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A classroom at Hunter's Glen Junior Public School in Toronto on Sept. 14, 2020.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

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On Omicron

Re The Forgotten Vaccination Campaign (Editorial, Jan. 11): Improving the rate of vaccination for children ages 5 to 11 should be a no-brainer: Open all schools with a vaccine mandate.

The minority of parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated can stay home with them and supervise their online learning.

Rod Taylor Halton Hills, Ont.


Re Ottawa To Send Rapid Tests Across Country (Jan. 6): I live in rural Saskatchewan and have had easy access to COVID-19 rapid test kits.

I have relatives in other provinces, including a few that work in health care. When I heard they were having difficulty finding tests, I offered to mail some. However, I was told that the kits shouldn’t freeze, so the mail might render them useless

Jacqueline Tremblay Radville, Sask.

Old rivals

Re U.S., Russia Make Little Headway In Talks (Jan. 11): Russian officials say that the United States has a “lack of understanding” of the Kremlin’s security demands. I believe the U.S. understands Russia’s demands, but does not believe they are reasonable.

Russia is demanding a say in how some of its neighbours conduct foreign policy now and in the future. These countries are sovereign, so Russia does not get a say in determining their policy. Moreover, while I can understand why Russia may not want NATO members on its doorstep, it is Russia, not NATO, that has a history of aggression in this part of the world.

Liz Tinker Toronto


Re Closer Look (Jan. 10): A letter-writer has decided that U.S. midterm elections in November should be monitored by foreign entities to ensure fairness. According to evidence collected from their last election, I think Russia is already on top of that.

Doug Hacking Sarnia, Ont.

Other solutions

Re There May Be An Answer To The Housing Crisis – Let Cities Sprawl (Jan. 10): Often, sprawl costs more than real estate taxes provide; highways to support it mean public transit won’t be built, an important factor in combatting global warming and providing low-income, citywide accessibility; immigrants necessarily settling at a city’s perimeter are poorly served by essential services; agricultural land is not expandable.

Applying planning and design ingenuity to the increase in density around city cores and sub-cores has the potential of improving the quality of life for all income groups, while addressing the issues listed above.

This is 2022, not 1922.

A.J. Diamond Toronto


We have a decade to cut our greenhouse gas emissions in half to have any chance at preventing catastrophic climate change. How on Earth can that be achieved if we continue to pave over carbon-sequestering grasslands, wetlands and forests to build car-dependent communities?

Ian Lipton Candidate, Green Party of Ontario, Toronto-St. Paul’s


Given many workers’ recently acquired freedom from the tyranny of office work, why not leave Ontario’s Greenbelt, farms and essential, irreplaceable natural areas alone and let smaller towns grow?

Why not intensify these places to make it possible for residents to walk, cycle or even take a short drive to the grocery store, coffee shop or hockey rink? It doesn’t have to be a choice between public transit and private vehicles.

There are other solutions to the housing crisis than a dystopian vision of endless, soulless suburban subdivisions linked by pollution-spewing highways.

Liz Addison Toronto


We should be changing the paradigm of single-family homes to high-quality densification. Leaders in Paris, Barcelona, London and Portland, Ore., are all working toward the vision of smart 15-minute cities without the need for sprawl. That’s fresh thinking.

Louise Montague New Tecumseth, Ont.

Utter disbelief

Re Canada’s Dairy Trade Conduct Violates USMCA Pact, Panel Rules (Jan. 5): It is disheartening that supply management for dairy products always seems to be viewed through a neoliberal economic lens. In other words, the system is assumed to violate the primacy of open markets and globalism.

Canada’s system was established to guarantee a constant supply of safe milk to urban populations, based on a cost-of-production formula for farmers. Canada balanced this with strict production controls to avoid having to dump milk products on the international market in competition with other countries.

This system provides an assured dairy supply to consumers, combined with stability for producers. My family operated a dairy farm and was able to secure a modest, stable income in return for limits on production.

John Gordon Wapella, Sask.

Energy goals

Re Energy Is More Than Just Oil And Gas (Editorial, Jan. 4): Canada is a country of long distances and long winters. This means large per-capita energy consumption. We need reliable heat, light, cooling and mobility more than most other places. Yet Canadians can meet their energy needs plus those of others, all while building an enviable standard of living.

Consumers require energy with minimal environmental effect and Canada is advantaged in this regard. Many countries wish they had our energy resources and expertise. We are leaders in carbon capture, hydropower, wind, nuclear, hydrogen and, yes, petroleum to name a few.

In some regions, oil and gas are top of mind. In others, electricity. The Canadian petroleum and electricity sectors are each other’s customers and rivals. We all benefit from this diversity, co-operation and competition. It drives innovation.

Our organization promotes Canadian energy abroad through the North American and International Outreach initiative. We understand our own strengths. So should the world.

Jacob Irving President and CEO, Energy Council of Canada; Ottawa

League of their own

Re They Said (Letters, Jan. 10): A letter-writer believes that “requesting a female specialist … could result in not getting the best treatment.” In an operating room a couple of years ago, just before I was put to sleep, I noticed that all the people in the room – the surgeon, anesthetist, residents and nurses – were women.

My treatment was excellent, the surgery successful and aftercare also excellent. So let’s hear it for female doctors!

Patty Deline Ottawa

For the ages

Re Djokovic’s Australian Saga (The Decibel podcast, Jan. 11): Saga indeed. Homer fans may see in Novak Djokovic a modern-day Ulysses.

Like the not-always-likeable Greek hero, the tennis star is also a man of considerable “twists and turns” who travels across the “wine-dark sea” to not always hospitable lands. Like the ferocious Australian immigration authorities, the man-eating Cyclopes is ultimately defeated and humiliated by our hero.

Spoiler alert: Australians will be much relieved to hear that Ulysses eventually goes home.

Farley Helfant Toronto


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