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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads back to his seat before the delivery of the Speech from the Throne at the Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa, on Sept. 23, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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What dreams…

Re Ottawa Lays Out Plan To Fight Pandemic, Revitalize Economy (Sept. 24): While one can applaud the Prime Minister for indicating strong support for a national child-care program, the lack of attention to a thorough revamping of Canada’s long-term care policies was extremely disappointing.

Wasn’t the ravage being done by COVID-19 to those in senior homes enough to warrant immediate action? If not now, when?

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Simon Rosenblum Toronto

Immediate priorities were not apparent to me from the Throne Speech. Canadians are waiting hours in line for COVID-19 tests and many more days for results. This will likely be a drag on the economy, no matter what other Throne Speech measures are implemented.

Alison Dennis Kingston

Re Parliament Was Prorogued For This? (Editorial, Sept. 24): As I understand it, the Throne Speech is a strategic outline of the government’s plan. To criticize it as vague seems a moot point.

The Quebec opposition defends health care sovereignty; the Conservative position points to a power grab; the NDP reaction seeks additional spending over and above the massive amounts already committed. But the real issue should be COVID-19 and the subsequent fallout. I find that it was clearly addressed in the Throne Speech and the Prime Minister’s continuing direction.

As a Canadian, I feel fortunate that our leader continues to support precautions outlined by the scientific community. I would expect nothing less than continued strong messaging. With numbers of cases on the rise, we cannot hear this often enough.

Carol Victor Burlington, Ont.

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Canada was founded on diversity, but not just the diversity of identity frequently referred to by the Prime Minister. A federal state is by definition diverse, or else it wouldn’t require federating its constituent elements. The provinces and territories are the DNA of Canada’s diversity. Allowing them to come up with different approaches to common problems gave us universal health care.

The Throne Speech seemed to treat the provinces as vassals – little good can come of this.

Howard Greenfield Montreal

The Throne Speech reminded me of those large chocolate Easter bunnies: highly attractive, sweet-smelling and bigger than other treats. Also: full of nothing but air.

John Budreski Vancouver

…may come

Re The Premiers Are Passing The Buck (Sept. 22): Throne Speech aside, columnist André Picard says that there is a good argument to be made for Ottawa spending more on health care, if the money goes to new services and more equitable access to care in Canada. Additionally, The Globe’s editorial (Give Medicare A Booster Shot, Not Surgery – Sept. 19) indicates that the Commonwealth Fund, which regularly compares the world’s major health care systems, ranks Canada ninth out of 11 countries.

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The editorial identifies “timeliness” of care as a significant factor in Canada’s ranking. Might I suggest that any new health care money, no matter the source, go first to improving accessibility to our current underfunded services across Canada, before it goes to (underfund) new services.

Harland Harvey Ottawa

Re Federal Child-care Aid Will Have More Women Working (Report on Business, Sept. 21): I was delighted to see Bank of Nova Scotia’s chief executive urge Ottawa to significantly invest in child care. There is broad consensus that child care is essential for economic recovery and in the long term. The bank’s prescription, however – tax breaks and cash-to-parents – would be a case of right diagnosis, wrong medicine.

Analyses from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Monetary Fund show demand-side funding’s ineffectiveness for ensuring child-care affordability or making services available. Of countries that “enable more women to enter the work force and build a meaningful career,” there are none that fund child care using tax breaks, cash or vouchers. A-list countries fund it operationally: building publicly managed systems to make quality services accessible and sustainable in both good times and crises.

Based on the Throne Speech, it seems that the federal government has taken the Scotiabank diagnosis seriously, but seems prepared to prescribe the right medicine.

Martha Friendly Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Toronto

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Deeply indebted

Re Freeland Should Heed Debt Warnings (Opinion, Sept. 19): It must be difficult times for fiscal conservatives. What is a poor debt hawk to do when even the new Conservative Leader has come out with a 10-year horizon for taming the debt – an eternity in politics, and usually seen as a lack of serious commitment.

How exactly will Canada become an investment pariah when every country will be facing the same debt issues or, having curtailed spending, seen the rabble rise up from their poverty? If all countries are bad investments, then where will any investment flow?

Bruce Van Dieten Toronto

The Globe recently reported that foreign investors bought federal government debt in record numbers (Economy Saw Record Flow Of Foreign Capital In April – Report on Business, June 17), "helping absorb a flood of new government and corporate bonds as investors turned to Canada as a safe place to park money amid market turmoil.” As a sovereign currency creator, the federal government should never be in a position to default debt, as the demand shows.

Canada continues to attract foreign investment. Even if we change course and invest in a recovery that will create jobs, redress inequality and fight climate change, that is unlikely to change. We should let Milton Friedman slip into the sunset and create an economy that works for everyone.

Robin McCulloch Toronto

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Under the influence

Re Council Reviews Claims Of Hiring Influence At U Of T (Sept. 24): One might conclude that if undue influence was exerted, it had less to do with being a judge on the Tax Court than with the amount of money his family has contributed to the University of Toronto. It is difficult to imagine the school paying as much attention to the opinions expressed by a $100-a-year donor, compared to one whose family name may adorn the side of a campus building.

Tom Rodger Corunna, Ont.

As dean of medicine at the University of Toronto from 1992 to 1999, I frequently received comments about prospective academic appointments. I always welcomed comments, both for and against candidates, particularly if previously unknown information was offered.

Such exchange can prevent errors, which is important when tenure makes appointments essentially lifelong. I would never consider threatening action against those who offer such opinion.

After all, as former U.S. Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis said: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

Arnold Aberman Toronto

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