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People pass by the sign of a COVID-19 immunization clinic in downtown Toronto on July 18, 2021.

Kamran Jebreili/The Associated Press

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Dithering debate

Re The Time For Debating Vaccine Passports Is Over (July 27): Notwithstanding the overriding logic supporting vaccine passports and the need to identify vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, our governments seem to be tripping over themselves in useless, circular debate regarding the need for such a program, how to execute it and who would manage it – all questions that should have been answered months ago.

The result of such indecision is prolonging the pandemic and causing avoidable COVID-19 cases due to the inability to enforce restrictions on unvaccinated people as they mingle with those of us who are vaccinated.

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Frank Malone Aurora, Ont.

Big difference

Re Mary Simon May Make A Difference For Canada (July 27): I, for one, applaud Mary Simon’s appointment as Canada’s first Indigenous Governor-General.

Being bilingual does not ensure a competent governor-general, as we have unfortunately witnessed in the past. We should remember that Indigenous peoples were here before the French and British. Maybe it’s time an Indigenous language be a requirement for a governor-general.

Gary Macdonald Toronto


Mary Simon, with humility and gravitas, committed to something this country desperately needs: learning in public.

If we are to heal and grow together, we should all make this commitment. A second or third language, our history, cultural awareness, being a better citizen: These are all noble pursuits.

Thanks, merci, nakurmiik. I am made better by Ms. Simon’s commitment, and I will strive to follow her lead.

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Patrick O’Neill Toronto

Four for four

The headlines for July 27 on a single page: “Fires force thousands in Northern Ontario to flee;” “Extreme weather events renew focus on climate change ahead of key report;” “City roads filled with water as typhoon brings heavy rain to Shanghai region;” “Dozens presumed dead after migrant boat capsizes off Libyan coast.” Would anyone care for a drink?

Craig Sims Kingston

Sub plot

Re If Canada Hopes To Claim Arctic Sovereignty, We Have To Invest In Submarines (July 26): The most satisfying, productive way to claim Arctic sovereignty would be to put boots on the tundra to research, assess and exploit, responsibly, the resources of the North.

More important than dreaming of submarines, government should reduce the cost of accessing the Arctic and adequately support its study.

Thomas Frisch Ottawa

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In February of 2012, I was a speaker at a Queen’s University forum on Canada’s then-named National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, which was to be a new approach to politics-free procurement. “Good luck with that,” I said at the time.

Canada is now beginning discussions that could lead to the procurement of new submarines worth many billions of dollars. But Canada doesn’t build them. We do not have a domestic manufacturer of fighter aircraft either, but are now considering bids from three offshore competitors. These companies are falling over themselves to provide benefits mostly managed by Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy (ITB).

If well designed for the specific procurement, the ITB policy can result in significant benefits leading to major investments. That Canada has no domestic submarine builder should not matter, since good things can result from the expenditure.

But good luck with that political interference thing!

Tim Runge Partner, Constructive Edge; Guelph, Ont.


Without submarines, fighter jets, naval ships and a strong ground presence to show the world we intend to be recognized, the words of our beloved national anthem – “the True North strong and free” – may become a fond memory.

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Martin Wale Dorval, Que.

Shut out

Re Opposition Leaders Say They Should Have Been Invited To Speak At Antisemitism Summit (July 22): By shutting out other parties, I believe Justin Trudeau is implying that they do not have the same level of concern that he does. Rather, his actions seem to tell us a good deal about himself: Even on such important issues as antisemitism and Islamophobia, he is incapable of rising to the occasion and acting as Prime Minister of the whole country.

How long can Canada afford to have this person as leader?

John Sutherland Victoria

History repeating

Re Most Important Apologies Will Come From Canadians, Not Government Or Church, Gwawaenuk Chief Says (July 24): Author Gordon Kerr’s A Short History of the Middle East describes 5,000 years of the region’s history as a constant process of migrations, invasions, conquests, displacements, assimilations, eradications and, in extreme examples, purposeful genocides. It would seem that Europeans perfected this to a high degree over the last 300 years as the major powers colonized most of the planet.

It’s depressing to think that this is in our nature as a species. Perhaps our mistake in Canada is pretending we’re any different.

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Jamie Alley Victoria

At what cost?

Re Ontario, Not Quebec, Holds The Model For Child Care (Report on Business, July 23): Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ David Macdonald recently wrote that “whether parents will actually gain access to affordable child care also hinges on significant increases in the number of child-care spots to accommodate an expected increase in demand for cheaper daycare and preschool care.”

He goes on: “Without additional resources, a reduction in fees would likely lead to ballooning wait lists for families.”

This warning echoes our longstanding concern that artificially reducing fees in one sector of child care will inevitably eradicate the existing ecosystem of care, decreasing options and quality for parents. The real costs of national daycare are much higher and Ontario will be on the hook, our research shows, for a conservatively-estimated $9.5-billion annually.

Ontario can take federal money, but it should be on flexible terms. To do otherwise would risk a provincial child-care boondoggle, something even proponents acknowledge is highly likely.

Andrea Mrozek Senior fellow, Cardus; Ottawa

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Go deep

Re Canada’s Deep Dive Into The Data Pool (July 27): Since I left my first faint footsteps on the Olympic podium in 1968, Canadian swimming has leapt to a new level, thanks to a large effort from Swimming Canada and all the dedicated coaches and administrators involved.

We have risen from being considered long shots to big shots on the world stage. I am proud to say that not only has Canadian swimming followed those footsteps, but is now blazing the trail for generations of future Canadian swimmers.

Elaine Tanner OC; triple Olympic medalist (Mexico 1968); Kelowna, B.C.


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