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Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks at a news conference at Queens Park in Toronto on April 7, 2021.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

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In Ontario

Re Doug Ford’s Apologies Are Meaningless (April 23): Last year, I thought Doug Ford and his cabinet were basing decisions on sound advice from the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. I gave him credit for rising to the occasion. Now the third wave looks out of control, an avoidable crisis had he taken more of the table’s advice.

Models from February showed that Ontario was heading toward a “disaster.” Mr. Ford’s eventual solution was to close outdoor activities. At least public pressure forced him to backtrack on playgrounds.

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Let’s not forget that, in 2019, this government announced the reduction of public health units from 34 to 10. Thanks to pressure from municipalities, this was delayed.

Remember all this at election time.

Caroline Di Cocco Former MPP, Sarnia-Lambton (1999-2007); Bright’s Grove, Ont.


I moved to Nova Scotia from Ontario a few years ago for many reasons. At the time, surviving a pandemic was not one of them.

Given the leadership that Doug Ford is offering versus the decisive approach of the Nova Scotia government in controlling this pandemic, I think I made a good decision.

Barb Sullivan Windsor Forks, N.S.

Free IP

Re Vaccines Shed Light On Canada’s IP Problem (Report on Business, April 23): Back in my native country, Ethiopia, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc. Because Ethiopia is a low-income country that cannot afford to procure vaccines independently, millions will likely not receive a safe and effective vaccine for years to come. This should concern us all. Our only way to end the global pandemic, including here in Canada, would be to make sure that vaccines reach everyone, everywhere.

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What is appalling to me is that many low- and middle-income countries already have manufacturing capacity to produce vaccines, but can only do so if intellectual property rights are waived. It should be considered immoral that Canada and other high-income countries have not support the TRIPS intellectual property waiver proposed by South Africa and India to the World Trade Organization.

Canada should put lives ahead of publicly subsidized pharmaceutical profit.

Hanna Belayneh Ottawa

Justice for who?

Re A Seminal Moment For Racial Justice – But Don’t Count On It Lasting (April 22): Sadly there is no justice for George Floyd. Justice for George Floyd would mean that he was still alive today.

C.N. Haller Toronto

Canadian spending

Re Budget Is An Unaffordable Spending Binge (Report on Business, April 21): I believe no amount of government spending and tinkering will improve our economic prospects until Canadians change our attitudes to Canadian products, travel and other services. Canadians are infatuated with foreign luxury vehicles, other products and brands, and usually choose foreign travel over seeing our own country.

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With our small population and huge land mass, Canada should generate massive trade surpluses. If we support each other, our economy should grow with minimal government intervention.

Tony Hooper Toronto

MIA

Re Major Banks, Insurers Team Up With Carney, Vowing To Mobilize Trillions Of Dollars Toward Net-zero Goals (Report on Business, April 21): None of Canada’s Big Five banks have signed on to Mark Carney’s Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero. I will ask my bank why not.

If enough of us do, perhaps we can drag them kicking and screaming into the Anthropocene epoch.

Norm Beach Toronto

People’s voice

Re Conservative Course (Letters, April 22): A letter-writer believes that Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall is exercising “her rights as an individual” when she presents her bill to ban sex-elected abortions. I too have strong views on a woman’s right to choose – and I am free to share my views with friends, family and anyone who cares to listen – but I do not hold a seat in Parliament.

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As an MP, Ms. Wagantall was elected to represent the Canadians in her riding, not herself as an individual. No matter how “dear to her heart” this issue might be, she should have a responsibility to first consult her constituents, to confirm that her views are in fact held in equal regard by those she represents.

Sally Cochrane Toronto

Class time

Re Academic Arguments (Letters, April 22): A former university executive’s appealing description of professorial work composed of 15 teaching hours a week, followed by five months of vacation, certainly caught my attention. If I had known the job was that easy, I never would have retired.

Time in the classroom is just the tip of the iceberg. Building and updating a knowledge base, and finding the most effective ways of making that knowledge available to students, is where the real work is done. That requires considerably more than 15 hours a week.

Laurentian University is in trouble because of its financial management, not the alleged sloth of its faculty.

Patricia Stewart Professor emerita, department of surgery, University of Toronto

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Ask exhausted professors currently grading exams and essays about the hours they worked during the term just ended. As for the months ahead, they will be filled with research, service and class preparation for the fall semester.

Finally, what studies inform the claim regarding the efficacy of liberal arts research in the classroom?

Alison Conway Professor, University of British Columbia, Okanagan; Kelowna, B.C.

Money to burn

Re Diversions (Letters, April 23): For some seniors, an extra $500 might mean buying birthday presents for our loved ones, tipping the neighbourhood kid who helps take out the garbage or making a donation to the local animal shelter.

If I couldn’t find a good use for $500, I’d rather burn it than give it to the Conservatives.

Joy Ruttan Gatineau, Que.

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Picture perfect

Re Why I Stopped Taking Photos (First Person, April 21): The concept of “thought walking” inspired a memory.

During a recent MRI, I accompanied my son on a paddle around our river. On a perfect summer day we explored the river bank, me on a stand-up paddleboard and him in a kayak. We encountered all manner of flora and fauna including loons, turtles, frogs, herons and kingfishers.

Shortly after arriving back at our dock, the technician withdrew me from the tube. Forty-five minutes had passed and I couldn’t even remember hearing any MRI sounds! Clearly I had experienced “thought paddling.”

Anne Taylor-Vaisey MLS; research associate, Centre for Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation; Toronto


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