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healthcare worker holds a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at Memorial Healthcare System in Miramar, Florida on Dec. 14, 2020.


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Need a hand?

Re Fairness Must Rule The Vaccine Rollout (Jan. 12): “But who keeps track of where 90-year-olds live? And how do you contact them for an appointment?” Their primary care physicians, that’s who!

The sooner that Ontario’s 15,000-plus primary care physicians are brought into the process, the quicker that we can be vaccinated in priority order.

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Mark Levine Toronto

Re If Missions At Home Are The Norm, The Armed Forces Should Adjust (Jan. 11): When I was in the Canadian Army 58 years ago, we were taught how to administer atropine, as an antidote to nerve gas, by injection on ourselves and our comrades. The process was similar to vaccination. Our Armed Forces have substantial medical and first-aid resources, probably all the way down to the section level. These resources could be better used during the pandemic.

Anthony Butler Montreal

Re Ontario Is Facing Another Pandemic Test (Editorial, Jan. 12): Politicians in Canada and around the world have mostly failed in adequately protecting their constituents.

We were repeatedly warned about what would happen. Nevertheless, our planning, supply chains and preparedness verge on laughable: Reserves of personal protective equipment were inadequate; made-in-Canada vaccines were not properly funded; hospitals remain underfunded.

This blame game should start in Ottawa, highlighting those responsible for decision-making over the past 20 years. Today, we should start adequately funding medical infrastructure across the country, and treating health care workers with due respect and remuneration.

John Nicholson Barry’s Bay, Ont.

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Here and there

Re Democrats Table Impeachment Charge (Jan. 12): To say Donald Trump bears responsibility for the riot at the U.S. Capitol seems both too narrow and too general.

Too general, in that a central source of inspiration for the riot is a belief that the election was fraudulently stolen from Mr. Trump. And also too narrow an application of responsibility, in that all who gave voice to this conspiracy theory were necessary for its propagation, including Republicans and right-wing media.

It took all these actors to make such a far-fetched idea seem plausible to so many. And that is the problem: What is a person expected to do when they think the system is undemocratic and inescapably rigged against them?

Sascha Maicher Ottawa

Re Even The Strongest Democracies Are Fragile. We Can’t Be Complacent (Jan. 12): What are the elements that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol, and do they exist here?

Globalization, leading to the loss of good jobs and downward pressure on wages? Check. Anti-immigration sentiment in some quarters caused by fear of job competition? Check. Increased wealth disparity between elites and the rest? Check. Cynicism, and belief that there is one set of laws for ordinary people and another for our leaders? Check. Skepticism and lack of trust in scientists? Check. And, of course, the effects of social media.

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We had better believe that such a breakdown could happen here. Politicians should take note.

James Duthie Nanaimo, B.C.

Re The View From Here (Letters, Jan. 9): A letter-writer includes a description of Canadian politics as “boring.” Politics stay boring for as long as injustices are corrected when identified. So when will we do something about the culture of entitlement felt by so many of us?

Ever-larger numbers of Canadians are expressing frustration that their belonging is not as valued as others. They may not be willing to put up much longer with being underpaid, underhoused and discriminated against by institutions that are supposed to protect them.

When will all of that frustration boil over? That is when Canada will cease to be boring.

Bruna Nota Toronto

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Positive signs

Re Year Of Grief: Canadians Reflect On The Brilliant Minds Lost In Jet Shot Down By Iran (Jan. 8): It should be noted that Tehran’s Azadi Tower, which features prominently in a photo, was designed by an immigrant who fled Iran to find safe haven here.

Architect Hossein Amanat makes his home in Vancouver. He has never returned to his birthplace due to fears of reprisals and death because he is a member of the Baha’i faith. His legacy in Iran was meant to celebrate Persian architecture. Today, it is also a symbol of hope for many Iranians who still long for a vibrant, free and safe democracy.

How lucky are we that many Iranians have chosen Canada to fulfill their career and life ambitions.

Lisa Turner Vancouver

Out of order

Re In Ontario, Ford Sells Out The Future (Editorial, Jan. 11): I’m happy to see The Globe draw attention to the blizzard of minister’s zoning orders that Ontario has released, undermining conservation authorities and environmental protection. This attack should stop.

It enables developers to bypass process and potentially obliterate critical wetlands, ostensibly in the name of fighting COVID-19. Yet these developments would do nothing to counter COVID-19 – only damage our environment.

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In the long run, the government is undermining Ontario’s collective immune system, weakening the provincial body that we inhabit and depend on for water, food, recreation and health.

Andrew Stewart Toronto

I was fortunate in 1997 to be on a study tour of how Australian states managed their parks. Whenever I described how Ontario’s conservation authorities worked to integrate conservation planning among municipalities, the invariable reaction was admiration and awe.

At a time when environmental luminaries such as David Attenborough rightly ring alarm bells on the threats posed to our environment by human action, we should celebrate institutions such as conservation authorities that help keep it in good shape.

Tony Bull Ottawa

Heart and soul

Re Brother André Dies (Moment in Time, Jan. 6): While Brother André's heart is held at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, part of his heart, figuratively speaking, rests in the hamlet of St. Joseph on Lake Huron. This past summer, my wife and I discovered Brother André's statue there, along with that of namesake Saint Joseph in a charming memorial park.

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The park’s heritage information explains that “the little brother” often visited the area, home to his friend and fellow Saint Joseph devotee, Narcisse Cantin. Often called the “Father of the St. Lawrence Seaway,” Cantin promoted a plan in the late 1800s to dredge a deep-water canal connecting his imagined city of St. Joseph with Port Stanley on Lake Erie. The plan came to naught.

In 2011, the sculptor Frank Moore carved Brother André's statue for the park, now tended by the local historical society that includes various Cantin descendants. History lives on, even if in quieter ways than envisioned by some of our forebears.

Andrew Vowles Guelph, Ont.

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