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The good doctor
Re Death Of Wuhan Doctor Sparks Rare Condemnations Of Chinese Response To Coronavirus (Feb. 8): Li Wenliang should be recognized as an international hero.
First, he bravely communicated the truth about an outbreak, at a moment when openness and proper public measures could have been most helpful. Secondly, as an ophthalmologist, he had to be in close contact with his patients, but he continued to care for them despite the risks to his health. Lastly, he is in the category of a whistle-blower: someone who fearlessly reveals the truth despite official attempts at suppression.
Whistle-blowers represent some of the most important and bravest responses to authoritarian governments. The world needs more heroes like Dr. Li.
Irv Salit Toronto
Four or five?
Re Britain Has Chosen A 4G Solution For A 5G System. That’s Not Going To Work (Feb. 7): With so much controversy and contradictory information on the merits, or lack thereof, of 5G systems, one wonders whether the risks outweigh its benefits. Who is openly assessing these factors for Canadian society? Or is progress at all costs the name of the game, consequences be damned?
Ian Szlazak Ottawa
Re Ottawa Imposes Lower Speed Limits After Second Train Derailment In A Month (Feb. 7): How many trains carrying dangerous petroleum products have to crash and burn before Canadians finally understand that pipelines would be much safer? I would have thought the Lac-Mégantic experience was enough, but it seems that we are slow learners.
Yes, we should decrease our dependence on petroleum products, but as long as we still need them (and it seems we will for a long time), let’s choose a safer transportation method: pipelines.
Judith Anderson Burnaby, B.C.
It’s regrettable to me that the tragic evacuation of Guernsey, Sask., due to fires caused by burning bitumen is being used to push for a pipeline to carry that noxious substance. Diverting the danger to the coast of British Columbia would be irrational.
A more responsible solution would be to quickly end the production of a concoction that threatens both the global community, through its extreme greenhouse-gas composition, and the local communities all along its transportation routes.
Larry Hannant Victoria
All in Alberta
Re Liberals Ready Aid Package For Alberta As Deadline For Decision On Teck Frontier Mine Nears (Online, Feb. 6): Alberta has two NHL hockey teams, two CFL football teams, two symphony orchestras, two opera companies, a ballet company, plus baroque orchestras and theatre companies – sorry if I missed anyone.
I’m not knocking any of this, I think it’s great. It’s just ironic to me that a place able to sustain this level of cultural and entertainment options – on par with no other province except Ontario – should be needful of any largesse from the federal government.
David Bryant Regina
More or less
Re Ontario Launches Review To Modernize Securities Law (Report on Business, Feb. 7): Once again, a conservative government wants to make business life less regulated. To do so, it has appointed a committee of five industry insiders. Isn’t this similar to the industry self-regulation of aircraft production in the United States that led to hundreds of deaths from 737 Max jets?
Investors, beware: It seems the foxes will be in charge of the henhouse.
Manuel Buchwald Toronto
Teachers strike back
Re Ontario Faces High Bar To Force Teachers Back To Work Amid Strikes (Feb. 7): My husband is a teacher. Even with strike pay, he has already lost more than the 1 per cent of his salary that the Ford government claims is all he is fighting for.
In fact, he’s fighting for the future of education in Ontario. For him, it isn’t about compensation – it’s about the kids. My husband will keep fighting for education, even as his personal financial losses mount, because it matters.
Daina Di Veto Lynden, Ont.
My calculations show that Ontario teachers will lose more in pay after a handful of strike days than they would gain with the additional 1-per-cent raise being asked for. On the flip side, the government will save more than the cost of giving teachers that 1 per cent.
It appears teachers are not in this for the money – and it is the government that benefits by keeping this conflict going.
Patrick Hourigan Burlington, Ont.
One of the few rewards of becoming a so-called senior citizen is the joy of having grandchildren, and wanting the best for them. Grandparents in today’s world are often involved in the day-to-day tasks of making sure that happens. We take them to school, pick them up and, yes, we provide care in the event of teachers strikes.
We see the schools, meet the teachers and see the high level of care and education our grandchildren receive. Nobody likes strikes. I know the teachers don’t. But what is more important than quality education? I don’t see what this government is trying to achieve by putting this at risk.
Good governments should solve problems, not create them. We seem to have a pretty good public education system in Ontario. Let’s keep it, make it better. I know a lot of grandparents would appreciate it. Oh yes, and we vote.
Steve Parish Ajax, Ont.
I know many Ontario parents are struggling with the inconveniences of the teachers strike. As a parent and a University of Toronto professor, I keep reminding myself that I am grateful for their courageous actions, because it seems easier to destroy an education system than to keep it great.
My family moved from the United States three-plus years ago, where I taught at a large public university and my children were in public school. I experienced firsthand what happens when school systems get defunded and overcrowded, and children and teachers don’t have the resources they need. It’s not pretty. The consequences are evident all the way through university(and likely beyond), as I routinely taught students who lacked basic academic skills, such as the ability to identify a verb.
In Ontario, I see the kind of public education this province provides is a world apart from what I experienced in the U.S. I hope parents here can keep in mind the value to all of us when unions politically organize to challenge school budget cuts, even in this challenging time.
Ellen Berrey Toronto
Up in smoke
Re Aurora Cannabis CEO To Step Down Amid Company Layoffs (Report on Business, Feb. 7): Looks like a consequence of “buy high, sell low” investment strategies.
Peter Ostrom Chelsea, Que.
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