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Paramedics wheel a patient past ambulances outside a Toronto hospital on Jan. 5. Hospitals in several parts of Canada are straining under the weight of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

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On and on

Re Hospital Cases Rising In Ontario, Quebec (Jan. 10): In some respects, COVID-19 and the lack of government preparedness was a blessing. It has highlighted deficiencies in our health care system. It is not that we don’t have enough good doctors and nurses, but rather the system itself seems broken.

Throughout the pandemic, our leaders have cajoled Canadians into avoiding hospital trips to ostensibly “protect our health care system” at all costs. But what kind of system is it that we are protecting, where there are fewer hospital beds in Canada per capita than most member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development? Where our population is unable to access elective surgical care in a timely fashion? Where people are dying on waiting lists for cancer treatments?

I believe the solution lies in new leadership with a vision for Canadian health care and the power to deliver. The clock is ticking.

Cecil Rorabeck London, Ont.


Re The Reality Of COVID-19 Is Inescapable (Editorial, Jan. 8): Let’s be honest about the transmissibility of Omicron: It’s huge. Many people cannot be out and about with masks and be safe. Lockdowns will help. What else can be done? Our government can make vaccinations mandatory.

Some people are paying a heavy price because of dawdling on this action – they die. Others will live with the health consequences of not only the lingering effects of COVID-19, but also delayed disease treatments, diagnoses and medical interventions. Then there are the businesses and people suffering financially and emotionally from continued lockdowns. All so we can appease a minority refusing to be vaccinated.

Yes, we should contribute to vaccines being available globally. But availability is not the problem in Canada. Our government should take a difficult but warranted position on mandatory vaccinations. For the good of all of us.

Pamela Pastachak Fort Erie, Ont.


Re Canada, U.S. Take Sharply Contrasting Approaches To Containing Omicron (Jan. 7): Thank goodness for the cultural differences between Canada and the United States, and for the acquiescence of “we the north.”

While there may be no substitute for American dynamism, I would argue that much of that energy is misplaced. In the U.S., there seems to be a lack of caring for one’s fellow citizens and flagrant disregard for pandemic safety measures.

The number of U.S. fatalities should be proof enough that dynamism is not the more desirable approach. My money is on Canada.

Carol Victor Burlington, Ont.


Re We Have The Tools To Beat Omicron (Editorial, Jan. 5): Omicron may well be more infectious than a Lennon-McCartney hook, but let’s hope it doesn’t have the staying power.

Indeed, promising data from South Africa suggest Omicron could be a short-lived one-hit wonder.

David Bryce Ottawa

Outside interference?

Re Disinformation Aimed At Ex-MP A Troubling Case, Researchers Say (Jan. 7): There is no question in my mind that legislation to require individuals, or organizations, that accept funding from foreign governments, such as China, is a good idea. But I believe the report overstates the case that it would prevent disinformation campaigns in the future.

A registry would provide some transparency as to who is accepting foreign coin and seeking to influence the views of Canadians. It would not catch those who seek to do so covertly or from outside Canada. Nor would it catch those who do so simply because they support the positions of a foreign state.

In the former group, counterespionage investigations would play a part, but often take time to bring to ground. In the latter case, perhaps a clear statement of government policy on relations with China would be of assistance. But I suspect that this will be a continuing issue.

W.P.D. Elcock Ottawa


Re Did China Meddle In Our Election? (Editorial, Jan. 8): Former MP Kenny Chiu also voted against banning conversion therapy. I believe he lost in 2021 because his position was untenable.

Joel Berman Richmond, B.C.

Roadblocks

Re If You Don’t Build It, They Will Still Come (Editorial, Jan. 6): The sizable number of immigrants to Canada might be the future solution for increased taxation to help pay down our current spending. But it can also represent a plugged kitchen sink, with open taps and no overflow drain to prevent damaging floods and further unintended costs in housing and environmental areas, to name a few.

Bill Bousada Carleton Place, Ont.


It was refreshing to read your editorial in hopes this will stir the federal government to stop further exacerbating housing affordability issues by creating more demand, through immigration, without proper planning by all levels of government.

They should work together to create a viable, sustainable immigration plan with consideration to fundamental standards of living such as housing supply and affordability, jobs, transit, health care etc.

Stop the disconnect. We owe it to existing and new Canadians. Basic planning, much like household planning, is required.

Joanne O’Hara Oakville, Ont.

No need for speed

Re Slow Down (Letters, Jan. 7): A letter-writer suggests a speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour on city streets is an excellent idea to curb severe injuries and death. Our neighbourhood has recently instituted this on our side streets. It isn’t easy, but I’m trying to abide by it.

My question for years has been: With all our scientific achievements, why are cars produced that can travel at speeds of 240 km/h when the maximum limit is usually 100 km/h? I can’t imagine, even in an emergency situation, having to travel at more than 120 km/h, and thus putting everyone else at risk.

Steven Brown Toronto

Heated debate

Re Calgary’s New Mayor Faces Her First Big Test – Against A City Giant (Jan. 7): I strongly disagree with columnist Gary Mason’s assertion that the Calgary Flames are “central to the city’s very existence.”

Calgary was a wonderful city before the Flames arrived, and will remain a wonderful city should the team leave. What makes a city a great place to live, work and raise a family should have little to do with the existence (or success) of professional sports franchises – even hockey ones!

Calgary taxpayers should not be subsidizing the Flames and the mayor and city council should not be signing any deal that does not provide a reasonable return on investment. I applaud the mayor’s tough stand.

Mark Roberts Calgary


Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com