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Server Helen Acri works on the outdoor patio at Joey Don Mills Grill and Lounge as Ontario prepares for its third provincewide lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on April 1, 2021.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

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Different approaches

Re Variant That Forced B.C. Ski Resort To Shut Is Rapidly Spreading (April 2): Authorities seem to be aware of those restaurants, pubs and bars that are not following COVID-19 rules. I understand Whistler to be party city; establishments that allow the rules to be ignored should be closed down. But why punish everyone?

Many restaurants have gone to great lengths and expense to space tables, install Plexiglas and reduce staff. It seems unfair to hurt the businesses following guidelines when they were already struggling to survive.

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Margaret Stuart Vancouver

Re Ford Government’s ‘Emergency Brake’ Not Enough, Critics Say (April 2): With the announcement that Ontario schools will remain open during lockdown, the province should move teachers to the top of the vaccine list. We are front-line workers and put our lives – and the lives of our families – at risk every day to provide safe and meaningful environments for students.

It is ridiculous to me that teachers will most likely not be vaccinated until sometime in June – when the school year is over.

John Macdonald Stouffville, Ont.

With this most recent lockdown and the ones to follow, Doug Ford should relax. He seems to be doing a good job in making sure there is nothing left to reopen. Problem solved!

Dexter McDuff Chatham, Ont.

The Floyd killing

Re Witnesses Describe Tense Scene As Floyd Lay Dying (March 31): The defence for Derek Chauvin appears to argue that bystanders who attempted to protest and intervene were themselves to blame for George Floyd’s death. This isn’t just a cynical argument, it also devalues and inverts the humanity shown by witnesses.

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Consider the argument in light of another story on the very same page: a horrifying account of an Asian-American woman being attacked while bystanders allegedly did nothing to help her (Hate Crime Unit Investigating After Asian-American Woman Assaulted Near Times Square – March 31). Most of us would like to imagine we’d have the moral courage to intervene.

Anger, fear, shock, disbelief: These are understandable emotions when witnessing an act of violence. Yelling, pleading, stepping forward to offer medical assistance, documenting, shouting: These were acts of moral courage by people attempting to stop a violent assault.

Such acts should not be inverted, blameworthy nor shameful. I hope the witnesses are able to find peace, and that their acts of witness bring justice.

Carrie Snyder Waterloo, Ont.

Re A Guilty Verdict In George Floyd’s Killing Seems Obvious – But Isn’t (April 1): I’m reminded of an American college student who I worked with at a summer job in the mid-1970s. He believed that a white police officer would never be convicted in the United States for killing a Black man, regardless of the circumstances.

When I first heard the term Black Lives Matter, I, perhaps naively, considered it a statement of the obvious – intended to promote racial equality. The incidents cited by columnist Lawrence Martin demand a more literal, despondent interpretation.

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Mark Roberts Gananoque, Ont.

Double up

Re It’s Time To Focus On Expanding Our Population (March 31): I have to voice my strongest disappointment and disagreement. Every corner of this planet, including “spacious” Canada, already suffers from the destructive effects of human activity and unsupportable lifestyles.

If it’s better to have more Canadians, why not shoot for 200 million? Using columnist John Ibbitson’s reasoning, that would be twice as beneficial as 100 million.

Bill Bousada Carleton Place, Ont.

Out of time

Re Old-growth Logging Continues As B.C.’s Commitments To Change Bog Down (March 15): Last summer, we travelled from Victoria to Point Renfrew with our daughters so that they could experience the majesty and beauty of Avatar Grove. We were absolutely mesmerized by these incredible gentle giants. It would be an absolute travesty to desecrate these last remaining ecosystems of sanctity.

The forests provide not only beauty for us to look at, but invaluable habitat for many of the animals that depend on it. The B.C. government has had a report done on old growth logging and should act on it immediately. We should start promoting these iconic examples of Mother Nature in our tourism sector. They should be far more valuable to British Columbia as an eco-experience than an unsustainable commodity.

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Rachel McDonnell Victoria

Gut check

Re Alberta Predicted To Lead Growth In Renewable Energy (Online, March 23): The prediction of Alberta being a leader in the shift to renewable energy is hopeful. After all, cleaner energy usually correlates to a cleaner environment. However, grand proposals such as the Grassy Mountain Coal Project do not seem to align with the province’s supposed renewable future.

Alberta may be phasing out coal-fired electricity generation, but the production of metallurgical coal remains active. With it comes long-lasting, often detrimental and sometimes irreversible effects to the environment.

Popular renewable energy sources such as hydropower are ultimately ruled out due to the geography of the Prairies. Additionally, the current government platform does not bode well for the prospect of growth in renewable energy.

Such factors seem to question the validity and achievability of a fast-moving transition toward renewable energy.

Faizah Hussain Edmonton

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Open or shut?

Re Closed Streets Open Cities For People (Editorial, March 27): I agree fully. Our city priority should be placed on the health of its citizens and not be sidetracked by the usual excuses. This street closure would mean safety and well-being, both mentally and physically, to the many who take advantage of it.

Tom Worrall Toronto

Movement of goods and services are crucial to the health and prosperity of a city. With a major reduction of available vehicular lanes, Toronto can look forward to perpetual gridlock during working hours to the detriment of commerce.

George (Bud) Eisenberg Toronto

Opening up Lake Shore Boulevard West every weekend would make getting around my neighbourhood difficult. There are already problems with congestion and traffic in the area.

There are lots of bike lanes in the area, but more often than not I see cyclists riding on sidewalks. As well, many drivers get off the Gardiner Expressway here and block the flow of traffic. I happen to live right at that exit.

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Before talking about 18,000 people having fun walking and riding, we should think about the thousands of people who live in the area and have no choice but to put up with nightmare congestion every single weekend until after fall.

Glenda Schmidt Toronto

I bike in downtown Toronto every day, all year. I also drive. Of all the changes last summer to convert our roads for public use, closing Lake Shore Boulevard West was by far the most detrimental to the flow of automobile traffic that The Globe’s editorial demonizes.

Miraculously, curb lanes transformed into patio space were able to accommodate diminished pandemic traffic. But Lake Shore, as pointed out, is a highway. The six-kilometre stretch given over to bikes is lined not with storefronts, but parkland and an existing bike trail.

So we should stop bowing to cars and encourage bigger and better permanent solutions. There’s room enough to permanently widen existing bike lanes; extend them out over the water in places to fuel the tourism photo ops that the editorial envisions.

Increased traffic is as much a reality of a growing city as the need for more pedestrian access. Both can be accommodated.

Paul French Toronto

Pay it forward

Re How Many More Women Will Die Before Society Finally Reckons With Femicide? (Opinion, March 20): Warm thanks to columnist Elizabeth Renzetti for the important perspectives she so often brings to bear on topics relating to violence against women. I just caught up with a recent piece (The most dangerous place for women is behind closed doors) and was moved to do something I’d been meaning to for ages: Make a donation to a local women’s shelter.

We men can and should be doing more to address these issues.

Don LePan Nanaimo, B.C.

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