Letters to the editor: The Governor-General’s French-language kiss-off

Plus, crying foul on park encampments, acts of kindness against anti-Muslim hate and advice to pandemic pet owners in reader mail


Other than language, Mary Simon has exceptional credentials

Re Quebec Language Stir Opens Investigation Into Mary Simon Appointment (NOW Online, July 19) As a result of some 40 years of often painful confrontation, those Anglophone Canadians who weren’t complete anti-Quebec bigots generally conceded the outrageous principle that holders of high office in Canada would have the capacity to address French-speaking Canadians, who number some 25 per cent of the population, in their language. At the time and since, Quebec nationalists derided this principle as meaningless expediency, something to be jettisoned when the opportunity arose. And now, it would seem, that opportunity has arisen. The new Governor-General cannot speak to a quarter of the population and, despite best intentions, probably never will.

This situation is already difficult enough without Enzo DiMatteo’s misleading and disingenuous article. He blows off any concerns that francophones might have as a “brouhaha” and reflecting “colonialism”. He tries to balance these howlers off with the phrase “in both official languages” as though there was some equivalency here. But there isn’t. Realistically, a unilingual francophone will never occupy this position or any other key position at the federal level in Canada. English-speaking Canadians can always remain comfortably addressed in their language of choice. DiMatteo must know this.

Maybe Mary Simon will exceed expectations and perhaps even come to embrace the poetry of Emile Nelligan. Who knows? Other than language, she has exceptional qualifications and, better, understands “the way things work”. After his “women in space” initiative blew up in his face Justin Trudeau can’t afford another misstep.

Patrick Delaney – From NOWTORONTO.COM

Should Toronto simply accept people living in parks?

Re 26 People Arrested As Toronto Clears Lamport Stadium Encampment (NOW, Online, July 21) I know the first response is to criticize the cops but let me ask – what are they supposed to do when people are warned several times to leave and they won’t? Should the police (and citizens of Toronto) simply accept people living, sleeping, cooking, defecating etc… in their public spaces?

David R.From NOWTORONTO.COM

Crying foul on park encampments

Re Toronto Fences Off Alexandra Park To Clear Encampments (NOW Online, July 20)

Definitely a difficult situation for everyone involved. Hopefully, the people who lived there are getting proper help. As for those crying foul, I’ll say the park(s) really didn’t feel safe — or for the public — anymore. My partner was harassed this week while sketching in broad daylight. A construction worker had to pull the guy off her. Luckily she’s okay, but letting encampments go on indefinitely was never going to be the solution. Surprised the city turned a blind eye as long as they did TBH. So it goes

Frank B.From NOWTORONTO.COM

Advice to pandemic pet owners

Re How The Pandemic Pet Boom Went Bust For Some Dog Owners (NOW June 17-23). My advice to those people who spent 24/7 with their pandemic dogs and now have to go back to work: invest in doggy day care or buy another dog to keep your dog company.

Augusta LeighFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Acts of kindness as an antedote to anti-Muslim hate

Re Hamilton Attack On Hijab-Wearing Women Reminiscent Of London Rampage, Muslim Group Says (NOW Online, July 13) Following the June 6 killings of four members of a family for being Muslim, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested to Canadians that “the next time you see a woman in a hijab or a [Muslim] family out for a stroll, give them a smile.” With more anti-Muslim attacks in the news, it seems his thoughtful request may be applicable indefinitely.

Offering a sincere smile can be a healthy and powerful, yet relatively effortless, potential response by caring individuals to acts of hate. One might also wear anti-hate symbolism, e.g. a coloured ribbon or shirt. In the current climate of heated emotions and even violent intolerance, we need to display kindness,

Frank Sterle Jr.From NOWTORONTO.COM

Renaming Dundas after a freedom fighter

Re Toronto Moves To Rename Dundas Over Slavery Ties (NOW Online, July 7) My suggestion would be to rededicate Dundas Street to Hugh Dundas a Scottish freedom fighter who lived about five centuries before Henry Dundas. Toronto already has a location named after a European imperialist, Alexander The Great Parkette, so it would be appropriate to name a street after a European freedom fighter.

The one exception should be Yonge-Dundas Square. When Henry Dundas was in his 30s he won the most important anti-slavery case in Scottish history, Knight v. Wedderburn, which held that slavery could not exist on Scottish soil. If Dundas had died at the age of 40 he would be remembered as one of the most important anti-slavery lawyers in Scottish and British history. Therefore, I suggest that Yonge-Dundas Square should be renamed Young-Dundas Square. It would be a reminder that not everyone improves with age.

Bruce CouchmanOttawa

Pandemic makes new case for Universal Basic Income

The world is changing. Too many people live off minimum wage in an economy that won’t buy a decent future. Jobs are disappearing every day as workers are replaced by machines and A.I. technology. A global pandemic has altered the technological prerequisites for accessing work, and the careers of the future will require a significant investment in education. 

Yet, at this very moment, the people who built our economy are hemorrhaging the work they need to secure basic shelter. If we want them to transition out of this moment, then the government must act. The people of our nation need support to weather the storm and make the transition into a new future where humanity’s grasp reaches to the stars. 

Basic Income could provide everyone with the foundation they need to launch into the next phase of human civilization. We need UBI.

Tyler BeaulacFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

@nowtoronto

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