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Johnny Tavalok wears caribou clothing made for him by his mother before her death, in Gjoa Haven, NWT on Feb. 1.Amber Bracken/The Globe and Mail

Humane hunting

Re “In Gjoa Haven, a greenhouse creates new possibilities” (May 9): The .22 Magnum cartridge was not designed to be used on big-game animals such as caribou, and needing eight shots to kill any game animal is massively cruel, causing it to suffer terribly before it died. Equally clear is the fact that an eight-year-old child certainly cannot handle the recoil of a high-powered rifle that is necessary to humanely dispatch large animals. Many adults have serious issues with recoil at this level. So what gives here?

Subsistence hunting or not, no one is entitled to inflict needless pain on game animals. Nobody in Gjoa Haven has reason to be proud of anything here: not the child who took the animal’s life and especially not the adults who gave him a seriously underpowered rifle to take down a large game animal.

I hope Gjoa’s elders take issue with the kid’s parents over this lack of respect for an animal that provides life for all of them.

Robert Somerleigh Thunder Bay, Ont.

Rise of Robodoc

Re Are AI chatbots more empathetic than human physicians? (Opinion, May 9): In the future, the perfect physician will be part robot and part human. Imagine it: Not needing to eat, sleep or take a holiday, she is available 24/7. Her patients receive AI-assisted, cutting edge medical care, consistently delivered with the utmost kindness, empathy and compassion. She doesn’t burn out, get sick, take maternity leave or retire; she never dies.

Sadly, I cannot compete with this cyborg super-physician. I am just human; I make mistakes, need rest and even, occasionally, some tender loving care. There are days when I feel less than magnanimous toward my fellow humans. I only have my imperfect self to offer and perhaps the promise that, when my empathy does appear, it’s not just skillfully arranged words, but rather the real deal, acquired the hard way, through the sorrows, disappointments and losses that are part of the lived human experience.

Lauralee Morris, MD Brampton, Ont.

Three Michaels

Re “It’s Justin Trudeau’s government machinery that broke down in Chong case” (May 11): Have those protesting the government’s “inaction” two years ago, in failing to warn MP Michael Chong of the possible targeting of his family, forgotten Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig and their long period in prison, much of it in solitary confinement? Have they not considered the likelihood that sensitive negotiations occurred immediately prior to their release on Sept. 24, 2021?

What was more important, the possibility of harm to Mr. Chong’s family in Hong Kong or the certainty of continuing harm to two imprisoned innocents?

Marion Steele Guelph

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Re “Canada’s Li-Cycle and Glencore plan European battery recycling hub in Italy” (Report on Business, May 10): Electrifying vehicles is admirable but people are being encouraged to jump on board an initiative that will create its own waste and environmental degradation through the mining of minerals and production of new cars. In order to minimize waste and reduce greenhouse gases, why are makers of motor vehicles not being enticed to create engines that will burn fossil fuels more efficiently? Why are there no government programs for retrofitting internal combustion engine vehicles with electric power.

We applaud the recycling of waste from batteries. It is but one of several initiatives we need to undertake to try to enhance the health of our planet.

James and Robin White Vancouver

Fair pay

Re “For the good of the country, we must pay graduate student researchers a living wage” (Opinion, May 8): When I was a PhD student in 1969 there was a Government of Canada fellowship of up to $8,000 annually with tuition fees paid. I had the renewable fellowship for three years. The average income for families at the time was $8,876. The average income today should be the guideline for funding graduate students. It’s an investment for Canada’s future.

Reiner Jaakson Oakville, Ont.

Back to basics

Re Basic income isn’t the best way to create a just and inclusive society (May 5): David Green and Lindsay Tedds too readily dismiss the feasibility and likely superior outcomes of a Basic Income Guarantee. CERB illustrated that our tax system can be flexible, automatic tax filing is to be piloted soon, and people who need it can be helped to file their taxes. Numerous experiments around the world have demonstrated that cash transfers encourage entrepreneurship, improve local economies and lead to savings in health and criminal justice costs among other benefits. History has shown that attempts to increase social benefits and reform the labour market have not adequately reduced poverty in Canada. Let’s let go of the archaic myth that people won’t work if they aren’t under threat of dire poverty, and instead implement some Basic Income Guarantee demonstration projects such as the one proposed for Prince Edward Island.

Carol Stalker Waterloo, Ont.


Re “George Santos pleads not guilty to federal indictment and says he won’t resign” and ”For Trump Republicans, being a sexual predator is no big deal” (May 11): If, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, politics is the last refuge of the scoundrel, then where does that leave some members of the Republican party? Perhaps residing in the “basket of deplorables,” referenced by Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election campaign. It is either getting very crowded in there or that is one big basket.

Dave Hurley Belleville, Ont.

Crying wolf?

Re ”Another ugly mark on Danielle Smith’s record” (Opinion, May 10): Kudos to Gary Mason for continuing to speak truth to power and shine a light on the disgraceful comments made by Danielle Smith. The latest, conflating COVID-19 vaccine policies and mandates with the horrors of Nazi Germany, was particularly egregious. Like the boy who cried wolf, the UCP leader has run out of credibility, with her apologies ringing hollower than ever. Let’s hope enough Albertans wake up to the fact that the jig is up before it’s too late.

Dave Hurley Belleville, Ont.

Cottage life

Re “What, exactly, is ‘the cottage’?” (Opinion, May 6): I grew up in Toronto in the 1950s and 60s, and “the cottage” featured in my life every summer, always in Muskoka, but always rented because my parents couldn’t afford to buy a cottage. My Dad loved watching all the cottage owners working throughout their vacation while he read or boated.

Then I moved to Vancouver, and here everyone has a “cabin,” which could be a grandiose structure on Savary Island, or in Desolation Sound where our modest “cottage” is located. However, my adult children soon embraced the B.C. terminology, and now my grandchildren, who are 7 and 9, correct me: “Granny, it is ‘the cabin’!”

Jean Lawrence West Vancouver, B.C.

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