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People wait in line at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at Olympic Stadium in Montreal on April 8, 2021.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

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Performance review

Re Politicians Are Using Their Best Judgment, For Better Or Worse (April 8): Columnist John Ibbitson highlights the quality of our elected politicians. I don’t doubt they are doing their best, but the poor results seem to show how low that standard is.

Photo ops: 10. Leadership: 3.

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J-P Clark Vancouver


Re Panel Stands By Decision To Wait Up To Four Months For Second Vaccination (April 8): The intermittent supply and slow rollout has resulted in unfilled appointments and leftover vaccines. Is it not reasonable to offer second doses to elderly folks now to fully utilize what is available, and continue the investment in their protection?

Bernard Goldman CM, MD, FRCSC; Toronto


Re We Need Consensus On Vaccine Passports (April 6): Let’s bring on a “Vaccs Café” and get this looming battle out for a test run.

Bookings and admission will be via proof of vaccination. All staff are guaranteed inoculated. I believe this restaurant will be extremely popular, with lineups around the block and profit aplenty.

Where in the Constitution is this illegal? Bring on the lawyers. Why not let such decisions rest with proprietors, and customers can choose which establishments to safely patronize?

I’m not sure how Justin Trudeau will have any say in it.

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Charles Ayers Cowichan Bay, B.C.


I had a dream: a main street with a busy hair salon; a full restaurant, a coffee shop with writers on laptops; a beauty spa with tired winter faces being exfoliated and rejuvenated. All the customers have one thing in common: They have been vaccinated. To be served, all they had to do was show an official card that says so.

The result: the survival of small businesses in their last throes. And the passersby? Longing to be there too, and therefore lining up to get vaccinations.

This would be the end of vaccine hesitancy, and the end of clinics with unused appointments and potentially wasted vials.

Elizabeth Topp Toronto

Hotel Canada

Re Mapped Out (Letters, April 8): The consensus on immigration policy should be that immigration is the only key to the continuation of Canada as a country. Without at least 100 million more people, this country, with its vast space, numerous social programs and low population, will likely die a slow and painful death.

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This largest hotel in the world should have more people to fill up its rooms. Bring in people, or perish. I see that Canada is where the United States was 100 years ago. The CN Tower is our Statue of Liberty.

Douglas Cornish Ottawa

Taxin’ in the free world

Re Janet Yellen Is Making The World Safe For U.S. Tax Increases (April 7): Columnist Andrew Coyne’s comparison of Janet Yellen and Joe Biden to Ozymandias feels completely fallacious.

Ozymandias was a vain fool who built a palatial monument to himself, which later fell to ruin in the desert. That certainly does not seem like Ms. Yellen’s ambition, nor Mr. Biden’s, in mailing relief money to alleviate the hardships of the pandemic.

Surely the larger question is what they plan to do with increased tax revenue. Ozymandias wanted a meaningless monument. I believe Mr. Biden and Ms. Yellen want to make long overdue investments in U.S. infrastructure, bridges, tunnels, railway, roads and green energy, for the sake of future generations.

Hamish Guthrie Oakville, Ont.

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Steep corporate tax cuts in recent decades haven’t led to increased real investments, nor have they trickled down. Instead, some studies show that rates of real business investment have declined and workers’ real wages have been stagnant; international “tax competition” has primarily benefitted the largest corporations, increasing corporate concentration and reducing competition.

According to the International Monetary Fund, almost 40 per cent of foreign direct investments are phantom investments in tax havens, and governments lose over US$600-billion annually from corporate profit-shifting. The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that Canada loses up to $25-billion annually.

The IMF and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – hardly radical organizations – both supported a global minimum corporate tax well before Joe Biden came to office. If the largest corporations in the world don’t pay their fair share of taxes, everyone else will likely pay more.

Toby Sanger Executive director, Canadians for Tax Fairness; Ottawa


Columnist Andrew Coyne refers to proposed global co-ordination on corporate taxation as collusion by a “global tax cartel.” Would he describe free-trade agreements as collusion, or the World Trade Organization as a cartel?

The difference seems to be that free-trade agreements and rules for contemporary global trade and investment serve to restrict government regulation of corporations and private capital; global corporate tax co-ordination would do the opposite. This fundamentalist view of private capital is thankfully losing its place in some global policymaking as its consequences become all too evident, from frightening levels of income inequality to subversion of democracy by digital giants.

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It should be high time that corporations are returned to their role as vehicles for economic development, as opposed to vehicles for amassing private profit.

Daniel Ribi Ottawa

Between the lines

Re Slowly But Surely, The Government Is Gathering The Media Into Its Ghastly Embrace (Opinion, April 3): Proposed changes to the Broadcasting Act (Bill C-10) would empower the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to judge whether a site that used video or audio was “broadcasting.” If so, a website could be regulated as a traditional broadcaster, made subject to exemption orders (whose contents amount to regulation anyway) or taxed for a “contribution” to Canadian broadcasters and program producers.

Do Canadian newspapers, which increasingly use video as an adjunct to their websites, understand they would be subject to government licensing under this change? Business sites, political bloggers, YouTubers: all could be subjected to the severe penalties for “broadcasting” without a licence.

Hardly anyone has noticed what the law actually says.

Timothy Denton National commissioner, CRTC (2009-2013); Ottawa

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That’s me – Zorba!

Re Just For The Record (First Person, April 1): I can assure essay-writer Nicole Rhodes that her mom was not an outlier in owning the soundtrack for Zorba the Greek. I and everyone I knew owned it, along with the sweet memory of tightly wound Alan Bates’s request to Anthony Quinn’s Zorba in that unforgettable final scene: “Teach me to dance.”

I suggest giving it another spin.

Donnie Friedman Toronto


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