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A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver on March 23, 2020.


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Westerly winds

Re Mr. O’Toole: What National Unity Crisis? (Aug. 28): Justin Trudeau’s adroit handling of the pandemic should not be justification for dismissing Albertan “issues.” Doing the right thing should be expected, not seen as a favour to Alberta.

References to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion suggest Albertan support for Mr. Trudeau is a commodity to be bought with taxpayer funds. We can get excited by the pipeline when it is finished. Why should this project create a political debt for Alberta?

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This past Canada Day was the first time in my life that raising a Canadian flag in this province felt like a political statement. When the book about Justin Trudeau’s time in government is written, I fear it may be titled, “While Canada Slept.”

Greg Schmidt Calgary

Still seeking justice

Re Justice Is Supposed To Be Blind (Editorial, Aug. 28): The Globe’s editorial points to the importance of the facts in the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet. While the report of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit clears Toronto Police of criminal liability, her family does not agree with the findings and will issue their own report.

The SIU report indicates that police and paramedics responded to calls of domestic violence and a potential mental health crisis. Would the outcome have been different if civilian crisis-response professionals led the interaction with Ms. Korchinski-Paquet and her family, accompanied by police? This question, as well as implicit bias against racialized and Indigenous communities, might best be explored through an inquest or inquiry tasked with reviewing what happened, identifying systemic issues and developing recommendations, rather than finding fault.

Steve Lurie CM; Co-chair, Toronto Police Services Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Panel; Toronto

Driver’s test

Re Should You Send Your Child To School? A New System Could Help Parents Decide (Aug. 24): Contributor Rita Achrekar compares decision-making for returning to school to decision-making at a traffic light, describing an amber to mean “slow down.” According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, Section 144 says that amber means stop, if the stop can be made safely.

If parents make their back-to-school decision on the traffic-light risk-assessment model, their children should only go if there is a green light.

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Henry Van Drunen Stratford, Ont.

Re Provinces Set Protocols For Sick Students (Aug. 27): The Globe reports that Ontario is “relying on the ’professional judgment’ of teachers and principals to determine when a child should be sent home from school.”

I am a teacher. Teaching is my profession. That is what I am trained to do. But in class I also have to be an (untrained) nurse, psychologist, therapist, couples counsellor, priest, social worker, cleaner, administrator, handyman and ersatz mother – why not add medical doctor to my unqualified qualifications?

Gisela Koehl Thornhill, Ont.

Fair fallout

Re Fairs Struggle To Stay Afloat In Pandemic Age (Aug. 25): In addition to being sources of joy for young and old alike, annual fairs are prime sources of funding for other programs, usually money losers, such as riding camps, 4-H and other programming for schoolchildren. They provide a critical bridge to our local history and enhance our understanding of the role agriculture plays in our economy. They create meaningful links between urban and rural communities.

While the loss of fairs would be painful, the loss of collateral programs and activities would have a long-term impact few of us can imagine. Fairs are an important part of our society and we should do whatever we can to support them.

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Roy Wright Calgary

Add it up

Re BoC Aims To Better Inform Canadians On Central Bank’s Inflation Targets (Report on Business, Aug. 26): I imagine that many of the Canadians who “routinely overestimate inflation” are those who have recently gone grocery shopping.

Patty Benjamin Victoria

Weak signal

Re If They Build It… (Letters, Aug. 27): If it were that easy for telecoms to build networks in rural and remote parts of Canada, as believed by Robert Ghiz of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, would it not have been done already?

The federal government previously funded telecoms to provide mobile internet services to these areas, and all that residents got, if they were fortunate enough to be in direct sight of a cellular tower, was slow speeds and data caps. The last mile – where people live behind trees, around rocks and on islands – is still underserved, because that is where costs lie. There does not seem to be enough return on investment for telecoms.

Rural municipalities should be funded to bury conduit on all roads and streets as they are maintained. This would allow local internet service providers to reduce costs by reducing fees paid to telecoms and hydro companies for use of their infrastructure.

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This would equalize service levels with urban areas and provide equal opportunities for economic growth, social well-being, education for students and remote medical support.

Jorma Ikavalko Alliston, Ont.

Two soon

Re Dancer Became An Early Star Of CBC Television (Obituary, Aug. 24): In September of 1952, when CBC Television first went on air, I was a technician in the lighting department. I encountered Lorraine Thomson there, in Studio 1, dancing in the light-entertainment programs that were so popular during those first heady days of Canadian TV. Even after I moved into other areas of TV production, we’d run into each other from time to time, and the conversation was as though we were still back in Studio 1.

I was saddened even more after I read of the death of another dancer from that era, Anna McCowan-Johnson (whom I knew at that time as Anna Wilmot). She died two days after Lorraine. In the 1950s, they would have shared the same studio floor – perhaps on some of the same shows – as two of the many dancers who populated the variety programs.

To lose two such winning dancers in such a short time is more of a memento mori than those of us of that age needed. And yet, what a treat to be reminded of them, and that era.

Garth Goddard Toronto

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Best of Britain

Re British Motor Company Launches The Mini (Moment in Time, Aug. 26): In 1967, during a gap year working in London, I took a day trip to Windsor.

Walking back to the train station down a street bordering the walls of Windsor Castle, a gate suddenly opened. Out drove Prince Charles in his BMC Mark 1 Mini – a most fitting climax to a day seeing the royal sites!

Russell Smith Toronto


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