Plus, too-optimistic COVID-19 vaccine projections, The Minimalists' simple message and council like sheep on police budget cuts in reader mail this week
The appointment of Mike Harris to the Order of Ontario (NOW Online, January 5) is shocking and sad. Extendicare, Sienna Senior Living and Chartwell Retirement Residences, of which Harris is chair of the board, paid out millions in profits to shareholders during the pandemic, while we helplessly watch the hideous death toll among our elders in their care.
What a dishonour that Harris (and his successor Ernie Eves) could be placed among people who served the province with distinction, that they bumped out people who deserved the distinction.
John Meyers and Barbara Kane – Goderich
First Nation, Metis and Inuit peoples should be all over the petition to revoke Mike Harris’s appointment to the Order of Ontario like a chicken on a June bug (NOW Online, January 4). He had no respect for anyone or anything except Mike Harris during his seven-year stint as Premier Of Ontario. He is the reason the Liberals won and governed for so long. Doug Ford will not win re-election. He will be booed out of Queen’s Park.
Michel E. Dupuis – From nowtoronto.com
In addition to people we need to hear more and less from in 2021 (NOW Online, December 31, 2020) perhaps there should be a third category –people we’d like to hear at least as much from.
I would put director Michelle Latimer in this category. Whether she makes more films or television series’ on the experiences of Indigenous Peoples will depend largely on how Indigenous communities view her.
I assume she genuinely believed she was Indigenous. She remains a talented director and should be given new opportunities even if they involve different themes.
Bruce Couchman – Ottawa
I think your estimates of when Canadians can get their COVID-19 vaccine (NOW Online, January 7) are excessively optimistic. My only qualification to receive the vaccine is that I am 75 and I can think of many groups who should receive it before me. My expectation is that the earliest I could receive the first jab is mid to late summer at the earliest.
David C. Reed – From nowtoronto.com
Re Netlfix Doc The Minimalists Comes Up Empty by Glenn Sumi (NOW Online, January 7) You obviously haven’t read their work. Their message is simple – for each of us to live our best life by living with less stuff. By having more personal interactions and experiences instead of stuff you can live a more meaningful, fulfilling life.
Seobhan Dunigan – From nowtoronto.com
Re Report Calls For 30 Per Cent Cut In Police Budget (NOW Online, January 4) Enzo DiMatteo writes that “A compromise motion by Mayor John Tory promising alternative models for community safety response was passed instead” by City Council instead of a proposed 10 per cent cut in the police budget back in June. You might have mentioned that Tory and council also voted, unbelievably, to increase the police budget to fund body cameras, which advocates say have dubious value.
Tory will no doubt have a similar reaction to this 30 per cent cut proposal. And the sheep he commands on council will no doubt tag along with him instead of supporting the needs of their constituents.
Eric Mills – From nowtoronto.com
Re David Suzuki’s article 2020 Brought The Climate Crisis To A Tipping Point (NOW Online, December 16, 2020). Somehow Canadians have forgotten the “Greta” effect they once boasted so much about.
Climate change has not taken a COVID break and higher air temperatures combined with heavier precipitation in the Arctic threaten our northernmost communities.
A study conducted by a University of Waterloo researcher found that between 2017-2018, nearly 200 Alaskan lakes lost nearly one-quarter of their total surface area as the result of permafrost melting. The frost beds prevent water from draining both underneath and along the shoreline.
According to Professor Claude DuGuay, the melting permafrost releases methane and CO2 from un-decomposed plant material that sat undisturbed for millennia. Once released into the atmosphere, greenhouse gas emissions will increase by millions of tonnes. The loss of these lakes will devastate the Canadian landscape.
Christopher Mansour – From nowtoronto.com
Re Hidden Toronto: Eight Unexpected City Gems In Plain Sight. Midtown residents have a fondness for the aged St. Michael’s Cemetery, usually locked and hidden southwest of St. Clair and Yonge, especially the gem-like octagonal mortuary vault designed by Joseph Sheard, who later became mayor of Toronto. It became temporary storage when the ground was too frozen for interment.
Albin Foro – From nowtoronto.com
Re NOW Critics’ Picks For The Best Movies Of 2020. Letter-writer David Reville calls NOW critics “pretentious wankers.” Perhaps the NOW’s movie writers actually enjoy interesting, unusual, cliche-free film-making more than you do. It’s not pretentious of them to appreciate what they appreciate unless they’re only saying it to show off – which is highly unlikely. I like their choices, and I’m an old guy, not hip at all.
David Schatzky – From nowtoronto.com
I had been looking on January 1 for a social media contact when I discovered with shock and sadness of the passing of Pier Giorgio Di Cicco.
While he was an Augustinian novice, I was a postulant visiting from Marylake for the summer and became his chauffeur down to the U of T campus to lectures on ethics.
Our professor at the time was something of a secularist, but with Giorgio’s half-sung deep Sotto Voce stage-whisper, it wasn’t long before the professor came under a spell.
Of course, it was not those Don Giovanni rumbles from that made the difference, but the long after-class conversations they kindled. Giorgio and I had a close affinity for Dante-esque passion in religion, not to be confused with either angelism or CS Lewis-style romanticism.
The only problem I saw in his degree of zest was a Chestertonian abandon to smoke, which I thought curiously British for an Italian. I will always thank Giorgio for introducing me to the welcoming and familial side of Tuscan culture, so deep and sound wherever it has taken root. May the land of Firenze ever produce souls so very worth listening to.
Gary Knight – From nowtoronto.com