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A Hockey Canada logo is shown on the jersey of a player with Canada’s National Junior Team during a training camp practice in Calgary, on Aug. 2.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

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Different time

Re Canadian Embassy Abandoned Kyiv Workers Despite Russian Threat (Aug. 2): When NATO bombed Yugoslavia in 1999, the Milosevic regime threatened the Serbian staff of member country embassies, labelling them as collaborators from whom retribution would be exacted.

Before evacuating the Canadian staff of the embassy in Belgrade, we advanced six months’ salary to all local staff and the immigration section issued visas to them and their immediate families. None of this was directed by what was then Foreign Affairs in Ottawa. Since ambassadors have plenipotentiary powers, I was able to make the necessary decisions sur place.

Had we waited for instructions, I am afraid little would have been done. That same inability to act promptly in a crisis may have been the underlying reason for Global Affairs Canada abandoning our local staff in Kyiv.

Raphael Girard Former ambassador to Yugoslavia; Montreal

Hockey culture

Re Woman At Centre Of Scandal Breaks Silence (Aug. 2): Why don’t Hockey Canada executives and members of the 2003 and 2018 junior hockey teams take polygraph tests, like the woman who filed a lawsuit did, and share the results?

Dorothy McCabe Waterloo, Ont.

Reconciliation progress

Re Residential Schools Left An Economic Hole That Persists Across Generations (Report on Business, Aug. 1): Indigenous peoples in Canada are at the wrong end of nearly every social indicator that Statistics Canada tracks: incarceration rates, social assistance usage, high-school graduation, employment participation etc. But things are improving, especially since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and the discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools.

Canadians are waking up and want to help close gaps. More corporations are developing Indigenous policy for employment and procurement, and recruiting Indigenous staff at all levels. Many postsecondary institutions have established Indigenous centres staffed with Indigenous advisers, and are including Indigenous knowledge in curriculum.

Change takes time, and healing the wrongs perpetrated against Indigenous peoples will also take time. As Murray Sinclair once said, “Education is what got us here, and education is what will get us out.”

We all have lots of work to do.

Stephen Crocker Edmonton

Take care

Re What If The Doctor Was Always In? (Editorial, Aug. 1): My experience has been more comparable to the Netherlands than what is described as the Canadian normal.

Our long-time family physician retired in the spring. Seamlessly, we found a new one. I became ill outside office hours, but was able to attend the group’s walk-in clinic, which is open late and on weekends. I was seen quickly, had antibiotics prescribed and established follow-up appointments with both the on-call physician and my doctor. No emergency visits.

Perhaps it’s just where we live, a growing suburban community with a nearby hospital, but this model seems to be commonplace around here.

Frank Malone Aurora, Ont.

I only wish medicare was operating on at least some of the blueprints from the 1960s.

When Saskatchewan attempted to put in place Canada’s first system of government-insured medical care, the model envisioned was of community clinics with salaried physicians working together with other salaried health care providers.

Sadly, many physicians railed against this plan and we ended up with the fee-for-service siloed system we have endured for 60 years. I think much has changed within the medical profession since 1962. It is worth pulling out those old plans and giving them another look.

Tamara Tarasoff La Pêche, Que.

Netherlands is No. 2, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and clearly better, but why not reach for the top? Is it because Norway spends relatively more tax dollars on its health care system than Canada and the Netherlands, and we don’t want to urge more spending, even if it is needed?

The OECD shows that Norway has more physicians, nurses and acute beds – as well as (not surprisingly) a higher life expectancy – among many indicators than Canada and the Netherlands. Let’s aim for the top and accept that better health care requires both administrative improvements and more tax dollars.

Lewis Auerbach Retired director, Office of the Auditor-General; Ottawa

Re Nurse Practitioners Could Relieve Canada’s Doctor Shortage (Aug. 1): While provinces could do more to promote the use of nurse practitioners, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions could play a role as well.

What do physiotherapists and occupational therapists do? Therapy. The clunky title of nurse practitioner can leave patients guessing as to what these talented professionals do.

NPs have an image problem.

Peter Tobin Ottawa

Re Health Regulators Urged To Act As Medical Practices Raise Concerns About Corporate Ownership (Report on Business, Aug. 1): I was a dentist who worked in a practice that was bought by a large corporation.

Being a professional meant that I would put my patients’ interests before my own. After the purchase, the corporation would try to promote certain procedures that a lot of people could do without.

The bottom line became more important than patients’ best interests.

Herbert Belman DDS, Toronto

Up for debate

Re Tories Tout Hitting Record Membership (July 30): I recently joined the Conservative Party to cast a vote against certain candidates.

Leslyn Lewis sends a regular barrage of e-mails with suspect theories about the judiciary, the World Economic Forum and the World Health Organization. She now refuses to attend a debate that might otherwise give her a public forum to air them. That’s too bad, because she should be taken to task on her views.

It is one thing to spout theories to a room of supporters, but another to expose her opinions to other candidates and a moderator. I fear that, unchecked, her platform takes on a legitimacy that it should not have.

Without the scrutiny of debate, will other Conservative candidates publicly censure her? Or will they fear losing whatever support her base might offer in a runoff vote?

Cynthia Rowden Toronto

As an American-Canadian dual citizen with European roots, I consider myself a political centrist. The possibility that Pierre Poilievre could represent our nation scares me at best.

In my humble opinion, Mr. Poilievre lacks political stature and leadership qualities. He tends to ride coattails as shown by tagging along with a freedom walker, who did not seem to really want him along for the last kilometre.

The sad part is that I do not see a worthy contender from any party.

Fred Czubba Ottawa

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