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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on April 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Great responsibility

Re Give And Take (Letters, April 17): The Alberta government obviously should be thanked for contributing needed supplies to other provinces that are more in need. I wonder though: Is it the current government under Jason Kenney that should get the credit for stockpiling these supplies? Or was it the previous NDP government under Rachel Notley that had the foresight to prepare for a pandemic?

James Burke Woodstock, Ont.

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Re Federal Deficit Could Hit $184.2-billion This Year: PBO (Report on Business, April 10): 1. When will Justin Trudeau explain how we will repay $100-billion-plus in debt incurred due to COVID-19? 2. Will he stop printing money before we have a 40-cent dollar? 3. When will Canadian voters become fiscally responsible and start living within their means, and elect leaders who will balance the budget?

John Clark Toronto

Rich with experience

Re ‘Human Rights Don’t Have A Best-before Date’: COVID-19 Lays Bare Rampant Ageism (April 14): It is an interesting coincidence that on the same day columnist André Picard writes about ageism in COVID-19 management, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a major study on the “relation between surgeon age and post-operative outcomes.” The research shows that in the more than one million cases examined, “patients receiving treatment from surgeons who were older than 65 years of age had 7 per cent lower odds of adverse outcomes." As surgeons age, their cognitive and physical capabilities may decline, but these are apparently overcompensated by skill and experience.

During my years as a family physician, I saw many of my classmates and mentors forced to give up surgery simply based on their date of birth. This discrimination was harmful to the surgeons and patients. But it is especially harmful to our society. An already existing shortage of surgeons will become even more severe as the present cohort ages, because of ageist practices.

Gordon Young Pictou, N.S.


With descriptors for the coronavirus like “boomer remover,” some young people seem to see COVID-19 as an opportunity to winnow out the “elderly,” as if we contribute nothing to the economy. Well, I have just turned 76. In any given month, my credit-card budget is maxed out as I love restaurants, concerts and other entertainment – in effect feeding a bunch of young people every month.

Because of the virus, I now have about $4,000 lying around this month, so I finally arranged for my landscaper to do some much-needed work. I can’t wait to see these young people working in my yard so I can feed them for a week or two, like all the others I feed in a normal month.

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So some people would still like the virus to do its work on me? I say, go ahead, remove me. Make my day!

Raymond Hébert Winnipeg

Small price to pay

Re COVID-19 And Long-term Care (Letters, April 15): A letter writer relates that a personal support worker in Ontario earns an average of $18 to $21 an hour, and that “these are the people who feed, bathe, clean, diaper, dress, smile at, listen to and sometimes take abuse from the seniors we claim to love.” Replace “personal support workers” with “child-care workers” and “seniors” with “children,” and you have the same situation.

Child-care workers, most with diplomas or degrees from universities, are paid a pittance for the work they do. Here in British Columbia, it is uncommon for any daycare personnel to be paid even $20 an hour. These women, often with families, make under $30,000 a year, hardly enough to support a single person.

We talk a lot about affordable child care from the point of view of parents. It should be time to give attention to the caregivers.

Elizabeth Austin West Vancouver

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Made in Canada

Re How To Make Canada A More Self-Reliant Country After The Pandemic (Report on Business, April 6) and Quebec Betting On A More Protectionist World (Report on Business, April 7): It is suggested that Canada needs to be more self-reliant, build homegrown businesses and capitalize on the many strengths and skills we have here. Consider this: Canadians are great travellers but don’t travel enough in Canada; we purchase high-end autos that have no Canadian content; we flock to foreign fashions, stores and brands when deserving domestic competitors need our support. But one example: Budweiser is this country’s top-selling beer.

Canadians should better support each other: Take more vacations in Canada, ask where a prospective new vehicle has been built, look for local products when making other purchases. We’ll be glad we did it.

Tony Hooper Toronto

Re Stanfield’s Pivots From Underwear To Medical Gowns (Report on Business, April 17): I was greatly encouraged that Stanfield’s so quickly moved from making underwear to medical gowns. Although we certainly need underwear and T-shirts, medical gowns should be a first priority during this critical and unsettled time. Stanfield’s stepped up to the plate, and it takes courage to do so.

The value added to our economy is invaluable, and such a move also protects Canadian jobs. Our manufacturing sector should have more of this can-do spirit so that Canada can become more independent from the manufacturing supplied by other countries. Manufacturing should be the engine that drives our economy.

Frank Best CET; Barrie, Ont.

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What a waste

Re When The Rubber Hits The Road (Opinion, April 11): Kudos to contributor Derek Shapton for his photographs of latex gloves lying on sidewalks or in parking lots, thrown away by people after use during this pandemic. How inconsiderate when everyone is terrified of the virus and germs that could be transmitted by this filth.

As someone who must still work every day while others are staying at home, I take the bus and subway and constantly find used gloves, tissues and napkins on seats and floors. Are they from someone who has blown their nose or wiped surfaces? In any case, I am disgusted.

David Lewis Toronto

Trade-offs

Re How TD Created Its Virtual Trading Floor (Report on Business, April 11): Kudos to TD Securities for pioneering the ability for equities traders to work from home during this pandemic – some 300-plus of them!

However, I needed to call TD due to online reporting inconsistencies I encountered while day-trading. It took multiple calls and being put on hold before connecting with a representative. By then, my buy opportunity had fizzled out: Stocks of Zoom had already zoomed. Nothing could be worse than not being able to make a trade when you need it to happen.

Mahmoud Hirji Toronto

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