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People march in front of the U.S. consulate during a protest after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision, in Toronto, on June 29.CHRIS HELGREN/Reuters

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Health inequities

Re Canada Once Nearly Passed A Restrictive Abortion Law. This Is How It Failed (Opinion, July 9): Now seems like a good time to address unequal access to birth control in Canada.

I had a vasectomy last year. I got a referral from our family doctor, which led directly to an appointment. I went to the clinic, where a doctor applied local anesthetic, performed the procedure and sent me home. Total cost: $0.

My wife decided to get an IUD. She also got a referral from our family doctor, but she required a consultation first. She had a painful cervical exam (no local anesthetic was provided) and, after a discussion with her doctor, she found out that an IUD costs $400, plus the additional cost of medication to relax her cervix.

Is anyone talking about this disparity? Ultimately, I’d like to see women granted the same access as men.

Tom Sales Toronto

Agree to disagree

Re Illinois Suspect Considered Second Attack (July 8): In the 1990s, I won a Rotary scholarship to the Philippines with three other women, one of whom was American. While we Canadians were repulsed to be in the presence of gun-wielding “guards” in many public locations there, our American teammate was completely perplexed by our attitudes.

She said guns “made her feel safe.” She could not understand our abhorrence of the potential violence that guns represented to us, any more than we could understand her perspective. It was clear to me that her feelings were deeply ingrained in her mythology, as our feelings were ingrained in our Canadian one.

It was quite a stalemate on cultural attitudes: Ultimately we all saw ourselves as people who desired peace, but wanted to achieve it via very different means. I expect my American teammate would call our perspective naive.

What can you do? We see the world differently. We still had fun together.

Thelma Fayle Victoria

Other cheek

Re Pariah No More (Opinion, July 9): Has Joe Biden taken up golf? If so, will he join LIV, the various golf tournaments subsidized by Saudi Arabia, as so many golfers have done, apparently more concerned with paycheques than principles?

Mr. Biden now wants to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia, a regime he has rightly condemned in the past, most recently for its murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. His surprising volte-face looks like a craven and unprincipled manifestation of realpolitik.

After Mr. Biden won the last U.S. election, he was quick to use his executive powers to nix the Keystone XL pipeline project with Canada, a country with oil that doesn’t sanction the murder of journalists and is supposedly an ally of the United States.

With this most recent attempt to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia, the U.S. President might find himself in a deep sand trap from which he cannot easily escape.

Douglas Parker Ottawa

Low battery

Re Canada’s Push On Electric Vehicles Faces Hurdle In Patchwork Of Charging Stations (July 6): I considered buying a toaster for the first time in 15 years.

Would it plug in? Would my house current produce the right toasty brown? And then the dozens of bread options. Are bagels worth the wide-slot premium?

If only there was a single technical standard – for toasters.

Ross Peacock Haliburton, Ont.

Last weekend, my husband and I drove our electric vehicle to Prince Edward County, Ont. We thought that we would have no trouble charging at public stations, since we used the ChargePoint app to plan our route.

On the way, we charged at the Port Hope highway rest stop going east. No problem. However, the one ChargePoint station in Picton was not working. We were able to charge in Napanee, and thought that would last until we topped up again in Port Hope.

Mistake! No charging stations at the Port Hope rest stop going west. After three unsuccessful attempts at charging in town and one tow, we charged up at the eastbound rest stop we first visited, turned around and drove home.

I couldn’t agree more: The EV infrastructure just isn’t there yet.

Pat Lockhart Oakville, Ont.

As a recent buyer of an electric vehicle, I can point out several additional headaches with charging stations in Ontario. The lack of them makes driving EVs only more problematic, since the range of most cars is under 400 kilometres.

Most charging stations are independently owned and operated. Some require a credit card, others an app. The process of getting my EV charged often requires a phone call to figure out the entire procedure.

Many charging stations, particularly in downtown Toronto, are located in underground parking lots. Not only do I have to pay hefty fees for parking, but also for electricity charges.

I am especially surprised by the lack of charging stations at gas stations and shopping centres. Do these owners and operators not understand the potential business from charging stations?

Only when these problems resolve with charging stations will more people be willing to purchase EVs.

Paul Agro Hamilton

Come from away

Re Seeing Is Believing (First Person, July 6): Kudos to essay-writer David Andrews for capturing so exquisitely the difference between mindless tourism and meaningful travel. I was struck particularly by his reference to a stay in Mexico City ”in a short-term rental that depletes the city’s housing stock.” This is exactly the situation my neighbourhood faces in St. John’s.

I live in a downtown area known as The Battery, which is full of quaint, mid-priced row houses that would provide excellent housing to students, young couples and people on median or fixed incomes. Instead, they are increasingly snapped up by real estate speculators who use them as unregulated “ghost hotels.”

Meanwhile, rental rates skyrocket, students are forced to live further and further away from the city and neighbourhoods hollow out. The only thing worse is the inaction I see from our municipal government. Their role should be to protect people and communities by doing something about it.

Paul Rowe St. John’s


Re Lessons From Job Interviews (First Person, July 7): After 47 years of being on both sides of the table, I can attest that the only ones who do well at traditional job interviews are born salespeople.

Craig Sims Kingston

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