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A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver on March 23, 2020.

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Services rendered

Re Morneau Family Also Has WE Charity Ties (July 11): Many years ago, as a professional motivational speaker, I made presentations for a young man named Craig Kielburger and his fledgling young people’s group. I paid for my own travel expenses and did not receive any remuneration.

You guessed it: My last name isn’t Trudeau.

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Hazel Regan Toronto

Where money grows

Re There’s Less To This Snapshot Than Meets The Eye (Opinion, July 11): I believe columnist Andrew Coyne is wrong to say the public will have to pay back this money. The extraordinary sums he lists are not being borrowed from savers but rather from the Bank of Canada. Warren Buffett describes money as a claim check on goods or services: Normally we borrow the money (the saved claim checks of depositors); the repayment represents a claim on some of our future production.

When the economy is growing, the savings are often insufficient, so additional claim checks need to be issued either by the banks or central bank. But in the current crisis, savings are collapsing and bankruptcies are increasing, and the primary source of the needed volume of claim checks is the central bank.

Unlike private bank savings, the loans should not have to be paid back by taxpayers because they own the bank.

Joseph Polito Toronto

Canada and war crimes

Re Ottawa’s Tragic Failure To Prosecute An Alleged War Criminal (July 10): Thanks to contributors Matt Eisenbrandt and Amanda Ghahremani for showing how little Canada did to expose an alleged warlord.

Who allows such people to flourish here? How do they achieve shelter with impunity? Why did Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program seem to ignore well-documented information on Bill Horace? Why did its investigation fizzle out, as The Globe and Mail reports? (Killing Of Former Liberian Warlord Linked To ‘Black Money’ Fraud Scheme – July 10)

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It may have been a kind, compassionate gesture to allow him into Canada, but I doubt any victims would feel compassionate. Asylum seekers are a vulnerable group, often suffering permanent health problems from torture, sexual abuse and oppression.

Margaret van Dijk Toronto

School’s half-out

Re Parents. Trapped. (Report on Business, July 11): I have never read anything that makes less sense than the proposals being suggested. Children should be in the classroom five days a week. How do parents go back to work when their children are enrolled two days one week and three the next?

As well, the school day traditionally finishes early enough that it should be possible for them to be thoroughly cleaned by 8 a.m.

Students need more than a few days a week in class to learn the curriculum.

If we don’t get back to serious teaching soon, then the future of this country will likely be in jeopardy.

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If students graduate without learning anything, how will they get jobs in the future?

Schools should rent space in empty offices to create safely distanced classrooms. Staff should be tested weekly.

Other countries have sent their children back to school full-time. Why can’t we?

Marilyn Dolenko Ottawa

Re Tell Parents How Schools Will Reopen (Editorial, July 11): Ontario chooses to ignore the advice of doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children that children should be allowed to return to school and their normal activities. All while new daycare restrictions will result in fewer available spots, when anything other than full-time schooling will still require more options for care.

This government seems so out of touch with the needs of working parents and young children, they might as well say, “Let them eat cake.”

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Sharron Barker Whitby, Ont.

I would be interested to know how many parents, who are worried about their children’s safety, would be comfortable with a “hybrid” school week versus a full week. In for a penny, in for a pound?

The government should open schools full-time and subsidize homeschool programs for parents who are still uneasy. School boards should not be expected to please everyone.

Sarah Timney Toronto

Re Out Of Province (Letters, July 10): A letter-writer from British Columbia is “astonished” that Ontario has not caught up with the rest of the country and done away with streaming in high school.

If B.C., as in Ontario, hasn’t decimated its schools by reducing the number of teachers, teaching assistants and other staff who provide support for at-risk students, destreamed classes could very well be successful.

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However without these supports, one can only feel sympathy for the hypothetical student performing at two years below in math, trying to succeed in a class of 25-plus – not to mention the expectations put on teachers to succeed!

Ann Sullivan Peterborough, Ont.

Turkish politics

Re Turkish ‘Terrorism’ Probe Lists People In Canada Linked To Erdogan’s Rival (July 7): July 15 will be the fourth anniversary of a coup attempt against the Republic of Turkey. It is an appropriate time to take a closer look at the group known as FETO.

We believe that it is a huge distortion to depict FETO leader Fethullah Gulen as a peaceful scholar who stands for democracy and human rights. His group is what we describe as “terrorism 4.0,″ or a white-collar terrorist organization. We consider followers of Mr. Gulen living in Canada – here through your country’s compassion and democratic refugee system – to be serious threats.

FETO by no means represents the peaceful and law-abiding Turkish-Canadian community. We strongly advise readers to reach out and see how they regard FETO.

Today, we find there is consensus across political parties in Turkey against the group’s character.

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In Turkey, we have suffered enormous pain caused by FETO. Now, we feel it is our duty to share this hard-learned lesson with our friend and ally, Canada.

Kerim Uras Turkish ambassador to Canada; Ottawa


Re Why Is There A Resurgence Of COVID-19 Cases Across The U.S.? (July 11): I know we’re supposed to be optimistic, but I’m afraid humanity has plenty of examples of things getting worse, or not much better, after bad times.

Spates of bubonic plagues; Vladimir Putin after the Soviet Union; the Great Depression and the Second World War after the First World War; the Middle Ages after the Roman Empire, Donald Trump after George W. Bush; Revenge of the Sith after The Phantom Menace; Brian Burke after John Ferguson Jr.

Put your seatbelts on: This second wave will likely be a doozy.

Nigel Smith Toronto


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