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Governor-General of Canada Mary Simon, far left, wears an annuraaq, designed and crafted by Beatrice Deer, as she attends the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla on May 6 in London, England.Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

King and country

Re “Britons celebrate with pomp, pageantry and parties” (May 8): I was in something of a stupor on Sunday following a probable overdose of coronation pomp and pageantry. But one clear moment of national pride stood out in my memory, and that was of Governor-General Mary Simon wearing her annuraaq, designed and crafted by Beatrice Deer. Aside from its beauty, the dress stated that Canada is a country sure enough of its strength that we can all proudly be ourselves.

Margaret Ross Edmonton

It was nice to see all the pomp and circumstance, which nobody does like the British. Is the monarchy still relevant? Of course it is. The world needs and craves theatre and a suspension of disbelief. As with the movies and the stage, the temporary immersion into a world that many can’t even fathom inspires an enduring fascination. And, to be sure, there will be a sequel in another 10 years or so.

Douglas Cornish Ottawa

As I watched the coronation and looked at the pictures in the news, I was struck by how uncomfortable and dour everyone seemed. While I am even older, it seemed to be a gathering of tired old people in heavy and extravagant garb, holding on with grim determination while one ancient rite after another was performed at a glacial pace. Other kings and queens present seemed much more upbeat, at least until they took their seats. I think we viewed the end of an era.

Perry Bowker Burlington, Ont.

Re “Can Charles, the King of Canada, overcome the public’s skepticism?” (Opinion, May 6): John Fraser is too defeatist in his examination of the monarchy under Charles III. Monarchy amounts to a set of constitutional arrangements that situate the head of state above politics and, insofar as he or she stands for the country, makes it much easier for people to feel loyal to that country even in the midst of bitter debate over hugely consequential questions, foreign and domestic. That is far less likely to be the case in a republic, as attested by the experience south of the border, where momentous issues, such as abortion or involvement in the Vietnam War, have left many Americans wondering if they even belong in the United States. It is noteworthy that few anti-monarchists have anything to say about the merits of a republic.

Gerald Wright Ottawa

King Charles is not important to general governance; his role symbolic and largely powerless. Societally, he is a symbol of family strife and failures, but also of a class system that reinforces the notion that some people are better than others. Finally, there are his special causes, but here again, they look more like hobbies than efforts to change the world. Ultimately, I’m left with the impression that Charles is little more than a dilettante, living a life of useless luxury in a gilded cage. The sooner Canada grows up and removes the anachronism of the monarchy the better.

Frank Malone Aurora, Ont.

Helping Alberta

Re “Alberta Premier Danielle Smith to ask Ottawa for help with wildfires” (May 8): Firefighting is within provincial jurisdiction, so this federal intrusion would be precluded by Alberta’s own Sovereignty Act. Or is federalism okay when it suits your purposes?

John Edmond Ottawa

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is the leader of the only province in Canada with no sales tax, and her party is seeking a win in their upcoming election based on lowering income taxes in a province that has underfunded hospitals and schools. She is also proposing that Alberta shouldn’t have to pay its share of federal taxes. Nevertheless, she has held her hand out for federal funding to pay for the huge losses to Albertans as a result of the devastating grass fires.

We as Canadians who are blessed to live in this great country, share because that’s what Canadians do. Ms. Smith might benefit from reflecting on this.

Robert Kennedy Toronto

Flagging Catholic schools

Re “The Ford government should speak up to defend inclusive school cultures” (May 8): I find it ironic that former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne criticizes the Minister of Education for not forcing a publicly funded Roman Catholic school board to “protect the rights of LGBTQ2S+ students.” While she was premier, Kathleen Wynne could have defunded Roman Catholic school boards, which regularly discriminate in their hiring on the basis of religion and sexual orientation. Non-Roman Catholic students can be denied admission and LGBTQ2S+ students are considered “intrinsically disordered” by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador stopped funding Catholic schools in the 1990s. It can be done.

Bruce Patterson Carleton Place, Ont.

Women in fiction

Re “Why we need prizes for women and non-binary authors” (April 29): You would never guess from Susan Swan’s piece that, these days, women win more literary prizes than men. She mentions seven prizes, and provides numbers going back decades – and she’s right that for far too long there were far too few female winners. But in the past five years? Women have won five out of five Governor-General’s English fiction awards, four PEN/Faulkner, three Giller and three Writers’ Trust fiction prizes, as well as three Nobel Prizes for Literature. Of the seven awards she mentions, only the Leacock and Pulitzer have skewed male in this time frame. The total since 2018 for the prizes cited for their “discouraging” statistics is 21 female winners, 14 male. We all owe Ms. Swan a debt for being part of a monumental effort to bring about a much-needed change. But that effort is achieving more success than she seems prepared to acknowledge.

Don LePan Nanaimo, B.C.

At odds

Re “Gambling ads are changing how we view hockey” (Opinion, May 8): Thank you, Cathal Kelly. It was comforting to read that at least one other viewer shares my rage at the ubiquitous gambling ads on sports television and in particular hockey broadcasts. I am in my golden years and am mindful of complaining about everything new. Mr. Kelly has succinctly described the ugly side of gambling and its public promotion.

Robert Hawkins Bedford, N.S.

Thank goodness for the talents of Cathal Kelly. Gambling ads are as insidious as ads for alcohol and tobacco. They have spoiled the sanctity of enjoying sports on television with family and friends.

Rob Woodward Sarnia, Ont.

I strongly object to these grating advertisements. The ad that really hits home is the one featuring Wayne Gretzky and Connor McDavid. Mr. Gretzky is totally focused on his smartphone’s screen and irritated by Mr. McDavid’s practice shots interrupting his gambling. There is no joy or fun expressed, just anger and obsession.

Perhaps it is actually an ad cautioning against gambling?

David Ross Edmonton

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