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People are shown arriving at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal on March 14, 2021.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

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Rollout reactions

Re COVID-19 In Canada By The Numbers (March 11): Each day, The Globe and Mail publishes COVID-19 statistics, including the percentage of vaccines distributed that have been administered. At writing, this percentage is a shockingly low 68 per cent. That means that more than 1.2 million vaccines have not been injected.

To me this is a clear indication that the provinces are unable to roll out vaccines as fast as possible. Lives are at stake. When will the provinces ask Ottawa to send in the army? Or will they let these precious vaccines sit and expire?

JoAnn Breitman Toronto

Re The Jabs Speed Up. So Does The Confusion (Editorial, March 11): It is indeed “inexplicable” that Canada has a second-rate vaccination rollout.

I am busy now contacting all my over-80 friends about vaccine appointments, since many of them have no access to this information. Last week, every Toronto hospital was doing its own thing. I was fortunate enough to be vaccinated because my children stayed online to make sure it happened.

This confusion is harmful in how it keeps older folks from timely appointments owing to no centralized booking. I’ve always been proud of how my country treats its citizens. But this year, not so much.

Sandra Atlin Toronto

Last week, Joe Biden spoke on television for nearly 30 minutes about vaccinations and showed what can be done, starting from scratch, using a combination of science and determination. I hope that Canada’s political leaders took time to watch.

Joel Rubinovich Toronto

Re Ottawa’s Science Adviser Preparing Report On COVID-19 Vaccine Passports (March 12): To offer vaccine passports before all Canadians have been given a reasonable opportunity to receive their jabs would create a situation where, to misquote George Orwell, all Canadians are equal, but some Canadians are more equal than others.

I’d rather wait for my vaccine passport until all Canadians can enjoy our renewed freedoms together.

Jason Shron Thornhill, Ont.

Six years later

Re Ottawa Launches Website To Convey Drinking-water Advisory Progress (March 11): The Liberal government made a 2015 campaign promise to resolve First Nations water issues by 2021. If they had intended to keep that promise, there would have been serious oversight, money and policy.

Instead, the Auditor-General’s February report concludes that it was Indigenous Services Canada’s outdated policies, gross underfunding, interim solutions and lack of a viable regulatory regime that led to another broken promise and missed deadline. Government should stop being the impediment to resolving these problems.

Would any of us tolerate this situation for ourselves or our families? If not, we might consider that the time should be now to dig deep and help increase the national will to end this unacceptable crisis.

June-Etta Chenard St. Catharines, Ont.

Who watches the …?

Re Ottawa To Create Military Watchdog (March 9) : I expect the federal government will soon announce the appointment of a chief watchdog to oversee the individual department watchdogs. He or she could be known as Big Dog.

So we would have Big Dog watching the watchdogs, who are watching the department ministers and deputy ministers, who are watching senior management in the public service, who are watching middle managers, who are watching supervisors, who are watching the people doing the work.

What could go wrong?

George McDonald Toronto

Conservative conundrum

Re O’Toole’s Priorities Are Solid, But His Party Is Out Of Control (March 12): As a fiscal conservative, I agree that the current alternative to the Trudeau Liberals appears to be sorely wanting. One has the sense that lurking behind Erin O’Toole is a gang of ideologues ready to tear down Liberal excesses that so enrage them.

And while there’s much to be concerned about, what’s badly missing in this narrative is the word “progressive.” Conservatives are now seen by some as offering little fiscal or progressive vision as to the real concerns of many Canadians: meteoric spending and a bloated civil service that may be the reason behind the country’s bungling of the pandemic.

There is, as always, a segment of our population that lies to the right of the political spectrum. That its federal leadership looks to be failing should be a concern for us all.

Don McLauchlin Toronto

If Erin O’Toole’s policy priorities are right, then what are his policies? What is his plan to address the existential threat of climate change? Now that COVID-19 has taught Canadians to make worker protections a priority, what measures will he prioritize to achieve it?

I find Mr. O’Toole’s problem is that his party doesn’t seem interested in the priorities of Canadians. My problem is that he seems more interested in his party’s needs than he is in Canada’s.

James Russell Ottawa

Go big

Re Is Big Government Really Back? (March 10): I certainly hope so! A lot of the trouble we’ve had has come from too-small governments that cut back services in the name of austerity.

There aren’t enough inspectors for long-term care nor manufacturing and warehousing plants. There are not enough paid sick days for workers in these industries. There is not enough funding to pursue national health care and pharmacare, not to mention dental and child-care programs. We have no capability to manufacture vaccines and are forced to dip into programs meant for poorer countries. The only thing governments seem to spend too much on is police forces.

Meanwhile, the private sector bungles along killing long-term care residents, reducing large segments of the work force to precarious gig work and merrily polluting the planet through lack of regulation.

I’m all for big government. Forty years of cutbacks and austerity have clearly not worked.

Ken Cory Oshawa, Ont.

Up with the arts

Re When The Music’s Over: COVID-19 Decimated The Arts In Canada, And The Worst May Be Yet To Come (March 11): I join my fellow Canadian creators in mourning the loss of so many arts jobs owing to the pandemic. I for one hope that all Canadians can acknowledge the value of reconstructing our cultural industry as quickly as possible, knowing now the fragility of those who strive to give us representation of our reality – or respite from it!

Peter Keleghan Toronto

How exciting to learn that the Royal Opera House in London will reopen May 17 with an in-person season, including two works by Crystal Pite, Canada’s international choreographic superstar.

Audiences here can only look on with envy. How sad that the performance arts, and artists, in Canada aren’t in the same happy position.

Richard Berrow New Westminster, B.C.

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