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One reader writes in to say that 'for the next three months, grocery workers' – a Loblaws store in Toronto seen here on March 20, 2020 – 'will be exposed to a public that has more opportunities for contracting COVID-19 than before.'

Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

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Name names

Re Issues Are Deeper Than Names (Letters, June 15): The sign at the end of my street displays a poppy, as do all the streets in my subdivision, to indicate it is named in honour of a veteran. A quick search of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site lists five Canadian servicemen with the surname Dundas, and I would guess there are many more veterans so named who served and survived.

Perhaps a rededication of communities and roads named Dundas in their honour, along with suitable signage, would be a better way than attempting to completely erase a historical misjudgment.

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Clark Lewis Cambridge, Ont.


Add the town of Brantford and Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, Ont., to the list – he was a slaveholder.

Craig Sims Kingston

Defund to fund

Re ‘Defund The Police’ Should Be A Conservative Rallying Cry, Too (Opinion, June 13): Our country is having a reckoning as I write these words, and it’s because of the bold and uncompromising visions of Black and Indigenous leaders who dare imagine a world beyond systemic oppression and police brutality.

It’s clearer than ever to me that their vision is not only possible but necessary. I call on elected officials across Canada to defund police forces and invest in health, mental health, education and stable housing for Black and Indigenous communities.

The violent responses of police against those who encounter them, which we have recently seen on video over and over again, have shown us just how urgently we should realize a world where Black and Indigenous lives matter. What could we do with the resources currently filling the overflowing coffers of the police? What additional demands do we have of our politicians? What do safety, justice and emergency response look like when it’s for and by all communities, here and everywhere?

Katie Pearlman Calgary

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No frills?

Re We Have Flattened The Curve, Now What? (Report on Business, June 15): I think it takes a lot of gall for Galen Weston, as a Globe contributor, to implore government to provide incentives to work, just after his company reduced pandemic pay for employees (Big Grocers Cut Pandemic Bonus Pay – Report on Business, June 13). If he really wants an engaged and enthusiastic work force, he should start by making positions full time, with appropriate benefits, and offer a living wage.

Manuel Buchwald Toronto


As a regular consumer of groceries and investor in the Canadian economy, I’d encourage our business leaders to bring a pandemic lens to their thinking as provinces reopen. For the next three months, grocery workers will be exposed to a public that has more opportunities for contracting COVID-19 than before. In the interest of fair and ethical practice, I’d like to see them keep their increased pay during this period.

By the end of three months, the number of cases will have risen, or not, and we’ll have a better sense of risks. Companies should put away any eagerness to cut pay. Their employees are the people who remain on the front line while the rest of us “ease back” into our salons, chiropractors and tattoo parlours.

Deanna Hutchings Victoria


Is the pandemic still going? Yes.

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Are women and visible minorities more likely than white men to be grocery workers? Yes.

Are risks of contracting COVID-19 elevated for grocery workers? Yes.

Will promises to help the more disadvantaged be sustained beyond 2020? Guess not.

Anna Durbin and Janet Durbin Toronto

Tomato, tomato

Re The WHO Risks It All By Misspeaking (Opinion, June 13): Kudos to columnist Robyn Urback for brilliantly articulating the terminological confusion that has caused people to be skeptical about wearing masks, something that has likely led to considerable, and unnecessary, loss of life from COVID-19.

As she points out, the distinction between asymptomatic transmission and presymptomatic transmission is of the utmost importance. It should go down in communications textbooks, along with such things as the ambiguity of air traffic controllers’ directives for snowplow operators to “clear the runway” – meaning “get off for an emergency landing,” but easily misinterpreted to mean “go on the runway to clear snow.”

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Randal Marlin Ottawa

At any rate

Re Minister Should Refinance (Letters, June 15): To those suggesting François-Philippe Champagne is potentially exposed to undue pressure because he has two mortgages with the Bank of China: What exactly can China do?

The mortgages are on properties in London and subject to British law. As long as Mr. Champagne is making payments, the worst that can happen is the Bank of China declining to renew them when terms are up. So what?

I suspect the minister will be going to a different bank to renew his mortgages in any event, given the time spent dealing with this non-issue. Talk about a tempest in a teapot.

Eric Cline Saskatoon

Conflict of interest?

Re Why Canada’s Bid For A Seat At The UN Security Council Matters (June 15): Contributor John McNee says that “Canada could contribute to the council’s agenda around threats to peace in places such as Yemen.”

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I would like to be at the meeting where the Canadian diplomat walks in and greets the Yemeni delegate with a handshake and says: “Hi, I’m from Canada. How can we help your country?” Brief pause. “Oh, those arms sales to Saudi Arabia? We’ll get back to you.”

John Moore Toronto

Money, mouth

Re Dental And Drug Coverage, Too (Letters, June 13): Canadians apparently agree that it is acceptable to wait months (and even years) for treatment of a sore hip or knee, as long as it is covered by medicare.

It will be interesting to observe, if dental care is absorbed into the system, how they feel about waiting months for treatment of a painful tooth.

Eric Pugash MD, Vancouver

Sit out

Re Pro Sports Events Are Not Occasions Worthy Of National Anthems (Sports, June 13): During the mid-1960s, the national anthem was played at theatres throughout Ontario before the showing of films. Audiences stood and sang – except my mother, Julia, still alive.

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Despite being decorated for her Second World War service, she felt more comfortable seated and silent. Perhaps the Republic of Ireland, being the last place we lived before moving to Canada, had something to do with it!

Christopher Cottier West Vancouver


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