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Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on March 20, 2020.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

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Vaccine decisions

Re Unvaccinated Pockets Pose Huge Challenge To Preventing Fourth Wave (Aug. 2): A friend of mine contracted COVID-19. He did not get out of bed for 13 days. He was off work for seven weeks.

He is still having lung issues but has improved. We know even fully vaccinated people can contract COVID-19 in a milder form and still infect unvaccinated people.

Therefore, the decision should come down to a matter of time for unvaccinated Canadians. Federal and provincial governments should have no alternative but to mandate vaccines.

Robert Marcucci Toronto

Re Distancing, Masks Top Ontario’s Plan For Return To School (Aug. 4): Why aren’t governments across Canada taking the simplest, most effective step to protect schoolchildren this fall: namely to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all eligible students 12 and up.

Students must already have shots for measles, mumps and other easily communicable diseases. Why treat COVID-19 any differently?

Brian Bergman Calgary

Another detail to see from the province and unions is the process for confirming vaccination statuses and the procedure for requesting different educators. Children who are ineligible to be vaccinated at this time should have the right to refuse instruction from an unvaccinated teacher.

Sarah Timney Toronto

Awkward position

Re NDP Calls For Public Inquiry Into Province’s COVID-19 Response (Aug. 4): I believe Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s good work to date is being exploited.

However, government is one of those institutions where public servants,‎ members of cabinet or elected members of a caucus will at some point face a circumstance where they think, “I can’t support this. I should leave.” They then convince themselves that it is better to stay, to act as a check on the politically motivated actions of government leaders. If they leave, it could get even worse.

There are also times where staying will fail to curb the excess of politicians, where one becomes complicit in the unsupportable. Now seems that time for Dr. Hinshaw.

Greg Schmidt Calgary

Re Oh, I Give Up! (Editorial Cartoon, July 30): Dr. Deena Hinshaw deserves a medal for her tireless and inspirational leadership though this pandemic, not the outrage and criticism that has been directed toward her.

A.C Thomas Calgary

Out of time

Re Plight Of White Helmet Evacuees Worsens As They Wait On Canada (Aug. 3) and ‘Mad Panic’ As Afghans Rush To Apply For Canadian Resettlement (July 30): It is difficult to be proud of our government that proclaimed “moral obligations” three years ago to resettle the White Helmets left in Jordan and did nothing.

More recently it gave Afghan supporters of the Canadian Armed Forces three whole days to hand in complete applications for immigration. Given the volatile situation in Afghanistan, that seems impossible.

If this reflects Canadian generosity and moral conscience, then this government has very different values from mine.

Arndt Kruger Peterborough, Ont.

However we view Canada’s military presence in Afghanistan, the federal government clearly has a moral obligation to accept as refugees those who helped as interpreters, etc. So why this bureaucratic hesitancy?

If we have the planes, let’s fly them out as quickly as possible and process their applications on Canadian soil. Forms can be filled out later; lives, once taken, cannot.

Christopher Levenson Vancouver

Well spent

Re Paying For It (Letters, July 27) and At What Cost? (Letters, July 28): Recent letter-writers suggest that the national early learning and child-care plan would be “top-heavy” and therefore expensive and ultimately unaffordable. What the plan proposes is a Canada-wide system of affordable, inclusive and high-quality child care with a goal of providing regulated $10-a-day care within the next five years.

Economists have estimated a return on investment ranging from 1:3 to 1:6 for every dollar spent. Quality child care is one of the best investments a society can make. A national plan would improve access to quality care for all Canadian parents, particularly those in underserved and underrepresented communities, and provide good-paying careers for early childhood educators.

We believe a national plan is not only the smart thing to do – it’s the right thing to do.

Linda Cottes and Marni Flaherty Co-chairs, Quality Early Learning Network; Toronto

In solidarity

Re Tim Hortons To Launch National Hiring Campaign (Report on Business, July 31): So Tim Hortons wants to hire and thinks a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign and taking resumés by text will do it. Not a word about full-time work, benefits, training, reliable scheduling, retention or incentives. And who knows what “conversations with all levels of government” are about. Minimum wage, maybe?

Elsewhere I read that unions are targeting bike couriers. There is fertile ground at Tims and all the workplaces where employees are often abandoned by “all levels of government” to the profit requirements of employers. Cheap coffee at the expense of our fellow citizens should be a thing of the past, for the good of all.

Have we learned nothing in the past 18 months?

David Florkow Toronto

Try again

Re Customer Disservice (Letters, Aug. 3): To seek an answer to a general question, I called the Canada Revenue Agency. When my portable handset ran out of power, I was obliged to hang up and recharge.

I tried again the next morning, reaching a human after a half-hour. The agent, however, could not answer my question and transferred me to a supervisor. The supervisor’s recording advised me that I had a “three-hour to four-hour” wait. I gave up in disgust.

“Service” Canada, indeed.

Charles Hooker East Garafraxa, Ont.

Hot stuff

Re Grandma’s Got It Going On (First Person, July 30): I have experienced unexpected compliments at age 84.

While walking through a dimly lit parking lot, a man asked, “How are you? You’re looking pretty good for an old broad!” I quickly got in my car and locked myself in.

More recently, wearing a mauve jacket and matching tam while taking a shortcut to the library, a gentleman in a wheelchair said, “Aren’t you fashionable! What colour do you call that? Chartreuse?” I hurried on to the library.

Never too old to appreciate a compliment.

L.C. Phillips Surrey, B.C.

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