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Priorities and patience
Re Premiers To Discuss Reopening Of ‘Atlantic Bubble’, Including To Outsiders, As Tourism Season Approaches (March 17): The Nova Scotia government hopes to vaccinate all who wish to be vaccinated by the end of June. There are more or less 750,000 adults here. Only 46,000 have been vaccinated as of writing. This is by far the worst performance of any province.
There are a little over 100 days until the end of June. To reach the government’s target, there would need to be 7,000 people vaccinated every day, including weekends. I’m really concerned at this crushingly slow rollout thus far. But I’m hoping to see an immediate and serious uptick in vaccination rates.
Nova Scotians should have vaccines as soon as possible to safeguard our physical, mental and economic health.
Louise Parker Epidemiologist; Port Williams, N.S.
Re To Reopen, We Need Vaccines. And Patience (Editorial, March 16): I write as a hypercritical octogenarian grouch and techno-peasant to offer high praise to my local hospital network.
After overcoming some minor challenges in online booking, I attended, duly prepared, at the vaccine clinic. I was back in my car, vaccinated and with my second appointment in hand, 20 minutes after my scheduled appointment time.
This only happened because countless people working for the province, the city and in the health care system worked together to produce this outcome for all of us. They richly deserve our gratitude.
J.P. Dawson Toronto
Did no one consider Ticketmaster for vaccine appointments? They’re able to sell out stadiums in minutes without a problem.
Robert Thomas Kingston
Re Pandemic Perspective (Letters, March 17): Despite the restrictions that seem to have irremediably damaged the quality of a letter-writer’s life, I infer that he is alive, has not contracted the virus, has not suffered the loss of friends and family and has not descended into economic ruin.
I also infer that he is no anarchist. Otherwise, he would not have obeyed the rules that have preserved his health and well-being.
Greig Henderson Toronto
Re Tory Government Would Not Reduce Federal Spending On Foreign Aid, O’Toole Says (March 17): Excellent because, from what I can tell, there’s almost nothing left to cut. Canada’s development assistance program is at its lowest ebb ever, sitting at less than half of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development guideline and one-third of what countries such as Sweden, Norway and Luxembourg spend.
Erin O’Toole would also increase accountability, focusing on “measured performance outcomes.” This has been the mantra of every Canadian government since the 1990s, one that has tied aid into so many risk-averse, “results-based” knots that the country has become one of the slowest, least responsive and most bureaucratic donors in the OECD.
Ian Smillie Ottawa
Off the hook
Re Don’t Hang Up On Wireless Competition (Editorial, March 17): One hankers for the day when Canada’s consumers will be spared from its rapacious oligopolies. But, with now well-conditioned despair, I note that two of them are taking us a step closer to (inadequately regulated) monopoly in a major strategic industry.
I wonder if our government will send the Rogers and Shaw families – along with their enriched shareholders – a copy of Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats so they know how to celebrate in style?
Andrew Spence Toronto
Wireless rates may well be high. But also high is our ratio of geographical area to population. Floating down the Yukon River through Whitehorse, while speaking to someone watching an iceberg float by the coast of Newfoundland, costs us nothing extra.
John Burrows Toronto
Re Rogers-Shaw Deal Puts Liberals In A Tight Spot (March 17): During the 2019 election campaign, the Liberals promised to lower cellphone bills by 25 per cent. Since that time, very little action has been taken on the file. Now, they look to be between a rock and a hard place.
Approving the deal between Rogers and Shaw would reduce competition and the likelihood of lower prices. Voters wouldn’t like any of this. What to do? May I suggest, just for once, that the Liberals do what they think best for the population at large, and not what would help them get re-elected.
Erin O’Toole seems to demonstrate how easy it is to say one thing, then change tack, and ultimately stand for nothing.
Ann Sullivan Peterborough, Ont.
Re No Place Like Home (Opinion, March 6): I think contributor Kylee Pedersen overlooks the importance of McDougall Memorial United Church and chooses to focus on its negative connotations. Reconciliation should not be seen as a final destination, but a continuing process that we strive toward until we move in the right direction together.
As the contractor who rebuilt the church, I have witnessed firsthand the efforts undertaken to act in the spirit of reconciliation. All interpretation at the site will be told and directed by some Stoney elders. Those elders who support the project are adamant that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous history must be honoured.
Speaker Brenda McQueen [a descendant of the church’s founder], who said “everything will be like it was before,” tells me that her phrasing refers to the building itself. It has been restored exactly as it was before the fire. As for the site, the people and the interpretation – nothing could be farther from the truth.
Dave Chalmers Owner, Chalmers Heritage Conservation; president, Calgary Civic Trust
Re What’s A Trillion? The Liberals’ Cavalier Attitude On Overspending Needs To Change (March 16): I totally agree with Preston Manning. Those who don’t understand the negative long-term impact of unrestrained government spending likely are too young to remember 20-per-cent interest rates – and the devastation of past recessions – or have short memories.
Tony Hooper Toronto
Taxing the wealthy more will not physically harm them. They will not go hungry, be homeless, lack proper health care nor affordable postsecondary education. They will not go without any necessity, nor will their children.
If cuts are made to social programs, poor people are very much at risk from hunger, homelessness, poor health care and lack of education, keeping them in a cycle of poverty. Their children will be at risk, too.
As for corporations, Norway never lowered oil royalties despite threats from oil giants that they would leave the country. They never left. Maybe we should tax large corporations more, too.
It’s not what a conservative would do, but it is what Jesus would do.
Bruno Bartoszewicz Dunnville, Ont.
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