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Re Who Should Get Vaccine Priority? (Editorial, March 23): I think I know why so many Ontarians over 80 have not received the vaccine yet: They are still fruitlessly on hold on the phone or making failed attempts to register online for appointments. They can’t get what nobody will give them.
Lindy Williams Ottawa
In five minutes, this 82-year-old was registered online for a vaccine. But it took 2 hours 45 minutes to go through a series of lineups at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Why this disconnect? (Staff couldn’t have been nicer and more attentive, providing chairs and succour throughout this epic wait.) Thank heavens the weather was warm.
John Marion Toronto
China and consequences
Re Ottawa Recalls Ambassador From China (March 23): It is about time Canada took a stand against China for its brutal treatment of the Uyghurs, if only because the United States, Britain and European Union did so. Unlike Parliament, the Canadian government has still not declared a genocide.
As well, why has the government not imposed additional sanctions for the incarcerations of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor? Why has Ottawa still not made a decision against Huawei?
Canadians are waiting for Justin Trudeau to take stronger action against China, and not rely on our allies to do the heavy lifting.
J.G. Gilmour Calgary
Re China Is Teaching Us A Lesson (Editorial, March 22): I believe The Globe and Mail’s editorial is right to call for Canada to begin decoupling from China’s economic embrace.
Canadians who fear such a step might be surprised to learn that, in 2019, about 5 per cent of our exports went to China. Furthermore, China outsold us by a wide margin, resulting in a roughly $52-billion trade deficit, far higher than we have with any other country.
Who’s benefiting the most from this lopsided relationship?
Norm Beach Toronto
A better way
Re MAID And Mental Health (Letters, March 23): A psychiatrist who wrote a letter gives a clear and passionate perspective on medical assistance in dying and people who suffer from severe depression. In 30 years of practice, I have had the experience he describes many times.
It would be a tragedy to allow such patients to choose death, a permanent solution to a usually temporary problem. Seeing patients recover with hard work and medication would make any serious mental-health practitioner balk at this idea.
Sarah Usher Psychologist and psychoanalyst, Toronto
Call me maybe
Re Ottawa’s Dawdling May Cost Entire Telecom Industry (March 22): It strikes me that Rogers and Shaw are expressing similar views to banks that argued they had to consolidate and become larger to effectively compete.
About 20 years ago, Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal proposed a merger followed by Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Then-finance minister Paul Martin simply said no, later explaining that it was not in the national interest. I recall that he also set conditions for any future mergers that would have imposed tighter consumer regulation and oversight, so much so that the banks backed off.
As a citizen and a consumer, it would be nice to see a similar directive from Chrystia Freeland to the likes of Rogers, Shaw, Bell and Telus. My sense is that they would react similarly to the banks, and 20 years from now they would all be doing just fine.
Paul Thomson Bath, Ont.
Re It’s Time To Put Customers First. Let’s Start With The Rogers-Shaw Deal (Opinion, March 20): I think columnist Andrew Coyne is mostly correct that restrictions on foreign ownership of telecoms and airlines serve merely to blunt competition. However, when he rails against service obligations, he leaves a fundamental question: How to maintain service to remote communities?
One might multiply subsidies to maintain services, but this would no doubt be decried by many as wasteful, though it sounds worthwhile to me. Another alternative: Just admit to believing those communities don’t deserve a minimum level of service. I hope this would not be a popular position, but I also hope those who believe it are honest.
It seems that part of regulating such things is not so much a desire to help producers as much as a desire to avoid making explicit the unpopular costs and stakes of a policy issue.
Allan Olley Oakville, Ont.
Clear on carbon
Re Climate Conflict (Letters, March 23): A letter-writer finds several ethical problems with a border carbon tax. However, definitive regulatory standards for low-carbon production is precisely the certainty I believe nations require to confidently invest in non-polluting power generation.
Even better, these countries would gradually transition away from buying coal or oil from other countries, since renewable energy is about “localizing” power grids. Climate impact also tends to be worse in developing countries. So if anything, it’s continuing the status quo that should be the real ethical transgression.
Peter Reinecke Ottawa
Out of the pool
Re Ontario Urged To Reconsider Judicial Changes (March 19): In response to concerns over threats to judicial independence, Attorney-General Doug Downey has long asserted that his proposed changes to Ontario’s process for appointing judges are needed to advance diversity. Experience would show the contrary.
As head of policy in 1998, when the judicial appointments advisory process was created, I witnessed first-hand how the fact-based perception of a much more objective process brought a more diverse range of applicants, who previously felt there was no point to competing in a partisan system.
If the proposals are enacted, many individuals from diverse communities would again refrain from entering a process that structurally favours groups of which they are not a part. The Attorney-General would then draw from a less diverse candidate pool, and diversity as well as independence would be threatened.
Doug Ewart Toronto
Re Seven Voices Weigh In On Sportsnet’s Blue Jays Simulcast Experiment (Sports, March 23): The Toronto Blue Jays seem invisible. We can’t go down for our yearly trip to Dunedin, Fla., to see the new players, while Rogers has televised few spring season games and hosted even fewer radio broadcasts.
When we can see or hear the team, it’s usually through the opposing team’s radio or television broadcast, which largely ignores our players. As if this weren’t bad enough, Rogers is doing a simulcast. The other night, how many times did the broadcasters say, “Look at that,” or, “It’s in the bottom right of your screen” – on the radio. And this will be all season?
I know that Rogers has lost money while shut out of games at Rogers Centre. But why pay US$150-million for George Springer’s contract and kill radio broadcasts? Extremely disappointing start to the season!
Marion Kirsh Thornhill, Ont.
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