Re “For striking federal workers, public sympathy could play a big role in the eventual outcome” (Report on Business, April 21): Unlike politics, a week is not a long time for strikes. Eventually we are all dead, but in the short run workers cannot eat platitudes.
A longer look at the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s concerns about safe, inclusive workplaces could mean a shorter job action. A cookie-cutter approach to remote work is not good enough.
As an experienced negotiator, I am not surprised the members want more. What no one can afford is business as usual during a pandemic.
Tom Baker Burlington, Ont.
Re “The federal public servants’ strike is backing Ottawa into a corner” (Opinion, April 22): In comparing the public and private sectors, should the plight of private-sector workers be the benchmark or should the public service serve as an exemplar of fair wages and working conditions?
We’re in an era where income inequality has grown, wages haven’t kept up with cost of living and quality of life has diminished for most workers. Perhaps it’s commendable and expected that the government attempt to mitigate those trends, starting by how it treats its own employees.
Aris Daghighian Toronto
While federal servants strike because the government’s latest offer of 9 per cent over three years is not enough, Ontario nurses have had to settle for 1-per-cent annual increases since 2021.
Add to this, nurses can’t work from home, are chronically short-staffed and perform life-saving work for taxpayers. Where is the justice? Why is no one comparing the relative demands of the public service unions to what nurses get?
A similar increase for nurses might help us recruit and retain more of them.
Meegan Hinds Toronto
Re “To fix Canada’s health care crisis, we need free-market competition, private options” (Report on Business, April 17): I am not one to defend the lowly fax machine against its detractors. However, a contributor writes that in Ontario, doctors must make referrals to specialists by fax, leading to nearly 5,000 complaints of privacy breaches for misdirected faxes. E-mails are just as easily (if not more easily) misdirected through human error.
I can also personally attest to several occasions where health care providers left voice mails with intimate details about a named patient’s medical issues, all because of having “misdialled” (another anachronism) the phone number of a major hospital, which happens to differ from my office line by one digit.
Let’s not blame technology for the carelessness of its users.
Barry Corbin Toronto
Pass it on
Re “Beverage group vows to go ahead with recycling fees for cans, bottles” (Apr 15): Ontario’s Environment Minister says there’s no way he’ll allow the beverage industry pass on to consumers the costs of a new recycling initiative.
For a government that supposedly supports free-market economics, who other than consumers should pay for the cost of recycling? If the market is unwilling to pay the fee, perhaps the demand for canned and bottled beverages will disappear, along with the environmental problems they create.
Ian Lipton President, the Carbon Accounting Company; Toronto
Re “Doug Ford’s plan to move the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place ruins them both” (April 19): I think both the Ontario Science Centre and Ontario Place belong to a bygone age, with neither suiting the Toronto of 2023 and beyond.
When was the last time people went to the science centre, or Ontario Place other than to see a concert? For me, that might have been 1984. Even then, both facilities seemed dated.
As I recall, the science centre has the look and feel of Brutalist architecture in a forest, with dated interiors. The proposed use of the land for badly needed housing near transit seems a perfect fit.
It seems that many people wish that these tired public spaces be stuck in time, that they should never be updated to suit a growing city and province. To change them is somehow an attack on the disadvantaged.
I’ve had enough of being anti-everything, and of the constant gravitation to class warfare for why things can’t change.
Derek Jansen Toronto
Leave the Ontario Science Centre where it should belong.
It is an award-winning building, its design incorporated into ravine lands. Toronto has marvelled at the ingenuity of this special place of learning for five decades, and many more should continue to benefit.
We should not throw out our treasures. Nor should we spend unnecessary funds to diminish their size in order to relocate them. It makes no sense to me.
Patricia Gallacher Toronto
The Ford government sold us on the Ontario line as a link between the Ontario Science Centre and Ontario Place. Soon it will be a link between housing developments and the site of a giant for-profit spa.
Our tax dollars at work.
Liz Addison Toronto
Closer to work
Re “One thing the Ford government is doing right” (April 15): Localized economic development is also necessary near transit stops.
If companies relocated to where people are – why are investment firms still on Bay Street as work increasingly moves online? – a quick trip to the office could mean a no-carbon walk to an office near Toronto’s Midtown, for example. Transit congestion would also decrease.
If more businesses spread around the Greater Toronto Area, there could be a huge reduction in highway traffic. How about right next to a huge housing tract, so that people could – gasp – walk or bike to work in the suburbs, too?
Bev Dywan Toronto
Re “The state of 24 Sussex Dr. is an increasingly absurd embarrassment” (April 11): What an embarrassment 24 Sussex has become. I find it truly a national failure on the part of all recent governments to let this happen.
Only in Canada could our politicians not have the chutzpah to overlook partisan fears and maintain such an important national asset as a home for our prime minister. I cannot imagine 10 Downing suffering such a fate.
Last November, I crossed the Ottawa River just as the setting sun lit up the capital in all its majestic glory. I was proud to see the whole panorama, save that I knew on my left was a hidden national disgrace.
Its high time this was addressed, even if it becomes a national GoFundMe so that the citizenry can take it out of political hands. I would happily contribute.
R. Anthony (Tony) Pullen Toronto
Re “Uncanny valley” (Letters, April 16): I believe a letter-writer is mistaken to think that “all of us” respond like ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence bots in our everyday lives.
At every moment, we have the choice to look with fresh eyes at a situation and act accordingly. Of course, if we are inattentive, we will miss the opportunity to act creatively.
Jiti Khanna Vancouver
Re “Australian Chamber Orchestra blending traditional pieces with didgeridoo for Toronto show” (April 20): “I want to take people to that magic space in the sky.”
As a traveller through the Australian Outback almost three decades ago, I witnessed a didgeridoo concert under a darkening sky and in the shadow of Uluru – better known to the world as Ayers Rock – a monolith I climbed later that same night to witness the dawn.
Magical is the perfect description for this extraordinary experience, beginning with the primordial sounds of the didgeridoo.
John Nightingale Lethbridge, Alta.
Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Keep letters to 150 words or fewer. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: email@example.com