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Re Tougher Travel Rules? Just Do It, Ottawa (Editorial, Jan. 27): A ban on travel is a blanket approach that seems to miss the point. The fundamental issue should not be whether Canadians should be allowed to travel – it should be making sure anyone entering Canada is not infected with COVID-19. Simply put, Canada should have a tougher border shield.
Confession: We are among the many disobedient Canadians who have left for the winter. After much research, we chose Bermuda. This tiny island country puts Canada to shame when it comes to COVID-19 and entry protocols. We had a test on arrival at the airport and also on Days 4, 8 and 14 of our stay – all paid by a fee charged to us.
Travellers must also wear bright-yellow wristbands for two weeks. This helps to create physical distance from a new species of island bird: the yellow-banded leper. Thanks to these and other measures, Bermuda has kept its case numbers low, and visitors like us feel safer here than in Canada.
Charles Hayter Toronto
I am in my 80s and retired. My main hobby is (or was) international travel. I will travel from now on as long as it is legal and especially after I have been vaccinated (dream on).
Before I leave, I will have to be tested. Before I return, I will have to be tested.
When I arrive back, I would love to be tested, but probably won’t be.
Staying in a quarantine hotel would be an annoyance, but no more than that. And in all of this, I will likely present a threat to other Canadians orders of magnitude less than if I stay home and follow the rules.
In Ontario, most people have not had any tests unless they have symptoms because such tests are not allowed except in a few cases. Not testing asymptomatic people (i.e. the ones who most spread the virus) feels like the most asinine aspect of our COVID-19 response.
David Selley Toronto
Don’t you know that you’re ‘toxic’?
Re Payette’s Office Described As Toxic (Jan. 28): Enough! We should be proud that Julie Payette is Canadian. We all cheered on her take-off and re-entry (twice). I believe she is an extreme A-type personality who was suddenly caged into a diplomatic position where even a snail’s pace at times is too fast.
I’m saddened that Ms. Payette was ill-advisedly forced to fit into a smooth, round hole when she is more like a sharp-cornered square peg. But Canadians should be grateful that she resigned a position for which she was particularly ill-suited.
Gavin Hamilton London, Ont.
The Prime Minister has yet to speak on reparations that his government should make to Rideau Hall staff subjected to any abuse by Julie Payette. The impact on careers and mental health is significant. He should make this right for those who were wronged.
John Zarebski Chatham, Ont.
Re Why Did BlackBerry Stock Triple Despite Absolutely Nothing Happening? Overhyped Reddit Posts (Report on Business, Jan. 27): There are a lot of acronyms used in online forums: YOLO (you only live once), as columnist Andrew Willis references; FOMO (fear of missing out); TINA (there is no alternative). I get why acronyms are used. They are shortcuts. But I’m not convinced that betting one’s mortgage money on BlackBerry is a shortcut to financial freedom.
Paul Carvalho Hamilton
Re Michael Lind Calls For Democratic Pluralism (Arts & Pursuits, Jan. 23): No question a most profound statement by political scientist Michael Lind on the shifting of decision-making away from legislatures (the people) and into the hands of the few (senior government representatives).
A prime example: the recent revoking, reinstating and revoking again of Keystone XL by three successive U.S. presidents, despite the project being originally and duly passed in Congress. Our own Prime Minister’s Office is no better, with billions in COVID-19 relief authorized by no act of Parliament (and clearly no support from the finance minister of the day).
The electorate permits this to occur at its own peril.
Martin Wale Dorval, Que.
Last year, when the Trump administration imposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum, the Trudeau government was tenacious in its fight, imposing countermeasures that included dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs. Now, when the Biden administration cancels Keystone XL, the Prime Minister quickly acquiesces.
Why the different approach? By my count, all but one of Canada’s aluminum smelters are located in Quebec, while Keystone XL affects Alberta and Western Canada.
David Morgan Ottawa
Re Keystone Axed (Letters, Jan. 22): I agree with a letter-writer who suggests building upgraders in Alberta. But I suggest going one step further: building refineries for the end product as well.
This would create jobs and save money on back-and-forth transportation between Canada and the United States. And I previously read in The Globe and Mail that oil companies with refineries do much better than those without during industry downswings.
Jorgen Christensen Kingston
Re Inside Perspective (Letters, Jan. 28): A letter-writer, who has worked with Mike Harris at Chartwell Retirement Residences, highlights long-term care improvements made during the former Ontario premier’s time in office. But under Mr. Harris, government regulation of care homes was greatly reduced, incentivizing private companies such as Chartwell to build large numbers of lucrative for-profit homes. As well, recent figures show that for-profit homes have had significantly more deaths from COVID-19 than non-profit homes.
The letter-writer also praises Mr. Harris as a “solution-oriented and highly ethical” director of Chartwell. Perhaps. But to suggest that, as premier, he enhanced long-term care facilities reads to me as just false.
Wendy Kerr Hadley Port Credit, Ont.
Step by step
Re One Last Step (First Person, Jan. 26): The Red Shoes, The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes: Shoes have told stories for years.
A widower friend of mine found new love a few years ago. A petite woman in her 80s, she was distinguished by her chic clothes and very high-heeled shoes. We all marvelled at how she tottered around when she came to visit our seniors’ building.
But age caught up to her and she died last month. Her family gave a pair of her red pumps to my friend: He sleeps with them next to his pillow.
Anne Moon Victoria
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