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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on May 18, 2021.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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Age-old advice

Re B.C. Expanding Vaccine Plan To Include Children 12 And Up, But Officials Warn Of Slow Reopening (May 19): The 12-to-15 age group is at low risk for death from COVID-19, a number that approaches the minimal risk of blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine.

When all the adults have been fully vaccinated, perhaps then we might consider vaccinating younger people. For now, let’s give vaccines to higher-risk age groups.

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David Barker MD; Whitby, Ont.

The mask

Re The U.S.’s New Mask Policy Could Prove Foolhardy Or Trailblazing (May 19): I do not understand the reluctance to mask up. It is just a piece of clothing and sometimes a creative fashion statement.

I mask up in any area where it is required, or any time I may be within six feet of a stranger. I am on shot No. 1 and will not change my habits after No. 2.

I will continue to put clothes on before I leave the house. I will continue my mask-wearing to show support to other maskers.

K.R. O’Brien Kingston

Poor performance

Re Chartwell Gets Mixed Grades From Shareholder Advisers Over Bonus Payouts During Pandemic (Report on Business, May 18): Our most vulnerable died or suffered when the virus spread throughout nursing homes. Yet the senior leaders responsible for these homes are being awarded huge bonuses for their performances during this time. Surely this points to a lack of accountability.

Even though the virus was an unanticipated disaster and hard to manage, aren’t executives already paid big bucks for providing leadership in times of crisis? After the many deaths and suffering of their customers, they should be ashamed. Our society should be also ashamed that this can happen.

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Zane Stait-Gardner Port Perry, Ont.

French first

Re Ottawa Supports Quebec Constitutional Change, PM Says (May 19): As an English-speaking Quebecker who has lived in the province for more than 35 years, I am disappointed that the language debate is starting to rear its head again.

It appears that Justin Trudeau is making arbitrary decisions for Canada and further threatening national unity by supporting Quebec’s plan to unilaterally amend the Constitution with new language laws, which would likely need to be voted on in Parliament. He appears to be supporting Quebec for one reason alone: votes.

It appears Mr. Trudeau is not taking into account that English-speaking Canadians in Quebec would have their rights further suppressed, and life made more difficult if they don’t speak fluent French.

Kensel Tracy Chelsea, Que.


Will anglophone Canadians have to take a language test to visit a Quebec nation? Will we need passports to enter? I ask these questions as someone who left Montreal because English felt like a four-letter word in la belle province.

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Joanie Gertler Ajax, Ont.


Jean Chrétien chaperoned a parliamentary resolution declaring Quebec a distinct society, hoping this would change the channel on the awkward referendum result of 1995. Stephen Harper played cat and mouse with Quebec nationalists, sponsoring a parliamentary resolution that declared the province a nation within Canada – his way of saying that there was no salvation outside the federation.

What will Justin Trudeau come up with to answer the unilateral gambit of Quebec nationalists? Will he remind them that a province can’t change its constitutional status without meeting the requirements of the Supreme Court advisory of 1998? Will he tell them that a provincial constitution cannot be shielded by a notwithstanding clause?

Howard Greenfield Montreal


Leaving Quebec 25 years ago (not because of language), I have since gained some perspective on the language debate. I believe the large majority of anglophone Quebeckers accept the predominance of French, and statistics clearly show that we are functionally bilingual; we accept that Quebec is a de facto French jurisdiction and we cherish that part of our identity.

In my experience, promoting French does not come at the expense of English, as so many tend to believe, since we speak and work in French anyway. What would calm the language debate significantly isn’t language at all, but for many Québécois to accept that anglophones and allophones are not “the other,” but are as Québécois as they are.

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Norm Baillie-David Ottawa

An app for that

Re Greyhound Cancels The Rest Of Its Routes In Canada (May 14): Why wouldn’t an Uber-like operation work here? Creating locally sourced solutions using existing global infrastructure could be one way to fill the gap.

Gerry Welsford Oakville, Ont.

Cleveland rocks

Re How Far Would You Go To Find An Affordable Home? (May 18): Columnist Rob Carrick’s suggestion that Canadians consider moving to the United States (if possible) for more affordable housing was a refreshing read. In recent years, an American friend and I have explored a number of Canadian and U.S. cities around the Great Lakes.

Contrary to popular myth, Buffalo is not a dilapidated also-ran city. Just 12 minutes north of downtown is the upscale neighbourhood of Elmwood Village, where homes and front gardens can rival those found in Rosedale or Westmount, but at much more affordable prices.

The nearby urban oasis of the Delaware Park–Front Park System was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the same duo behind New York’s Central Park.

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And another major benefit (and economic driver) in Cleveland, Mr. Carrick’s main example: Cleveland Clinic is a sprawling non-profit hospital that has been top-ranked in the world in terms of health care and medical research.

Swire Chin Toronto

Widescreen

Re Filmmaker Teamed Up With Friends To Create Giant-screen Imax Format (Obituary, May 15): Although I don’t remember Graeme Ferguson distinctly, I had the great honour of working as a high-school summer intern at McMaster University’s mechanical engineering department in the late 1960s, when the Imax team was building their first projector.

In order to get enough light through the film to fill the giant screen, they had to use an incredibly powerful lamp, apparently obtained from NASA. As memory serves, it was 25,000 watts, enough to melt film and, as joyfully demonstrated, enough to burn holes in thick aluminum plates. This amount of heat is what necessitated the “rolling loop,” which allowed a continuous stream of cooling air to blow over the film and prevent it from melting.

Thanks to Graeme and his Imax partners for a wonderful summer, and for creating the most incredible film format in the world!

Michael Vollmer P.Eng, Burlington, Ont.

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