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Drake performs onstage in Toronto on Oct. 8, 2016, left, and The Weeknd performs during the halftime show of Super Bowl 55 on Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.

The Associated Press

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Are we okay?

Re Welcome To AstraZenecaland! (Opinion, May 15): While I sympathize with those alarmed by the changing status of the AstraZeneca vaccine, I am not concerned with its safety nor the government decision to change its use.

A key goal of the vaccine campaign is achieving 75-per-cent uptake for herd immunity. If the first challenge was acquiring a supply of safe and effective vaccines, the second is addressing vaccine hesitancy. It is driven not as much by scientific assessment of risk, but rather public perception of it.

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While the AZ vaccine is remarkably safe, public anxiety can increase vaccine hesitancy. Since herd immunity can lead to a successful reopening, managing the factors that drive hesitancy, in particular public perception, should be critical to that success.

Keep rolling up our sleeves, Canada!

Brian Stowe Pharmacist, Ottawa

Re The Silent Pandemic (Opinion, May 15): Globe pollster Nik Nanos asks, “With vaccines rolling out and economic turnaround full steam ahead, why are Canadians so grumpy?” Rick Hanson, a psychologist and author, provides an answer.

Dr. Hanson says that humans have three needs. The first is safety: Who can feel safe with people getting ill and dying all around us? The second is emotional connection: I haven’t seen my Toronto kids in six months or hugged a friend in a year. The third is satisfaction from experiences or achievements: We still cannot travel, attend theatre or visit the gym.

We’re missing what every person needs!

Peter Black Ottawa

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Quebec’s quest

Re Quebec’s Anglophones Are Targets Again – And No One Is Coming To Their Rescue (May 19): I’ve seen none of the foretold horrors of Quebec language laws come to pass. One can live, work, study, use government services and be treated in a world-class hospital in English, especially in Montreal, but also elsewhere. It is not possible to do the same in French outside of Quebec.

The future of French seems to depend less on government legislation and more on the determination of Quebeckers to use French as much as possible, while at the same time mastering English for use in business dealings outside the province and with visitors.

Raymond Vles Montreal

By coincidence, I have been reading John Ralston Saul’s biography of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin. In contrast to the leadership of the two men described in the book, I am struck by the pettiness and short-term political views of today’s leaders in Quebec and Ottawa.

During the 1840s in Upper and Lower Canada, extraordinary efforts to find workable compromises on language and political issues were foundational to the creation of our unique and successful country. We sorely need Baldwins and LaFontaines for the 21st century, with vision, principles and sincere interests in finding co-operative and collaborative solutions.

Robert Robinson Beaconsfield, Que.

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Cancon considerations

Re Five Lessons From A Legend: Kardinal Offishall (Arts & Pursuits, May 15): Kardinal Offishall makes a great point: Canadian artists are often not celebrated here till they’re famous in the United States, as was the case for Drake. Fellow Canadians: Believe in our nation’s talent.

We have so much that’s outstanding. Why not embrace it before the rest of the world tells us to?

Paul Salvatori Toronto

Re The Deeper Roots Of C-10, In The Thickets Of Cultural Nationalism (Opinion, May 15): Putting political motivations aside, and even with the whiff of autocracy in the air, should Canadians be nudged to consume Canadian content? Absolutely.

Our subtle but profound differences – gun control, universal health care, niceness, hockey, poutine – mark us as distinct. So does it follow that Alanis Morissette, the Weeknd, Margaret Atwood, Eugene Levy, Bryan Adams, Emily Carr, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Drake are also responsible for our culture, and should therefore be uniquely promoted? My answer is, weirdly, yes.

I’m not sure there is a straight line between U.S. broadcast entertainment and American society, but they’re certainly linked.

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Nigel Smith Toronto

Canadian content

Re Why ‘Canadian’ Shouldn’t Be An Option On The Census (Opinion, May 15): I helped my grandmother complete the census. She identified as “Canadian.”

She immigrated to Canada from China in 1958 to escape the rise of communism. She has called Canada home most of her life. Although she wasn’t born here and doesn’t speak much English, she certainly does not consider herself “Chinese.” She has proudly identified as Canadian for 63 years and couldn’t imagine being anything else.

Even though my great-grandfather paid the Chinese head tax and experienced instances of racism, my family has always felt welcomed and grateful to live in this country. Like my grandmother, I identified as “Canadian” on the census. It is the only identity I’ve ever known. It should be imperative to keep it on the census, so that everyone can be represented and included.

Bryanna Lee Toronto

Big ideas

Re The Costs Of Consumption (Opinion, May 15) and ‘It’s Getting Worse And Worse’ (Report on Business, May 17): I live in a fairly high-density neighbourhood where in-fills occur often.

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Most in-fills are two or even three times larger than the more-than-adequate house that was demolished, to house a family probably half the size of the one who lived there comfortably a generation ago. Builders are chasing an ideal of the “perfect home,” with all possible extras to make it stunning and something to show off. They are probably taking advice from an architect or real estate agent who recommends a house as large as possible, to grow an already large investment that is free of capital gains tax.

I am not thinking of extreme alternatives such as “tiny homes,” but just a certain amount of moderation and restraint.

Darwin Anderson Saskatoon

The photo of a 2,600-square-foot house under construction says it all. There is a whole forest being used to build it.

I grew up in a modest suburban house built, for the most part, of brick and concrete blocks. Timber was used for the roof rafters and deck, floor joists and subfloor and interior partitions. Now, the average new house is twice the size and built entirely of wood, with any bricks added as decorative veneer.

As the shortage of forest products continues to hamper new home construction, perhaps we should again build smaller homes with easily obtainable materials.

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Jim Reynolds Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

To paraphrase Shakespeare: “All the world’s a store, and all the men and women merely shoppers.”

Tim Jeffery Toronto

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