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Re This Has Not Been Canada’s Finest Hour (Editorial, March 3): I believe the reason that the COVID-19 death rate in Canada is lower than the world’s worst-hit countries is the quiet compliance of the vast majority of Canadians. With our daily sacrifices, and struggle to maintain our threadbare patience, we are picking up the slack left by the people who should be leading and protecting us.
The article should have been titled “This has not been the government’s finest hour.”
Sandy Blazier Mississauga
Re Why A Geriatrician Who Fought To Give Seniors Hope Chose A Medically Assisted Death (March 2): Right up until his final breath, Ronald Bayne never ceased advocating for quality humane care for all elders. While there are those who are critical of Dr. Bayne’s decision to pursue medical assistance in dying, I’m convinced there are many more who praise his decision – and life.
As a former long-term care social worker, I heard residents regularly demand better care. “Don’t forget us,” one person remarked on my last day at a facility. “We’re people too. We deserve better.” Her words loudly resonate in Dr. Bayne’s message.
May the rich memory of Dr. Bayne inspire us as a country to do better for our greatest treasures.
Leonard Molczadski Toronto
My mother recently made the same decision as Ronald Bayne. She enjoyed 95 rich and wonderful years, but was enduring great pain, incapacitation and exhaustion. She was unwavering in her conviction that she was ready to die.
Her final afternoon was spent reminiscing and sharing with a few family members, but her final words were for the medical assistance in dying team at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. She thanked them and said she hoped that, in the future, more people will have access to the choice she was able to make. She would have been pleased to know of Dr. Bayne’s work and his own choice.
Elaine Bruer Peterborough, Ont.
By the numbers
Re Exit Machinations (March 2): It should be considered that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has made on average 4 per cent higher returns than the S&P/TSX Composite Index over the past 10 years. At the current rate, that’s around $16-billion per year.
Mark Machin’s $5.9-million is a nice paycheque, but it is less than 1 per cent of excess returns due to the skills of the CPPIB management team. I think it is more accurate to have considered him a bargain.
David Lewis Toronto
Re Is It Time To Cool Canada’s Hot Housing? (Editorial, Feb. 27): Instead of the federal government enacting measures to cool the market, it would be more effective to reduce existing regulations inhibiting development.
Low interest rates mean more people can afford to buy homes, which is a good thing – if there were adequate supply. Developers are needed to solve the supply shortage, but existing regulations such as rent control and zoning issues can inhibit development. Incentives matter in the free market.
Adam Ainsworth Toronto
Re House Prices Are Going Bonkers Again. Where Is The Outrage? (March 3): That may be true if one sees housing as a consumer item. But what if housing is seen as an investment vehicle?
The risk-reward balance for owners looks enticing. One could be well advised to buy as much of this asset as possible. Not only does it have a marvellous track record of value growth over the past 20 years, but governments at every level seem on the side of owners.
Interest rates below appreciation: check. No capital-gains tax on principal residences: check. Provincial tax benefits: check. Municipal zoning protections plus property-tax rate caps: check.
The only trouble with this happy merry-go-round is that one has to buy a home to get on. And woe betide the government that doesn’t keep it spinning.
Michael Poulton Halifax
As a non-homeowner in their early thirties, I would say the outrage is still there. It never went away.
Housing affordability has not improved since 2016 and has only gotten worse during the pandemic. There have been many good suggestions to reform the market against all speculation (not just foreign), yet I have seen inaction from all levels of government.
Maybe as affordability begins to affect communities significantly beyond Canada’s urban centres, and millennials and Gen Z become a stronger voting block, politicians would be more inclined to act. But after so many years, one starts to wonder, what’s the point?
Peter Tschirhart Oakville, Ont.
Re Sensational (Letters, March 3): A letter-writer finds that the Senate is “finally acting with greater independence and less partisanship.” Perhaps it’s time to give some credit to our beleaguered Prime Minister.
If the Senate is more independent and less partisan, I have no doubt there is a direct link to Justin Trudeau’s Senate reforms, whereby he turned his back on patronage appointments and instead appointed highly qualified independent senators.
Manuel Matas Winnipeg
Re Save Us From Supply Management, Mr. Biden (March 1): Practically all items, including vehicles, produce, airfares and alcohol, are cheaper in the U.S. economy. If the U.S. dairy industry were allowed to flood the market here, would we pay less in the long run? Are vegetables that we buy from California the same price in Los Angeles as they are in Vancouver or Calgary?
Milk products have a shorter shelf life compared to other agricultural commodities. Many U.S. dairy farmers are not doing well because they have no controls on how much they produce. I’ve heard that some of them even wish they had a similar marketing structure as Canada.
Garnet Ostercamp Edmonton
Re The Buttergate Theory Isn’t Solid (March 3): The contributors are correct to point out that evidence linking palm oil and butter hardness is anecdotal. Here are two hard anecdotal facts: Farmers are feeding dairy cows with palm oil supplements, and my butter remains hard and unspreadable even when left out on the kitchen counter.
Let’s discontinue the practice of adding palm oil supplements to cow feed – and our own feed – until it is shown to be beneficial to our health.
Brian Emes Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
“The Dairy Farmers of Canada have convened a panel to determine whether palm oil may be the villain behind allegations of harder butter.” Shouldn’t this have been done before the decision was made to feed cows with palm oil? Talk about putting the cart before the cow.
Michael Locke Toronto
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