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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill May 13, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada.

DAVE CHAN/AFP/Getty Images

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Bonus cheques

Re Ottawa To Give One-time Payment To Seniors For Help With COVID Expenses (May 13): The experience my wife and I have had is that our expenses during the pandemic have gone down, not up. Our gym is under lockdown, so that cost has disappeared. We can’t have friends over, so dinner parties are behind us.

We still go on birding expeditions around the reservoir or (recently) in the provincial Fish Creek Park. Otherwise, we go for walks in our neighbourhood. We encounter and joke with people we have never met before. In the evenings, we watch opera or read. It’s not a bad life.

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Whenever it arrives, we’ll be happy to put the government’s tax-free money in the bank. In the meantime, I can’t help wondering when the largesse will end. Somehow, sometime, our governments must repay this bounty.

Peter McKenzie-Brown Calgary


While not wealthy, neither am I struggling financially due to the pandemic.

I will be donating my $300 bonus to far more deserving people such as the family of Benito Quesada, who lost his life to COVID-19 at a slaughterhouse (Second Cargill Employee In Alberta Dies Of COVID-19 – May 13). I find it disturbing that even with the protection of a union, Mr. Quesada died after working in unsafe conditions.

I would challenge other seniors who are comfortably well-off to consider donating their bonus to others who have been financially hurt by COVID-19.

Connie Gibbs Salt Spring Island, B.C.


Money is not enough. If the government really wants to help seniors, why don’t we talk long-term care instead?

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Claire Kilburn Newmarket, Ont.

By the numbers

Re Domestic Violence In Pandemic: Nine Killed In 34 Days (May 13): In Canada, by some counts, a woman is murdered by her partner every six days. Nine in 34 days during the pandemic is statistically not much higher. This is an issue that is largely ignored.

Perhaps the pandemic will bring this horrific situation to the forefront, as it has with the conditions in long-term care homes. Or will it eventually slide back under the radar – in both cases?

Jo Balet Mississauga

There’s a catch

Re Aid Shouldn’t Be Tied To A Political Agenda (May 13): It should be said that a pandemic has put most economies in jeopardy – not government. Could various governments around the world have acted quicker or differently? WHO knows? (Pun intended.) But at issue should not be blame for the state of economic ruin, but how best government might address this crisis.

Federal bridge loans over troubled economic waters rightly should have conditions. The private sector is the heart of the economy, but it’s prone to having privateers against whom the government should protect the people. That is the government’s business.

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Ken DeLuca Arnprior, Ont.


Requiring large firms to prove sustainability measures as a requirement for government loans sounds like a reasonable request. The pandemic has shown that large-scale responses are possible and can make a difference. Why wouldn’t we take this opportunity to build resiliency to the economic challenges we will face as the result of a degrading planet?

Climate change waits for no political agenda, and the sooner we realize this, the better.

Sarah Doyle Waterloo, Ont.

How admirable of Justin Trudeau to only provide money to corporations if they prove support for Canada’s climate goals. That’s a smart way to appeal to big business and environmentalists at the same time. Mr. Trudeau isn’t the most well-liked guy, but I have to say I’m impressed with what he’s done this time around.

Kate Sheardown North Vancouver

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When even Doug Ford supports stringent lockdowns to protect lives, it seems governments of all stripes in this country felt they had no choice. For columnist Andrew Coyne to state that the federal government “shut down the economy” suggests that it had other options when, realistically, it did not.

Michelle Gage Toronto

All together now

Re Ford Says Ontarians Can Now See Family After Premier Caught Defying Virus Orders (May 12): Shame on Doug Ford for inviting not just one, but two people from different households to a gathering on Mother’s Day. The rest of us followed public-health recommendations and stood outside in the cold, greeting loved ones from two metres away. Mr. Ford is a public figure and should be a role model. He should not be making his own rules as he goes along!

Karen Phillips Ancaster, Ont.

Follow the leader?

Re By Withholding Crucial Details On COVID-19 Cases, B.C. Health Authorities Are Undermining Indigenous Governments (May 13): The First Nations Health Authority has worked with our health partners to create notification guidelines that respond to the concerns of First Nations leaders wanting to know if there are any cases of COVID-19 in their communities. We believe these guidelines strike the right balance between the need to protect the health of B.C. First Nations communities and the privacy rights of individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

On a broader note, we would like to recognize that First Nations communities have worked hard to limit the spread of COVID-19. We salute these efforts. We also support the dedication and foresight that our health partners, including Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry, have shown in flattening the pandemic curve in British Columbia.

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Richard Jock Interim CEO, First Nations Health Authority; Coast Salish Territory, West Vancouver


Re B.C., Ottawa Agree On Process To Give Power To Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs (May 6): Who speaks for First Nations? It is a question that comes from hierarchical or authoritarian cultures, and not one easily answered by First Nations that have traditionally governed by consensus. It seems more of a “white man’s question.”

This issue has not changed much since the Oka Crisis in 1990, constitutional discussions in 1992 or land-claim negotiations up to the present day. Electoral systems were mostly imposed upon First Nations. The fractured state of Indigenous governance in Canada will likely confound any negotiations until reconciliation helps fully recognize their distinctive leadership culture.

Sherm Embree Sable River, N.S.​

Hard sell

Re The Subtle Message Delivered By Negative Rates: Policy Makers Have Few Options Left (Report on Business, May 13): Anywhere I turn to read about a post-COVID19 Canadian economy, it paints a doomsday scenario. I am baffled. Is the economy going to collapse because people are now only buying what they really need? Or is this because people are not buying what big corporations are selling?

Avtar Dhanota Toronto

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