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Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson speaks to media prior to the reading of the Speech from the Throne at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, on Nov. 23, 2021.JOHN WOODS/The Canadian Press

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Pandemic check-ins

Re More Than 900 Unvaccinated Canadian Soldiers Facing Formal Proceedings (Jan. 15): Society produces many courageous people who are willing to enter professions such as policing, firefighting and the military in which physical risk is part of the job description. However, if a person claims they’ll take a bullet to protect us but won’t take a vaccine that millions of children are taking, that person’s courage should be questioned.

Simply, some people should not be trusted in roles that require them to put others ahead of themselves.

Norman Rosencwaig Toronto

Re Demand For Acute Care Surges In Province (Jan. 21): Alberta Health Services reports that a child between 5 and 9 recently died of COVID-19.

Everyone, including one in four Albertans, who fails to be vaccinated, properly wear a good mask, physically distance, isolate and get tested when symptomatic, heed directives and laws concerning gatherings or enact sufficient measures to prevent avoidable deaths – each and every one should be responsible for the death of that child, as well as the heavy toll on our health systems and the deaths of other vulnerable Canadians.

To quote Martin Luther writing in the 1500s: “It is even more shameful for a person to pay no heed to his own body and to fail to protect it against the plague the best he is able, and then to infect and poison others who might have remained alive if he had taken care of his body as he should have.”

Mike Priaro Calgary

Re The Missed Opportunities Of Erin O’Toole (Editorial, Jan. 19): In our area of Saskatchewan, there is a huge population of the unvaccinated who are strong Conservative supporters.

I don’t think Justin Trudeau or health experts can reach them. Our MPs, all Conservative, can and do reach them. Unfortunately, they seem to make no effort to educate or engage their supporters on the safety and benefits of vaccination.

The NDP and Liberals have engaged with their supporters. It should be high time for Conservative MPs to do the same.

The vaccinated are fed up with vaccine holdouts. They want businesses, schools, libraries and museums and sports venues open. And they want those who have waited patiently for surgeries to have access to hospital care.

If Erin O’Toole wants the “top job” in the future, he has a job to do right now.

Louise Buhler Saskatoon

Re As The Pandemic Drags On, Governments Can Only Do So Much (Jan. 19): As a Manitoban, I have a local perspective on why there was “outrage on a seismic scale” when our Premier told us we’d need to look after ourselves.

Do I expect the government to protect me from ever contacting COVID-19, let alone contracting it? No. Do I expect to have some personal responsibility in keeping myself safe and healthy? Yes, of course.

What this Manitoban is seismically outraged about is that even on a day when it was announced that a tragic high of 20 fellow citizens died, the Premier took to Twitter only to congratulate a whisky distiller on winning an award.

I expect better from my leaders. They should at least make a minimum effort to look like they care about us.

Teresa Cooper Winnipeg

Re Why ‘Let It Rip’ Is Not The Solution To Omicron, Say Experts (Online, Jan. 16): Doctor Kieran Quinn tells us “to look beyond ourselves and protect those around us who are most vulnerable.” That is exactly what I’m doing.

My five young adult children’s lives have been savaged by social isolation, job loss and impaired education because of Ontario’s lockdown measures. Young people have paid enough. We should let Omicron rip.

Laurel Duquette Toronto

Re Former Finance Minister Phillips Resigns From Long-term Care Post (Jan. 15): Rod Phillips’s decision to resign at the height of the latest COVID-19 surge, along with his previous ill-considered decision to holiday in St. Barts during a previous surge, reminded me of journalist Alistair Cooke’s appraisal of the Duke of Windsor many years after his abdication: “He was at his best only when the going was good.”

Ontario and its citizens in long-term care deserve better than fair-weather ministers.

William Avison The Blue Mountains, Ont.

Re Want To Go To A Canadian Ski Resort? These Are The Current Restrictions (Jan. 19): Shame on Horseshoe Resort and Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario for allowing unvaccinated people to mingle and line up for ski rental equipment, washrooms and even lifts. It puts everyone at greater risk of contracting Omicron. These resorts should follow the lead of those in Quebec, where vaccinations are mandatory.

Diane Sullivan Toronto


Re MPs Seek Probe Of Liberals’ McKinsey Ties (Jan. 19): This would be the McKinsey and Company that was engaged by New York to advise on how to lower violence at the notorious Rikers Island prison complex. According to a recent article in Harper’s Magazine, McKinsey turned a months-long US$1.8-million project into a $27.5-million project spanning two-and-a-half years, while the prison remains as violent as ever.

An anonymous consultant writing for Current Affairs remarks that ”McKinsey’s only allegiance is to capital.” Although the firm positions itself as an innovator, McKinsey has a great deal of stake in “things continuing more or less as they are.”

Has anyone in the Canadian government done due diligence before hiring this firm? Or is this just another boondoggle?

Elizabeth Tumasonis Victoria

Other shoe

Re How Russia Is Preparing To Attack (Jan. 21): With a bit of imagination, one can wonder what might have been if history had taken a different turn. For example, if the Soviet Union managed to survive intact, how would the United States react if Mexico were to consider joining a modern Warsaw Pact?

Would the Americans simply step aside, respecting the sovereignty of Mexico? Somehow, I rather think not. Yet Ukraine is historically, culturally and linguistically closer to Russia than Mexico is to the U.S. Until 30 years ago, they were part of the same country.

Can we not look through others’ eyes, and see how the idea of Ukraine joining NATO can be seen by Russia as an existential threat?

Ron Sigler Lasalle, Que.


Re Prince Andrew Loses Military Titles And Use Of ‘His Royal Highness’ Amid Sexual Abuse Lawsuit (Jan. 14): In the 70th year of the Queen’s reign, she has had the cruel disappointments of Prince Harry’s withdrawal, Prince Andrew’s scandal and the resurrection of the British Empire’s many sins. If the Queen wants to preserve the monarchy, she should also pressure Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, to concentrate on charity and pass succession on to Prince William.

How can the adulterer and divorced Charles, who could not remarry in the Church of England, become king and the church’s supreme governor? The Queen is one of the most admired women in the world. It is perhaps too much to expect that all her family can emulate her standards.

Soon Canadians will have to get serious and face the reality of our relationship to the Queen’s successor.

William Emigh Victoria

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