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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau appear on stage during WE Day UN in New York City on Sept. 20, 2017.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Did we know?

Re Scandals Can’t Shake The Liberals’ Sense Of Entitlement (July 11): How is it possible that WE Charity, the Prime Minister’s advisers and the Trudeau family did not anticipate a conflict of interest in the government awarding a contract to WE? How is it possible that this decision was not vetted with the Ethics Commissioner during the planning stages? How is it possible that Justin Trudeau did not recuse himself from the discussion or final decision?

It is possible these behaviours are very worrisome to Canadians.

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Peter Visser London, Ont.

Spread the wealth

Re Spend … And Tax? (Letters, July 10): Here’s another thought about wealth availability in our fair country: If the top 10 wealthiest people in Canada pooled their resources, they could wipe out our national debt.

They could be rewarded with our top civilian awards, statues and guaranteed income for the rest of their lives.

Peter Keleghan Toronto

Do the right thing

Re It’s My Right To Drive With My Eyes Closed (July 9): While I understand the point that columnist Robyn Urback is trying to make, and I fully support the use of masks for the greater good of our collective health, I am perplexed by the chosen analogy. She may be preaching to the choir, but if she is hoping to reach people who do in fact feel like their personal freedoms are being infringed upon, I doubt she has persuaded them.

I’m reminded of Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment about Trump supporters, and we know how that backfired.

Jayce Sale Guelph, Ont.

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I recently thought about my grandmother Ida, whom I never knew. She died 100 years ago, when the Spanish flu pandemic killed about 50,000 people in Canada.

Archival photos show many wearing masks and there were quarantines in some provinces. Fear of contagion was likely prevalent then. Yet, apparently, Ida danced exuberantly at a crowded family wedding, became very sweaty, developed a high fever and passed away in a few days.

I understand her need to “liberate” for one evening, to be free from worry about the flu and her daily chores – just as I understand today the need for folks to “liberate” from months of isolation. What I don’t understand is the failure of so many to disregard the personal and public health risks by ignoring basic principles that help decrease virus transmission. It’s a short trip from a crowded beach to a crowded ICU.

We should respect disease and its consequences. We should protect each other with the simple use of masks, distance and washing. If one chooses to ignore the rules, please remember my grandmother Ida. More importantly, remember one’s own grandmother.

Bernard Goldman CM, emeritus professor of surgery, University of Toronto

Point of no return?

Re Health Experts Press Ottawa For ‘Balanced Approach’ To Pandemic (July 8): Politicians and public servants have been earnestly telling us, for months now, about how the damage we have inflicted on our economy – disproportionately felt by young people, women and minorities in mostly precarious employment – is necessary for our collective good. To a point, most of us have agreed. But I believe it has gone too far, and we are destroying the future of our children and the promise of a better life in Canada for many.

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If this is such a national crisis, then those of us with the means should contribute some of our wages to those who have been denied the ability to make a living. I am fortunate to have had no interruption to my private-sector employment. I am willing to help – is the public sector?

Or better yet, just make everyone wear a mask and reopen the entire economy while it is still there to reopen.

Robert Johnston Toronto

Best practices

Re RBC Raises Target To Increase Diversity At Executive Level (Report on Business, July 7): While the Royal Bank of Canada “does not currently track race in its lending” in Canada, the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act requires its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary to track race and more in its lending.

Since 1977, this law has required all large U.S. banks to track and disclose applications, approvals and rejections for loans by the race, gender, income level and neighbourhood of customers. The Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Toronto-Dominion Bank also own U.S. banks that are covered by the law.

More than 90,000 Canadians have sent a letter to federal party leaders and key MPs, calling on the government to enact a similar law for banks in Canada. As the U.S. law has proven, having this data disclosed is one of the only ways to ensure that banks treat all customers fairly and be required to take corrective action if discrimination is found.

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Duff Conacher Co-founder, Democracy Watch; Ottawa

On the way

Re One Pipeline And A New Way Forward (Editorial, July 6): While The Globe and Mail’s editorial is fair and thoughtful, there should be two important points of clarification.

The editorial asserts that, along with court rulings, the Impact Assessment Act, the infamous Bill C-69, “should help future projects avoid extended battles in court.” In practice, Bill C-69 will likely increase regulatory delays. Removing the standing test for intervenors alone will likely result in swamped proceedings targeted by unaffected, but motivated, interest groups.

As well, I believe Ottawa had no option but to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline when the existing owner could no longer manage the cost and chaos created by the government’s cancellation of other viable projects to tidewater, failure to adequately consult First Nations the first time and unwillingness to argue Canada’s legal position in the courts. The government also had the opportunity to pass Bill S-245, which would have declared Trans Mountain to be in the national interest, but did not, despite its passage by the Senate.

Thankfully, Trans Mountain is moving ahead and, when completed, will meaningfully contribute to Canada’s prosperity.

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Doug Black QC, Senator; Ottawa

‘EE’ coming

Re Inuk Leader Urges CFL Team Change Name (Sports, July 9): The Edmonton football team should rebrand. Here are some suggestions.

The Edmonton Economists: “The team will be better next year.”

The Edmonton Escalators: “When you’re down, the only way to go is up.”

The Edmonton Excuses: “We were into the wind every quarter.”

The Edmonton Egotists: “We’re No. 1!”

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Larry Custead Saskatoon


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