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Waiting for rollout
Re Concern And Uncertainty Surround Vaccination Plans (Feb. 24): David Naylor, co-chair of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, cites what worked for flu vaccination distribution can be scaled up. As an Ontario senior who waited for the stronger dose of flu vaccine last year, I can say that doctors’ offices and pharmacies had no idea when or in what quantities it would be delivered – all haphazard.
I was finally notified by my pharmacy in November, 2020, that doses were available. An hour later, I was lined up – standing – with 50 other seniors, some with mobility problems. After an hour waiting, we were informed there were no more doses, and no information on when future doses would be received.
I await the COVID-19 vaccine rollout with trepidation.
Frank White Toronto
How is it possible that provincial governments do not have fully fleshed out mass vaccination plans in place and communicated to the public? Premiers have been moaning about the federal government’s performance in getting vaccines, yet we still have no clear plan from the provinces on getting them into the arms of the people.
There has been ample time to work out logistics. There has been plenty of time to recruit and train vaccinators. Once vaccines are in hand, there should be no excuses.
Any province that bungles it will not be able to hide behind criticizing Ottawa. And they will pay a price.
Peter Belliveau Moncton
Re MPs Urge Ottawa To Act On China Genocide Motion (Feb. 24): I’m sure that the families of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have an increased sinking belief that they may never see them again. I believe this unanimous vote on genocide in China has jeopardized any hope of getting them released any time soon.
This vote may make some people happy, but it could have easily waited until new developments or efforts were made to release Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor. China has shown that it will not hesitate to retaliate against public offences made by other countries, and certainly not by a small one like Canada.
When this happens, I hope that those who pressed for this resolution will take responsibility for it.
William Baldwin Toronto
Re A New Push Against The Other Epidemic (Editorial, Feb. 20): Over 29 years ago, The Globe and Mail highlighted an Ontario press conference of heroin addicts seeking treatment – or, as the editorial described them, “three voyagers from the sea of lost souls” (Why Addicts Need Methadone – Feb. 10, 1992).
Thereafter, The Globe called for the province to double the number of opioid-dependent patients eligible for treatment with methadone (then the gold standard for treatment). Within months, Ontario announced funding for it. The numbers of patients escalated rapidly as thousands of addicts successfully sought treatment.
Though I find The Globe’s call for action now not as poetic as that of 1992, the gravity of the need is the same. Hopefully the paper’s endorsement of safe supply of drugs and decriminalization of simple possession will have a similar effect. Thousands are waiting.
Philip Berger MD, Toronto
Re Bill C-22 Is Inadequate For The Task Of Addressing Injustice In Canada’s Justice System (Feb. 24): I agree that mandatory minimum sentences do not lower crime. They limit the ability of judges to craft justice in their particular cases, and disproportionately affect Indigenous persons and Black Canadians. They are a blight on our generally good justice system.
Serious crimes usually require jail time, and did so before mandatory minimums. But harshness for the sake of harshness erodes the humanity of both those who inflict it and those who suffer it. All are degraded and the community is thus harmed.
Punishments that offer the possibility of redemption, and reconciliation with society, would have much better long-term consequences.
Robert Girvan Former Crown attorney, Toronto
Re Stop It (Letters, Feb. 24): A letter-writer asks why we cannot “legislate against these users” of victims of sex trafficking. I hope she will be pleased to hear that Canada has already done this. Section 286.1 of the Criminal Code makes it a crime to purchase sexual services.
Enforcement would be a good idea, not least because anyone purchasing sex cannot be sure that they are not part of the demand that drives trafficking.
Christine Boyle Professor emerita, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia; Vancouver
Cost of business
Re Why Doug Ford Opposes Paid Sick Days (Opinion, Feb. 20): Doug Ford would know as a business owner that someone has to pay for paid sick days, and it is the employer who gets to add this to the cost of doing business.
An old manager of mine often said: “All we’re trying to do here is buy and sell steel, and keep the in-between part to a minimum.” Employers are continually being asked to add more to that space.
The elephant in the room seems to be the human condition: The majority of workers will likely take some or all of their allotted days whether they are sick or not. Or, put another way: being paid more for doing less.
That is the conundrum that should be addressed in order for all of us to achieve the good outcomes that paid sick leave can deliver.
David Malcolm Hamilton
Re A Sales Tax Should Be In Alberta’s Future (Editorial, Feb. 24): Before any new taxes are put in place, we should have a fiscal review of what we are spending our tax dollars on, and realistic budgets to go forward.
I find the sad reality is that we have created a system where, to get elected, politicians promise to deliver more than before. At the same time, we blockade our ability to improve our prosperity and the future for our youth with ever-increasing laws and red tape, not to mention continually creeping taxes.
COVID-19 should force us to examine where we are going. The cost, both financially and spiritually, will have ramifications for years to come. Giving politicians more money, without review and taxpayer representation, would add fuel to a fire burning out of control.
Chris Tworek Calgary
Jason Kenney has said that he would hold a referendum on a sales tax.
Question: Do you want to pay more taxes? Yes or no? I think I can guess what the results will be.
Stephen Crocker Edmonton
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