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'Does the Bank of Canada feel pressured to compete with private digital currencies?' one reader wonders.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Sound of silence

Re Snowbirds Crash Victim Pursued Adventure (May 19): To our beloved Snowbirds: The silence across Canada will be deafening.

Lynne Collins Surrey, B.C.

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Sliding scale

Re CERB And Other Coronavirus Benefits Won’t Last Forever. Or Will They? What A Universal Basic Income Could Look Like (Opinion, May 16): I realized that the $2,000 CERB amount is close to minimum wage, or what the federal government has decided is the minimum needed for housing and food on a monthly basis. This is more generous than the combination of OAS, CPP and GIS that I receive as a single senior. If I make any income on top of that, the supplement is clawed back, so reaching $2,000 is very difficult.

Welfare recipients get even less. How are they supposed to survive?

Lynn Kirk Pembroke, Ont.

Cold, hard

Re The Death Of Cash Is A Problem For The Bank Of Canada (May 19): Why should disappearing use of cash suddenly be a problem? Most of us have not received our pay in cash for several decades, nor have we paid our bills by bank notes. And many of us have not paid for store purchases by cash for many years. The only time I still use cash is for carpool costs on group hiking trips, and even those we now frequently replace with e-transfers.

Does the Bank of Canada feel pressured to compete with private digital currencies? Is creation of another one really the answer? We should help educate the few still cash-dependent among us to obtain and use debit cards.

John Cihal Calgary

Cities such as San Francisco and Philadelphia have passed laws that cash must be accepted, so as not to discriminate against low-income individuals who have no access to credit. It would fall to the federal government, too, to have the will. That would be good government.

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Gary Raich Toronto

As I approach my 79th birthday, I’ve reflected from time to time on what has worked. Using cash all or most of the time stands out for me. I’ve never been leveraged by excessive debt and learned, sometimes painfully, to live within my means.

As a lifelong tennis player, the adage is never change a winning game – I don’t intend to with my personal financial practices.

Jim Stuart Windsor, Ont.

The new deal

Re A New Way To Tell Whether Your Adviser Adds Value Or Dead Weight (Report on Business, May 13): One of the key determinants of investor reaction to the gyrations of the market is their time horizon. Whatever the outcome in the short term, the simple fact is that the old economy is on sale, while the new economy (particularly technology) is in favour.

In economic terms, the new will win. However, the old will not disappear, and many will adapt successfully to future changes. Advisers would add value by conducting fundamental analysis to identify those companies that will be predictable winners.

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Peter de Auer Former director, pension fund, Ontario Hydro; Port Hope, Ont.

Oil’s well?

Re Despite Recent Rhetoric, Canadian Oil Isn’t Dead – Thank Goodness For That (May 16): The Green Party does not practise “wedge” politics. We support all of Canada and every worker.

In answering a question about bailouts to the oil sands, I made the case that there is no way such bailouts would be other than doomed. Columnist Eric Reguly makes a similar point related to Texas shale: “If they hand a life jacket to the shale boys, it will be made of concrete” (The U.S. Shale Revolution Is Over. Russia And Saudi Arabia Are Thrilled – April 1). The same factors affecting shale should condemn oil sands bitumen.

To demonstrate real support for Alberta, we should invest in activities with a solid future. Alberta has enormous opportunities in renewable energy: There is geothermal – some from abandoned deep oil wells – solar and wind.

Postpandemic, we should also invest in a modernized national electricity grid. We should create jobs in massive carbon-negative retrofits of older buildings. We should have a just transition, engaging every worker and community dependent on fossil fuels in such a process.

I believe that to persist in a delusion is as unkind as if, 30 years ago, we had told East Coast fishermen to just keep fishing.

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Elizabeth May OC, MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands; Sidney, B.C.

Farm aid

Re Once Again, Canadian Farmers Have Been Left Unsupported. And We Are Exhausted (Online, May 10): Our government recognizes how essential our farmers are and how hard they are working during a stressful situation. Our response doesn’t start or end with any one announcement. We continue to roll out supports as fast as we can.

And, unlike the Unites States, farmers in Canada have a number of risk-management programs in place, which they should tap into as much as possible. These programs normally provide $1.6-billion in direct support to farmers each year. That amount will certainly be much greater this year.

We’ve published an online calculator so farmers can easily see what their payment would be from the AgriStability program. Now is the time for producers to use their AgriInvest accounts, which cumulatively hold $2.3-billion in funding. Pork and beef producers should apply to benefit from the $125-million we announced through AgriRecovery.

There are also many Canada-wide programs, such as Canadian Emergency Business Account loans and different wage supports. We will keep working hard to support the farmers and food businesses most in need.

Marie-Claude Bibeau Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Ottawa

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Re Soundtrack Of My Life (First Person, May 13): Like essay-writer Frederick Biro in these days of isolation, I also have taken refuge in music and in all formats – except cassette, sorry. There is nostalgia with LPs. There is romance, there is album art, there are even posters in some of them.

I am probably a music snob. l will spend two to three hours incommunicado listening to music. The majority is classical, including my melt-me-down style: choir. It’s been said that when musical instruments were created, they were done to sound like human voices.

My appreciation for modern works is amiss, sadly. So be it. What did the English Bard say about music? "Hand in hand, with fairy grace, will we sing, and bless this place.”

My pick-me-up work, funnily, is Verdi’s Requiem.

Jean Mario Tan-yan Toronto

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