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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford take part in a ground breaking event at the Iamgold Cote Gold mining site in Gogama, Ont., on Sept. 11, 2020.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

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Tough stuff

Re An Angry Public Is Forcing Timid Governments To Get Tough With Vaccine Resisters (Aug. 27): This pandemic is the greatest health-and-death episode in our time. Inept is a good descriptor I would use for the way our politicians and even some scientific or medical people have dealt with this crisis.

Slow to react and even dismissive at times, many of them have failed to plan necessary steps in creating safe and practical solutions, regardless of political stripe. The majority of the public appears to be far ahead of them. Coming elections should see considerable turnover of incumbents who failed to provide leadership.

Add my voice to those calling for mandatory vaccination policies, allowing for medical exemptions, and federal vaccination passports. We needed these yesterday, in my view.

Herb Westman Ottawa

Re Ontario To Implement Proof Of Vaccination System (Aug 28): When asked last month about vaccine passports, Doug Ford replied, “The answer is no, we’re not gonna do it.” Unfortunately, the professionals’ message took six weeks to sink in, prodded by increased pressure from all sides.

But at last he’s gonna do it.

Tim Jeffery Toronto

The Ontario government, capable of quickly and efficiently producing new blue licence plates and stickers for every gas pump in the province, should have absolutely no problem in quickly and efficiently producing a vaccination certificate. This with or without any form of federal subsidy.

Michael Preston Toronto

On the ground

Re Ukraine Leads Daring Rescue Of Canada-bound Afghans (Aug. 30): I guess we know who our friends are now.

Bill Jory London, Ont.

Ukraine sent its soldiers onto the streets of Kabul, going where no other special forces dared and saving Afghans at risk from the Taliban.

So why haven’t we let Ukraine join NATO? We obviously need its help.

Lubomyr Luciuk Professor, department of political science and economics, Royal Military College of Canada; Kingston

Re Biden Vows To Complete Afghanistan Evacuation (Aug. 27): What is harder than starting a war? Ending one.

Mark Leith Toronto

A tax on them

Re Trudeau Proposes Surtax On Big Bank, Insurance Profits (Report on Business, Aug. 26): The proposed tax on banks would erode their ability to pay dividends. Since many retirees hold bank stocks, the tax would be a tax on retirees.

Justin Trudeau, having undermined seniors’ incomes, would then likely propose to increase Old Age Security or some other form of support – generating large administrative costs in the process.

Further, I find no evidence that banks are earning excess returns on equity. The banking industry is a Canadian success story. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

There’s been too much spending and too many tax increases. Enough.

Joel Cohen FCPA, Hamilton

This appears to be Justin Trudeau arbitrarily charging extra taxes on companies and industries he doesn’t like. I see no policy reason why banks and insurance companies should pay higher tax rates than any other industry.

The random targeted tax increases serve to discourage investment in Canada, partly because investors do not know who is going to be the next victim. This makes Canada seem more like a developing country.

The “Canada recovery dividend,” partly to repay the billion of dollars in deficits that the Liberal government has run up over two years, is only charged to banks and insurance companies. This would be misdirected, since I am almost certain these companies and their employees had far less benefit from special pandemic subsidies than most other industries.

Rod Lawrence London, Ont.

Private models

Re Private Delivery Of Health Care? Yes Please. Private Funding? No Thanks. (Opinion, Aug. 28): No, I believe this is the problem, not the solution.

Private health care provision is by nature more expensive. Providers must make a profit. All that private provision would accomplish is to increase the amount the government – and we – have to pay.

Grant Dawson Calgary

The potential value of private providers in our health delivery model misses the point of what should matter to patients more than what seems to concern politicians and economists: outcomes of care.

There is no good reason why my chances of surviving cancer or a heart attack should vary twofold depending on my postal code. Before we chase the elusive Holy Grail of the perfect delivery model, let’s tackle the variation in standards of care.

Martin McMahon Kelowna, B.C.

Dogmatic defence of the status quo in the way we fund health care feels ridiculous. It was in danger of collapse before COVID-19. The pandemic has laid bare the precarious situation in which doctors, and especially nurses, are struggling to provide care.

Columnist Andrew Coyne throws the shutters wide open. I agree that a blend of private and public clinics and services is urgently needed, now. After 37 years as a unionized employee, I believe that nothing in the benefits or compensation packages of health care workers is threatened by private medical services.

Dogma is where one hangs their brain on a hook before entering the room. Refusal to join the discussion, based on dogma, is destructive.

Hugh McKechnie Newmarket, Ont.

At what cost

Re Election 2021: How To Not Fix Housing (Editorial, Aug. 28): Debates about the housing shortage in Canada always seem to focus on the price of homes today, but not the cost of home ownership as compared with decades gone by.

Forty years ago, prices were lower (compared with wages) but interest rates pushing 20 per cent made the cost of borrowing money to purchase a home many times higher than now.

A comparison of the cost of home ownership should always accompany anything written about the price of homes.

Dave Love Oakville, Ont.

Housing prices are increasing much faster then incomes. In Mark Carney’s new book Value(s): Building a Better World for All, he writes that the prices of everything increased more in the 1970s and 1980s then they did over the prior 250 years.

Hopefully, we are not repeating that inflationary period or it will not matter how many houses are built – no one will be able to afford them.

Ken Stock Port Hope, Ont.

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