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The proposal to build over a vast sunken zone to create 'Rail Deck Park' was the boldest move in Toronto urbanism this year.

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Albertan gaps

Re Panel Calls For Pop-up Vaccine Clinics (May 15): Recently, I became aware of the difficulties in accessing vaccinations faced by migrant farm workers in Alberta.

There are language barriers, challenges in arranging appointments and transportation and the issue of time off to get vaccinated. Some of these workers will be leaving the country and may have missed opportunities both here and at home to get vaccinated, thereby possibly making it difficult for them to return in the future.

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There should be swift, co-ordinated action between the province, Alberta Health Services and employers to support these vaccinations. Other provinces apparently have made more progress. Mobile clinics may be the answer for Alberta’s temporary farm workers.

Mary Valentich Member, Calgary Social Workers for Social Justice

Welcome Toronto


Re Porter In Talks With Pearson, Other Airports For Jet Service (Report on Business, May 21): The high-speed train to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and the Zoom meeting revolution seem to have killed the need for Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Berlin, Chicago and Edmonton have closed city centre airports and Santa Monica, Calif., will close another in the next decade. Downtown Toronto and the southern core desperately, desperately need new parkland and green space.

The bold vision of the Rail Deck Park will likely never be built. The solution? Close Billy Bishop airport immediately and transform it into Billy Bishop park, a beautiful green space instead of a noisy, polluting airport the city may no longer need.

Let Porter Airlines fly from Pearson, where it should belong.

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Paul Alofs Toronto


Re Provincial Tribunal Rules Against Planned Rail Deck Park (May 13): Here was badly needed downtown parkland, creatively designed for 21st-century city-building, rejected by a provincially appointed board over the express wishes of the city of Toronto.

Enough is enough. We should take Toronto back and get control of its land-use planning and decision-making, whether for Rail Deck Park, the heritage foundry site or any other project that the province has decided on.

We should have a protected charter that gives the city powers over what parks it wants – or which electoral process for that matter!

Howard Green Toronto


What a shame it is that an unelected board can overrule the creative, imaginative and oh-so-welcome proposal to make a park over Toronto’s railway lands. Surely the city’s skyline is not lacking for towers, but it is lacking space for inhabitants to roam, play and breathe.

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I well recall when the proposal for what became Ontario Place was put before then-premier John Robarts. Thinking of so many apartment dwellers who have no backyards, his eyes lit up and said, in effect: “Make it happen.”

Where in government today is anyone who is open to creative ideas, understands that human scale is vital for a healthy city and can stand up and say “make it happen?”

Sadly, I hold not my breath.

Hugh Hanson Newmarket, Ont.


Re Two Metrolinx Rail-yard Plans Elicit Anger And Fears (May 15): Toronto-area transit scheming is a bad mess, and this seems another indication. Rather than bulling ahead with less-wise-to-bad projects, spending billions and further harming the Don Valley, the various governments should step back the intensities of proposals. They should review how we could do more transit for less cost, and avoid having public funds serve to subsidize developers.

For instance, why not repurpose parts of the Don Valley Parkway for robust transit? Squeezing billions in savings and improving surface-level transit options would be far more in the public interest (but might limit car space). Some of that savings absolutely should go to storage for trains – but not in the Don Valley.

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Hamish Wilson Toronto

Energetic reply

Re Higher Energy Efficiency Rules For Appliances Could Raise Costs, Industry Group Says (Online, May 19): From the perspective of our research and advocacy group, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers’ questioning of more efficient appliance standards needlessly delays climate action and cost savings for Canadians.

The federal government plans to regulate appliances based on 2019 Energy Star performance levels. Energy Star is a global standard, with lots of product models currently available on the market.

In the United States, Joe Biden is expected to adopt even higher standards to meet climate goals. However, progress had stalled under Donald Trump. This means Canada will lock itself into lagging energy efficiency levels if it waits for the U.S. to make changes.

There should be no delay. By using an Energy Star benchmark, Canada would align with the North American market. We would see more energy-efficient product models and be further ahead in reducing pollution and Canadian energy bills.

Brendan Haley Policy director, Efficiency Canada; Ottawa

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Multiplicity

Re Nothing Left (Letters, May 12): I don’t want to get on my high horse, but let me sit on my small pony as I remind readers that there are several Elizabeth Hays in Ottawa.

I’m the author who goes by Elizabeth Hay, even if I would rather go by Ingrid Bergman. There is also the ex-broadcaster Elizabeth Hay. I used to be a broadcaster myself and the two of us were confused with each other all the time. Then there is the prolific letter-writer Elizabeth Hay.

Most recently, she opined that she would like to slap anyone who refused to get a vaccination. As a result, I’ve had numerous e-mails either congratulating me on my gimlet-eyed views or upbraiding me for wishing violence upon my fellow Canadians.

Would the letter-writing Elizabeth Hay consider adding a middle initial to her name, thereby sparing her fellow namesakes from the burden of being mistaken for her?

Either that or it’s duelling pistols at dawn.

Elizabeth Hay Ottawa

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