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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in Iqaluit, on Jan. 18.Dustin Patar/The Canadian Press

Defence delays

Re “Ukraine takes aim at Canada for year-long delay in delivery of air-defence system” (Jan. 18): Yet another example of how the Liberal government appears to be good at announcements, but poor on follow-through. This is now costing lives in Ukraine’s fight against Vladimir Putin.

Canada’s yet-to-be-delivered promise to Ukrainians breaks my heart. This should raise serious questions about how the Defence Minister runs his department, to say nothing about how our Prime Minister can accept this deplorable situation. Or maybe he thinks it’s acceptable?

I’d hate to see what would happen if Canada had to fight a war of its own.

Leo Deveau Halifax

Stuck in the sand

Re “We’re not in a population trap, we’re in an investment desert” (Jan. 17): Others may see our malady as a “population desert” or an “investment trap” (pension managers and mutual fund holders, perhaps).

I respectfully submit that Canadians are in a metaphorical pickle jar, marinating in the sour economic juices of a predatory monetary system that benefits only the picklers. Do I get my own column now?

Chris Bradshaw Langford, B.C.

Energy boost

Re “To the rescue” (Letters, Jan. 18): A letter-writer suggests that renewable energy saved the day during Alberta’s recent cold snap.

While there was wind, most of the turbine fleet had to be shut down due to the danger of brittle fracture at extreme temperatures. Similarly, overcast conditions, minimal daylight hours plus the winter sun angle eliminated significant solar contributions.

What primarily saved the day, then, were energy imports and Albertans reducing their power use.

Chris Tworek Calgary

On the job

Re “Give me more” (Letters, Jan. 17): A letter-writer’s position is that “the primary role of a university is not job training.” I would answer that the primary role of any university is to provide job training.

Programs in sciences, engineering, communication and creative arts must teach fundamental technical skills to be competitive. The University of Waterloo is famous for its co-op programs that give graduates marketable skills to enter the work force. At Toronto Metropolitan University, liberal-arts courses are part of undergraduate curriculum to complement core learning with additional critical thinking and wider views.

That trades education is perceived as “resisted by students and their parents” should be seen as a failure of society, and by extension public and secondary education, to put value on this work.

Sholem Dolgoy Associate professor emeritus, performance, The Creative School, Toronto Metropolitan University

Theatre spirit

Re “Must go on?” (Letters, Jan. 17): The Runner, recently cancelled in Vancouver, received two Toronto productions in 2018 and 2020. The first of them won Dora Awards for Outstanding New Play.

Both Toronto productions featured Gord Rand as the runner, consistently in motion on an elongated treadmill. The director was the late Daniel Brooks, widely regarded as one of Canada’s finest. I attended each, and the 2018 version was one of the strongest productions of any play I’ve seen anywhere.

Vancouver audiences will be deprived of a work that necessitates an audacious production – in the best sense – that must, of necessity, shake off preconceptions of what theatre might be.

Dale Churchward Toronto

I would argue that the ability of the theatre to teach us about ourselves and others is most important in a time of war, because art reminds us that we are not so different from one another.

It’s so easy to judge people based on what group they belong to, their nation, their religion, their background. To heal this world, we should see each other as individuals with individual hopes and fears, strengths and weaknesses.

That’s what art teaches us: Empathy. In this time when we so badly need to make this world a better place, we need more art, not less.

Risa Klarman Toronto

Gone abroad

Re “Emergency call” (Letters, Jan. 11): I spent New Year’s Eve in Cancun, Mexico. I became violently ill after getting hit with a bacterial infection.

I called a physician who came to my hotel room – at midnight, on New Year’s Eve. As fireworks went off, he gave me some medication and wrote a prescription to fill at one of the city’s 24-hour pharmacies.

The “house call” cost US$120. The hotel concierge humorously reminded me that the visit was not part of the “all-inclusive package.” Although I felt miserable, at least I recuperated with a lovely ocean view.

In Canada, I wouldn’t be able find a doctor, let alone one to make a house call. I’d probably be waiting in an overcrowded emergency room for 12 hours or so.

How disappointing and, I’m sure in some cases, deadly is the state of our health care system. We used to be justifiably proud of it.

Jeff McLaughlin Kamloops

Go west

Re “How The Globe covered two pandemics, a century apart” (A Nation’s Paper, Jan. 15): I have read the historical daily news in several small B.C. communities, thanks to newspaper archives, starting with the first reports of Spanish flu in the Maritimes.

Every day after that, reports of the flu came closer. It arrived in Toronto. Next Winnipeg. Then Calgary.

Then reports in Vancouver and the Interior started. The flu’s spread was clearly related to railroad transportation across Canada; many soldiers travelled home and brought it with them.

In 1918, I doubt if anyone in British Columbia had ever read The Globe, other than local newspapers picking up telegraphed stories.

Sheila Humphrey Abbotsford, B.C.

Hang up

Re “There are good reasons why I still don’t use a cellphone” (First Person, Jan. 16): I too like to keep up with new technology. But if I’m out and someone wants to get me, they have to leave a message on my old-fashioned land line.

I was in a department store recently and a salesperson wanted to update my e-mail information. She told me I could do it right on my phone. I said I didn’t have a cellphone.

“But everybody has a cellphone,” she replied.

Elizabeth Thompson Oakville, Ont.

Hallelujah and amen: There are others out there.

I use my cellphone sparingly and often leave it at home. I don’t have a death grip on it.

Its worst impact is the tragic effect on interpersonal relations. Bye-bye, eye contact.

How to disable those satellites so we can restore our humanity? So glad I’m 76.

John Daller Ottawa

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