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Her true sportsmanship
Re Andreescu Makes History With Rogers Cup Win (Aug. 12): Bianca Andreescu, our Canadian tennis champion, was so graceful and respectful of Serena Williams’ injury and pain. Caring and considerate, Ms. Andreescu conducted herself in the way Canadians should, with true sportsmanship.
Onward and upward!
Richard MacFarlane, Toronto
Re Former Grassy Narrows Chief Who Fought For Mercury Treatment Centre Laid To Rest As Battle With Ottawa Continues (Aug. 12): Simon Fobister, former chief of Grassy Narrows First Nation, died without knowing if his people will have a local treatment centre “to provide specialized treatment and palliative care for some of the hundreds of Grassy Narrows people who are believed to suffer from mercury poisoning.”
The tonnes of mercury that were dumped into the Wabigoon River-system have turned it into Canada’s Chernobyl. The people simply can no longer live in their traditional ways on the land. For those for whom it is too late, we need to provide the assisted living, and palliative care they seek.
For the spirit of Simon Fobister to rest in peace, we must first acknowledge what a modern industrialized society has done to destroy the lives of the people who were here before us. Only then will we understand how we must play second fiddle as we attempt to build trust with them.
The First Nations have to spearhead this project. We have to help. This time, we have nowhere to hide.
Hugh McKechnie, Newmarket, Ont.
More than 25 shot in 10 days
Instead of yet another expensive, drawn-out study on gun control to gather statistics, politicians should read the newspaper for handgun facts.
An immediate example appears in Monday’s Globe and Mail: Several People Shot In Another Violent Weekend In GTA. The article reports that “More than 25 people have been shot in Toronto in the past 10 days.”
Where are our political leaders hiding their heads? These shootings are disastrous for the families, the city, the province, the country. It was time years ago to ban handguns and assault weapons, and we are still dithering.
Robert Kennedy, Toronto
The sadder, bigger loss
Re Missed Connections (Opinion, Aug. 10): Blake Lambert’s touching essay about his father and his son and how the two can never communicate with each other because of his father’s dementia touched a chord.
My son had the same disconnect with my own father.
But the bigger loss in this story is surely the author’s mother, caring for her life partner’s basic needs long after his senses have gone, long after the communication, the expression of love and camaraderie have been lost, and when only the heavy shell remains for her to lift and prod, to feed and bathe and care for endlessly, regardless of her own needs. How many women are there carrying out this sad and arduous chore in their older years?
And for how many years? How do they keep their sanity? How do they maintain their grace in a one-way street of caring, without reward of any kind? Those caregivers represent the real tragedy.
Janet Intscher, Chelsea, Que.
Re Osteoarthritis Research Leads To Ideas For Prevention, Treatment (Aug. 12): Thanks to Alex Hutchinson for mentioning the GLA:D Canada program in his excellent article on osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee is a substantial issue for many Canadians. Our health-care system does not manage it well, often diagnosing the condition far too late, when patients are already experiencing significant symptoms. Research shows that physical activity is a first line in effective management of osteoarthritis, yet many people are afraid to exercise due to pain.
Good Life with Osteoarthritis in Denmark (GLA:D) is an education and exercise program developed to help people with hip and knee osteoarthritis. The Canadian Orthopedic Foundation is licenced to deliver the program across Canada. In Ontario, GLA:D is provided through public funding. (More information about the program can be found here.)
Isla Horvath, CEO, Canadian Orthopedic Foundation
Shame and blame?
Re Religion Can Bring Peace – But Introduce Politics, And The Results Can Be Tragic (Aug. 9): I wonder where Lorna Dueck is looking when she equates peace with religion? At a time when many mainstream religions deny half their followers full and equal participation in their faith and society, peace is but a fantasy. Inequality breeds contempt and resentment; tight controls on information and critical thinking keep power concentrated in the hands of religious leaders.
Fear of the “other,” and punishment in the afterlife, keep the flock further in check.
The silence of repression is not the same thing as peace. Learning how to love, forgive, or simply be good people is born from a sense of mutual respect for our fellow human beings. It does not require people to be categorized and valued according to gender or race. It does not depend on out-populating the other. It does not flourish where shame and blame, traditional religious fare, segregate humanity into “us” and “them.”
Blind faith and obedience must be replaced with knowledge and understanding before we can learn to genuinely love our neighbour. Religious power will remain jealously guarded: Only when humanity can ignore religion, will we be capable of finding true peace.
Christine Reissmann, Ottawa
Re City Life Should Be A Day At The Beach (editorial, Aug. 12): My advice on swimming and urban waterfronts: Study Copenhagen. My daughter and I were fortunate to visit there early in June. I’d move there tomorrow if I could. As swimmers, we spent hours walking along the water and watching people of all ages swim in the harbour.
Denmark is very proud of the cleanliness of its huge harbour. And it should be.
There is also a system of docks that makes the water accessible, with ladders placed strategically along the docks so you can climb out. There are towers and slides for the more adventurous. We spent 30 minutes watching teens do what young people do so well: perform for each other. We waved and cheered.
Since it was a holiday, the downtown was alive with the joy of a perfect summer day. Walking kilometers along the shore was one of the highlights of our trip.
We can and should do better to enhance Canadian cities’ access to outdoor activities. The Danish rank among the happiest people in the world, according to the World Happiness Report. My daughter and I know why.
Edie Lewis, Brantford, Ont.
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