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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.

Todd Korol/The Canadian Press

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Wake up

Re We’re Sleepwalking Into A Brutal Third Wave (Feb. 12): The picture doctor Brooks Fallis paints is clear: A third wave is coming. It will be big. It will be merciless. Why oh why is the Ontario government loosening restrictions when this tsunami is in sight?

We are getting used to lockdowns; to ease restrictions now, only to tighten them again later, seems wrong-headed. It is critical that the government should heed those telling it to stay the course and treat this like a medical emergency, not an economic or, worse, a political one.

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Rita Scagnetti Thornhill, Ont.

Best for Alberta?

Re Political Death Can Come By 1,000 Small Cuts (Feb. 6): Previously, I have lost sleep pondering the consequences of Justin Trudeau’s actions. Lately it has become obvious to me that the most significant problem is right here in my province: Jason Kenney.

It seems hypocritical that he demands the U.S. government “open the door to a constructive and meaningful dialogue” on Keystone XL, then downplays his own gamble on the pipeline. He was also happy to attempt to allow open-pit coal mining in the Rocky Mountains without key public consultations.

We expect government to act in good faith and honestly. With that in mind, I am going to buy a membership in the United Conservative Party and join a growing number of Albertans who will seek leadership change within the party.

In the meantime, despite my reservations about New Democratic Party policies, I am going to make a donation to help Rachel Notley expose the urgency of the situation.

Douglas Campbell Sherwood Park, Alta.

Penny for your stocks

Re GameStop Stock Swings Highlight Potential For Wider Market Stress (Report on Business, Feb. 8): When I was a young fool, I opened a trading account with a major bank. Within days, I received my first call from someone peddling a penny stock.

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Just put in $500, he said, see how it goes. It went exactly as I should have guessed: My 5,000 shares at 10 cents each went up to 15 cents. Now he was sure they would hit 25 cents. Buy a few more, he said. The shares went up to 18 cents, then there was a massive selloff and they were down to a penny a piece.

These scams have been around forever. They were made easier, and more profitable, with the advent of online day-trading, and even more so with social media.

GameStop was another version of the same shell game. But instead of “make a pile of money,” it was “get the man.” Different pitch, same sale.

Tom Curran Prince Edward County, Ont.

By design

Re Inside Out (Letters, Feb. 5): A letter-writer asks: “Does the City of Toronto have no more pressing issues than to rule on a residential interior design that the original architect barely remembered doing?” As senior manager Mary MacDonald explained to the Toronto Preservation Board at a meeting on Jan. 29, the report in question, and the attention to interior architecture, was an obligation due to a legacy designation. It does not reflect the board or the city’s current heritage policy, which would only in very exceptional circumstances include interior architecture.

Geoff Kettel Toronto Preservation Board member

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Re Frank Gehry Project Taking Shape On King West (Feb. 9): In 1982, a famous architect came to Toronto and built a circular concert hall from concrete. The acoustics were terrible, only partially rectified with millions of dollars of interior revisions.

In 2007, a famous architect came to Toronto and tacked a fanciful metal-and-glass creation onto the Royal Ontario Museum. It was reverently referred to as the “Crystal,” but is now often described as a dated, arbitrary appendage.

So I was amused to see yet another famous architect come to Toronto. His monstrous dual towers would “have a level of humanity other buildings around them don’t have.” He mused that the void between them would “suggest a third building … buy two buildings and get a third one free!”

Apparently famous architects can flaunt the laws of physics and create buildings out of thin air. And Toronto, in its endless quest to be a world-class city, celebrates what I see as flim-flammery.

Ken West Bobcaygeon, Ont.

Prime Plummer

Re Actor Shone on Stage and Screen in the Shadow of Sound of Music (Obituary, Feb. 6): I remember seeing Christopher Plummer in the 1990s in Lunenburg, N.S. I was on business and having dinner with some colleagues. A few tables away was Mr. Plummer, sitting alone, enjoying his dinner.

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I debated introducing myself, but decided not to disturb Mr. Plummer’s dinner. When our server took our orders, she asked if we would like to order wine. I glanced Mr. Plummer’s way, then said: “Yes, please, I will have a bottle of whatever Christopher is having.”

To this day, I regret introducing myself to Mr. Plummer. However, the wine I enjoyed that evening was excellent.

Barry Philippson Ottawa


As I watched Christopher Plummer make his entrance at a performance of A Word or Two, a bird swooped down from high, directly across his path, then back up into the rafters.

Throughout the show, that bird took off and landed no less than eight or nine times, in full view of those on and off stage. The audience gasped the first time, but basically ignored all future flights. Mr. Plummer never made note of it. On his stage, that bird simply did not exist.

His concentration and devotion to his art was almost surreal. One of a kind barely scratches the surface.

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Keith Perrott Toronto


In the mid-1940s, there was a summer theatre in the Eastern Townships called the Knowlton Playhouse. One year a cousin was in a play with Chris, maybe 20 years old; we joined the players after for a convivial time.

Thirty years later, Bishop’s College School held a fundraiser with Chris as the main draw in a one-man act. At the reception, I asked him if he remembered the Knowlton Playhouse. He gave a great roar and said, “My God, that was the start of my acting career,” then went on to ask about the other fellow actors.

Spotting him during an intermission at the Stratford Festival a few years ago, I again went to say hello and recall the past incident. He was all smiles as he thanked me for the memory, then turned to his wife Elaine Taylor to explain.

Lovely man.

Jocelyn Shaw Toronto

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Though I never had the chance to meet him in person, I owe Christopher Plummer my deepest thanks for two of his great theatrical performances.

The first was his starring role as Prospero in The Tempest at the Stratford Festival in 2010, one of the first out-of-town trips I made with my girlfriend. It was at that performance that I learned Mr. Plummer would restage Barrymore the following year in Toronto.

My girlfriend and I travelled by train from Ottawa to Toronto for the show. At dinner that evening before the performance, I asked her to marry me. She said yes. The show carried a particular magic that night.

Michael Kaczorowski Ottawa


In 1952, Christopher Plummer erupted onto a Toronto stage in Socrates by Lister Sinclair. He was only 22 then. His performance was alive, funny, charming – assets he exhibited over a long and successful career.

I was blessed to see that early performance, and to be at the Stratford Festival in 1957. Chris delivered the new theatre’s first performance of Hamlet, which is the very best I have seen. Macbeth, Lear – he did them all.

I saw him once burst out of the backstage door, scatter a flock of high-school students, climb into his sports car, then sign a dozen autographs. It was a performance.

Stratford also earned the first performance of Barrymore, which he owned and played throughout the world. Then in The Last Station, his Tolstoy – a nearly 100-year-old man. Chris did them all.

He will be missed.

David Peddie Toronto


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