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Supporters of the Wet'suwet'en Nation's hereditary chiefs maintain a railway blockade as part of protests against British Columbia's Coastal GasLink pipeline, in St Lambert, Quebec, Feb. 20, 2020.

CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

Quiet resolve

Re The Long And The Short Of The Blockades (Editorial, Feb. 21): Canada has been colonized a few times, first around 12,000 years ago and then again a few hundred years ago. Irrespective of how we view the land, we should acknowledge that it has always been exploited to meet the needs of the latest occupying population (a visit to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta is a visceral reminder of that). As time carried on, the nature of authority moved from local to national in scope, and complications ensued as society tried to balance local rights with the national interest. The current railway blockade seems symptomatic of the lack of clarity on this issue, and nobody – especially not Justin Trudeau – wants to be seen stifling dissent with force.

Human populations have always been in tension when different views of land use are involved. One way forward would be to define hard and fast rules within a single, indivisible Canada. Massive surface-altering projects such as hydroelectric dams should be able to survive challenges in the courts, but in turn also be bound by reclamation obligations. And intensive, but temporary, subsurface developments such as pipelines should become the exclusive domain of the federal government.

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Jackson von der Ohe Edmonton


Re Trudeau Urges Patience, Not Force, To Resolve Rail Blockades (Feb. 19): I was so impressed with the Prime Minister calling for respect and communication. I wish I knew how to help our democracy build the respect and communication he speaks of. Instead I listen to and read so many comments that do not seem helpful, except to further entrench polarizing views. So how do we help? I can’t help but think silence is a huge part of the answer.

Is there any way we can be quiet and let our government and its Indigenous partners work this out?

Kathleen Gallagher Ross Toronto

Got milk?

Re The New Milk (Report on Business, Feb. 15): I am puzzled by those who resist inventions such as lab-made milk. After all, what we buy in cartons is not actually milk as it comes from a cow.

No cow supplies liquid that has, say, precisely 3.25-per-cent fat; milk should not have a shelf life of a month – unrefrigerated raw milk turns sour in a day or two; nor is what cows give us homogenized or pasteurized. All that engineering is all right for dairy producers. I see no reason why another step should be reviled.

Stan Szpakowicz Kamloops, B.C.

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In death

Re Don’t Fear The Reaper – Or The Dying (Opinion, Feb. 15): Having received a dreaded call that my overseas father was in a hospital and not expected to survive, I embarked on a 20-hour journey to be with him. What would happen when I got there? What would I do about the elephant in the room, that the only reason I was there was because he was dying?

All of that vanished the moment I walked into the room. He held my hand and we gave each other a squeeze. I climbed on his hospital bed and we held each other. Tears quietly streaming down my face, we said everything we never said to each other without saying a single word.

That afternoon, a few close friends joined us, and at one point we were having an animated discussion about politics and the fires in the Amazon. Although in and out of consciousness, my father was there with us, and was dying as he loved to live: surrounded by the people and conversations he enjoyed so much. He passed at the end of the day.

I can guarantee it was far more important for my father to have us there with him on that day than to attend his funeral or celebrate his life at a future event. While those functions have an important role for those left behind, what matters for the dying person is showing up for them on their homestretch. Don’t let your loved ones die alone!

Luciana Brasil West Vancouver


Re MAID and Mental Illness (Letters, Feb. 20): My daughter died by suicide several years ago. She was 18. She had been in treatment for three years and had a loving and supportive family. Aside from the excruciating pain of losing her, the most difficult part was the fact she had to do it by herself, with no comfort, no one holding her hand.

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For those who may not have experienced mental illness, directly or indirectly, criticizing the offering of medical assistance in dying to those who choose it is easy, but the individual choice to end one’s life must be among the most difficult decisions one has to make. Those suffering from mental illness should have as much compassion and support as those suffering from pain-filled terminal cancer.

Mary McLaren Nakusp, B.C.

Think of the children

Re Empty Nest (Opinion, Feb. 15): The article on in vitro fertilization by The Globe’s Melissa Stasiuk was brave and raw. I sympathize with her as I followed that path some time ago as well, but without success. There will be many who are unsuccessful in this or who cannot afford to embark on this journey in the first place, as she points out.

I would like to raise the issue of adoption. Our planet is overwhelmed by an ever-increasing number of people. In the meantime, there are so many children in need, both in our country and abroad. The adoption process is also very slow, complex and limited. I would be grateful for more coverage of the current state of adoption in Canada that might nudge the process to become more available and affordable. Families are made in all sorts of ways.

Lori Moore Whitby, Ont.

Pop will eat itself

Re Cancel Culture (Opinion, Feb. 15): Regarding contributor Marc Weingarten’s diminishing view of pop culture, that sort of dialogue seems long overdue. For instance, pop culture may be to blame for the decline of newspaper sales in the Maritimes, or the demise of much classical music on the radio. I am recently retired, and one of the things I like best is not having to listen my co-workers’ loud urban cowboy music, and their endless talk about television and who won the lottery.

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Don’t take me for a snob – I just want something more interesting.

Wendell Hughes Morell, PEI

Royalties

Re Harry, Meghan to end royal duties March 31 (Feb. 20): I think I’ve finally figured it out: Meghan and Harry settled into a Vancouver Island mansion to save its owner from paying the vacant-home tax. Touché once again to the machinations of the 1 per cent!

Sue Butler Victoria

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