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Liberal leader Justin Trudeau boards his bus after an election campaign stop in Richmond, B.C. on Sept. 14,


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Fantasy vs. reality

Re Chief Medical Officers Of Health Can’t Be All Things To All People (Sept. 13): Situational ethics and relative morality may find currency in politics. However, in the absolute realm where there is no eraser on the end of a scalpel, margins of error don’t cut it.

As physicians, medical officers of health are governed, for example, by the certainty that COVID-19 and its variants ultimately summate in life or death. Those who have not fallen victim to the virus have licence to negotiate imagined reality. Medical officers of health are tethered by professional obligation to exclude such fantasy.

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And that is all the difference that matters.

Douglas Martin Hamilton

Before and after

Re Trudeau Should Let RCMP Probe SNC Affair, Wilson-Raybould Says (Sept. 13): In my mind’s eye, I see Jody Wilson-Raybould answering one of the first questions before a parliamentary committee: What laws were broken?

She quickly raised her head with a look of surprise and said no laws were broken. So no laws broken, then no scandal.

Let’s get on with re-electing the best government I have ever seen this country enjoy.

David Scott Toronto

Re Wilson-Raybould Revisits (Letters, Sept. 14): A letter-writer believes that Jody Wilson-Raybould “cheapens herself” by releasing her book just before the election, and suggests that doing so afterward would be more appropriate. Isn’t this the kind of information we should have before we cast our votes? Don’t honesty and integrity count with the electorate any more?

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Justin Trudeau and his office have worked to suppress the SNC-Lavalin affair, the WE Charity scandal and other moves during his time as Prime Minister, and we should be reminded of them.

Jay Gould Toronto

Right now

Re Trudeau Says No Regrets For Election Call During The Pandemic; O’Toole Pitches A ‘Changed’ Conservative Party (Online, Sept. 10): “This is a time when Canadians should get to be very clear on how they want to end this pandemic,” Justin Trudeau said. What happened to the line for the past 18 months about listening to health experts and relying on the science? Are we having a referendum on whether to mandate vaccines, passports and masks or to endure another lockdown?

I’m not sure I want the public deciding how to end this pandemic. I’ll put my money on our public-health professionals and the science. No need for an election to get that done.

James Finlay Toronto

I’m happy we’re having an election. I don’t think it’s inconvenient to take part in a central exercise of our democracy.

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I take heart in seeing candidates and leaders out in public, engaging in the thrust and parry of national discourse. I think it’s fine for the Prime Minister to seek a strengthened mandate and for others to try and thwart him, and it’s perfectly appropriate to call an election in our parliamentary democracy, particularly in a minority situation. Rather than diverting from the COVID-19 fight, most leaders have risen to the occasion to urge vaccination.

In many countries around the world, people only wish they could have a fair and free election. Some wish, others have fought and died. Rather than finding an election inconvenient or unnecessary, they would rejoice in the opportunity, and find the disgruntlement of some Canadians puzzling and a bit precious.

Alan Broadbent Chairman and CEO, Avana Capital Corp.; Toronto

Care to choose

Re One Election, Two Versions Of Child Care (Editorial, Sept. 11): The ideologies between the two major parties on child care are vastly different and will seriously affect parents.

The Conservative platform recognizes that parents should have choice, be it to stay home, employ a nanny or have neighbours or grandparents help out. The Liberal platform provides one choice only, at $30-billion to start: government-funded, “universal,” institutional daycare.

What happens to parents who would not choose the Liberal option or cannot access it? What happens to the industry of child-care providers who would be displaced?

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The Quebec model is touted as an example of how this would work, yet it has octupled in cost since it was implemented; workers have unionized and gone on strike; many parents cannot access the tantalizing $10-a-day child-care.

Respect parental choice. Direct child-care subsidies to parents.

Brenda Ringdahl Calgary

The Liberal proposal also describes an early learning program provided by qualified child-care educators.

Research has shown the value of such programs. Learning disabilities and other issues are addressed early in a child’s development. It is recognized that children in these programs are better prepared to start school.

I understand that students in Quebec, who have been able to benefit from a provincial program for a number of years, have demonstrated greater literacy at the high-school level.

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Margaret McGovern Toronto

In 1981, my first marriage ended. I was a single parent of two children in primary school. I needed a full-time job to support my family.

There was little to no daycare available in Toronto (certainly next to nothing was government-subsidized). I made $28,000 a year. To say it was a struggle is an understatement.

I have been an advocate for a national daycare program ever since. For 40 years, I have watched parents try to work and raise their children with safe, appropriate and affordable daycare. I am now a grandmother of five and see my adult children facing the same problem.

Tax credits would not be sufficient. A reformed and subsidized child-care system should be a requirement for a truly civilized society.

Cathryn Reeves Clarksburg, Ont.

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Road to reconciliation

Re The Canadian Government Seems To Have Missed The Point Of The MMIWG Inquiry (Sept. 10): I am dismayed to see the interim appointment of a non-Indigenous man as executive director of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Secretariat. There are countless Indigenous women who would be vastly more suited to this position, interim or not.

I find this short-sighted decision insulting and ignorant. Columnist Tanya Talaga is so right that we should be ashamed and outraged.

Lynn Eberts Kamloops, B.C.

Re Land-sharing Network Builds Bridges Between Saskatchewan Farmers, Indigenous Community (Sept. 8): I was born in Wadena, Sask. Fishing Lake was a common campsite for our family.

I remember people from Fishing Lake First Nation stopping at our farm and asking permission to harvest senna roots. This was in the 1940s.

Honouring the spirit and intent of treaties to share the land is possible, then and now.

P. June Barber Oakville, Ont.

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