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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to speakers appearing by video during a news conference in Ottawa on May 4, 2021.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Another one

Re Ottawa Won’t Take A Stand On Waiving Vaccine Patents (May 7): I thought immediate support on the vaccine patent issue would be a no-brainer.

I will add this to my rapidly expanding list of Trudeau leadership disappointments that already includes: clean water for First Nations moved back another five years; handgun policy handed to Canadian mayors; yet another federal review of sexual abuse in the Canadian Armed Forces.

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My support of the federal Liberals is quickly waning.

John Pringle Victoria

On the front line

Re Nurses At The Breaking Point (Opinion, May 1): Thanks to columnist Elizabeth Renzetti for her raw and insightful look at the work life of nurses today.

In 2019, I retired after 44 years of front-line nursing. During my practice, I experienced at least two episodes of “burnout,” but none came close to the stressful situations nurses are enduring through this pandemic.

It should be (over) time for institutions and society to acknowledge the working conditions of this honourable profession. To all the nurses, my thanks.

Remember, as I did on the darkest days of my career, that there is always one reason to stay in nursing: the next patient.

Catherine Dzus Windsor, Ont.

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Re The Dark Side Of Canada’s Shift To Corporate-driven Health Care (Opinion, May 1): Relational continuity with a most responsible family doctor, nurse practitioner and primary care team has been consistently shown to enhance patient and provider satisfaction, improve patient safety, reduce unnecessary emergency visits and hospitalizations and improve efficiency.

Governments should invest in the infrastructure necessary to support continuity and work with providers and the public to address access issues. Virtual care is a tool best positioned in the context of an existing relationship with a health care professional.

Francine Lemire CM; executive director and CEO, College of Family Physicians of Canada; Mississauga

Is this the real life?

Re Don’t Call It A Bubble (Report on Business, May 1): Our two-class system of housing (owners and everyone else) looks untenable and needs more than tinkering at the edges; as the former CEO of CreateTO, Toronto’s real estate arm with a mandate including the delivery of affordable housing, I know that of which I speak.

Municipal governments are not delivering the affordable housing needed to reverse the current crisis. The system is congealed with interminable delays and bureaucracy, even for affordable housing.

This is not a federal problem – tinkering with down payments and mortgage qualification rules would not address root causes. This is not a provincial problem – although minister’s zoning orders in Ontario are attempts to address this issue (and should deserve our applause).

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In the end, we should move the blockers out of the way, take the slings and arrows of local ratepayers and get on with creating more supply by the private sector.

Brian Johnston Toronto


Re ‘How Is This Legal?’ (Report on Business, May 4): A house in my area had two bids, both well above “asking” price. After bids were received, another one came indicating that the buyer would give $5,000 above the highest submission. How can this be fair to all concerned?

In Australia, people stand around and bid with all in the open. Our current system should be completely overhauled.

Robert Morrow Ancaster, Ont.


A solution could be the system used in the French real estate market.

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When a property is listed for sale with an agent, an asking price is set. Anyone is free to make a low-ball offer. But an offer for the full asking price must be accepted. If a seller refuses it, they must pay their agent full commission as if the sale occurred.

Generally, sellers soon learn if they are asking too much and either lower the price or (in a very French way) dig in and wait years for a sucker to come along. The advantage is that this process is totally fair to buyers, and both sellers and agents also have assurances that a sale will happen – fairly.

Timothy Bond Toronto


I can’t help but think that it is mostly in North America that people seem entitled to a single detached home. In Europe and elsewhere, people seem more used to living in flats, apartments, condos and attached row homes (which is likely a function of less space and greater population).

Maybe that’s what’s coming for Canada, which may not be a bad thing in the long run, particularly from the viewpoint of disposable income and the environment.

Nick Beveridge Burlington, Ont.

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Re Can’t Afford A House? It’s Likely Not Your Fault (Report on Business, May 4): I am a senior with a son who is in the unfortunate position of not being able to afford a detached home. My son is well educated, has a good job and has always been very responsible with finances, as has his partner.

After doing the number-crunching, and despite a good down payment, an $800,000 mortgage is just not possible for them. I wished I could help, but I can’t.

I will send this article to my son and hope that it gives him a bit of comfort, too.

Josey Fisher Vancouver

Lucky stars

Re Finding Home In Canada (Opinion, May 1): Former Syrian refugee Hassan Al Kontar’s essay was a necessary reminder of how much we take for granted, as well as an opportunity for an act of intentional gratitude that experts say are so good for us.

The accident of birth is everything. Too often we imagine that our privilege is earned and deserved, rather than dumb luck. Newly born we won the lottery, but foolishly delude ourselves that we are entitled.

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One consequence of this is a moral obligation to share our good fortune.

Brian Green Thunder Bay

Big drawback

Re Realities Of Rural Life (Arts & Pursuits, May 1): One big reality is not being near a big-city hospital with its services and amenities. The thought of a three-hour drive in case of an emergency (longer in bad cottage-country weather) should be big disincentive to turn a weekend retreat into a permanent home for many people, including this writer.

Michael Younder Toronto

Read this

Re Why Reading Matters (Books, May 1): Set the example! Children learn more from what they see than what they are told to do.

So, come home with bundles of books. Put down the screen and read. And read. And read. And reap the rewards.

Frank Samuels Toronto


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