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Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales, appears in this still image from a video released March 22, 2024, in which she announced that she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy after cancer was found to have been present, following her abdominal surgery in January.Reuters

Teachable moment

Re “Canada’s productivity problem runs deep and ripples far in the economy” (Report on Business, March 27) and “In progress” (Letters, March 27): A local plant manager once told me that when she expressed frustration with a director of education over the fact that workers would leave the production line for 10 to 15 minutes of unscheduled breaks, to spend time on their phones, the director bluntly suggested more breaks be scheduled for the workers.

Presently, I often hear stories of high-school students who, consequence-free, vape in bathrooms while ignoring, and occasionally threatening, teachers trying to enforce codes of behaviour.

When our schools fail to train students in foundational ways, it is no surprise to me that fewer people choose teaching as a profession, and that our national productivity is declining.

Dan Brennan Belleville, Ont.

A letter-writer encourages provincial governments to offer incentives that make teaching a more satisfying career.

May I suggest above-average wages, numerous sick days, paid continuing education, summers and holidays off, pensions to die for, 8-to-4 days, no shift work – did I leave anything out?

Leon Munoz Burlington, Ont.

Re “Bank of Canada warns of low productivity ‘emergency,’ making it harder to control inflation” (Report on Business, March 27): I am tired of reading pronouncements from ivory towers comparing the so-called productivity of Canadian versus American workers.

There is no “emergency” that I can see, except that multinational chief executive officerss would like us to be more like the United States. As in: giving up sick days, not taking vacation time owed, earning unlivable minimum wage, accepting forced overtime for no extra pay and relying on undocumented immigrant labour, as is the case for many of our American working friends.

And for what? The result of this productivity boost south of our border is often deep resentment on the part of the working poor, displayed in talks of civil war and the last democratic election in that country’s history this November.

Explain how visionary a bank CEO must be to warrant $17-million a year, while stiffing workers with bank fees to maintain accounts.

Greg Neiman Red Deer, Alta.

There is an error in this story when it is stated that low productivity “could erode living standards if left unaddressed.” It should read as “has eroded living standards,” as low productivity has been left unaddressed for too long.

Productivity has declined for six straight quarters, meaning it will take even more robust policies to make a correction. I say the Bank of Canada should get at it now.

Vivian Vandenhazel Cobourg, Ont.

Bets are off

Re “A simple solution to sports’ gambling problem” (Sports, March 27): Columnist Cathal Kelly articulates the nagging suspicion I’ve had since the legalization of sports gambling and all the unctuous advertisements featuring professional athletes: The integrity of sports outcomes are being compromised by the presence and practice of this odious form of entertainment.

Baseball’s Pete Rose was the poster boy and now, perhaps, Shohei Ohtani will prove his successor. Games fixed in European soccer, driven by betting, are well documented.

Practically, it’s too late to ask governments to put Pandora back in the box because they derive so much revenue from suckers. It is implied that the ball is squarely in the court of sports governing bodies.

They should all ban any gambling, or even the merest association therewith, for all athletes. That, to this non-bettor, is essential to restore what I believe to be eroding fan confidence in the excitement posed by the uncertainty of sports.

Sean Michael Kennedy Oakville, Ont.

Royal inquiry

Re “The Great Katespiracy: Silence is a royal tradition, unless you’re a woman today” (Opinion, March 23): I was married for 15 years to a cousin of the Royal Family and know from an insider’s vantage how “The Firm” operates. I also recently survived colorectal cancer, thanks to the surgeons at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.

The royals are evidently still living in another century and mishandled the disclosure of Catherine, Princess of Wales’s diagnosis. Instead of deferring, they should have used this as opportunity to demystify misconceptions about cancer, regardless of which one she has. It is no longer an automatic death sentence nor is it shameful.

It’s been shielded in mystery as if some plague, providing fodder for a social media frenzy of misinformation. She’s not more “courageous” than any cancer survivor, except privileged to have private care.

I wish Kate well, but the royals missed the boat. Again.

Romana Rogoshewska Montreal

Re “Were we horrible for speculating about Princess Kate’s disappearance? Or just human?” (March 27): We aren’t horrible or bad people, but some of us do horrible things.

Circulating unsubstantiated rumors or conspiracy theories, while hiding behind the mask of internet secrecy, is horrible and should be condemned by all people of good will. This does appear to be our reality these days, but I question the suggestion that we accept it and move on.

If no one challenges this cowardly and hurtful behaviour, we just allow it to continue growing unchecked. An extreme result of condoning such acts is the increased willingness of people to support the Putins and Trumps of the world, for whom truth seems to be a minor obstacle in their paths to power.

I believe that actively exposing and challenging this behaviour is an increasingly important responsibility of institutions such as The Globe and Mail.

Bruce Metzler Vancouver

For some time now, The Globe and Mail has been publishing excerpts from A Nation’s Paper, which examines the role you have played in Canada’s history over the past 180 years. You often cast a critical eye over reportage from the past.

Should it turn out, 180 years from now, that The Globe is still reporting the day’s news, then I imagine someone might decide to write a follow-up. If that happens, I hope the authors will look at how Catherine, Princess of Wales was treated in the past months and scold their predecessors for the constant reporting on a subject that is really none of their business. Or ours.

Nigel Brachi Edmonton

Who, me?

Re “MPs vote to examine security breach at Winnipeg infectious disease laboratory” (March 27): Is China’s state security as inept as ours appears to be?

Suspicious virologists Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng changing their names to Sandra Chiu and Kaiting Cheng feels akin to a fleeing Al (Scarface) Capone changing his name to Fred Capone.

Donald Rollins Vernon, B.C.

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