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Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner (16) and team mates react after losing in overtime to the Florida Panthers and being eliminated in the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on May 12.Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Stick around

Re “The remote work revolution that never took off” (May 11): It is true that entirely remote work has not become the norm.

However, the surge in hybrid work arrangements shows that after experiencing remote work, even temporarily, many employers and employees recognize its potential benefits. It is not surprising that they now want to continue realizing those benefits through flexible work arrangements that incorporate both office-based and remote work.

The number of completely remote work arrangements may be declining as offices reopen and more in-person work is feasible – but the popularity of hybrid work is a strong indication that remote work is not going to disappear.

Fiona McQuarrie Professor emerita, University of the Fraser Valley; Coquitlam, B.C.

The earlier…

Re “As a cancer ward doctor, I see the tragic results of the lack of early breast cancer screening” (May 15): After I turned 40, my doctor asked if I’d like to have a mammogram for early breast cancer screening. I said no, citing the absence of a family history of breast cancer.

Two years later, I found a lump. It was large, likely a coalescence of smaller lumps that were undetectable in breast exams.

Treatment ensued: six months of chemotherapy; a mastectomy and removal of 14 lymph nodes from my underarm, one of which contained cancer cells; five weeks of radiation treatment; seven years of daily pills.

I’m currently celebrating my 10-year milestone. I wonder what would have been different if that early screening had been less a suggestion and more a strong recommendation. A smaller tumour with no spread to lymph nodes? Less aggressive treatment?

Less fear of dying and leaving my three-year-old son? Less worry about metastatic cancer still lurking somewhere in my body?

Tuula Talvila Ottawa

While living in Alberta, my doctor ordered a baseline mammogram when I was 40 and another when I was 42, just before I moved back to Ontario.

My first mammogram in Ontario occurred when I was 55. I’m now 65 and recently found a lump the size of a large olive. I waited several weeks for a mammogram and several more for an MRI. I’m now waiting for an ultrasound.

It’s been eight weeks and I still don’t know if this is nothing or if I’ll be dead in a year.

Susan Franzini-Teeuwen Peterborough, Ont.

I applaud the discussion of restrictions to mammograms for women in their 40s and hope they will be removed. I would like to broaden the discussion to restrictions for those over 74 in Ontario.

I am over 74 and have requested a mammogram more than once from family physicians. I am told no, not for my age.

I have a family history of cancer. I would like this decision to be mine, in discussion with my physician, as it should be at any age.

Diana Chastain Toronto

Many years ago, my wife Beverley died of breast cancer. She was 33.

Treatment came too late because doctors insisted she was ”too young” for breast cancer. Treatment has improved since the 1970s, but clearly some attitudes remain entrenched.

Rather than relying on academic studies to set screening guidelines, officials should pay heed to the real-life experience of contributor Anna Wilkinson, who is left to comfort women in their 40s deemed “too young” for regular screening, yet are dying nonetheless.

Claire Hoy Toronto


Re “What makes cocoa ‘fair trade’? Understanding the labels on chocolate” (May 15): Thanks for your update on conditions in cocoa-producing countries.

When I was working in the chocolate business in the 1990s, I visited the Ivory Coast and witnessed barefoot children with tanks of weed killer on their backs to spray cacao plants. Meanwhile, I stayed in hotels that had swimming pools and golf courses. One of them had the continent’s only indoor ice rink where expats played broomball.

It seems that fair-trade certification has not delivered on its promise of change.

Bob Crockett New Westminster, B.C.

Bets are off

Re “CBC has a gambling problem” (Sports, May 13): Gambling ads are absolutely ruining my whole experience of watching a hockey game on television.

They are far too numerous. What kind of message are they sending to young people? The government should never have approved these ads and should have a serious rethink.

I find it despicable that Wayne Gretzky, Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid have succumbed to the lure of more money to lend their names to this practice. I know money talks, but networks should shun these ads.

Peter Morris Oakville, Ont.

If the CBC refused to carry gambling ads that are so profitable to Sportsnet, then Sportsnet would likely have found some other way to broadcast hockey games with the ads.

Canadians, being the hockey-mad fans that they are, would likely still watch games with gambling ads anyway, even if it involved subscribing to a sports channel. The real problems – the besmirching of our noble game and the promotion of damaging, addictive behaviour – would remain.

The real solution would be to ban all advertising of sports gambling, the way all cigarette advertising is banned. At the very least, ban the advertising when children are likely to be watching, like many European countries do.

If we really care about mental health, that is what should be done.

Peter Love Toronto

The devolution of CBC Radio 2 into a purveyor of pop culture was merely disappointing to me. The recent promotion of gambling on CBC television is a higher venal sin altogether. I find it morally repugnant.

I am sad to see the national broadcaster reduced to the lowest common denominator. Perhaps those philistines perpetually baying for the silencing of the CBC should now get their way.

Alban Goddard Hill Belleville, Ont.

Spring rituals

Re “Everything went wrong for the Leafs” (Sports, May 13): Ah, come on. Maple Leafs fans should look outside and cheer up.

It’s spring. In baseball, Blue Jays pitcher Chris Bassitt just threw a complete game shutout, the first for the team since 2015 (”Bassitt pitches shutout as Blue Jays open series with 3-0 win over Braves” – Online, May 12).

And some Leafs players are probably heading for the golf course. Why not join them?

To paraphrase another Jays pitcher, Dave Stieb: Next year, they’ll be perfect.

T.M. Dickey Toronto

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