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Passengers walk past a sign in the arrivals area at Heathrow Airport in London, during England's third national lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak began. Keen to avoid losing another summer of holiday revenue to the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union, some Asian governments and the airline industry are scrambling to develop so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports to help kickstart international travel.

Matt Dunham/The Associated Press

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Passport to …?

Re Ontario Rejects Idea Of Vaccine Passport (July 14): I did not require any incentive to have my vaccine as early and as quickly as possible to help move us toward ending this wretched episode. But if there is no advantage in what one is able to do compared to those who are unvaccinated, it seems to me that it will be that much harder to get the remainder of the population to get their shots, and allow us to travel safely when and where we want.

Years ago when we travelled, we all carried around a little book confirming our vaccinations. It didn’t hurt anyone and it worked. What has changed?

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Peter Hutcheon Toronto


In the European Union, 27 countries have been able to agree on a common Europe-wide vaccine passport that will make travel easier by removing travel restrictions, quarantine obligations and testing. Switzerland has also joined the agreement.

I do not understand why, in our country, 13 provincial and territorial leaders are not able to agree on such a common document. It does not seem fair that people in some provinces may have access to a vaccine passport and easily travel to other provinces and internationally, but others may not.

Simple provincial paper documents may well not be recognized elsewhere. Canadians should have the same access to travel as others.

This issue should be addressed seriously – and quickly – by the leadership in Canada.

Thierry Faure Ottawa


I believe vaccine passports are the best way to offer personal choice, as well as protection, to the public.

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It may persuade people with vaccine hesitancy to get inoculated, if activities they wish to participate in require proof of vaccination. It can help non-essential businesses stay open should cases rise. Life can return to somewhat normal levels with all sorts of entertainment venues being open.

Privacy concerns should not be an issue. Proof of vaccination should have nothing to do with an individual’s health status. Let’s move forward as a society after a year-and-a-half of hermit life.

Irene Fung Mississauga


Some commentators think that vaccine passports would be an invasion of privacy and an interference with human rights. I believe that this is overwhelmed by the rights of the societal group.

As much as I disapprove of the use of the notwithstanding clause, certainly as it has been used by Doug Ford, I believe requiring proof of vaccination is a perfect and correct use. The needs of society to protect itself should override individual rights.

Michael Gilbert Toronto

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Re Students Need To Start The Fall With Two Shots (Editorial, July 14): As a student at the University of Toronto, I would welcome a vaccine mandate. It is hard to imagine feeling comfortable in the classroom, especially a large one, without one. However, the issue arises of international students who have not had access to Health Canada-approved vaccines.

How would a vaccine mandate accommodate and be just to students who have taken other vaccines? It’s a tough problem and, while I hope for a solution, I fear it may be insurmountable.

It’s a reminder that this pandemic cannot be beaten until we beat it everywhere.

Ryan Hamilton Toronto

To the day

Re Canada Needs A Wakeup Call On Competition (Report on Business, July 15): So Health Canada does not know if brand-name drug makers are paying generic drug makers to hold off from releasing their products – “pay-for-delay settlements.”

It should be such a simple thing to monitor. All drug patents have expiry dates. If a generic drug doesn’t go to market immediately when a patent ends – big red flag.

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Demand for generic drugs is strong because they are much cheaper. No wonder Canada’s drug prices are “25 per cent above the OECD median.”

Alison Dennis Kingston

Reconciliation and contrition

Re Penelakut Tribe Announces Discovery Of More Than 160 Graves (July 14): The Bishop of Victoria spoke of bad apples in the school his diocese formerly administered, and poor dealing of them by the church. Sadly it’s not bad apples that led to the undisclosed deaths. The issue is the level of care at this school and others that led to so many deaths, disclosed or otherwise.

It’s not normal to have deaths in residential schools. I went to one in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. My uncle went to the same school in the 1920s and never spoke of student deaths, from tuberculosis or anything else. He sent his sons to the school without concern.

It’s hard for me to see true reconciliation occurring without full disclosure of what happened at the schools. We know church behaviour was bad in the past. Now is the time to improve it with honesty and contrition, not distractions.

Ed Dunnett Qualicum Beach, B.C.

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Re Residential School Probe Has ‘Barely Scratched The Surface’ (July 16): As a child growing up in 1960s Britain and attending Catholic schools, we were taught two things: Colonialism and conversion were noble goals.

We were saving heathens who could not be trusted to look after themselves, who needed to be put on the “right path” whether it was in Canada, India or China. At no point could we, or did we, think to question nuns and priests. The consequence would have been corporal punishment: strap, ruler, cane.

I’m not surprised that Indigenous children received much worse treatment than we did, because I experienced the mindset behind this behaviour. What I regret, as I grew up and came to see the other side of colonialism and conversion, is that I stood by and did nothing except drop out of the church (for many reasons).

But, it’s not too late for me to see how I can contribute to truth and reconciliation.

Frances Tuer Hamilton

Beautiful scars

Re Broken But Beautiful (First Person, July 14): Did anyone else see a link between families still grieving and the art of kintsugi?

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Grief is slow work, as is kintsugi. It will take time, patience and care to repair the broken hearts of families who have lost loved ones during the pandemic. Sadly, there is no “closure” for feelings of loss, nor any urushi lacquer to put the pieces of families back together.

Additional funding for grief counselling is merited, but for many, it’s one breath and one step at a time.

M.J. McIntyre Collingwood, Ont.


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