Blake for some solace: “There are certain rules about a war and rule No. 1 is young men die. And rule No. 2 is, doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” Be at peace. It’s the war we blame, not the heroic Hawkeyes and Hot Lips.
Richard Barrett Mississauga
Re Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit Is An Unintended Experiment In Basic Income (April 20): I find this approach "insensitive,” to use the authors’ word, to what money for low-income Canadians should be spent on.
Governments tax us to meet essential needs such as health, education, public transportation, firefighting, policing, water purification, libraries, etc. Helping low-income earners should be consistent with this approach. Funds transferred to them could come primarily in such goods as free tuition, dental care, pharmacare, public transportation, daycare, rent and food subsidies.
People need more or less assistance at different stages of their lives. Such an approach would create that flexibility, and it would employ more Canadians meeting essential needs. We need to spend more, but let us practise triage.
Joseph Polito Toronto
Re Banks Brace For Hit To Profit, Rise In Loan Losses (Report on Business, April 21): The Globe reports that Canadian bank profit could drop anywhere from 23 to 63 per cent for fiscal 2020. By my calculations, the Big Five banks made about $44-billion last year – so that collective profit could drop to as low as roughly $16-billion this year. Not quite GoFundMe territory yet.
Jim Duholke North Vancouver
Start the car?
Re Ontario High-school Teachers Reach Tentative Deal With Government (April 21): The union representing 60,000 public high-school teachers has stated that local leaders would be reviewing their new deal in the coming days before member ratification. I suggest that they grab the money and run before the millions of Ontarians who are struggling to survive while living income-free begin to realize what’s happened. Negotiating a pay increase in the current environment seems unthinkable.
Vic Bornell Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Re Kenney’s Decidedly Mixed Pandemic Response (April 18): Like many Albertans, I am very concerned about the future of the province, and I have little hope that Jason Kenney will lead us well in the recovery. I have little hope that high unemployment will not be exacerbated by further cuts in essential sectors. I have little hope that the attack I see on doctors in the province will ease. I have little hope that care homes will receive the attention they need once the crisis has passed. If a pandemic cannot moderate Mr. Kenney, what will?
The Premier seems dedicated to privatization and “cutting red tape.” So I have little hope that he will become the leader Alberta needs as it pivots, however gradually, away from oil. If he can still give tax breaks to oil companies, in a year when some CEO salaries increased considerably, it is difficult for me to envision an Alberta led by a premier who can look forward to a different future, rather than back to the many years of overflowing coffers.
Suzanne Evans Calgary
I thought Jason Kenney’s presentation of COVID-19 modelling was a tour de force. He spoke for around an hour, with notes and graphs as support. He made the information and technical details understandable. I did not find it “painful,” as The Globe’s Kelly Cryderman suggests, unless perhaps one is not interested in that level of detail.
In general, people should stop bashing Mr. Kenney as he stands up for Alberta, our economy and the livelihood of Albertans. I also agree with his assessment of Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam. His comments did not seem “personal,” but rather statements of fact, as I believe the record will show when we are able to properly examine how Canada (and the rest of the world) fell into this pandemic, and how such a catastrophe can be avoided in future.
Mary Ellen Murray Calgary
Re Oil Price Plunges Into Negative Territory (April 21): How long will it be before consumers would benefit from oil prices turning negative? I am looking forward to filling up my car at the local gas station and getting a bundle of cash for doing so.
Jaffer Sunderji Toronto
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