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Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Toronto on March 12, 2021.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

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The pandemic

Re Should Canada Ditch AstraZeneca? (May 11): Three weeks ago, I received the AstraZeneca vaccine. I did this with great hesitancy as I, like many, had been reading about potentially fatal clots. Yet I went ahead and got my jab. Why? Because my government told me to.

Now, can anyone imagine how it feels to receive a vaccine that the government no longer believes is safe enough? I believe the rollout was politicized to save face as Canada lags far behind other developed countries in vaccination. I have always trusted my government. This trust has been completely eroded.

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Yamini Ramamoorthy Toronto

Re Overlap Between Lockdown Agitators And Hate Groups Is A Threat To Us All (May 17): One protester I saw in west Toronto claimed that lockdowns are a communist conspiracy brought to us by Costco. “Vaccine hesitancy also tracks closely with being disinformed,” and I’m afraid these people are open to believing just about anything.

Doug Paul Toronto

Re Nurses Frustrated By Doctors’ Higher Pay Rate At Vaccine Clinics (May 13): Administering a vaccine is a simple process. People should be compensated according to how much this procedure is worth, not how much education they have. People who have many years of training and want doctors’ wages should be off doing doctors’ things.

This pandemic is a form of war – we can’t have people trying to profit from it.

James Lindsay Nanaimo, B.C.

Re Sound Science (Letters, May 17): I completely disagree with a letter-writer who asserts that Dr. Theresa Tam and others are incorrect to claim that science “evolves,” citing the example of Newton’s apple. The falling apple is not in and of itself “science” – it is an observed phenomenon.

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Science is the process of systematic application of observation and experimentation to increase knowledge of a particular subject. The more scientists know, the further science can be said to evolve or progress.

Just like other types of knowledge, science is never complete.

James Neville RPBio, Vancouver

Shine a light

Re ‘Sunshine Lists’ Help Fix Gender Gap, But Ottawa Won’t Commit To One (May 17): Having worked in the private sector, municipal government and federal government, I find that sunshine lists are irrelevant and potentially harmful.

They provide limited information that is perhaps titillating for neighbours, friends and co-workers. But it results in upward pressure on salaries as people and unions push for “equity.”

Since no politician has been courageous enough to increase the $100,000 floor, sunshine lists now seem totally useless. They are hundreds of pages long, with the vast majority of names being regular folks such as bus drivers, police officers and firefighters. These lists were supposed to provide exception reporting for high-income earners.

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One question to those who think sunshine lists are a good idea: Would they want their salaries made public knowledge, available to all their friends, neighbours and even their critics? What useful purpose does that serve?

Robert Hertzog Ottawa

Why don’t we open the curtains all the way and require every workplace in Canada with more than 100 employees to publish an annual sunshine list? The juniors in human resources should be able to compile it in a day or two.

This might provide a small but significant boost for millions of Canadian workers disadvantaged by years of management secrecy and supremacy.

Stephen Gauer Toronto

Wide berth

Re Changing Lanes (Letters, May 17): A letter-writer argues that the Bank of Canada Governor should stick to economics and not venture into social commentary. I think that approach has led to the mythology that there is such a thing as neutral economic policy that doesn’t pick winners and losers. Since most policy favours those who have assets, I was delighted to hear Tiff Macklem’s social inequity comment.

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I was even more pleased that the letter-writer suggested Mr. Macklem should “stick to the knitting.” It’s a terrific image to give us all hope, at least those of us who grew up with mothers and grandmothers with knitting skills that rescued or extended the life of many cherished garments.

Knitters have been fixers and savers for generations. That approach to our broken economy would be a blessing.

Dianne Cooper Winnipeg

The Bank of Canada’s original remit included promotion of full employment, an idea deplored by many of today’s monetarists but perhaps one overdue for refurbishing. Tiff Macklem merely points out that recovery will not be probable unless growing inequality is alleviated, a welcome perspective coming from a paragon of the financial establishment.

There is indeed a distinction between fiscal and monetary policies, but they should not be sealed in airtight silos.

Brian Shackleton Ottawa

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How does it feel?

Re Hydro-Québec Denounces CPPIB Over Objection To Power Line (Report on Business, May 17): Hydro-Québec is understandably frustrated by Calpine’s efforts to delay its environmentally friendly line into Maine. Perhaps Quebeckers will better understand Alberta’s frustration at their resistance to a pipeline to New Brunswick refineries, which ensures continued imports of Saudi oil shipped down the St. Lawrence River.

Allan Jackson Calgary

Welcome arms

Re As Beijing Tightens Its Grip, Hong Kong Becomes A Fading Attraction (May 14): Hongkongers who believe in freedom and democracy now face unprecedented persecution. Britain, Australia and Germany have expedited immigration programs for them, but I find Canada’s response has been inadequate – and time is running out.

For decades, first- and second-generation Hong Kong immigrants have made huge contributions to Canadian society. Those who stand up to China’s oppression share our values: freedom of speech, democracy and the rule of law. Many would love to become Canadians.

Our government should seize this opportunity with a bold humanitarian gesture to boost our human capital and help build our country.

Ed Komsky Thornhill, Ont.

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Re Scientists Say Bamboo Cricket Bats Better Than Willow Ones (May 13): Earlier attempts at aluminum cricket bats failed because the tinny clank produced when striking the ball was offensive to the educated ear (it was an Australian idea, note). Aluminum also could not simulate the unique sound of a willow-bat-on-ball, which is essential to the cricket-watching experience.

I suspect that bamboo similarly cannot reproduce that sound, which is much more important than the mechanical properties of some bastardized laminate. Harumph.

A. S. Brown Kingston

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