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People wait to be tested for COVID-19 at a clinic in Montreal on Aug. 1, 2021.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

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Let the right one In

Re Quebec Premier François Legault Announces Vaccine-passport System After Rise In Cases (Online, Aug. 5): I am far more afraid of a world in which any group is barred from public life because of any difference, whether it is race, gender, sexuality, religion or medical status, than I am of any virus.

Those pushing for strict vaccine passports or similar restrictions should ask themselves if they are willing to have anyone propose medical restrictions barring them from public life. Doing so for COVID-19, no matter how valid the argument in favour of vaccination, sets a dangerous precedent.

Anger toward those who do not get vaccinated, for whatever reason, is in large part owing to the government’s tying of vaccination rates and case counts to reopening. That is a political decision, which people are welcome to debate, rather than directing anger toward people who have nothing to do with that policy.

Sarah Climenhaga Toronto

Re Vaccine Decisions (Letters, Aug. 5): Educators are entitled to a safe working environment. But under Ontario’s school reopening plan, unvaccinated students over the age of 12 will still be admitted.

Parents of these students should be told in no uncertain terms that they will be homeschooling their children.

John Ferguson Retired teacher, Ottawa


Re Improvements To Long-term Care System Would Cost $13.7-billion A Year, PBO Report Says (Aug. 5): Long-term care improvements should be considered by the government and every Canadian as the first priority for future spending.

Heartsick in having no choice but to research homes for my ailing father, I fully support any tax increase to support this. I am also scared for all the boomers coming up behind with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

If they can’t handle this situation now, what will be in store for the future?

Jennifer Bracken Oakville, Ont.

Political positions

Re There’s A Law Against Snap Elections – And The Governor-General Is Meant To Enforce It (Aug. 4): If the Governor-General were to reject the Prime Minister’s advice to dissolve Parliament and call an election, she must have an alternative government that has a reasonable chance of commanding the confidence of the House until October, 2023. That strikes me as most unlikely.

Peter Russell Professor emeritus of political science; Honey Harbour, Ont.

Re Senate Sense (Letters, Aug. 4): For those advocating for an elected Senate, I have two questions: I assume they’ve observed at least part of a Question Period. Do they really want both Houses acting like spoiled schoolchildren? Would they prefer senators act in the interests of their re-election, or the betterment of our country?

Larry Allen Calgary


Re The Fading Fortunes Of Canadian LNG (Editorial, Aug. 3): European policy makers are not allowing existential dread to cloud their judgment as they craft an energy strategy. A multibillion-dollar investment in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a pragmatic choice, helping guarantee the supply of natural gas to domestic and industrial consumers who recognize the limitations of green alternatives.

In my view, Canada’s decision to turn its back on the immense potential of its natural-gas industry straddles the line between foolhardy and hysterical.

Darcy Charles Lewis Edmonton

Re Alberta Solar Projects Raise Tensions Over Agricultural Land Use (Report on Business, Aug. 3): Climate change is not only making us reconsider our sources of power, but also our eating habits. More plants, less meat, they say, is our future. But where will plants be grown if farmland is covered by thousands of acres of solar panels?

Judy Lindsay Vancouver

Under pressure

Re The (Not So) Great Inflation Panic Of 2021 (Editorial, July 31): The Bank of Canada may be right that Canada’s inflation will fall back to 2 per cent next year without a policy nudge. But some indicators – negative real interest rates and double-digit money growth – suggest that it might not. If so, the bank will be trapped between its medium-term commitment to low inflation and its self-imposed guarantee not to increase interest rates until late 2022.

Whether it then tightens policy or not, its credibility would suffer. But: The government’s fiscal stance depends on low interest rates, the bank’s inflation-targeting agreement with the Finance Minister is up for renegotiation – and there is an election in the offing.

Political pressures on the bank to stand pat are becoming increasingly intense. An inflation panic is indeed premature at this stage, but perhaps a little worrying is permissible.

David Laidler London, Ont.

Build better

Re ‘When You Complain About It, You’re Looked At As A Headache’: Construction Industry Faces Reckoning Over Racism On Job Sites (Aug. 3): The summer of 2020 proved racism takes many forms in Canada, including nooses on construction sites. Ontario’s industry leaders were appalled then, and our resolve hasn’t diminished a year later to transform our work culture so everyone feels safe on site.

We applaud the Toronto Community Benefits Network, the partnership between residential builders and groups such as the Alliance of Black Employee and Experience Leadership, and Ontario’s $21-million boost to get more underrepresented communities into the trades.

In addition, a group of 20-plus stakeholders (employers, unions, employment agencies, educators, governments) created the Residential Construction Council of Ontario’s Anti-Racism Roundtable to establish transformative policy through a consensus approach. We also launched the Construction Against Racism Everywhere hard-hat campaign to foster allyship onsite. These were just our first steps.

BIPOC community members in construction deserve proof that their allies stand beside them. A safe workplace is only possible when we all approach racism with zero tolerance.

Richard Lyall President, RESCON; Vaughan, Ont.

Good night

Re All Hail The Glorious Return Of The Independent Bookstore (July 31): What e-book enthusiasts fail to mention is the comforting feeling when, reading a “real” book in bed at night, your body gives a sudden jerk and the book falls gently from your hands. You become alert to the fact that you are no longer alert.

You mark your place with a bookmark from your favourite bookstore, put your glasses on the night table, turn off the light and go to sleep.

It’s wonderful.

T.M. Dickey Toronto

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