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Britain's King Charles greets people waiting to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth following her death, in London, on Sept. 17.TOM NICHOLSON/Reuters

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Horsing around

Re The Queen Knew Everything There Was To Know About The Sport Of Kings (Sports, Sept. 14): Queen Elizabeth knew horses, but early in her time on the throne, she hadn’t yet totally finessed the rules surrounding racing them.

In 1959, the Jockey Club fined the Queen the equivalent of US$140 for withdrawing her horse Above Suspicion from the Champion Stakes at Newmarket (the British racetrack, not the Ontario town) too late, failing to give the club three days’ notice.

No disrespect to Her Majesty’s memory is meant by the conveyance of this tidbit. Long live the King.

George Olds Hamilton

Common concerns

Re Preserving The Commonwealth May Prove Charles’s Hardest Job (Sept. 13): As an Australian currently staying in Canada, I felt compelled to respond about the future of the monarchy in my country.

After four years of wrangling about the kind of republic that could be established, a referendum was held in 1999. The Australian people decisively voted in favour of keeping the monarchy. I have seen little interest, other than by republican activists, to revisit the issue.

There are also two well-funded pro-monarchy groups that continue to assert themselves, awaiting any moves by the new Labour government, which has stated that this issue is not on its current agenda. (The Liberal-National Coalition, which has ruled Australia for most of the recent past, had always supported the monarchy.)

Success at a referendum requires not only a majority vote, but a majority in four of Australia’s six states, which looks problematic. I believe King Charles will reign for some time in Australia.

George Hitchcock Nanaimo, B.C.


Re The Queen Was The English World’s First – And Likely Its Last – Professional Constitutional Monarch (Sept. 15): Given the recital of King Charles’s many egregious departures from the Bagehot ideal of monarchic aloofness from the fray, the possibility of his becoming the last British monarch is not unreal.

Can the King shed the legacy of his lengthy ideological and partisan meanderings;? If not, will Britain tire of a hereditary head? What, then, of the Gov.-General as stand-in for the monarch if there is none?

We cannot discount such possibility. As columnist Doug Saunders writes, “Many will begin to wonder why we continue choosing heads of state this way.” Should this occur, Canada would be a head-of-state-less nation, adrift of its monarchic moorings.

Constitutional limbo would be the price of remaining a satellite.

John Edmond Ottawa


Re Trudeau, Party Leaders Pay Tribute To The Late Monarch (Sept. 16): It seems a bit over the top that the Bloc Québécois left the House of Commons after the moments of reflection on the legacy of the Queen, using words like “thorny and cruel” to describe British dominance.

If the winners at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham had been as hardnosed as were the Spanish and Portuguese conquerors of South America, there would be no Catholic influence in Canada, nor any French-speaking province.

Perhaps the Bloc Leader needs a new definition of “thorny and cruel.”

Dave Ashby Toronto

Better behaviour

Re We Can Steer Politicians Away From Hyper-partisanship (Sept. 13): I find it an embarrassment and a travesty of governance that sessions of Parliament regularly devolve into puerile brouhahas: adversarial, unproductive, hyper-partisan hooliganism. Virtually any citizen can run for office and win a seat. There is no standard for training, experience or performance.

Whether it be daycare staff or emergency personnel, we expect that people in positions of public trust and service be adequately trained and possess the mature behaviour necessary to perform their jobs well. We should stop excluding parliamentarians from that common-sense standard.

Contributor Maxwell Cameron describes a marvellously wise system to train, support and encourage politicians to be more collaborative, deliberative and civil in the performance of their parliamentary functions. Government should demonstrate the political will to improve the health and functioning of our democracy.

There should be no place for uncivil toxicity.

Jill Kannegiesser Toronto

Spread the pain

Re Inflation Relief For Some, At What Cost For All? (Report on Business, Sept. 15): Justin Trudeau says that $4.6-billion for low earners won’t exacerbate inflation. A basic economics course teaches that adding stimulus to an economy experiencing high inflation will make inflation worse.

Canada has too much money bidding for goods and services that are in short supply. The Finance Minister recently said that deficits must stop as they’re inflationary.

I’m deeply disappointed to see that politics seems to trump good judgment yet again.

Joel Cohen FCPA, Hamilton

Don’t bet on it

Re As Online Sports Gambling Flourishes In Canada, Other Countries Are Starting To Crack Down (Report on Business, Sept. 12): For those of us who hold no fascination with the advent of online single-event sports betting, the surge in related advertising is as annoying as it is concerning.

Making gambling (“a tax on the poor”) more accessible seems an unlikely way to reduce social harm. Organized crime will always be the lender of last resort. This does not look like an appropriate way to end its involvement, seeming more likely to expand its customer base.

As they have discovered in Britain, we will all end up paying the price, if government can’t look past the possibility of another revenue dollar to see the social harm that gambling can do.

Neville Taylor Toronto


So sad that, as Britain moves to curb the online gambling harvest of cash from suggestible or vulnerable people, Canada is wide open to targeted advertising.

Is it because provincial governments get a cut of the misery bounty, perhaps? Will Canada not learn from the mistakes of Britain and other countries? It would seem so.

“Responsible gambling” – an oxymoron.

Mike Firth Toronto

Grand exit

Re Roger Federer Is The Kind Of Tennis Legend Who Turned Sport Into Art (Sports, Sept. 16): As a lifetime tennis fanatic, I have watched, often in pure wonderment, all the modern greats. None compare to Roger Federer.

My family and I are sad to see him depart competition, but we are grateful to have been enriched by such a titan for so many years. He is in the pantheon of all-time greatest global athletes.

I do not think we will see his like again.

Andrew Milner Peterborough, Ont.


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