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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, June 4, 2020.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Kudos for Trudeau’s pause

Re PM Fails To Say Whether Canada Will Address History Of Slavery (June 3): Prime Minster Justin Trudeau’s 21 seconds of awkward silence before attempting to answer a question related to U.S. President Donald Trump’s use of military, which he miserably failed to answer, can also be interpreted as the helplessness of finding a rationale behind some of Trump’s statements and actions. A lot of sane elements struggle to understand the lucidity behind some of the his actions, comments and rants.

It could also be interpreted as “a moment of silence” to show Canada’s disappointment over our neighbor’s political and leadership situation. If you look at it this way, the silence was a precise Canadian answer that had a duration of 21 seconds.

Anas Khan Beaumont, Alta.

How does one criticize a neighbor in the confines of his own backyard? How does one criticize the action of a head of state, and close ally at that, without breaking diplomatic protocol? Bravado would dictate that the Prime Minister should have ripped Mr. Trump’s actions to shreds, but to what point? By previous standards or norms, of the U.S. presidency, Mr. Trump has shown he is struggling under its weight. I doubt a diatribe against Mr. Trump by Mr. Trudeau would do any good nor would it be in character.

Norman M Ostonal New Westminster B.C.

I would respectively submit that Mr. Trudeau’s hesitation to immediately respond to a sensitive but worthy media question on the latest outrageous behaviour of Mr. Trump represented a demonstration of mature leadership, even statesmanship. While assembling his thoughts for 21 seconds, it was clear what his real feelings were, but it was also clear that he was looking for words that reflected a desire to think long term and preserve as good relations as possible with Canada’s most important trading partner, despite the present occupant of the White House.

Certain politicians and other critics accusing Mr. Trudeau of “spinelessness” should all revisit especially the first two lines of that great seminal poem for trying times, If by Rudyard Kipling: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you ...”

Leo Ryan Westmount, Que.

Day’s remarks and racism

Re Day Resigns From Telus Board After Systemic Racism Remarks (June 4):

It is perplexing and hard to understand how a learned person like Stockwell Day does not know the definitions of bullying and racism. Racism is everywhere, even in Canada. We should all pause to look inward. No innocent child is born a racist. That is learned and hateful behaviour. Parents and families instill it, schoolyards propagate it and, by acts and omissions, it is shared in places of work and worship.

Our differences are what make us unique. Our morals and humanity bring us together. The faster we realize this, and change our behaviours, the quicker racism will die out.

Marian Kingsmill Dundas, Ont.

Do not be mistaken, Canada, we are racist. Our justice and legal system was built for and supports those of us with white skin. Like every genocide in history, racism starts with dehumanizing another.

The most important anti-racism work is taught by people of colour with lived experience. Our job as Canadians is to do this work however painful it is. We can do this, Canada. We can do better.

Sandra Hayes-Gardiner Calgary

Municipalities need support

Re How Ottawa Can Give Cities A Fiscal Lifeline (June 3): For decades, cities and towns have suffered from inadequate fiscal tools to fund their large and ever-growing responsibilities. Municipalities receive approximately $0.08 of every tax dollar raised by all levels of government. This has long been grossly inadequate; the pandemic has shown it’s potentially disastrous. This needs to be fixed but not just with a one-time Band-Aid.

Ottawa should announce that it will permanently transfer 0.5 per cent of its share of harmonized sales tax to all municipalities in a province that agrees to transfer 0.5 per cent of its share. The Constitution is respected, both the feds and the provinces contribute, and municipalities permanently receive revenue from a source that will grow with the economy. And on top of this, I have a feeling it will be politically popular.

Steve Parish, former mayor, Ajax, Ont.

Where’s the data, Quebec?

Re Ontario Appoints Philpott To Lead Pandemic Data Effort (June 4): This is a fantastic initiative by Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government, especially since early reports by Toronto Public Health signal a systemic issue within the health care system that disproportionately affects visible minorities and new immigrant communities.

My question is, where is Quebec’s strategy? When will Quebeckers be able to see the data on which neighborhoods and communities are hardest hit by the virus, and shed light onto systemic issues affecting Black and new immigrant communities in this province? But then again, what can we really expect from a premier who believes systemic racism does not exist in Quebec.

Emmanuel Priniotakis Chomedey, Quebec..

We aren’t in this together

Re Racism Is A Public-Health Crisis That Needs Addressing (June 3): Contrary to what politicians and health authorities tell us, that we are all in it together, André Picard reminds us that our elders and low-wage workers – often women from racialized communities – are the hardest hit. No, we are not all in it together.

Asad Ansari Oakville, Ont.

The CERB lifeline

Re Pawnshops, Payday Lenders Report Decline In Business During COVID-19 (June 3): It seems to me that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments are doing what they are supposed to do when people are not forced to pawn their possessions to pay their rent, feed their kids or contribute to the dreams of some business owners for increased profit at the cost of others’ suffering. I am totally okay with people using “their CERB cheques and trying to buy things to secure their needs,” as noted in the article. Let’s support our common humanity and be thoughtful about what we read and experience during this time.

Lana Shymanski Winnipeg

Big chill

And I quote: “As retailers that sell [Canada Goose] products around the world have had to shut their doors, wholesale shipments have been largely frozen since the end of March.” Well, at least in Canada Goose’s case, the excess parkas won’t get cold!

Steven Brown

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