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Mary Simon speaks after being sworn in as Canada's first indigenous Governor General during a ceremony in Ottawa on July 26, 2021.PATRICK DOYLE/X07002

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When then?

Re Alberta’s New COVID-19 Policy Is Reckless And Repugnant (July 30): By now, it is clear to me that we are never going to eradicate COVID-19 and its variants.

When do we acknowledge this, and start treating the virus like the many other communicable respiratory diseases that routinely circulate? A reasonable time would be once every eligible person has been offered sufficient vaccines to be fully immunized. As in now.

Others are free to suggest alternate times, but please keep them realistic.

George Olsen Calgary

No call

Re An Election? Why? And Why Now? (Editorial, July 29): To call an election at this juncture, while we are trying to claw our way out of the pandemic and many important issues need urgent attention, would be irresponsible. Right now our government should be governing, not electioneering.

While the Governor-General is “tradition-bound” to accept the Prime Minister’s request to dissolve Parliament and call an election, I would suggest that the calling of a useless and unwarranted one in these highly unusual circumstances – the Liberals have not been defeated in the House and the next fixed election date is not for another two years – should free her from such tradition.

If the Governor-General were to tell the Prime Minister to get back to work and govern, she would be doing us all a great favour – and starting off her term of office with something of a bang as well.

Chris Marston Toronto

If one believes a federal election is unnecessary at this time, send the Governor-General a message accordingly at We could see people power at work!

Roy Clapinson Bobcaygeon, Ont.

Liberal legacy

Re The Conservative Dilemma: Liberals Are Still The Natural Governing Party (July 29): Paul Martin’s Liberals are characterized as having made a “boneheaded decision to call an inquiry into” the party’s sponsorship scandal. On the contrary, I think Mr. Martin should be lauded for taking the principled and courageous stand of getting to the bottom of the scandal, knowing that it could well derail his own electoral ambitions – not to mention incurring the wrath of supporters.

In a democracy, there is nothing more sacred than a free and fair election. The Liberals utilized the levers of power to engage in a pattern of dirty tricks, such as paying off ad companies from government coffers in return for party donations.

Mr. Martin had the integrity and clear thinking to realize how insidious this type of behaviour is to a well-functioning democracy. By calling an inquiry, he made clear to political and business leaders that there would be consequences for these types of misdeeds.

Ross Hollingshead Toronto

Customer disservice

Re Lousy Phone Service Disrespects Us All – Especially Seniors (Report on Business, July 29): As executor for a will, I recently found private companies and government departments equally awkward and annoying. Companies seem to have lots of callers available to harass people and sell them goods and services, yet very few to answer calls to support these goods and services.

Nina Truscott Burlington, Ont.

I am a senior who has been contacting Service Canada to ask a question about Old Age Security. After waiting for about an hour, I gave up.

I tried calling again the next morning, listening to a few pretaped messages before supposedly being transferred to an operator who never seemed available. Instead, a voice recording told me to try again later, because they were inundated with a high volume of calls.

This is so inefficient and inconsiderate. Why can’t the government hire more personnel to manage their telephone lines? Whether there is a pandemic or not, Service Canada should be fully staffed to operate as efficiently as possible. Instead I am rudely made to wait an hour.

I find it exasperating and inexcusable for the government to serve Canadians in this manner. A little wait is reasonable, but to testily abuse my patience is unacceptable.

Harriet Capalla Toronto

A list of lousy service should also include federal and provincial human-rights commissions that never respond in reasonable time.

Gurcharan Singh Bhatia, CM Former member, Canadian Human Rights Commission Edmonton

High seniority

Re Seniors Aren’t To Blame For Housing Scarcity, Expert Says (Real Estate, July 30): Try proposing a new high-rise development where I live. Mostly seniors show up to town meetings to reject any change in their community.

So yes, I believe seniors are partly responsible for snail-slow housing starts. Selfishness does not work to build communities.

Emillie Kraft Burlington, Ont.

Not enough

Re At What Cost? (Letters, July 28): A letter-writer is concerned that Ontario buying into a national child-care program might “eradicate the existing ecosystem of care, decreasing options and quality for parents.” One has to wonder precisely which features of the present ecosystem should be preserved.

Is it the 80 per cent of children under 5 in the province for whom no regulated child-care spot exists? The nearly $2,000 a month that parents in Toronto pay on average for infant care? Or the hundreds of thousands of mothers who abandoned the work force during the pandemic in order to care for their children?

And who are the proponents of a national child-care system who warn that a “provincial child-care boondoggle” is highly likely? Or better yet, allow them to speak for themselves.

Naomi Buck, Mother Toronto

Millennial math

Re A Parent Asks: Is It Okay To Charge Rent To Our Millennial Kids Living At Home? (Online, July 29): I made a deal with my boys: When they graduated from high school and wanted to take a gap year (which stretched into two), I charged them 25 per cent of their income in rent.

I didn’t need the money, so I put it into a high-interest savings account. If they went to university, I would give it back to them for tuition. It worked well and funded their first two years of classes. And, of course, the rent ended once they were back at school.

Unlike other people, I had no intention of paying their tuition myself, so it was a win-win.

Jane McCall Delta, B.C.


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