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Judicial journey

Re This Is A Crime Scene. When Will Canada Take Responsibility For Bringing About Justice? (July 16): How we all deal with these crimes is far from clear.

It is true, as a letter-writer tells us (Things To Come – July 15), that the federal Crown has constitutional responsibility for, and owes fiduciary obligations to, Indigenous peoples. It is also true that the Crown has responsibility for, and owes duties to, others in Canada as well. The need to balance different duties such as these, when they conflict, is one of the reasons we have a judicial system.

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I find that Indigenous peoples have, by and large, been well-served by the judiciary, and the letter-writer is wrong to suggest that government should discontinue looking to the courts to settle such matters in a fair way.

Peter Love Toronto

You and whose army?

Re Former Top General Vance Charged With Obstruction Of Justice (July 16): There’s an old saying that every country has a choice between two armies – one’s own or someone else’s. A strong army is vital, but it’s quite evident to me that the military in this country is broken.

Perhaps someone else’s army is more preferable.

Douglas Cornish Ottawa

Conservative confusion

Re The Conservative Temperament Is Repellent (July 14): It’s mostly policy that holds me back from voting Conservative. It is a mystery to me why we don’t have a socially liberal, fiscally conservative party in Canada.

Perhaps pollsters know better, but I would like to see a party that is selective about what government does, ensures it does those things well and explains clearly why it doesn’t overextend itself. I’ve seen the Conservatives spend far too much energy on getting government to interfere in citizens’ lives on social issues.

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When in government, I think they have spent far too much money on subsidy programs such as home renovations in the name of job creation. How about infrastructure, encouraging and regulating competitive markets, effective and efficient plans for climate change, a good balance between public and private health care options and efficient public services?

Then maybe more than 41 per cent of the population would consider voting Conservative.

Gord Flaten Regina


Given our recent historic heat wave, I wonder how many people from Lytton, or anywhere in British Columbia, would vote for a party that won’t recognize climate change as real?

Arlene Churchill Surrey, B.C.

Careful consideration

Re Liberals Bank On Urban Votes With Affordable Child-care Plan (July 16): Child care is not merely an urban issue. Evidence shows that quality child care is important for rural/remote/suburban families, but its provision is impeded by Canada’s child-care market approach.

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Is the Liberal child-care program expensive? Not when compared to the spending of peers in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or to Canadian parents’ sky-high out-of-pocket child-care fees.

Intrusive? Not with Ottawa’s evidence-based program elements and provinces willingly collaborating to craft their own programs.

Inflexible? A federal role shouldn’t signify a “one-size-fits-all” outcome. Responsive public policy is the best way to meet a diversity of child-care needs – shaped by diverse cultures, abilities, needs, schedules – using a Canada-wide approach similar to medicare.

There’s now much better understanding of how important quality child care is for children, families, women and the economy, and of the best ways to ensure this becomes a reality.

Martha Friendly Childcare Resource and Research Unit Toronto

Dining dearth

Re Indoor Dining Is Back – But Restaurant Staffs Are Not (July 15): Perhaps if restaurants provided safer work environments, more staff would be willing to return. I have been disappointed in the negative reactions of many restaurateurs to any pandemic restrictions.

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My advice: Make vaccination mandatory for staff and patrons, then workers would be more willing to return and still-vulnerable seniors would feel comfortable in dining establishments.

Glen Morehouse Washago, Ont.


Sympathetic as I am to contributor Stephen Beckta’s cry for a return of his staff, I cannot help but think of those first few months, some 20 years ago, after I walked away from working as a professional cook at some of the finest restaurants in Toronto.

Two weeks in, I noticed the arch in my foot was returning to normal, I was well rested without 12-hour work days and, most remarkable of all, I had a social life again.

I can’t help but think of all the cooks suffering without work, but it seems the pandemic has given them a reason to reconsider their career choice. So long as poor hours and mostly terrible money play into back-of-house restaurant work, I think we can expect a shortage of talent to continue for some time.

David Roy Toronto

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Medical memory

Re Remembering Our Front-line Heroes (Editorial, July 16): I can understand and sympathize with nurses in this country.

Imagine working long hours with all the stress of COVID-19, and having to treat thousands of vaccine-hesitant people or those who think it is a hoax. They put their lives at stake for people who do not care.

After 15 months they had enough, especially when provincial governments praised them but refused to increase salaries. Indeed, praise is not enough and now we have a nursing shortage in Canada.

What a tragedy, and so easily solved.

Robert Tremblay Gatineau, Que.


Alberta Health Services recently returned to the bargaining table with the United Nurses of Alberta and demanded many detractions and a 3-per-cent pay cut!

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All front-line health care workers should be getting bonuses, not pay cuts. It’s shameful treatment.

Dorothy Watson Toronto

Re New Toronto Park Honours Front-line Heroes Of 1840s (July 16): Perhaps memorials to pandemics should be as common as those to our politicians.

Over the past 400 years, dozens of pandemics scoured North America. Smallpox, measles and influenza tore through the northern half of the continent in the early 1600s, and multiple times thereafter. Typhus, tuberculosis and polio followed.

Each of these pandemics had more severe consequences than COVID-19. Entire generations were scarred and orphaned, particularly among Indigenous communities. We forget this history because of our modern successes in public health, particularly through vaccination and potable water supplies.

Perhaps this is a good time to remember a little more of our medical history, teach it and commemorate it..

John Riley Mono, Ont.


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