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Nurse Kevin Sagun with Humber River Hospital draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before administering it at a LOFT community housing complex in Toronto on March 26, 2021.


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Re More Than 11% Of Adult Canadians Have Received Their First Shots, Ottawa Says (March 26): My wife got her vaccine. Her appointment was at 10:50 a.m. She had her injection at 10:55 and we were out by 11:15. It can be done efficiently.

More concerning is the continuing slow pace of vaccinations in Ontario. A rate of 50,000 per day won’t get everyone a first dose by the end of June. The pace should be doubled.

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Chris Wrigley Oakville, Ont.

I can count on my dentist’s office to send reminders via both phone and e-mail to ensure I never miss an appointment; they are very motivated to reduce no-shows. For years, all attempts to convince my local medical centre to provide either reminder have failed, an absence of like-minded motivation apparently.

Given the current vaccine appointment debacle, Public Health Ontario seems to prove that historic, determined efforts to avoid expertise in service delivery have been a roaring success.

Shelly McQuillen Ottawa

More capital ideas

Re Is It Time To Tax Capital Gains On Homes? (Editorial, March 20): In the United States, gains on principal residence are taxed. Although true, mortgage interest (to a maximum limit) on principal residence is also tax-deductible. In Canada, we are not allowed this benefit.

It should not be valid to compare a capital-gains tax on the back end unless Canada receives the same tax deduction on the front end.

Bobby Leung Vancouver

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I purchased my Toronto home and primary residence in 1986. It is worth 10 times the purchase price today, but so is everyone’s home in the city.

My gain is huge “nominally.” To give some perspective, back then I earned $28,000 with a good job as a junior professional engineer. Money has lost its value significantly since 1986, and continues to do so in an environment of rampant asset inflation. So what is the justification for taxing homeowners’ capital gains on primary residences based largely on inflation (which we should all agree is rooted in loose monetary and fiscal policies)?

Housing has not seen a downturn in decades, and I read regularly that we could be in a dangerous real estate bubble. If this new tax policy were enacted, would the government be prepared to recognize a capital loss when the bubble bursts?

Wes Roberts Toronto

Kudos to The Globe and Mail for the courage to suggest reforming tax laws to address the inequality of the capital gains giveaway in home ownership. No one wants to give up a tax loophole that is to their benefit.

However, there are millions of Canadians who direct their incomes into retirement savings plans that also increase in value over time. Those who direct income into a million-dollar home, and then sell it at retirement, get to keep all of the gains tax-free. Those who instead direct income into investments, and then sell them to fund retirement, pay capital gains tax.

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The equitable way of taxing capital gains would be to treat everyone the same. Every Canadian should have a lifetime capital gains exemption, ideally somewhere in the range of $500,000 to $1-million, whether one sells a home, retirement investments or a combination. That would treat us all the same.

Paul Watson Chatham, Ont.

Housing is one of the greatest contributors to economic inequality in Canada. The bigger the house, the bigger the tax-free capital gain. On the other hand, there are many societal benefits to renting: increased mobility, smaller environmental footprint, improved economic productivity, less debt, more savings and ultimately more disposable income to spend on goods and services that employ Canadians.

Like homeowners, renters pay capital gains taxes on non-home assets. Unlike homeowners, renters do not receive tax benefits from their housing. Let’s level the playing field: Allow renters to deduct rents from taxable income. Or require homeowners to pay for capital gains on their homes.

Richard MacKenzie Toronto

In my case, a capital-gains tax would have been absolutely destructive. We bought our first house in February, 1946, after I came home from the Second World War, for $10,000. Then after several promotions which required moves, I had to sell and buy new homes over the years in six different Canadian cities.

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Mainly because the Bank of Canada keeps inflation steady and interest rates extremely low, housing prices keeps rising like all other consumer goods. With tax on capital gains, I would have had lesser funds after each sale to purchase a new house of equivalent value. Doing this six times would cause living at a lower standard.

Is that acceptable government policy? Not to me.

J.D. Grieve Oakville, Ont.

Zoom, zoom

Re Pilot Study To Allow E-scooters To Operate Legally In Six Municipalities (March 24): While passing through Tel Aviv for two days in July, 2019, I was struck by the marked diminution of noise on city streets enabled by the presence of numerous e-bikes and e-scooters. I returned home with distinct feelings of envy.

Paul Thiessen Vancouver

TV pick

Re Indigenous-led TV Team Aims To Tell Stories Both Beautiful And Traumatic (March 24): Readers might also want to check out another Aboriginal Peoples Television Network success story: Moosemeat & Marmalade, now in its sixth season.

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The series stars Indigenous performer and cook Art Napoleon and Dan Hayes of Victoria’s The London Chef as they source and try recipes from each other’s food traditions. I believe executive producer Hilary Pryor is an unsung local hero who has been a driving force in quietly nurturing Indigenous filmmakers through television productions.

Heather MacAndrew Victoria

Slam dunk

Re VanVleet Lauds Toronto’s All-female Broadcast Crew (Sports, March 24): A big shout-out to TSN and the Toronto Raptors for airing the National Basketball Association’s first-ever all-female broadcasting team.

Kate Beirness’s opening was sincere about how she hoped this would be an inspiration to many girls who were watching and dreaming. Her pregame team, which included Amy Audibert and Kayla Grey, set the stage as well as anyone for the challenges that the Raptors face.

Meghan McPeak and Kia Nurse showed their knowledge and passion for the sport and did an amazing job of helping viewers with the flow of the game. It was great to hear Ms. Nurse’s take on “get that garbage out of here,” though she failed to hit the high note that Jack Armstrong is famous for!

With the awesome combined lineup of these women with the regular broadcast team, the future looks very bright for upcoming Raptors telecasts.

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Dean Utting Ottawa

Be kind

Re In This Pandemic, The Kind Thing To Do Is Stop Being Nice (Opinion, March 20): Though Canadian to a fault, I never much liked the whole “nice” thing. (Polite, yes, but that’s different.) Nice could be indistinguishable from a self-abnegating submission to arbitrary measures.

But contributor Tenille Bonoguore’s kindness is a wonderful idea that sounds like wisdom.

Jeff Verge Kelowna, B.C.

Thanks to contributor Tenille Bonoguore for a strong reality check on the limitations of niceness, and the need for kindness which is bold and honest!

Jennifer Cawley Caruso Sudbury

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