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People wear face masks as they line up at a food truck in the Old Port in Montreal on May 9, 2021.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

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Do the waive

Re Ottawa Won’t Take A Stand On Waiving Vaccine Patents (May 7): When is our government going to stand up for what is right? We seem afraid of China, and now we are afraid of “angering drug companies” too?

Shirley Williams Hamilton

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Does anyone really think that waiving patent rights will help end this pandemic? It would only ensure that the companies risking everything to develop successful vaccines, in record time, may not exist or have no incentive to do the same for the next pandemic.

Don Hames Sarnia, Ont.


While a waiver will clearly not be a silver bullet, how can countries like Canada and members of the European Union stand on the sidelines and withhold approval, which is required under World Trade Organization rules?

If the situation was less arcane, say a swimmer about to drown, would we deny them a life vest?

Jean-Francois Tardif Gatineau, Que.

Different strokes

Re Pandemic Responses Reveal The U.S. And Canada’s Growing Differences (May 6): Columnist Lawrence Martin points out that the U.S. response to the pandemic is afflicted by partisanship. Fair enough. But in the land of “peace, order and good government,” or at least here in Ontario, our pandemic response seems afflicted even worse by the disease of complacency.

Paul Adam Toronto

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Orange crush

Re The NDP Must Recommit To Jack Layton’s Project (May 4): Fair or not, it was my perception of Jack Layton’s performance over the elections of 2006, 2008, and 2011 that turned me from a lifelong NDP supporter into a Liberal voter.

Mr. Layton’s answer to contributor Brad Lavigne’s question – “Is it content to be the conscience of Parliament, or does it want to win?” – was to campaign as strongly against the Liberals as against Stephen Harper. The result of disuniting the left was nearly 10 years of Conservative governments.

Constructive politics should involve compromise. As a left-leaning voter, I have much in common with voters to the centre. Without intending to, Mr. Lavigne has reinforced my earlier decision to switch my support from the NDP to the Liberals.

Geoff Rowe Ottawa


The NDP is Canada’s third political party – that’s its traditional job, the conscience of Parliament. The party shouldn’t be about winning or forming government.

Every party plays a role. But when a party chooses a riskier direction, it could lose everything, including splintering its members. Bloom where one is planted, but if one isn’t a rose, don’t try to become a rose.

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Without the social conscience and decent societal morals of the NDP, Parliament would be much worse off.

Douglas Cornish Ottawa


We New Democrats would love to win a federal election. At the same time, the essence of the party is achieving real equity for Canadians, not winning power for its own sake. Jack Layton’s Orange Wave was unclear on its relationship to Quebec nationalists.

Imagine that the party had won the 2015 election running on Tom Mulcair’s centrist platform with a balanced budget, while the Liberals promised increased social spending. What would we really have won?

Faye Chisholm Vancouver

Division of labour

Re Environmental Concerns Spur Ottawa To Consider Highway 413 Assessment (May 3): The federal government’s intervention into Ontario’s Highway 413 project would be an awful example of federal overreach and interference in the provincial domain.

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I wonder what Ottawa’s views would be if the Ontario Ministry of Labour conducted a workplace investigation of the Prime Minister’s Office and its handling of credible complaints of sexual harassment?

Alex Treiber Toronto

The modern age

Re Bill C-10, And Its Threat To Free Speech (Editorial, May 4): Recent amendments may have made Bill C-10 much worse, but I believe it was always a bad law.

The solution to Canada’s cultural problems should not be to pour more money into an unreformed Cancon industry, nor to denounce as public enemies the websites Canadians use every day.

This law doesn’t look like a coherent plan for improvement, but rather a futile attempt to turn the clock back to the 1980s, when audiences had no other choices.

David Arthur Cambridge, Ont.

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Off-track

Re Why CP’s Lower Bid For Kansas City Southern Could Prevail (Report on Business, May 3): I am sick and tired of the squabbles and progress of CP Rail and CN Rail to buy a U.S. railroad for billions of dollars.

If these railway companies have so much money to throw around, why don’t they invest it in high-speed railways for Canada, and repairs to the bumpy lines across the country? And reinstate passenger routes to isolated areas, especially since bus service has been eliminated in many places.

As a child of three generations of CP employees, it breaks my heart to see them act so against Canadian interests.

Patty Deline Ottawa

Just a number?

Re No Thanks (Letters, May 4): As someone who is closer to 75 than I care to admit, I have observed the to and fro of letter-writers regarding payments to seniors. Good points on both sides. However, the claim that a portion of our demographic needs this payoff, because they have average or below-average incomes, would precisely make the argument against such sweeping, ageist policy.

By all means let’s debate and resolve the issue of financially distressed citizens. Let’s not conflate that with age. One is poor or not; age, I find, has little to do with it.

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Let’s agree on the problem we are trying to solve and stick with that, shall we?

Brian Sterling Oakville, Ont.

Care bear

Re An Odd Toy Became My Son’s Lifeline (First Person, May 3): Parents can always rely on those favourite stuffies to offer our children comfort, even into adulthood.

During this time of social isolation from friends and family, Flopsy bunny and Peachy the cat found their way out of storage and into our adult daughter’s bedroom, to console a broken heart after the announcement of an extended lockdown. Sasha the bear, with the little blue romper, will soon greet her at her makeshift office desk and keep her company as she spends another day working from home, separated from colleagues.

We can depend on ageless stuffies to put a smile on our children’s faces, as well as our own, as we reminisce about happier days.

Michelle Meraw Oshawa


Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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