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A CH-146 Griffon helicopter from Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, is loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster airplane, at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Trenton, Ont., on Nov. 17, 2013.Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press

Way back

Re “High price tag of equipment driving delays in defence policy update” (March 26): Delivering nothing since 2022? Government has been dithering over our military for decades, independent of the party in power.

Our CF-18 Hornets passed their best-by date decades ago. After endless foot-dragging, Ottawa made the US-placating decision to buy F-35s. But even the U.S. Air Force is instead buying enhanced F-15EXs, whose dual engines would be a better choice for our Arctic expanse.

Our antique Sea King helicopters were finally going to be replaced, but instead new contracts have been cancelled for years and years. Then there is the fiasco of buying used British submarines that can go anywhere, except in the water.

We have smart, professional people heading our military. Politicians should be supporting them in their work, not tying them up in endless reviews, studies and papers.

David Kister Kingston

Blame game

Re “Premier Ford says it’s a ‘massive mistake’ to impose fourplexes across Ontario” (March 22): Are we fooled by the Premier’s refusal to legislate the requirement that municipalities construct fourplexes to combat the housing crisis that Ontario is experiencing?

If the province mandates fourplexes, there is a good possibility of some voters blaming Conservative MPPs for higher-density housing in their ridings, and these MPPs could suffer at the polls as a result. However, if voters hold municipalities responsible for the increased number of multiplexes in their neighbourhoods, then it is city councillors who could suffer in an election.

I call it deflection downloading.

Brian Caines Ottawa

Left hanging

Re “Doctors are working less than they did 30 years ago, with married men putting in fewer hours, study says” (March 25): Perhaps male doctors are searching for better work-life balance, but I am skeptical this should be the take-away from the study.

Female doctors have certainly embraced work-life balance, which contributed to my stress as a mother of two children when their primary care doctor went on maternity leave. Selfishly I would prefer if all doctors, regardless of sex, worked in multidisciplinary cohorts with doctor colleagues, pharmacists and nurse practitioners from 9 to 5 every day, as well as one evening a week and on rotation on weekends.

My suspicion is that the 83-per-cent reduction has more to do with older male doctors now reducing their work weeks as they segue into retirement. Perhaps my suspicion could be put to rest if the study also broke down results by age, rather than solely on the basis of sex.

Patricia Spice Ottawa

In progress

Re “Federation opposes proposal to boost number of days retired Ontario teachers can work in classrooms” (March 19): When I began teaching in Ontario, I was in a classroom after Grade 13 and one year of teachers’ college.

I began courses for my degrees in the evenings and summers. The school board provided continuing practical education courses for all teachers. It was mandatory to keep abreast of new methods and technologies.

The staff shortage then was resolved. It would be ideal for teachers to obtain a master’s degree before teaching, but not necessarily practical.

The lack of supply teachers today is alarming. Teaching is a gruelling job with staff exposed daily to infections and viruses. Temporary absence for illness is inevitable. Supply teaching is even more taxing.

I encourage Ontario to provide appropriate incentives to make teaching a satisfying career. Our future is determined by the quality of education we provide. Let’s make it top quality.

Kathleen Moore EdD Toronto

Privacy, please

Re “Barely understand” (Letters, March 25): A letter writer nails the issue of new tax rules for bare trusts, asking “why and why now?”

This should be considered a scandal. This is not about family trusts of the wealthy. This is about private family business that takes place at the kitchen tables of the nation. It’s about government worming its way into the private affairs of family members, such as adult children helping elderly parents to pay their bills.

I see nothing to be gained by government except visibility and access into the personal financial affairs of Canadian families. I encourage every Canadian to get informed about bare trusts, and to tell their MPs that it is unacceptable.

Montague Doyle Ottawa

Re “Canada needs a sovereign wealth fund – built by monetizing our personal data” (Report on Business, March 22): Personal data is an asset for Big Tech.

Every time we buy a product or download an app, we agree to contract terms that many of us neither read nor understand. Meanwhile, we unwittingly let them scoop up our e-mail contacts and a lot of other data, goodness knows what else.

The thought of governments harvesting our data as a collective seems, at best, a Faustian bargain. Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the concept of the web in 1989, was well aware of this problem and is currently working on giving people power over their personal data.

To have governments control our data would mean governments having access to our finances, health status, employment information and more – a perfect plot for tyranny. The attitude of “resistance is futile” is pure bunk. We can decide who benefits from and controls our data, and it should never be government or corporations.

Leslie Martel Mississauga

Cute stuff

Re “We’re so old, we’ve become ‘cute’ again!” (March 20): My wife and I are seniors who have happily experienced similar observations.

Some weeks ago at a restaurant, the server told us that a customer at the bar had anonymously contributed $50 toward our meal. They had told the barman that we looked like such a “cute” couple.

Funnily enough, a couple of weeks later, while waiting to pay for our beers at another venue, a young woman in line offered to pay the bill as we were “sooo cute.”

If “cuteness” continues to inspire this kind of generosity, we have no complaints about younger people – or being so “old.”

Michael Tilleard Edmonton

In our friend group of four, three of us (all 1948 babies) met in Grade 3 at Runnymede Public School in Toronto. We have been friends ever since.

We recently met for an important mission to comfort a friend who is grieving. Over quiche, bean salad and ample doses of chocolate, we relived the past and planned adventures for the future.

These women mean the world to me. This essay reminded me to tell them again how much I love them.

Here’s to Barbara, Patricia and Carol. They’re the best.

Edie Linscott Lewis Brantford, Ont.

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