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Protesters march during a demonstration against measures taken by public health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the west-bound lane of Dundas Street, holding up traffic, in Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Evan BuhlerEvan Buhler/The Canadian Press

Inbound inconvenience

Re Ottawa Announces Vaccine Mandates For Air, Rail Travel (Oct. 7): The government has recognized that domestic travellers must be vaccinated; a negative test result will not suffice. Canadians can enter many foreign countries – in Europe in particular – with proof of vaccination and without a negative test result. Why, then, must vaccinated Canadians returning to Canada still undergo testing before boarding overseas, then complete the rather pointless ArriveCAN app?

Both those requirements can, and often do, create timing and logistical difficulties that cause vaccinated Canadians to miss their flights and incur needless expenses. As with other government regulations that can cause grief to law-abiding, responsible and health-conscious Canadians, I detect the influence of misguided politics.

J. David Murphy Barrie, Ont.

In a word

Re Trudeau Should Feel More Than ‘Regret’ (Oct. 8): Was Justin Trudeau’s failure to attend events on Sept. 30 tone-deaf and a political mistake? Absolutely. But on the other hand, his attendance would have been symbolic, and I have grown cynical of politicians making empty symbolic gestures.

He should admit the mistake, but more importantly we should judge the accomplishments. For all its shortcomings and allowing that there is far to go, this government has done better so far than any other, and appears to be sincerely committed to addressing the issue.

William Love Burlington, Ont.

Columnist Tanya Talaga writes that Justin Trudeau should have used a stronger word than “regret.” Meanwhile, columnist Konrad Yakabuski is critical of François Legault for not acknowledging the existence of “systemic racism” in Quebec – for many, no other description will do (Power Has Gone To François Legault’s Head – Oct. 8).

Is this right practice? Is it fair for one person to debar another person of using a certain term, or to enforce upon someone else a term to the exclusion of any other? It doesn’t seem right to me.

Jim Taylor Lethbridge, Alta.

Another one

Re Trudeau And Trump Will Likely Run Again (Oct. 7): While columnist Lawrence Martin’s analysis that hubris will drive Justin Trudeau to run again is likely accurate, his supporting claim that there is no heir apparent raises questions for me.

What about the Deputy Prime Minister? What of the Finance Minister? Oh yes, one and the same and doing the heavy lifting: Chrystia Freeland.

I would say hubris is calling an unnecessary election, but skipping out on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a combination of callous and clueless, for which an apology feels insufficient. Maybe it is time for the party to abandon hubris at the helm for someone with more competency and compassion in the top job.

Perhaps a woman?

Ricarda McFalls Ottawa

There is one constitutional detail: U.S. presidents are limited to two terms.

Immediately following the 2020 election, Donald Trump announced his second mandate victory. Since then, and as part of almost every public pronouncement, he continues to assert he is the duly elected president of the United States.

James Hunter Toronto

Get out

Re Canadian Miners Pursue Prospects In War-torn Tigray (Report on Business, Oct. 4): It is alarming to see that both Canadian miners and the government are financially involved in Ethiopia, where allegations of massacres, famine, starvation, brutality, human-rights abuses and suspected genocide are rampant. The Ethiopian government needs funds to support its continuing war, and revenue from mining operations helps answer this demand.

Investments should not be tolerated when there is significant risk that benefits will contribute to human-rights violations and harm to populations. Since 2007, the National Council of Women of Canada has urged the government to ensure that mining companies registered in Canada be required to follow the same social and environmental standards in their operations outside Canada as are obligatory here.

Instead of financially supporting these atrocities, we urge the government to sanction these mining companies and lead in mounting international dialogue to mitigate these egregious events. Canada’s reputation is at stake.

Patricia Leson, President, NCWC Ottawa

Paper trail

Re Will The Pandora Papers Lead To A Crackdown On Tax Havens? (Oct. 8): The answer is right in the article: “The data dive exposed the ‘financial secrets of 35 current and former world leaders, more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories and a global lineup of fugitives, con artists and murderers.’ ” With that kind of firepower, we can rest assured nothing will change, except perhaps efforts to better secure all these dirty secrets.

Jim Duholke North Vancouver

Parking pass

Re But What About My Free Parking? (Editorial, Oct. 8): That Vancouver city council only narrowly defeated the proposed fee for on-street parking reflects poorly on the efforts of councillors to reduce vehicle emissions and attack the pace of climate change.

The proposed $45-a-year fee, much less than one tank of gas, would not inhibit car ownership. As a one-time charge, it would do nothing to reduce car use. It would be an ineffective use of taxing authority.

Effective policy should be directed at the emissions from car use. A small annual fee for parking on city streets should not be the way to go.

Trevor Heaver Vancouver

Doggone it

Re My First Experience Talking To A COVID-19 Conspiracy Theorist (First Person, Oct. 5): My experience happened while walking my dog. After doing what all doting dog people do (talk about our canine companions), a seemingly sociable man morphed into someone belligerent who spouted unfounded theories.

I tend to hold out hope that information can bring most people to reason. Out of my quiver I pulled the arrow Polio. But at 52, he had no experience of the mass vaccination effort that brought the disease to heel.

My next arrow was insulin: not a vaccine, but I explained that children with Type 1 diabetes would otherwise be dead from the disease or starving from a brutal diet.

I had one arrow left: Smallpox’s eradication in 1980. But I gave up.

As I walked away, he flung this at my back: “In two to five years, you will be dead!”

It took self-control not to retort: “In light of my 75 years, that is entirely possible. But it won’t be from COVID.”

Sandy Blazier Mississauga

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