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Paramedics are seen at the Dartmouth General Hospital in Dartmouth, N.S.Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

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(Un)equal access

Re With Hospitals In Crisis, It’s Time There Were Consequences For Vaccine Holdouts (Jan. 5): To that, I say: Right on.

Michael Benedict Toronto

I understand the frustration expressed by columnist Gary Mason. I’m sure many in our country agree as well.

However the subtle message is that, somehow, the unvaccinated should go to the end of the line when hospitalization is required. Hopefully most Canadians would find this abhorrent, that people who have neglected their health, whether through smoking, diet, stress or vaccine choice, would not receive quality care from our health services.

Hopefully we would never stoop to this kind of “we told you so” mentality.

Steven Main London, Ont.

She said

Re Medicine’s Gender Power Gap Sets Up Women For Unequal Pay (Dec. 31): Societal change takes time. One hundred years ago, there were no women in medical school. Fifty years ago, we were 20 per cent of the class and now 50 per cent.

Women should do their jobs. Do them well. And keep quiet. I believe the meritocracy will come through.

Juanita Crook MD, FRCPC; professor of radiation oncology, University of British Columbia; chair in brachytherapy, BC Cancer; Kelowna, B.C.

Disability and poverty

Re Disability Advocate Al Etmanski Wants Canada To Make History With A New Guaranteed-income Policy (Jan. 1): Al Etmanski’s goal to establish a guaranteed income with Bill C-35 would reduce poverty experienced by people with disabilities.

According to Statistics Canada, 28 per cent of people with severe disabilities live in poverty. That number is likely higher because the Canadian poverty line does not consider the extra cost of disability – it can cost 40 per cent more to live as a disabled person.

People with disabilities traditionally live on lower incomes because of a culture of exclusion. A guaranteed income would allow people to pay for medication and assistive devices and fully integrate into society, much like the Guaranteed Income Supplement does for low-income seniors.

Eligibility should be based on human-rights principles upheld in the Accessible Canada Act and United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Bill C-35 would uphold the rights of disabled Canadians to inclusive citizenship, dignity and well-being.

Alexandra Creighton PhD candidate, health policy and equity; Toronto

Prime real estate

Re Here Are Four Decisions The PM Has To Stop Avoiding (Jan. 1): 24 Sussex, to me, has no historical value. I suspect most Canadians feel this way, as no one can get up the gumption to spend any money on it.

I would suggest they bring the excavators and dump trucks and start again. Have a competition of (younger?) Canadian architects to build something cool and befitting the leader of a Group of Seven country.

I want our Prime Minister to host other leaders with the message that we are an outfit to contend with, and not someone who lives in a dump and can’t even manage to take care of their own home.

Bill McEachern Thornbury, Ont.

$36-million to renovate a house? Forget about it, it’s not the White House.

Fire the National Capital Commission and tear 24 Sussex down. Taxpayer dollars should be respected and the Canadian government can build for less.

Karen Andersen Toronto

Why not invite leading Canadian environmental technology companies to design and retrofit 24 Sussex, or build a new residence to showcase sustainable and ecological homebuilding?

If they were to do it at cost, it would reduce the taxpayers’ bill and give these businesses an opportunity to display and promote their energy-efficient construction.

What better way for companies to advertise themselves and for Canada to lead the way in changing how we build for the future?

Carol Gottlob Burlington, Ont.

Slow down

Re A Simple Solution For A Better 2022: Everybody Hit The Brakes (Opinion, Jan. 1): We do need a movement against the private automobile, much as we had a movement against smoking and cigarette advertising. Our cities spend so much on roads and furthering road use primarily by cars, and nowadays too on alternative transportation. The simplest and cheapest way to make movement safer? Reduce speed limits.

Winnipeg is trying four different streets (with bike routes) for one year at a limit of 30 kilometres an hour. I appreciate this tiny step, but many drivers still ignore the limit. It should be an across-the-board reduction for the lower speed to sink in and get people out of their ruts.

I often think we could best promote mass transit by reducing speed limits for all cars, but leaving higher limits in place for buses.

Tim Brandt Winnipeg

Art and artists

Re Can You Still Enjoy Harry Potter If You Don’t Want To Support J.K. Rowling? (Opinion, Dec. 30): There is a resurgence of an impoverished mode of art interpretation that derives the value of the artwork from the person of the artist. It may be worth recalling that the purest expression of this form of art interpretation was that of Soviet Russia, where censors also decided to “minimize the cultural influence a person and their work have moving forward,” on the basis not of the artwork but of the political unreliability of the artist.

Ryan Whyte Toronto

Not playing

Re Ontario And Quebec’s Movie Theatre Shutdown Is Shameful (Jan. 5): I recently took my granddaughter to see the much-awaited Spider-Man movie. I was the first one to purchase tickets for this showing. It is clearly stated that moviegoers are not to change seats.

Soon someone sat directly in front of us in an almost empty auditorium. I suggested to my granddaughter that we should move, but she did not want to break any rules.

Four more people sat directly behind us. I was discomforted and distracted by their coughing and closeness, but decided to stay put. When we rose to leave, two of the four behind us were maskless.

Staff told me that there was no social-distancing, but there was a mask policy. I love the movies but when is complacency not complicity?

Columnist Barry Hertz writes that theatres ”have one of the most controlled indoor public environments.” If my experience is what is to be expected, then shut them down.

Jane Allen Toronto

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