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A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary on April 22, 2021.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

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Pandemic notes

Re Ontario Halts AstraZeneca Shots On New Clotting Data (May 12): School, work, leisure, family time and exercise in Britain are returning to normal, and the economy will roar to life. The AstraZeneca vaccine did that, and it looks great to me.

The adverse effects of this vaccine seem vastly outweighed by the benefits. Can we get life moving in Canada before another virus mutation outflanks us?

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Horatio Nelson said: “If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting.”

Mike Firth Toronto


Re Volunteers Step Up To Find Albertans Jabs (May 10): The photograph of two women with their cellphones, helping Albertans find vaccine appointments, was riveting. All across Canada there are individuals like this who have figured it out.

But wait: Didn’t provincial governments know that vaccine procurement would be stop and go, that different players would be involved with vaccinations, that there would be different vaccines with varying storage requirements? I don’t get it. We pay folks in government to organize and administer, but it takes two women here in Alberta to actually pull it off.

While there is nothing wrong with this picture, there is something wrong with this picture.

Cathy Harrop Canmore, Alta.

Lack of care

Re Needless Pause On Cancer Care Is A Microcosm Of Ontario’s Flawed COVID-19 Response (May 11): My wife, Lesley, died in March. She was a patient at a breast cancer clinic where she had a lumpectomy.

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Lesley was prescribed chemotherapy pills as she could not be seen at the clinic. She was yet another victim of the pandemic, as she could not get additional care from the hospital’s oncology unit. Plain and simple.

Being poor, I needed the help of a social worker to have Lesley transported to a crematorium, then the funeral home, then back to our apartment. I received a condolence card from the hospital. A nice gesture, but it wasn’t medical care.

Charles Case Stoodley Toronto

In other words

Re OPP Reviewing Request For Criminal Probe Into Ontario Nursing Homes (May 11): Let’s cut the euphemisms. Death from “food and water challenges” or “dehydration or malnutrition” means that dozens of long-term care residents died of thirst or hunger. This is wrong, isn’t it?

If a neighbour did such, as opposed to a corporation, that person would likely be in jail, tout de suite. Lots of people contributed to this situation and they should be held accountable.

Walter Wilmot Ottawa

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Ryerson frustration

Re As An Indigenous Professor, Egerton Ryerson’s Name Haunts Me (May 11): I am an Indian professor who came to Canada for a senior position at Ryerson University. Only many years later did I learn about Egerton Ryerson. I was shocked that there could be such injustice and that this was recent history.

Contributor Anne Spice writes that Ryerson’s name haunts Indigenous faculty, students and staff. I believe we are all in solidarity: all of the Ryerson family, and the wider city and community in which we exist – and, I hope, any fair-minded person today.

Abhay Sharma PhD, school of graphic communications management, Ryerson University; Toronto

Is there nothing good for which Egerton Ryerson can be remembered? Rather than eliminate him with an X, it would be far better to celebrate the historic irony that contributor Anne Spice, her mother and many others have succeeded where Ryerson stated they could not.

Bob Story Kingston


As a proud Ryerson alum, I’ve carefully followed the recent years of coverage around Egerton Ryerson’s legacy. I find that the status quo is not an option.

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My suggestion is a new memorial near the current Ryerson statue that would commemorate all those affected by Canada’s residential school shame – with acknowledgment as well for Ryerson’s work to create government-funded schools for all Ontarians. Showing history in all its agonizing perplexity would be a fine way for the university to move forward.

In terms of a new name, it’s clear to me from watching the evolution of this institution that no better moniker fits than City University.

Julian Reid Toronto

Identity and intent

Re ‘All I Can Do Is Speak My Truth’: Filmmaker Michelle Latimer Breaks Her Silence After Indigenous Ancestry Controversy (May 11): While I was growing up in Western New York, I heard the family story that there were Indigenous people in our ancestry. It seemed unlikely to me – we were as white as white could be – but my grandmother insisted.

I thought about this family mythology when the story first broke about Michelle Latimer. I had the same thoughts when I read this interview. Without drawing any conclusions about Ms. Latimer’s Indigeneity, I was struck again by the outrage of her accusers.

No one said, “She made an understandable mistake.” It was all “fraud” and “cheat.” Her work was abandoned by the CBC, including Trickster, and future projects postponed or cancelled. And this to someone who, even if not Indigenous, was a friend, defender and ally, a presenter of sympathetic, truthful portraits of Indigenous Canadians.

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That feels so sad.

Jack Kirchhoff Toronto


I see that Michelle Latimer manifests “root ancestor fallacy” or what might also be termed “random ancestor theory.” It is the conviction that even remote Indigenous ancestry in the past invests one’s self with Indigenous identity and insights in the present. I believe this false.

One is either a status Indian and registered band member, or they are not.

John Moses Delaware and Upper Mohawk bands, Six Nations of the Grand River, Ont.

Into the wild

Re Where The Wild Things Are (Letters, May 12): Being born in Tanzania and having travelled through East Africa, I say that hunting in most African countries requires neither skill nor patience. All the commitment needed for a “proper” hunt, contrary to what a letter-writer alludes to, seems to be money.

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I doubt that hunting’s role in human origin includes a flight halfway around the world, where a guide takes tourists to a place that will likely guarantee a successful hunt while chefs, cleaners and other staff provide a safe and luxurious five-star experience.

Having seen these magnificent lions in the wild, I can only imagine that so-called hunters are compensating for personal inadequacies with trophies and big guns.

Karim Fazal Oakville, Ont.


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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