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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 9.Justin Tang

Get on with it

Re “Liberals block opposition efforts to call PM’s chief of staff over Beijing election interference” (March 15): Liberal MP Wayne Long tells us that Canadians aren’t focused on the issue of China’s attempts to interfere in our elections. I think that he should get out more and speak to more Canadians, who are outraged over the government’s continuing attempts to make the issue disappear.

Michael Gilman Toronto

Re “As Ottawa balks at an election interference inquiry, public trust in our democracy is draining away” (March 15): While I think contributor Marcus Kolga has overstated the issue, he has lifted the curtain on foreign election interference. Unlike suggestions that Justin Trudeau is a Chinese pawn, it’s more active engagement by multiple countries trying to drive wedges, amplify proponents of their regimes and silence critics.

While some approaches to diasporas are more direct, the primary enabler is social media. To my mind, this is not news, nor does it shake my confidence in Canadian election integrity.

I suspect the special rapporteur will confirm this and make various recommendations, but the primary tool to combat influence remains informing one’s self.

Frank Malone Aurora, Ont.

Countries have always spied on each other and tried to influence foreign governments. Today, why would we think China or Russia are not still doing the same?

But what should be unforgivable is when foreign powers bother Canadian citizens. That should be the issue, not the influence on our politics.

An inquiry into interference may demonstrate how China is bothering our citizens. That in itself would make one worthwhile.

Ken Stock Port Hope, Ont.

In case of emergency

Re “Witness to altercation involving Justice Russell Brown says he followed her to hotel room” (March 14): None of the four women on Canada’s top court have ever been accused of what Justice Russell Brown is alleged to have done, especially toward members of the opposite sex.

If any disgrace from the allegations forces him to resign, a woman should replace him. It would produce a landmark majority of five, and likely a more stable court.

Derek Smith Toronto

Couldn’t be worse

Re “A long-term plan for long-term care” (Editorial, March 14): I just returned from visiting my 99-year-old mother, who has now outlived her savings. I now have to move her out of a $12,000-a-month private nursing home to a $3,000-a-month public nursing home (she has been on a waiting list since 2017).

I am not allowed into the facility to see where she is going. I also cannot transfer her from Ontario to British Columbia where I live, because there is a required residency period of three months. She would have to live in my house in order to qualify for the B.C. waiting list, which is 18 months long.

How is any of this right?

Cathryn Robertson Bowen Island, B.C.

Any solution is preferable to the present preferred approach in Ontario, which seems to be making access to medical care difficult or impossible.

A.S. Brown Kingston

Help wanted

Re “Will a crackdown on private telemedicine improve health care access? The jury is out” (March 14): Columnist André Picard’s points to an ongoing problem that deserves to be addressed honestly.

Care isn’t care if it isn’t there for people when and where they need it. Right now, Canadians are struggling to access health services. Barely half of those surveyed in a recent Abacus Data poll say the health system is functioning well enough to meet their needs.

No one player in this – not government, not practitioners, not the private sector – has the solution alone. Collaborating on how to better deliver care is going to get us closer to equitable health care in Canada.

Now is the time to come together and take action.

Stephen Frank President and CEO, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Toronto

Last year, I had the opportunity to experience losing my publicly funded family physician.

She sent a generic dear-client e-mail announcing that she was closing her practice. So I joined the 6.5 million Canadians who I strongly suspect share a different definition of “private” than the Health Minister.

“Private” seems to actually mean being able to book appointments with a physician who knows me and my medical history. I now pay for my physician out of necessity. For me, this is not “boutique” medicine nor is it queue-jumping – it is getting access to what the Health Minister himself calls “medically necessary” services.

Given the dire shortage of medical professionals, perhaps he should claw back funding to all provinces that allow physicians to maintain closed client lists. That way, all Canadians could queue up and suffer equally.

It would be so Canadian.

Bob Rafuse Beaconsfield, Que.

Charged up

Re “Volkswagen picks Ontario for its first North American EV battery plant” (March 14): It’s welcome news that Volkswagen, for long far more interested in selling to Canadians than employing us, selected St. Thomas, Ont., for its first non-European battery factory.

But for such good news, no one is disclosing the production capacity or dollar investment. Ditto for the provincial and federal subsidies. The Industry Minister curiously phrased it as “probably the largest single investment in the auto sector in Canada’s history,” when surely he knows the project value, even if we taxpayers funding the enticements cannot know.

Another “trust me” from our leaders. As a woman of a certain age, when someone says “trust me,” that’s about the last thing I do.

Faye Roberts Puslinch, Ont.

I am not high-fiving the federal and provincial governments for this deal. This should be seen as a loss for Canadian innovation, further sealing the deal that we remain a branch-plant country.

Why can’t governments fund homegrown battery manufacturing and technology? Canada should not have to rely on foreign corporations for jobs.

I have told my kids to consider moving to the United States after their educations here.

John Forber Burlington, Ont.

Long game

Re “A World Cup that lasts more than five weeks might as well be forever” (Sports, March 15): To adapt New York Giants manager Bill Terry’s comment on baseball: Football must be a great game to survive the fools who run it.

Andrew Graham Toronto

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