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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Dec. 23, 2020.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

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The call is coming from…

Re The GOP Is Putting U.S. Democracy At Risk (Jan. 6): American historian Ariel Durant wrote: “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.” It seems truer words have never been spoken.

Michael Gilman Toronto

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Group effort

Re PM Acknowledges Hiccups In Vaccine Efforts (Jan. 6): Justin Trudeau is right to highlight disappointing provincial efforts to distribute vaccines to Canadians. However, we should not allow the Prime Minister to avoid scrutiny. He is responsible for ensuring we secure sufficient quantities of the vaccine within an acceptable timeframe.

To date, we have not had clear details from the government that explain how many doses are secured and when they will arrive. In other words, when will a sufficient number of Canadians be vaccinated to get us out of this nightmare? Cynically, I suspect they do not have an acceptable plan. I hope they prove me wrong.

Chris Bradbrook Oakville, Ont.

Make it so

Re Trudeau ‘Disappointed’ By Politicians Who Travelled (Jan. 6): Enough with the public scolding.

Last time I checked, our society still allows one to do as they please so long as they break no law. The idea that there are unwritten (and subjective) community norms that “should” be followed is, at best, aspirational. And they certainly are not law.

If Justin Trudeau believes so strongly that one should not embark on “non-essential travel,” then he should do what has been required since the Magna Carta: Enact a law that says so.

Michael Colborne Toronto

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Re Air Canada Hires Social Influencers To Promote Travel During Pandemic (Jan. 6): Suddenly, the recent behaviour of some politicians makes a lot more sense.

David Arthur Cambridge, Ont.

Out of order?

Re Yes, Mike Harris Deserves Ontario’s Highest Honour (Jan. 6): Would it be perverse, as columnist John Ibbitson suggests, to deny Mike Harris the Order of Ontario? Ask the folks in Walkerton; the teachers, nurses and public servants who spent years dealing with the aftermath of slash-and-burn policies; the Indigenous people whose rights were denied; the families and caregivers of seniors residing in profit-making Chartwell retirement homes, which provide a lucrative income for Mr. Harris.

Does Mr. Harris deserve the Order of Ontario? I say: no. No. No.

Wendy Kerr Hadley Port Credit, Ont.

Canadian climate

Re Tough Math: Accounting For Climate Change (Editorial, Jan. 2): The Globe’s editorial reads: “The peril of climate change is recent.” Not as old as business itself, certainly, but what is actually recent is widespread appreciation of the peril.

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Global warming derives from the invention in 1776 by James Watt of the first thermodynamically and economically efficient steam engine. French mathematician Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier discovered in 1824 that the Earth’s atmosphere functions as a blanket. In 1896, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius explained how. The pending peril of global warming has been understood by some for more than a century.

The need to reduce emissions in order to avoid catastrophic global warming was understood and accepted by the Mulroney government in 1988. In 1992, Brian Mulroney was the first to sign and ratify the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Canada’s willpower on this issue, however, has been intermittent. What still is lacking is waypower. Governmental understanding is often limited to economic and political factors when the issue derives from the relentless evolution of technology. Its resolution depends on understanding potential pathways to transform an energy system from its present state to a desired state.

Canada has had access to energy systems analysis for three decades. It is time we put it to better use.

John Hollins Gloucester, Ont.

Re Ottawa’s Carbon Pricing Is Not One Size Fits All (Report on Business, Jan. 2): This article illustrates to me that Canadians should feel inclusive about the confusion caused by this plan. There is a huge diversity in the possible lessons learned.

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If higher prices are meant to drive the population to alternatives, why give a rebate? If someone ends up neutral or on the positive side of the ledger for supposed misdeeds, what lesson have they learned? What happens to equality if there are rewards for 80 per cent of citizens and potential punishment for the other 20 per cent? What are those alternatives and market incentives when 80 per cent are rewarded for doing nothing?

The inconvenient truth, I find, is that this is not an action plan, but a merry chase of virtue-signalling, wealth redistribution and vote-getting.

Chris Tworek Calgary

A long history

Re Ireland and Israel (Letters, Jan. 5): In response to contributor Casey Babb, a letter-writer relates that Jews in Canada are not responsible for the actions of Israel any more than the Irish diaspora were responsible for the Troubles in Northern Ireland. However, Mr. Babb documented numerous past examples of anti-Semitism he and his father experienced in Canada, which preceded anything to do with the current actions of Israel.

Anti-Semitism has been called “the longest hatred.” I applaud Mr. Babb for raising people’s awareness about it in Canada.

Manuel Matas Winnipeg

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Silver lining

Re U.S. Shuts Out Canada 2-0 To Win World Junior Gold (Online, Jan. 6): There is nothing wrong with silver. Our junior hockey team did quite well and should feel quite proud to earn silver.

Let’s look at the fact that the United States has roughly 10 times our population and therefore a bigger talent pool to draw from. We beat all the European teams and even Russia. From a global point of view, second place is quite respectable.

Our boys played with heart and should not feel badly.

Sean Murray Victoria

A 16-2 thrashing of a lame German side and a 10-0 demolition of the Swiss, in a group where Finland was the only competition, wasn’t good preparation for the final challenge. The deposing of a weak Russian entry would add to complacency.

Before the final game against the United States, I was hoping that the Canadian coaching staff were aware that they would be facing an opponent as strong as themselves, and that respect would be their game plan. Unfortunately, they brought their record along.

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The players were not prepared to face pressure in their own end nor coached to chip and dump from their zone when under pressure. A coach gazing down his bench in distress, as he searches fruitlessly for someone who can turn things around, is lost.

If the coaching staff want to just be spectators, then they should move to the stands.

Barry Robinson Napanee, Ont.

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