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A MEC store is seen in Vancouver, on Sept. 15, 2020.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

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Public and private?

Re Public Vs. Private (Letters, Sept. 15): Let’s face it: The rich do not have to wait in line for Canadian public health care – they can find treatment in another country. So why do we insist on offshoring this potentially lucrative business?

Private clinics could be run like private schools, separate from the public system and self-supporting. The result: more jobs and tax revenue for Canada, and no harmful effect on the public system. What’s not to like?

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Brian Swinney Burlington, Ont.

A change would do you good

Re Economic Enrichment (Letters, Sept. 11): Some commentators and letter-writers are decrying in advance the rumoured structural economic changes in the coming Throne Speech. They argue, along with Erin O’Toole, that businesses should be left unfettered to “grow the economy.” But salaries in most sectors have remained stagnant for nearly two generations, while CEO compensation has increased exponentially and corporate profit in many sectors is booming.

In my 1960s childhood, families with one modest salary could enjoy a middle-class lifestyle. Today, even two professional salaries are stretched to manage a house, car, vacation and braces for the kids.

Expanding the economy only to make the rich richer would not help most Canadians. Bring on structural change.

Elaine Bander Montreal

First report card

Re TDSB Delays Start Of Online Classes Again (Sept. 15): As the parent of a child in Grade 1, I’m concerned by the risk to children, indeed all of us, posed by Ontario’s school-reopening plan.

With strict distancing in force elsewhere, it seems against common sense and ethical decision-making to allow students, some too young to wear masks and distance safely, to gather in large numbers, particularly as many schools have reorganized, consolidated and thus increased class sizes. Instead, Ontario should reduce class sizes and increase the number of teachers.

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We now know that many long-term care residents were infected and died because of avoidable conditions and policies. With the benefit of hindsight, lawmakers will likely not be forgiven by their communities should a calamity befall our children, especially when reduced class sizes were so often requested, and so manifestly the right course of action.

John-Hugh MacDonald Orillia, Ont.


What seems to get lost in the controversy over the risks entailed in opening schools is that it is likely a logistical and financial impossibility for Ontario to double the number of classrooms. We do not have enough buildings nor teachers to do so.

We can ask, and expect, that schools are vigilant about extra cleaning and doing all they can to inculcate best sanitation practices among students. If parents are still anxious, there is the online option.

The government, whatever its shortcomings on this issue, simply cannot set maximum class sizes of 12 or 15 in most schools. It seems pointless for politicians, parents or pandemic experts to pretend that government easily can.

Victor Godden Toronto

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Re En Français (Letters, Aug. 21): I want to continue providing a different viewpoint on the return to school. We have one week of classes under our belts in the French public school board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde. Nothing could have been better organized or gone more smoothly.

Communication continues to flow from our principal, outlining the protocols in place and the success of the first week. Our child was assigned a cohort with a maximum of 15 students; his schedule balances five days in school and five days online every two weeks.

Teachers are delivering course material in class and simultaneously to children who are online full-time (18 per cent of our school population). They are coming up with creative ways to provide breaks as they teach.

I would like to say to them: Félicitations and thank you!

Anne Claveau Toronto

Laws for all

Re History Should Be Addition, Not Subtraction (Editorial, Sept. 9): History and the law are powerful tools that have often been defined most authoritatively, and wielded most effectively, by privileged segments of society. This has been to the detriment of our understanding of the past and, more grievously, our collective ability to prevent past wrongs from manifesting themselves in present-day inequities.

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The Globe editorial’s statement that Canada “is a country of laws” likely rings hollow to people who have been dispossessed, excluded or criminalized through the discriminatory impact of those laws, and who have not shared equally in the benefits of “progress” and “stability” since 1867. Critical reflection on our history is a good thing. Beyond helping to name new streets and buildings, it should provide an impetus to improve the ways in which our laws are made and applied.

Daniel McCabe Toronto

Q&A

Re The Dreaded Question (First Person, Sept. 11): I was saddened by Faiza Malik’s essay in which she describes feelings of exclusion from the Canadian mosaic. I share her concern that being constantly asked “where are you from?” by the curious and insensitive among us is enough to put anyone off. People who ask such questions, she concludes, see her and her family as outsiders.

One could also put a kindlier, more inclusive spin on the question. People, although perhaps insensitive, gauche and a wee bit thick, might be wanting to celebrate one of Canada’s finest national profiles: multiethnic, multicultural, multifaith, multieverything.

I would say to Ms. Malik: Stand tall. You’re one of us.

Michael Hadley Victoria

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MEC’s descent

Re Outdoor Recreation Retailer MEC Sold To Investment Firm (Sept. 15): I thought I was a part-owner of MEC, so I am alarmed that it has been sold to a U.S. investment outfit. No one asked me!

Here is yet another Canadian corporation sold out to foreigners. Is there no end to this until all our champions are gone?

I suggest that government institute an organization to review, and hopefully prevent, all such sales. I would be open to alternatives, but envision “Foreign Investment Review Agency" as a suitable title for such a group.

Today I feel a fraction less Canadian.

Ian Guthrie Ottawa


It feels like a 1990s dystopian writer wrote this ending. All that 1970s idealism of youth gone, into the asset-management abyss.

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Eric Westberg Vancouver

Red alert

Re In My Years Covering California Blazes, I’ve Seen – And Felt – The Toll They Take (Sept. 12): Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.

Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.

Red sky at noon – portends climate-change doom.

Bob Argue Maberly, Ont.


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