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The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at the Aviva Stadium mass vaccination centre in Dublin, Ireland.CLODAGH KILCOYNE/Reuters

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In hindsight

Re Lytton, B.C., Residents Had Just Minutes To Flee As Fire Destroyed The Village (July 3): This past May, MP Brad Vis wrote glowingly on his website about Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s proposed climate change plan, which he felt would allow Canada to meet climate targets set out by Stephen Harper.

Given that a community in his riding has just gone up in flames, it will be interesting to see if Mr. Vis still believes that Mr. O’Toole’s approach is credible and sufficient, and whether he sticks to the Conservative script during the forthcoming federal election.

Jack Hicks Shawnigan Lake, B.C.

On reflection

Re Give Them Back Their Names (Editorial, June 30): We could do this even more powerfully. Replace all the schools, roads and statues named after architects of the residential school system with names of individual residential school children.

Kathy Cawsey Halifax

If not before, now – surely – no Canadian can fail to feel the heartbreak of First Nations families at the loss of their children in residential schools. No cause-of-death documents, no gravestones – it’s as if they never existed. How cruel is that.

First Nations families were not surprised by these findings, but it was a sharp shock to others. The extent of the atrocity is just beginning to emerge, and it’s likely to be enormous.

It should be no longer acceptable to put the blame on previous generations of political, church and residential school leaders. The responsibility is on all of us now to act to correct this historic wrong.

I believe our task, as individual Canadians, is to make our so-called leaders hear our demand for forceful action in co-operation with First Nations leaders. We’ve had enough fine talk about Canadian values. It’s time to act, to be the people we portray ourselves to be.

Clive Cocking Vancouver

As a retired minister in the United Church of Canada, I am deeply disturbed that Archbishop Richard Gagnon feels there is a “persecution” of the Catholic Church going on right now.

My own denomination has acknowledged our role in and responsibility for the residential school system. It has issued a formal apology. If the archbishop feels persecuted, it is perhaps because he hears the voices of dead children crying out for justice from beyond their unmarked graves.

If that is what keeps him awake at night, it should be a very good thing, indeed. If not, may I recommend he reread the story of Isaiah: He is confronted by the Holy Divine and confesses, as we all need to do. “Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.”

That would be a helpful response.

Eilert Frerichs Reverend; Cobourg, Ont.

Vaccine views

Re Canada’s Pandemic Plan Ought To Make The Next Pandemic Non-existent (Opinion, July 3): Like thousands of other fully vaccinated Canadians living overseas, I am still not exempt from quarantine rules for re-entering Canada, as the government does not recognize the Chinese vaccine approved by the World Health Organization. Almost 90 per cent of the world has no access to Canada’s list of “approved” vaccines.

This decision discriminates among Canadian citizens and residents by penalizing some of them based on the vaccine they are able to access. It also seems like a highly politicized decision given Canada’s frosty relations with China, a country providing vaccines to a large swath of the developing world. This follows the failure of the COVAX program and Canada’s refusal to waive COVID-19 vaccine patents.

Canada is heading into dark territory that can have lasting effects on its relations with the world and its diaspora overseas. Meanwhile, I am a fully vaccinated Canadian who is unable to return home at will.

Themrise Khan Karachi, Pakistan

Re African Leaders Decry EU Vaccine Passport (June 30): First it was Bruce Springsteen tickets, now it is European vacations at risk. How can an AstraZeneca vaccine widely used in India, Africa, Latin America, as well as Canada – the one in my arm – be viewed as unacceptable for the European Union’s Green Pass?

This sounds like the worst kind of prejudice: the suggestion that the vaccine is not good enough because of where, and by whom, it is made. While vaccine passports can help limit travel-related spread of COVID-19, vaccine restrictions not supported by science will likely delay our long-awaited return to normalcy, and provide an excuse to refuse much-needed vaccines.

Cynthia Rowden Toronto

More than two million Canadians live abroad. Some do humanitarian work, some work for Canadian companies, some have multinational families. Most have deep roots and family in Canada. And most haven’t visited for the past 18 months or more.

I know one Canadian who is flying to New York, getting a vaccine, then flying back to Kenya six hours later, all so he can return home vaccinated three weeks later. That’s ridiculous.

The government should be working around the clock to find a way for these Canadians to visit loved ones this summer. This could include immediate vaccinations upon landing, vaccines at Canadian embassies or other, better ideas.

As we succeed with our domestic vaccine program, we can’t forget the Canadians who are desperate to return home.

Parker Mitchell Toronto

Re Celebrating Grad With A Vaccine (June 29): It’s taken me a bit of time to understand what keeps drawing my eyes back to the front-page photo of a Halifax student being vaccinated in her prom dress.

It is the calm and serene qualities exhibited by both her and the person giving the vaccine, together with the beauty of her gown, that give the photo a Rembrandt-like quality. At a time like this, it is truly a wondrous and welcome study.

Photographer Darren Calabrese captures it perfectly.

Marianne Orr Brampton, Ont.

Saturday night live

Re There May Be Life Still For Bachman’s Vinyl Tap After CBC Music (July 1): There used to be a saying in my family: “You know you’re a loser if you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night listening to Finkleman’s 45s.” After 16 years of enduring his replacement, Danny Finkleman can be forgiven perhaps some tinge of schadenfreude.

Beware to the next wave: There’s no better guarantee of punching your ticket to geezer-dom than spinning discs for the CBC on a Saturday night.

Ron Beram Gabriola, B.C.

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