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Ontario nursing organizations are calling for a faster licensing process for the thousands of internationally trained nurses awaiting a decision from the profession's regulator.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

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SOS

Re Emergency Departments Are In Crisis. Supporting Nurses Is Our Immediate Priority (Aug. 5): Once again, Ontario has been caught flat-footed, overtaken by events during vacation time. People are suffering and in dire need of health care.

To the Health Minister Sylvia Jones, words from Bob Dylan: “Something is happening here / but ya’ don’t know what it is / do you,” Ms. Jones? Repeal Bill 124 and uncap nurses’ wages.

John Paul Morrison Hamilton


Re Ontario Nursing Groups Call For Faster Licensing For International Nurses (July 30): Sadly, Razan Suliman recounts a story told by hundreds of internationally educated nurses every year to our case managers.

In spite of front-line nurses and nursing organizations clearly identifying the problems of burnout and understaffing, pleas for speedy action seem to have fallen on deaf ears. In all fairness, some long-range plans have been put in place through a collaboration between the College of Nurses of Ontario and Ontario Health. But the critical crisis is now – today.

If further emergency-room and intensive-care closures are to be avoided, swift collaborative action – not rhetoric – is needed.

Ruth Wojtiuk RN; professional practice lead, Care Centre for International Nurses; Toronto

Strong enough

Re History Tells Us That Toronto Doesn’t Need A Strong Mayor (July 30): As a former mayor in the Greater Toronto Area for 23 years, I wholeheartedly agree with columnist Marcus Gee that a strong-mayor system is both unnecessary and unwise.

In the present “weak-mayor” system, there have been plenty of very strong mayors who have accomplished a great deal. Mississauga’s Hazel McCallion is just one of many examples.

These mayors get things done because they have clear visions endorsed by their entire community. Involving and lobbying fellow councillors is what leadership is about and absolutely necessary, whatever system is used. As Mr. Gee points out (using the apt example of Toronto’s Rob Ford), do we really want to adopt a system that allows an inept or unscrupulous mayor to run a city, unchecked by council?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Steve Parish Former mayor (1995-2018); Ajax, Ont.

Another way?

Re Order To Clear Hastings Causes Scramble (July 30): The notion that the Vancouver Fire Rescue Services notice to clear the street encampment was somehow unjustified or too hasty is nonsense to me. The encampment should never have been allowed in the first place.

Vancouver cannot continue like this. It no longer feels to me like a safe and welcoming city for residents or tourists who provide much-needed revenue to help businesses pay ever-increasing taxes.

Millions of municipal, provincial and federal tax dollars have already been poured into solutions that have not worked well. The core of the issue remains drug use and mental illness. That is where funds should be spent to open more mental-health facilities that can properly care for people, and more drug-treatment centres away from areas where illicit drugs are easy to come by.

Otherwise, I believe Vancouver will be labelled a no-go area for residents and tourists – and police and first responders.

Roger Emsley Delta, B.C.

Step up

Re Ukrainian Tech Powers Through Conflict (Report on Business, July 25): This sobering outlook, that challenges in Ukraine will increase, should not be a reason to give up on Ukrainian tech companies.

Promprylad, mentioned in the article, has an innovative approach to economic and social renewal in the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk. Since the war began, it offers a home for companies wanting to relocate from the war-torn east. The company has been widely recognized for its integrity and business acumen.

Promprylad’s latest tech partner, MacPaw, has invested US$1-million since the onset of the war. But it still urgently needs additional investment and grants to reach the goal of accommodating 150 companies by late 2023.

In July, it hosted 200 entrepreneurs from all over Ukraine, jointly exploring solutions to keep economic activity going, even in the face of wartime risks. There are indeed risks aplenty in Ukraine, but investors can still find many enterprises worth supporting. Promprylad is one of them.

Nigel Fisher West Vancouver

Fuming

Re Four-time F1 Champ Vettel Says Retiring ‘Has Been In My Head For So Long Now’ (Sports, July 29): Apparently, one reason Sebastian Vettel is retiring is because his stance on protecting the environment has “escalated.” Who knew?

With all due respect, he should spare long-time race fans the feigned righteousness. Notwithstanding the fact that his racing team has been sponsored by Saudi state oil firm Aramco, nowhere does he mention his willingness to return the millions of dollars he’s received from the country.

David Honigsberg Toronto

Genetic pioneer

Re Scientist’s Gaia Theory Saw The Earth As ‘a Living Organism’ (Obituary, July 29): A particular item that bears emphasis is James Lovelock’s foundational work in cryobiology: the preservation of cells, tissues and organisms at low temperatures.

Successful freezing of spermatozoa with the aid of glycerol dates to 1949 and had been achieved empirically by happy accident. Mr. Lovelock, however, was the first cryobiologist with real biophysical credentials. In 1959, after demonstrating that glycerol can also protect red blood cells from freeze and thaw damage, he used the “rational prediction” of a biophysicist to reason, and prove experimentally, that dimethyl sulfoxide could be added to the list of so-called cryoprotective agents that make it possible to freeze the gametes and embryos of many species.

That ability underlies the technologies used in the genetic improvement of livestock, the treatment of human infertility and attempts to save endangered species on Mr. Lovelock’s beloved planet Earth.

Keith Betteridge Professor emeritus, department of biomedical sciences, University of Guelph


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