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Let it go
Re Doctor Let Go Over COVID-19 Advocacy (Feb. 2): The question should not be whether Dr. Brooks Fallis has a right to speak out, but whether what he said is true and in the public interest – which it surely is.
This sounds ominously similar to what happened to another Dr. F. in the United States when the government did not like the content of his statements, even though they were accurate and in the public interest.
John Evans Toronto
Cutting off debate has a chilling effect. Not what we need in pandemic times. I can understand putting vaccines in deep freeze. But free speech, too?
Lawrence Scanlan Kingston
I think it is important to state the likely other side of the story in this report.
Whenever a physician takes on a leadership role in a hospital, there is a responsibility to work with leadership to advocate for systemic change. Much more can be accomplished working on the inside, rather than on social media.
If a physician leader wishes to speak to the media without consulting their leadership team, then they should resign.
Doug Sinclair MD, Halifax
Highs and lows
Re Britain Leads Vaccination Charge (Feb. 2): On the front page of The Globe and Mail is a graphic depicting daily COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, with Canada lagging while Britain and the United States lead the pack. On the turn page, a similar graphic shows daily new confirmed COVID-19 deaths, also with Canada lagging while Britain and the United States lead the pack.
It seems entirely appropriate that the largest number of vaccines are being administered where the need is greatest.
E. Jane Murray Ottawa
Re Stuck In The Waiting Room (Jan. 23): The key to a successful vaccine rollout is an interprofessional approach.
If we want millions of Canadians inoculated against COVID-19 – and quickly – all hands should be on deck. And that includes thousands of public-health, primary care and home care nurses, many of whom already play a central role in perfected vaccine distribution systems, from flu shots to immunizations for children.
Nurses are eager and ready to lend their expertise to a COVID-19 vaccination program that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get the job done.
Doris Grinspun RN, PhD, O.Ont; CEO, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario; Toronto
Re How Do We Make Sense Of The Contradictory Pandemic News? (Jan. 26): The mindfulness guru Jon Kabat-Zinn is quoted as saying, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” Try telling that to a DJ, musician, actor, martial arts instructor or bar owner.
Try telling someone who cannot do what they trained for their whole lives, who knows no other way to make a living, that they just have to adapt. This will likely result in a new generation of depressed people, whose very raisons d’être have been eliminated and may not return in the near future.
Learn to surf? Some people can’t even get in the water any more.
Lorne Sabsay Toronto
Re So What’s A Governor-general For? (Editorial, Feb. 2): Before we rush for a permanent replacement, perhaps now is the time to question the usefulness of this role. I think we will find, on reflection, that the position is an anachronism of a bygone age.
Alma Javad Burlington, Ont.
Few of us appreciate the importance of the governor-general, particularly since many see it as a weird hangover of colonialism-cum-monarchy. But having the right person as head of state is crucial to our form of parliamentary democracy.
I would prefer to have the governor-general as a representative of the monarchy because I value historic links. But whoever it is should have all the right attributes – and some star power. It’s the highest office in the land, after all.
Catherine Sinclair Thornbury, Ont.
Re Kenney’s Bet On Keystone Was A Taxpayer-funded Trip To The Casino (Jan. 27): As Keystone XL is consigned to history, it should be considered that oil may well have long flowed if TC Energy had heeded the Berger Inquiry’s lessons from nearly 50 years earlier, showing the need to respect the environmental and social impact of major energy projects.
Instead, TC Energy submitted a proposal ignoring the potential impact on a major aquifer and Indigenous, farming, ranching and other communities. TC Energy protested that changes would dramatically escalate the cost and schedule for completion; the new route found would have added mere months to the schedule at minimal cost.
TC Energy’s outlook ratings have actually improved since Joe Biden’s decision. Meanwhile, even at today’s prices, some $20-million per day of product is not exported from Alberta – not to mention Jason Kenney’s $1.5-billion gamble. All this while neglecting to seek forward-looking opportunities.
Leo Boychuk Victoria
Re The ESG Investment Industry Is Broken (Report on Business, Jan. 1): Contributor James Rasteh seems to misunderstand the role of the Principles of Responsible Investment organization in advancing environmental, social and governance considerations in the investment industry.
Institutional investors and asset managers have a fiduciary obligation to act in the best long-term interest of beneficiaries. PRI operates under this guiding principle because it is well-established by research that ESG issues have material impacts on the value of investment portfolios. ESG integration and positive business outcomes do not represent competing interests.
PRI’s work with corporate signatories underscores the link individual investors and corporations have to larger social and environmental issues, and the responsibility corporations have to stakeholders to recognize these challenges. Our work promotes that mission and facilitates a process that is well under way: a global shift in the financial sector toward more sustainable models of investment.
Lindsey Walton Head of Canada, Signatory Relations, Principles of Responsible Investment; Toronto
Re Finding Older Participants For Vaccine Trials Becoming A Challenge For Drug Makers (Feb. 2): I’d like to nominate myself.
I’m 85. I live alone. I would like an adventure a little more exciting than walking around my neighbourhood, reading, making jam and watching the squirrels in the trees. I’d even be willing to travel for this test – I haven’t been on a bus, train or plane in months!
Please, drug makers, accept me and help me save my sanity.
Joy Ruttan Gatineau, Que.
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