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A woman walks to the post-vaccination waiting area at a vaccination centre in Brampton, Ont., on March 4, 2021.


Vaccine report

Re A Newer And Better Vaccine Plan (Editorial, March 4): On March 3, I took my aunt for her vaccination in York Region in Ontario. There has been a lot of handwringing about lack of preparation. Based on our experience, this has been overblown.

I registered my aunt two days prior and was given a time slot. It was confirmed electronically along with a set of instructions. We arrived at the clinic 10 minutes before her time and got in line. Over the next 40 minutes, we moved through screening, check-in, registration, vaccination, observation and checkout. We left with an electronic confirmation, details on the vaccine and the paramedic who provided it. We will return for a second dose in three weeks.

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There is still room for improvement. Challenges remain, especially for those without electronic access or a support resource to help.

But over all, bravo!

Rob Hallsworth Belleville, Ont.

As my wife said to me recently over dinner: I feel trapped.

We have no idea when we’ll receive any vaccine. And then we may have to wait another four months – which is when, exactly?

I feel that Canadians are being held hostage by their governments. The United States has vaccinated more than 50 million people. And we’re to be satisfied with little more than two million? Are we supposed to shrug off such a pathetic response?

It’s not good enough. But what can I do about it? There’s the source of frustration and the sense of entrapment after a year of being patient.

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Marshall Webb Vancouver

In other words

Re Ego-driven Cuomo Is Destroying Himself (March 4): New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is quoted as saying, “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable.” Wouldn’t it be more effective to say, “We all experience things differently?”

David McClement Calgary

Chips may fall

Re Trudeau Takes A Tougher Stand On China (March 4): Joe Biden characterized the detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor as “bartering chips” for China. Meanwhile, lawyers for Meng Wanzhou characterized the extradition of their client as a “bargaining chip” for the United States.

Both characterizations seem amply justified by the surrounding circumstances. All three of the detainees should be released. The sooner, the better.

Peter Love Toronto

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Sports and politics

Re Politicizing The Beijing Olympics Won’t Help The West Achieve Its Goals (Opinion, Feb. 27): I believe contributor Jeffrey Reeves’s argument, that we should go to Beijing in 2022 and not “politicize” the Olympics, contains a fatal flaw: the belief that the Olympics themselves are apolitical. Does he not think that China sees these Olympics as a glorious propaganda opportunity, a chance to put all those nasty stories about Hong Kong and Uyghurs behind it?

The key question should be this: Is participating in the 2022 Olympics silent complicity in what Parliament has named a genocide? Not an easy question, but one that has to be faced.

Christopher White Whitby, Ont.

There is another option for the Beijing Olympics: Have countries participate in the athletics but not the opening and closing ceremonies. This would clearly put China’s egregious actions front and centre on the world stage.

Yes, the Beijing Olympics would be held – but not on China’s terms.

Simon Rosenblum Toronto

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The 1936 Berlin Olympics were attended by 49 countries, more than any previous Olympics, and boycotted by none (although there were individuals who refused to go). The event was largely seen to be a great propaganda success for Germany. One might therefore suggest that those games were an example of precisely the opposite of what contributor Jeffrey Reeves argues: how failure to boycott an Olympics can sustain and support policy in the host country.

As to what lessons can be learned from boycotts that did occur, the most obvious one is the near-certainty of a tit-for-tat response by China and its allies – just as the Soviet Union and its allies did with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics – the next time a Beijing-boycotting country plays host to the event.

Keith Alverson Osaka, Japan

Power out

Re How Manitoba And B.C.’s Leaders Let Their Hydro Fiascos Runneth Over (March 4): How painful to read about centralized hydrogeneration plants running over budget and late because of bureaucratic inertia, self-interest and political ego.

Ontario (a planned nuclear retrofit in Pickering), Newfoundland and Labrador (Muskrat Falls) and Quebec (Romaine River) should be added to the list, but then the headline would have been as long as the column.

So much repeated waste! The alternative of distributed renewable power generation, with intelligent grid control and serious conservation measures, is being implemented around the world cheaper, faster and in plain sight. Canadian provinces seem fixated on hardening our electricity system around outdated centralized models from the 1950s.

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The alternatives are cheaper and obvious to many people, but would require regulations that actively promote a different thinking. And most importantly, politicians should have the guts to stand up to Crown corporations and power utilities.

Dick Bakker President, CoEnergy Ontario Co-operative; Ottawa


Re Dead End (Opinion, Feb. 27): Contributor Nick Dall’s fascinating look at the scurrilous Sir George Yonge leads me to think a renaming of Yonge Street in Ontario may be in order. How about its beautifully evocative Indigenous name, Carrying Place Trail? This would be much more appropriate than Yonge’s sobriquet of “Lofty Twaddler.”

Larry Foy Thornbury, Ont.

Doing the work

Re Advocacy Work Imperils Black Judge’s Career (Feb. 27): I do not see any conflict between being a judge and working to better the system, as Justice Donald McLeod has done. The justice system seems in serious need of repair.

Judges are on the front lines. Every day, they see injustice owing to wrongheaded laws or flaws in the system. They should be free to point out deficiencies without being dragged before a tribunal and sidelined from their work for years.

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We should have more judges, lawyers and politicians who judge others, to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. Why is that so hard to understand? Why do we have to punish Justice McLeod because he spoke up for injustice?

Let us hope the judicial panel will agree with him that, as a Black judge, he doesn’t “have the luxury of just being a judge.”

Donald Granatstein QC, LLM; Toronto

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