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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference on Oct. 23, 2020 in Ottawa.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Another one

Re Ottawa Appeals Ruling CSIS Breached Duty To Court (Oct. 21): It has none of the glamour of the WE Charity controversy nor the drama of the SNC-Lavalin affair, but this decision seems to fit a duplicitous pattern. I find this to be another disturbing sign of just how far the Trudeau government will go to obstruct democratic due process.

Patricia Hanley Toronto

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Pandemic problems

Re Hospitals And Long-term Care Homes In Ontario Have Little Room For Second-wave Surge, Inquiry Hears (Oct. 23): As a national representative for health care workers during the 2003 Ontario SARS catastrophe, I am struck by how little we learned.

With the staffing crisis in long-term care, we continue to employ temporary workers at multiple sites. No wonder homes are a magnet for infection, accounting for about 70 per cent of Ontario’s spring pandemic deaths, according to Ontario Ministry of Health data.

Tom Baker Burlington, Ont.

Consequence of crisis

Re The Enduring Lessons Of The October Crisis (Editorial, Oct. 17): My father advocated for the immediate arrest of those responsible for the October Crisis by any means necessary, including suspended civil rights. It was my mother who expressed her outrage at the black-and-white television images of military on Canadian streets: “Is this Berlin? Is this Moscow? I can’t believe this is happening in my country!”

The “Trudeaumania,” of which she was a part two years earlier, abruptly came to an end for her that month. I was 16 and saw, in my own home, the divergence of opinion.

We see it again in these times of terrorism, protest and rioting: the protection of public safety against the all-too-fragile protection of civil rights.

Randolph Scott Calgary

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Fifty years ago, Montreal’s restaurants and theatres were closed like now, and the fall social season was cancelled. But it wasn’t because of recommendations from health authorities – it was the state of pandemonium that prevailed among Montrealers, fearful of bombs and terror, that kept people away.

Union leader Michel Chartrand, a vocal supporter of the Front de libération du Québec, had proclaimed: “We are going to win because there are more boys ready to shoot Members of Parliament than there are policemen.” He was not the only influential figure to express support, not just for independence, but for violence as a legitimate means to attain it. By this time, the FLQ had detonated some 200 bombs in and around Montreal in the previous seven years.

Civil libertarians remain upset to this day with the infamous “just watch me” invitation of Pierre Trudeau. Why weren’t they watching the terrorists?

Howard Greenfield Montreal

Sunken treasure

Re Titanic Radio Retrieval Plan Spurs Debate On Human Remains (Oct. 19): I abhor the continual plundering of the Titanic. It is a gravesite.

My grandfather died on the Titanic as a member of the crew, most of whom died that terrible night trying to help passengers, something that has been continuously ignored over the years as the rich people held more interest. Most were young men with families, like my grandfather, and whole streets in Southampton, England, lost fathers and husbands – a devastating tragedy in the days when women couldn’t work and needed men’s support.

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My grandfather’s body was never found, so his remains are undoubtedly still on the wreck. The plundering of the Titanic should have been stopped right from the beginning, and the great ship and whatever human or material remains should be left in peace.

Valerie Gibson Toronto


I am puzzled as to what constitutes old.

There have been countless documentaries about human deaths as recent as the Rwandan massacre and as old as Egyptian pharaohs. Human bones are dug up on camera, examined by experts and displayed with historic details. Is the sanctity of the human grave implicit or flexible?

Peter Keleghan Toronto

A better life

Re New Head Of Race Relations Foundation Says Group Will Take A Stronger Role (Oct. 19): As an American who immigrated to Canada in 1971 and became a Canadian citizen in 1976, I can honestly say there is no comparison between the two countries regarding the level of racist behaviour.

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My husband and I, plus three children, left the United States a couple of years after our cat was poisoned. It was over my babysitting three Black children in my home, in an “all-white neighbourhood.” I find it hard to realize the same event could probably happen these 49 years later.

My husband has since died. Canada didn’t let him or me down. The country isn’t perfect, but it seems to be always striving to be better. Being uncomfortable with hate based on skin colour is a state of mind. Congratulations Canada, and keep striving for perfection.

Irene Cornwell Sandy Beach, Alta.

More and more

Re Immigration Is Not A Cure-all For Canada’s Economic Woes (Report on Business, Oct. 13): A more prosperous Canada needs population growth and productivity improvements, and it should be driven by immigration given our birth rate and aging demographics.

According to Statistics Canada, by 2068, the ratio of dependent-aged people in Canada compared to the working-age population could be more than 70 dependants for every 100 workers. Immigrants can provide skills needed to meet our labour demands and boost productivity and innovation. They also contribute to Canada’s social fabric, our diversity and the image we project to the world.

COVID-19 provides us an opportunity to think, and act, differently. Let’s not lose it.

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Lisa Lalande CEO, Century Initiative; Toronto

It’s a deal

Re The Tragic Story Of A Store That Meant More Than Shopping (Oct. 8): While my family was very much of the comfortable middle class, easily affording good food and clothing, my late father was an inveterate price-chopper shopper, and could not resist a weekly trip to Honest Ed’s in Toronto for the latest “bargoon.” This, more often than not, resulted in consternation from my mother, usually vexed with the largely unwanted goods, in quantities that were difficult to store in their apartment.

One particularly fond memory is of the first time my now husband came to meet my parents. He was greeted by my father with a hearty, “How ya fixed for raisin bran?” and duly marched into the bedroom where 20 or so boxes were stacked. He graciously took a few boxes home.

Also memorable were the cans of PEI lobster, a true find, packed just in salt brine with huge chunks of meat and no preservative aftertaste. I have been hoarding the last can for 35 years, and while the tin looks fine (no best-before dates back then) I can’t bring myself to open it. Rather, I will make it a part of my son’s inheritance: a fond memory of his grandfather, and a world-class bargain hunter to boot.

Elyse Graff McKittrick Prince Edward County, Ont.


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