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Members of the public file past after waiting to see the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall on Sept. 15, in London.Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe

After the Queen

Re Canada Is Ready To Become A Republic (Opinion, Sept. 17): I have a modest suggestion: Let us please not put King Charles’s face on our currency.

I am not a monarchist. I would like to see the institution abolished and the governor-general made the head of state (our system of government is otherwise fine). Alas, we are afflicted with a constitution that cannot be easily reformed.

But what we can accomplish easily is to purge our government of monarchical symbols, which should be seen as an affront to Canada’s most fundamental values: equality, diversity, democracy, reconciliation, respect for francophone culture and atonement for the crimes of our colonial past.

People are born equal. The monarchy is a symbolic rejection of that belief.

Jacob Wilson Toronto

Alas, amending the constitution to establish a Canadian republic is virtually and politically impossible. But Parliament could enact measures to begin phasing out the King in favour of a Canadian head of state.

First, Order of Canada members could be mandated to elect a nominee to be the next governor-general (for rubberstamping by the King, for now). Second, Parliament could state that Canada won’t pay for security and other costs of royal visits. Third, images of outstanding Canadians (Mary Simon perhaps? Margaret Atwood? Tommy Douglas?) could replace British royals on our currency and stamps.

Small steps toward a republic, but Canada’s democracy is a history of incremental steps forward.

Stephen Hazell Ottawa

The death of Queen Elizabeth marks a profound opportunity for departure from nostalgia, and a powerful reckoning about true leadership during environmental, economic and social crisis.

It would be worthy leadership if King Charles decreed that nations not waste money reminting currency with his face, and instead put that expenditure to ensuring Indigenous companies are trained and hired to install clean drinking water for all First Nations in the Commonwealth. It would be worthy leadership if he said that honoring the longest-reigning woman is a feminist act more important than having his own face on money for a few decades, before he too passes on.

If the King honored taxation responsibilities for the billions of dollars he inherited, and allocated that money to fund environmental repair, he would begin to show contemporary leadership and integrity worthy of honor in the Commonwealth at this crucial time.

Grace Jill Ottawa

Re Queen’s Death Spurs Caribbean Republicanism (Sept. 17): I agree with these Caribbean countries that now would be a great time to remove the monarch and become a republic.

The Crown has made little effort to reconcile or apologize for its role in slavery and colonialism in the Caribbean. The change in monarch creates a point of reflection for many countries to further their independence.

Sapna Suthar Ajax, Ont.

In a nutshell

Re A Population Boom Meets A Housing Crisis (Editorial, Sept. 17): Readers are given an impression of Victoria as a NIMBY wonderland, after city council deferred voting on the Missing Middle Housing Initiative to next council.

Some critics make clear there is nothing affordable in this proposal. Stately homes that have been converted into rental units can be ripped down for new condos, with no protection for existing renters. While the plan allows “mild density such as – how radical! – townhouses on street corners,” developers could add two metres in height to every new home.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Google “Richmond Hill Ontario monster home” to see the height that could go into every Victoria neighbourhood. For a city that is a mere 19.47 square kilometres, with a population of less than 92,000, Victoria is the seventh most densely populated city in Canada. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Victoria had 1,204 housing starts in 2021.

Stephen Hammond Victoria

Get outside

Re Canadian Cities Are Rediscovering Their Waterfronts (Sept. 17): Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley is the largest urban park in Canada, with more than 18,000 acres, more than 160 kilometres of maintained trails and a stretch of water that can be enjoyed by swimmers, paddlers and boaters.

We are fortunate that most of the park is grassland and forest, providing green space that has been protected since 1915. It supports a high level of biodiversity on lands that have been used for centuries by many Indigenous peoples, including the Cree, Blackfoot, Assiniboine and Métis.

Susan Andrew Edmonton

School funding

Re Religious Schools Can Be Good – But They Shouldn’t Get Public Funds (Opinion, Sept. 17): We need governments to fund health care, education and so much else for the common good of all. I am an Anglican priest, but I am writing as a concerned citizen to support one excellent school system for all.

Tim Elliott Stratford, Ont.

“In our secular society, why is any province funding religious schools?” Votes, and especially Catholic votes.

David Moffat Ottawa

Old school

Re A Taste Of The 1950s In Scarborough’s ‘Ben Jungle’ (Real Estate, Sept. 23): What a trip down memory lane to see photographs of the neighbourhood I grew up in.

We lived in a Pasadena model on Benhur Crescent. We used to joke that chariot races were held every other Sunday.

I can only imagine people then must have been dismayed, as we are now, when precious farmland gave way to development.

Carol Gottlob Burlington, Ont.

Alone, together

Re Loneliness And The Importance Of Belonging (Opinion, Sept. 17): Isn’t it terribly ironic that we live in a world where we have never been more “connected,” while at the same time feeling bereft of “belonging?”

I suppose having 1,000 online “contacts” can never enhance our sense of wellbeing quite as much as a few honest-to-goodness, real-world “friends” – the kind who will tell us, to our face, that they love us despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that they don’t always agree with us.

James McSherry Clearview, Ont.

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