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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks and is projected onto large screens as he takes part in the COVID-19 Pandemic Committee in the House of Commons on May 27, 2020.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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Partial Parliament

Re Parliament Suspended Until September (May 27): Will MP pay be docked? I understand they are generously salaried and pensioned. Meanwhile, other people will be at work, at risk to their health, or at home, forced onto the dole during this unprecedented health crisis.

Is there no shame? At the least, MPs who possess a conscience should reach out to small local businesses to purchase their sunscreen.

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Kerry Wilson Ottawa


Re Parliament Is An Essential Public Service (Editorial, May 27): It would be nice if Parliament were fully functioning. However, as The Globe’s editorial points out, the minority government has the support of opposition parties.

Isn’t that how parliamentary democracy is supposed to work? I can’t imagine a majority Harper government.

David Thomson Vernon, B.C.


There is no doubt that “Parliament is an essential service,” especially during a pandemic which involves massive government spending. However, citing the ability of Britain, Germany and France to operate in near-normal fashion seems to ignore the complications that Canada’s geography presents to the safe movement of elected representatives.

Travelling coast to coast will take you one-fifth of the way around the world, not to mention the fact that Britain, Germany and France would together fit roughly into Hudson Bay.

Keith Oliver Cobourg, Ont.

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Re Just The Essentials (Letters, May 27): A letter writer asks: “What country is Canada?” I believe Canada is a different country since COVID-19 hit.

It’s more respectful than just a few months ago. I see respect for fellow citizens, respect for health care workers of every level, respect for service workers, respect for officials doing their best to keep us safe. Parliament is more respectful when there’s no heckling.

I find Canadians have essentially become better people. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?

J. L. Isopp Selkirk, Man.

Car conundrum

Re The Pandemic Is Suburban – And It Wants Us Back In Our Cars (Opinion, May 23): Alas, as said Aristocrates, “Let them have lanes for their cycle thingies so I may park my SUV there.”

Eric Pelletier Chelsea, Que.

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While the concerns of columnist Doug Saunders for the future of transport in cities and suburbs are legitimate, his solutions seem unrealistic for our societies at this time. COVID-19 is already causing vast numbers of people to abandon public transport for personal means such as cars, bicycles and scooters, or even Ski-Doos, Sea-Doos and all-terrain vehicles, which are seeing growth in sales even during a pandemic.

I do not believe the costs of his proposed investments in public transit, or the transformation of suburbs, will be conceivable by debt-ridden governments. Contrarily, investments which would allow the use of public space by individuals, such as those proposed in Montreal, seem much more realistic.

Richard Elson Longueuil, Que.

Housing hopes

Re No Going Back: Canada’s New Normal Starts In Cities (Opinion, May 23): We should see the development of more affordable and supportive housing as the 21st-century equivalent of municipal sanitation systems, which stopped cholera outbreaks in the 19th century. Outbreaks are more difficult to control in congregate settings, shelters or on the streets, where vulnerable or homeless people are more likely at risk from COVID-19.

There are also financial benefits: For every $1 spent on residential construction, it is estimated that there is a $1.50 multiplier effect on the economy. It seems we can’t afford not to make <DP>housing a priority for our new normal.

Steve Lurie CM, executive director, Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto

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Heroes’ honour

Re Hero Workers: All They Got Was A Lousy T-shirt (Opinion, May 23): No doubt long-term care and home care should be overhauled, and part of that should be decent living wages, job safety and security for personal support workers. Having said that, another trope comes to mind from the movie Jerry Maguire: “Show me the money!”

Robert Milan Victoria

Grey guise

Re True Colours Shining Through (Opinion, May 23): I’ve been watching my lovely silver roots poking through for a while now. I’m thinking that, as a senior, perhaps it’s time for a change.

I admire women who look so chic with their natural grey. So sophisticated! Do I dare? Maybe COVID-19 grey is the new blonde. Let’s see.

Esther Schrieder Toronto


Are the grey hairs we see these days really a symbol of all things challenging about quarantine? Or – horror – a sign we are letting ourselves go because we don’t “even care?” As a woman with a head of grey in her mid-40s, I see it as less time in the salon, more money in my wallet and complete freedom from the never-ending uphill battle against aging.

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To each her own. But ladies: Don’t be afraid to come over to the grey side.

Eleanor Colledge Toronto

Hockey holdover

Re NHL To Hold Modified Playoffs, Warns Travel Restrictions May Bar Play In Canada (Sports, May 27): It would be a shame to lose the National Hockey League season, but I’m ready to let it go. The precedent is there: one season lost to a past pandemic, another lost to a fight over money. I think the NHL’s integrity is hurt by refusing to let go of these lost games.

We should be thinking of hockey players and staff in human terms; it’s not fair to lock them into isolation for the sake of entertainment. Players also risk injury by potentially cramming so many games into the next two years.

As much as Canadians love the NHL, hockey is not an essential service. Too many fans seem to be mistakenly placing its importance above more relevant happenings.

Steve Ireland Denman Island, B.C.

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Literary losses

Re Indigo CEO On Retail’s Future: ‘We will Never Recover What We Lost’ (Report on Business, May 23): When big-box stores steamrolled over small independent bookstores, I expect their losses were never recovered, either.

Marg Heidebrecht Dundas, Ont.

Dramatic distance

Re Six Letters (Letters, May 23): A letter-writer suggests that plays could be staged in a concert format, with actors reading lines from different podiums, including Shakespeare. “It is the words that make them.” But, alas, it is also physical acts. There is not the heart-rending force of Lear’s crushing five utterances of “never!” without him carrying Cordelia’s body onto the stage – mask-free.

Geoff Rytell Toronto


Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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