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A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Jan. 7, 2021.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

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For richer

Re Ottawa Taps Into Vaccines For Poorer Countries (Feb. 4): On the world stage, our government cultivates an image of the altruistic middle power that punches above its weight to help the less fortunate. This image now feels empty as we pat ourselves on the back with one hand – and take with the other while feigning nobility. Oh, Canada.

Moses Ezekiel Wuggenig Toronto

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As I sit in my warm kitchen drinking my morning coffee, I’d like to donate my vaccine to one of the many countries that share none of these luxuries. I can handle this.

Kerry Dyer Vancouver

Surely Canada is wealthy enough to be generous, especially as it has more than enough doses on order to oversupply the population.

Elisabeth Jocz Toronto

I was born in South Africa, grew up in Zambia and have been a Canadian citizen for more than a half-century. We Canadians now have the ignominy of being the only Group of Seven country to tap into a fund meant to help others, all because we want vaccines!

I, a Canadian, am ashamed.

Bill Knott Portage la Prairie, Man.

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This day and age

Re It’s Time To Talk About The End Of Lockdowns (Editorial, Jan. 30): A jaw-dropping statistic: “Only 690 of the 17,315 people who died of COVID-19 up to Jan. 15 of this year were under 60.” This should be reworded: “16,625 people who died of COVID-19 were over 60.” It doesn’t take a Toronto Maple Leafs analytics specialist to identify that people over 60 desperately need a vaccine.

The Globe and Mail’s editorial also states that vaccines should be given “in decreasing order of age.” Inoculating our most elderly first would also afford some protection to their children (often younger seniors) who support them. This two-for-one strategy would likely reduce the risk of death and speed the ending of lockdowns.

Even with Canada’s limited vaccine supplies, seniors over 85 (about 770,780 of them, according to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census) could all be vaccinated by March. So what is the plan? When will officials recognize that there are elderly people living outside of long-term care?

Douglas Clarke Toronto

Canada is an outlier in its treatment of the elderly. We spend less on long-term care than other members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, but ironically we spend six times more on institutional care. Most other OECD members prioritize spending in ways that help seniors stay in their own homes, which is much cheaper.

Having set up a system favouring long-term care institutions, we are at the mercy of provincial governments looking to cut costs. We should have a major review of how we spend our health dollars on long-term care, including standards, the role of for-profit organizations and staffing policies.

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Sally Plumb Toronto

Inside out

Re Whose Design Is It, Anyway? (Arts & Pursuits, Jan. 30): A relevant question, for I better know Philip Johnson as an “architectural influencer” than an architect: a marketer and copyist promoting styles from international to postmodern, a developer’s architect fascinated by silhouettes rather than details.

Architecture critic Martin Filler describes Mr. Johnson as “a virtual aesthetic vampire” who “habitually drained meaning from architecture by reducing it to a consumable style.” I find that the work of Shim-Sutcliffe, commissioned to renovate Mr. Johnson’s “project,” eclipses anything in his portfolio.

As well, does the City of Toronto have no more pressing issues than to rule on a residential interior design that the original architect barely remembered doing? As an architect, I see the continual bureaucratization of design by approval bodies with little design experience and mostly answerable to no one.

Harald Ensslen St. Catharines, Ont.

Am I the only one who finds it perverse that a heritage department is now protecting the very generation of architects who made preservation necessary in the first place?

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David Arthur Cambridge, Ont.

This week, Toronto City Council overruled the questionable decision of city heritage planners outlined by architecture critic Alex Bozikovic. The city seems to realize that great architecture is like life: It evolves, especially when there is so much brilliant talent involved to ensure that an evolution will enhance, not destroy, the past.

The role of heritage planners should be not just to say no, but to more carefully consider such proposals. Sometimes great design can be made even better.

Jimmy Molloy Toronto

I have been involved in heritage conservation for more than 40 years. Some years ago when in Havana, I decided to walk the old town. Starting from one edge, I walked across it in about an hour. The walk back took about four hours or more.

The difference? The first trek was by a North American conservationist: building exteriors, facades etc. The second journey centred on the personal and street level: hotel lobbies, bistros, sidewalk cafés, interior courtyards, banks, street vendors and so on. I ended up at Ernest Hemingway’s watering hole; not much on the outside, but incredible bar. After that, both while travelling and at home, my vision changed.

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In the 20th century, North American conservation took the easy road and stressed exterior facades of historic structures. But I believe the interiors of these structures, big and small, deserve equal recognition.

Robert McPherson Saskatoon

Identity revealed

Re CBC Should Reconsider Cancelling Trickster (Feb. 2): As I understand it, a woman with controversial claims of ancestry resigns from a CBC production, then the CBC decides that the very promising new show, featuring Indigenous characters and actors, should be cancelled. I would call that neo-colonial thinking.

The Globe and Mail’s own television critic has pointed out the CBC seems to have no long-term plan and is poorly run. Maybe it should be cancelled.

Gary Moore Delta, B.C.

I am white. I grew up middle class in northern Quebec. I was part of a stable and loving family and a safe and thriving community.

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I also have Indigenous roots. There is written and anecdotal evidence in both my father and mother’s genealogical trees. Growing up, my long dark hair and darker skin were always a point of conversation. My neighbor nicknamed me Pocahontas. I continue to explain my “background” when I meet a new person anywhere in Canada.

This doesn’t give me the right to claim to be Indigenous. I do not know what it’s like to not have access to safe drinking water. I have not experienced the enormous impact of institutionalized assimilation and systematic racism that Indigenous communities continue to live with.

It is in respect to the First Nations of Canada that I will select white as my ethnicity on my next job application or government form. I suggest all white people do the same.

M-A. Menard Tuscon, Ariz.

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