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Not as it seems
Re Parents, Minor-league Associations Question Transparency Of Hockey Canada’s Equity Fund (July 21): So Hockey Canada has a “National Equity Fund.” Equity for whom? Oh, the irony.
Heather MacAndrew Victoria
Re Crises Collide (Letters, July 16): A letter-writer and his wife, both of whom practice family medicine in Toronto, should consider moving to Peterborough.
They could work as much as they want and own a new three-bedroom home for considerably less than a comparable home would cost in Toronto, and with cottage country right next door.
Michael Doran Peterborough, Ont.
Re Situation Critical (July 16): What is happening in Canada’s emergency rooms is a result of decades-long neglect of emergency health care. There has been rigid adherence to the mythology that crowded ERs are a result of patients with non-urgent issues who should be redirected to primary-care settings.
Safe hospitals are defined as ones with 85-per-cent occupancy, which allows rapid transfers of ER patients to the wards. Canadian hospitals have one of the lowest rates of bed availability in the industrialized world, and have not seen safe levels since the end of the last century. Hospitals routinely try to cope, and fail, with over 100-per-cent occupancy.
Crowded hospitals lead to crowded ERs, with research linking these conditions to poor patient outcomes including preventable death. In order to get out of this mess and its attendant dangers, governments should realize that staffed hospital beds are necessary, and capacities should be restored to safe levels.
Alan Drummond MD; co-chair, public affairs, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians Ottawa
Re The World Needs Canadian Energy (Opinion, July 16): I would be one who stands with the majority of those surveyed by Globe and Mail pollster Nik Nanos. His summation is obvious to me: We will go nowhere as an energy superpower until “the fundamentals are fixed” with co-operation between the federal government and the premiers.
But given Quebec’s intolerance for Western oil, despite receiving a large portion of its supply from the West, together with various interest groups resolutely opposed elsewhere across Canada, such an outcome seems unlikely.
John Nightingale Ottawa
Mind the gap
Re The Safety Gap In North American Cars (Editorial, July 16): While changes in design may make cars safer for pedestrians, I think the real safety gap is behind the wheel.
Drivers increasing rely on technology to make driving their mechanical beasts simpler and safer for them alone, so they can turn attention to truly important things in life such as texting. I would feel safer on a racetrack than on multilane highways; on the track, everyone is thinking about driving and nothing else.
Modern traffic enforcement with cameras do not impose effective penalties on those who find the fines paltry. Absent demerit points and increased insurance premiums, the rich will likely continue to flout laws designed to make our roads safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.
Richard Austin Toronto
The effort to have vehicle design evoke “a massive fist moving through the air” is a telling insight into what motivates companies such as General Motors. The quote gave me déjà vu, having recently reread High and Mighty: SUVs – The World’s Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way by journalist Keith Bradsher.
Published 20 years ago, the book describes in chilling detail how, in 1994, auto executives deliberately designed the Dodge Ram truck to “look as big and menacing as a Mack truck.” Sales were so good that Ford and GM decided to enter the full-size SUV market with vehicles such as the Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL, all built on truck chassis. The Dodge Durango’s front end was designed to “resemble the face of a savage jungle cat … vertical bars across the grille represent teeth.”
Plus ça change.
Glenn Miller Toronto
Re Its Latest N-word Controversy Proves Two Solitudes Endure At CBC/Radio-Canada (July 21): Columnist Konrad Yakabuski is to be thanked for highlighting the tension between moderate progressives and their doctrinaire fellows in the CBC.
The ascendancy of the latter group has succeeded only in rendering vast swaths of programming on CBC Radio (to name but one arm of the corporation) virtually unlistenable to me. Perhaps a precipitous drop in listenership will behoove the mandarins to level their collective head and honour journalistic freedom and integrity.
Andrew Milner Peterborough, Ont.
Like a local
Re City Confidential (Arts & Pursuits, July 16): How about advising that visitors to Montreal spend an hour at the Tam-Tams on a hot Sunday afternoon?
Or go up to the lookout on Mont Royal; visit Jean-Talon Market when it’s packed with weekend shoppers; stroll along the waterfront in Old Montreal; savour a gelato at Pile ou Glace in Little Italy; rent a Bixi bike and ride along the canal or riverfront; eat a “special” at Wilensky’s or a smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s or Main Deli?
Ours is a culture-rich city where a transit pass brings riders to delights that one cannot find in other places. All a visitor has to do is look lost and ask a passerby for instructions.
Jack and Judith Kornblatt Montreal
Re Author Made Sure The World Never Forgot Auschwitz’s Horrors (Obituary, July 16): Max Eisen spoke at a writers workshop I attended in 2016. We were all bearing witness to our own stories.
But Mr. Eisen’s story of surviving the Holocaust was beyond our imagining. He was a gifted speaker who could bring any audience to tears because of his decency, grace and humanity. I treasure my copy of his autobiography, By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz, my name written in his hand.
While his survival may have been by chance, it was a gift for the lives that he touched.
John Sudlow Oakville, Ont.
Other way around
Re Watch This Space (Opinion, July 16): I think it’s a little misguided to say that the new images from the James Webb Space Telescope “show us the power and beauty of science.”
They show us how smart, through science, we humans have become. The power and beauty that science shows us are those of the universe.
Frank Burgess Edmonton
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