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PSAC workers and supporters walk a picket line in Halifax on April 24. Canada's largest federal public-service union continues to be on strike across the country after talks with the government failed to produce an agreement.Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

Adds up

Re “Ottawa must strike delicate balance on inflation during labour negotiations, economists say” (Report on Business, April 25): I have a federal job, but I also have three more.

Making ends meet is difficult. With the annual salaries of a majority of union members between $50,000 and $75,000, that means many incomes fall below the cost of living.

Look up what it costs to rent an apartment lately, but have the ambulance on speed dial in case of heart attack. Add to that utilities, internet, groceries, gas, insurance and all the things, and soon I am staring into the accusing eyes of a piggy bank mad at being starved to death.

We want fair wages for us, and we want them for everyone. We should all be able to live without blowing into a paper bag when paying bills. We should instead enjoy the satisfying clink of a piggy bank nibbling a toonie on payday.

Stand with us.

Lorryann Arsenault Beausoleil, N.B.

War and compromise

Re “What Northern Ireland teaches us about ending the Ukraine war” (April 25): I believe diplomacy was successful in Northern Ireland because both sides were not only able to claim victory, but also bemoan what they were forced to surrender.

Annette Kavanagh-Turner Guelph, Ont.


Re “I’m the CEO of Dominion Voting Systems – and I believe the truth still matters” (April 22): Thanks to Dominion Voting Systems CEO John Poulo for exposing Fox News, and for holding it accountable in front of the court and the public.

How can anyone continue to listen to deceitful, shameful and dishonest media? The settlement is good, but I would love to see Fox viewers turn away. There should be heftier consequences for media that knowingly spreads lies.

Thanks again to Mr. Poulo for the courage and determination to uphold the truth. I, as well, believe the truth still matters.

Grace Batchoun Montreal

I sympathize with Dominion Voting Systems CEO John Poulos as a result of the effect Fox News had on his company and employees.

I understand how it seems like a victory to win a substantial settlement. However, I think he is wrong to say that he has won much of a victory for truth in reporting and journalistic integrity.

Fox did not have to admit to anything or even refer to the settlement in its own news coverage. How much more impactful and satisfying would it have been to see Fox executives admit at trial to deceiving its audience.

It seems that money, rather than principle, has again won the day.

Michael Rea Toronto

In treatment

Re “Involuntary treatment for addiction and mental illness is a tough call. But failing to provide it is cruel” (Editorial, April 22): As past president of the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta and the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, I have supported and argued in favour of compulsory treatment.

But it is critical to note the reference therein to the inadequate resourcing of community supports for recovery from severe and persistent mental illness. Our community still has much to do in that regard.

Over his initial strenuous objection, one of my sons was on a compulsory treatment order in Alberta for five years. Over that interval, he came to recognize the validity of his diagnosis and accept treatment. Key to that was working with a psychiatrist and case manager who he could trust and relate with.

With their support, he successfully applied for release – a personal success story and a template for future progress.

Jim Adamson Calgary

The issue of involuntary treatment for addiction is personal for my family and living proof that it works.

As parents, we were faced with the choice of a high risk of our child’s death or sending them away for involuntary treatment in the United States. Fortunately, we could afford expensive research-based treatment.

We chose life and a chance at living. Our child thanks us on every anniversary of their recovery for making the decision to save their life. They admit that they would not have been able to make this decision themselves, and know that the outcome would have been very different.

We owe it to those without capacity to make this option available.

M. Louise Lemieux White Toronto

My father was an involuntary patient in Coquitlam, B.C., from 1955 to 1960. It was a difficult time for him and our family. However, his treatment allowed him to live a better life.

Left untreated, he could have been on the street. Many homeless people do not have a chance without treatment, wandering the streets, sleeping in doorways and, if they are lucky, receiving sporadic assistance.

Today, street drugs severely complicate this critical situation. If a loving family and their doctors agree to provide involuntary treatment, someone may not become an increasingly sad statistic.

My dad did not become a statistic.

Bruce Wilson London, Ont.

Next generation

Re “Adolescents are in the midst of a full-blown mental-health crisis” (Opinion, April 22): By any definition, I am far from being a young person. But I identify as one, according to the picture painted by contributor Jean M. Twenge.

I was born at the tail end of the Vietnam War. I remember the energy crisis of the 1970s; being terrified of nuclear war; being flummoxed by how bankers survived the 2008 financial crisis that left people and communities bankrupt.

I find myself depressed and pessimistic about the future. Climate change mostly accounts for that because, unlike those other dark times, I can see in the pages of The Globe and Mail the lives of people around the world being disrupted, their existence on the brink.

Young people are depressed, anxious and pessimistic, but they sure haven’t lost their will to make the world a better place for everybody. I’m glad to think of myself as one of them.

Peter Mountford Hamilton

Contributor Jean M. Twenge identifies the canary in our societal coal mine: If our leaders, political and business alike, cannot convince our youth that their country is a good place to live, there may be a revolution.

Social media may exacerbate the sense of negativity, but our polarized political discourse does nothing to alleviate it. Nor does the gross inequality of our social structures, even if the perception is cognitive distortion.

Improving our youth’s mental health should be easier and less expensive than treating mental-health issues – and much cheaper than revolution. It’s not just undemocratic countries that have legions of disaffected youth.

Len Ashby Toronto

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