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Visitors to the Calgary Stampede line up for tickets on July 18, 2021. The rodeo and fair returned with reduced attendance and COVID-19 safety protocols after being shut down due to the pandemic in 2020.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

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At the moment

Re When Then? (Letters, Aug. 3): A letter-writer suggests that now is a reasonable time to start treating COVID-19 like other communicable respiratory diseases such as the flu. But COVID-19, as most experts agree, is not the flu, and the Delta variant is worse, too.

A higher vaccine uptake should be what’s needed, especially when considering unvaccinated under-12 kids. We are not there yet.

Jeff Zuk Hamilton

Re Alberta To Virus: ‘What, Me Worry?’ (Editorial, Aug. 2): To describe Alberta’s elimination of pandemic protocols (self-declared victory over COVID-19?) as an “experiment” may ennoble that government’s intention. An experiment is a deliberate procedure to increase our knowledge through testing a theory or hypothesis, and includes measurable success criteria.

The Calgary Stampede midway touts games at which “you might take home a prize.” It is in this spirit, rather than that of a thoughtful experiment, that the Alberta strategy seems more a cynical gamble in a long history of crowd-pleasing cakes and ale, such as no or low taxes and high spending unmoored from revenues.

This latest gift, or grift, for an all-too-willing electorate evokes the image of an increasingly desperate carnival barker who has not revealed that Albertans “might take home” something far different from a prize.

Chester Fedoruk Toronto

Senate sense

Re Canada Should Indigenize The Senate (Aug. 3): Bravo to contributor Chief Kluane Adamek and her suggestion that Canada try an Indigenous Senate.

Indigenous persons were excluded from the Senate for most of its first century. It’s reasonable to try a few years of Indigenous-only appointments.

And there’s a bonus: no constitutional amendment required.

Simon Renouf Edmonton

A Senate reformed by democratic election would be the better choice.

If Canadians choose to vote Indigenous representatives into the Senate based on the candidates’ reputations and platforms, wonderful. Such elective choices would truly represent Canadian desires to mediate all historical injustices.

Let’s not forget Japanese Canadians interned during the Second World War, the head tax on Chinese immigrants, slavery and Black lives, the LGBTQ community, women and children – Canadian history has no shortage of the wronged and disenfranchised. A sober second thought from an elected house of diverse senators can only serve Canada.

Any Senate reform that does not embrace democratic principles would not serve as an improvement. Rather, it would perpetuate the shortcomings of the existing Senate.

Pamela Pastachak Ridgeway, Ont.

Power play

Re Ottawa Gives Lifeline To N.L. Hydro Project (July 29): Justin Trudeau says “mistakes” were made to cause the Muskrat Falls project costs to balloon out of control. He is transferring $5.2-billion to Newfoundland because “Canadians need to help each other.”

Mistakes were also made in British Columbia on the Site C hydroelectric dam project, including a lack of oversight and cost overruns (A Predictable Fiscal Sinkhole At B.C.’s Site C – Editorial, March 1). Will Mr. Trudeau help B.C. as well?

Constance Smith Victoria

Re Please Don’t Call This An ‘Investment’ (Editorial, July 30): Nearly 60 years ago, Lester Pearson’s Liberals refused to invoke federal power to establish a national electricity corridor through Quebec, so that Newfoundland could sell its Churchill Falls hydro power to the rest of North America. This landlocked that massive output, leading to Quebec being its only possible buyer, at pauper-level rates.

I believe that made Muskrat Falls inevitable, necessary – and worth every federal dollar as it now provides a corridor that avoids Quebec and its stranglehold on what is purportedly the Canadian “national interest.”

Barry Stagg Toronto

Last call

Re Japan Hits Record COVID-19 Case Counts As Games March On (Aug. 2): In Sapporo, authorities are “asking restaurants to stop serving alcohol and close their doors by 8 p.m.” Someone in authority should send a memo to the rest of the higher-ups that the virus can’t tell time.

By 8 p.m. much, if not all, of the virus’s work will have already been done.

Steven Brown Toronto

Work life

Re Corporate Canada Pushes Forward With New Diversity And Inclusion Plans (Report on Business, Aug. 2): For the life of me, I cannot understand what Robert Davis, KPMG Canada’s chief inclusion and diversity officer, meant by, “I think in any organic organization there is bias.” The reverse, “non-organic,” equally makes no sense to me.

How about this instead? “Tribal and other prejudices get in the way of leveraging population diversity. Developing hiring, mentoring and promotion strategies to solve this problem is a matter of strategic survival.” Organic metaphors should be keep where they belong: on the farm, with the bulls.

Paul Summerville Adjunct professor, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

Re Would A Four-day Work Week Solve Our Work-life Struggles? (The Decibel podcast – Aug. 3): On behalf of unpaid retirees, I protest the idea of increasing the work week to four days.

Perry Anglin Mindemoya, Ont.

Take care

Re Mental Match (Letters, Aug. 2): It is disheartening to see the conflation of a mental health issue with a general lack of ability to handle pressure.

When an athlete has a physical health problem, no one says it is due to a lack of toughness. It is accepted that they need treatment and physical therapy to return to their previous form. When an exceptional athlete such as Simone Biles has a temporary mental health issue, she is considered permanently weak and is advised to find another occupation that involves less pressure.

In my opinion, she is a hero for speaking out and withdrawing from one particular event to look after her mental health. I will hold her up as a role model for my grandchildren, so that they know there should be no more shame in looking after one’s mental health than physical health.

Frank van Nie Toronto

Fresh start

Re Lowry Leaves Toronto For Miami (Sports, Aug. 3): A pity that stars have limited senses of loyalty. Nine years isn’t bad. But it would have been nicer if Kyle Lowry had stayed with the Toronto Raptors.

As comedian Jerry Seinfeld remarked, one ends up cheering for laundry.

Nigel Smith Toronto

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