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Marie Henein near The Globe and Mail offices in Toronto on Sept. 24.Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

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Fear and understanding

Re Let’s Try To Understand Vaccine-hesitant Health Care Workers (Nov. 12): Health care workers’ knowledge of medicinal failures, such as thalidomide and OxyContin, may factually justify their fears. Fine. But understanding would be incomplete while action is still required to treat a pandemic, where vaccination is the only realistic mass solution with a low probability of risk.

Consequently, subjective fears should not be a relevant criteria when the objective reality of a deadly pandemic is at play. If patients seeking health care are forced to put themselves in harm’s way, then I believe they are being knowingly sacrificed to the misunderstanding of medical reality by some health care workers.

I cannot morally or medically justify such a trade-off. Fear is understandable, but vaccination mandates should be an operational necessity.

Tony D’Andrea Toronto

Critical bona fides

Re Poilievre’s Reappointment Is A Red Flag (Nov. 11): I think Pierre Poilievre is a good finance critic. He works hard to inform the public of the dire straits from a pattern of overspending by this government, particularly for working-class Canadians.

The Liberals have never met promises to reduce spending. An informed person should be reminding the public of the possible dangers.

Remember the fiscal debacle of the early 1980s, when Pierre Trudeau was prime minister and interest rates rose to over 20 per cent? A huge increase in unemployment and people losing homes was the result.

Justin Trudeau has stated that he doesn’t look at monetary policy. That is scary to me.

Anne Robinson Toronto

I think Pierre Poilievre has failed to show any signs of maturing, his comments about the Bank of Canada being the latest example. Instead of thoughtful arguments and reasoned policy options, Mr. Poilievre often offers hyperpartisanship, sound bites and Twitter posts.

None of this gives me any reason to take him seriously, much less take the Conservatives seriously as a governing alternative.

Michael Kaczorowski Ottawa

Book marked

Re Toronto School Board Rejects Marie Henein Book Club Event (Nov. 12): I’m convinced that the stability of a nation rests on the incorruptibility of its judicial system and, presently, that system’s greatest enemy is social media, where people can be condemned on rumour. Worse, judgments passed down after lengthy legal review can be lambasted and second-guessed.

By rejecting Marie Henein’s book, I believe the Toronto District School Board is reinforcing judgment by social media. Everyone in Canada should read her section entitled “Middles” for lessons on the legal system.

Ms. Henein should be sought out to discuss the law with teenagers, rather than being prevented from doing so.

Bruce Sutherland Lt.-Col. (Ret’d); Calgary

As a survivor of sexual abuse, I side with the Toronto District School Board’s choice to pull support from Marie Henein’s presentation to a book club of impressionable high-school girls. No “miscommunication” – this is a form of censorship, one I fully support.

Jian Ghomeshi’s trial is often presented as the nascence of the #MeToo movement. Sadly, I feel that his accusers found themselves on trial instead. In taking on his case then, there should be karma for Ms. Henein now.

Speaking on her life and immigrant experience, I have no doubt that Mr. Ghomeshi’s case would come into discussion. Under the guise of a noble profession, such a career-making case should forfeit access to a moralizing pulpit, particularly in retrospect and with such an impressionable audience in question.

#MeToo has evolved – the legal profession seems to have some ways to go.

Marian Kingsmill Hamilton

What a shame that these girls do not get an opportunity to see an example of an immigrant beating all odds in the male-dominated world of criminal defence and rising to legal stardom. Marie Henein is exactly who these girls should be meeting. They should understand the legal system and hear from an exemplar in the field that there is a role for them in it.

I find it short-sighted and narrow-minded of the Toronto District School Board to censor Ms. Henein. It is the board that looks to be sending the wrong message to students – not Ms. Henein.

Gilda Berger Toronto

All access

Re More Schools Trying To Tackle Anxiety, ‘Period Poverty’ By Providing Menstrual Products For Free (Nov. 9): Making menstrual supplies readily available to students at school would be an excellent move.

It is nerve-racking to have my period at school and wonder if I will have enough supplies to make it through the day. Periods can be uncertain due to the potential irregularity of menstrual cycles and factors such as stress. This causes worry over potential leaks or ruined clothes, and may interfere with education.

All schools should provide free menstrual products to prevent disruptions in female education and “level the playing field.”

Sarah Falk Woodland Christian High School; Cambridge, Ont.

From India

Re International Student Recruiting Machine (Nov. 6): The rising cost of living, exploitation by employers and landlords, surging unemployment and a devastating pandemic have amplified problems faced by international students in Canada.

Indian youth are lured by pop culture, word of mouth and glittering social media from kith and kin who have migrated to Canada. They are pessimistic about achieving their goals and providing a good lifestyle for themselves and their families at home.

Many of my friends have migrated to Canada. Now their dreams have changed because it becomes a matter of survival in a new country. Study is at the back seat. Priorities change.

What solutions can the Canadian government offer? It should lower fees to study in Canada. It should invest in foreign talent with scholarships. Accommodations at subsidized rates are also a need of the hour.

More sensitive approaches from employers and landlords would also pave way for happier employees and renters.

Jaspreet Singh Patiala, Punjab, India

Home run

Re Walk This Way (Letters, Nov. 10): From a letter-writer who slows down to 90 kilometres an hour on the way to the cottage, to another who doesn’t drive to the cottage if it’s raining, to yet another who hasn’t owned a car or ridden in one for more than 25 years, there is competition over who contributes the least to climate change.

I have them all beat: I don’t go anywhere.

T.M. Dickey Toronto

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