Masks still needed
Re: Masks needed in grocery, drugstores (April 2).
I am disgusted that even though corporations are permitted to set their own rules, many companies choose to ignore the risks of not mandating their employees to mask up.
I was in the produce section at Metro recently and witnessed employees chatting, no masks, and one was coughing up wet junk from his chest. This was no smoker’s cough. The ignorance of it all is mind boggling. The staff who handle our food and converse directly with the public aren’t taking the minimum of precautions to protect themselves or others. No wonder governments have to pass health mandates and regulations.
Just because Doug Ford lifted the mask mandate doesn’t mean the threat and risk of COVID has suddenly vapourized. Wearing a mask in public indoor spaces is a small price to pay to prevent getting sick from COVID and other communicable infections.
Too many people are focused on their so-called freedoms instead of learning how to easily protect themselves from debilitating illness. I guess the grocery store employees will one by one call in sick, leaving stores short-staffed, shelves poorly stocked, and the COVID case counts and health-care needs skyrocketing.
And we will continue to hear the tiring rationale that the inconveniences and illnesses are because of COVID, instead of personal and corporate ignorance and selfishness.
Maggie Nicolson, London
Recently while purging some household furniture I advertised a dresser for sale on a well known buy-sell website. Within an hour, I received a call from an interested party offering me the asking price via text message.
We arranged to have the item picked up by the buyer’s movers and the buyer was to courier me a bank draft, which was to include the payment for his movers, which I was to pay electronically for via email.
Being suspicious of this request, I visited my local bank and upon further investigation it was deemed the draft was a counterfeit. If I had proceeded, the draft would have bounced, I would have been responsible for the total sum of the draft and the scammer (buyer) would have received my $1,670. I would have been out the total sum of the fake bank draft, $1,970.
I reposted the item on the same website and received another text from another person offering the same payment method, so sellers beware of this scam.
Jim Nicholson, London
Canada in decline
Prime Minister Justice Trudeau went to Brussels to tell European parliamentarians about democracy, and was called a dictator by a representative from Croatia and one from Germany because he used emergency legislation against COVID-19 restriction protesters while none was used in Europe against far more violent protests.
In Europe Canada has been called out for its lack of military funding by other NATO members. We are near the bottom in spending. We are freeloaders who expect other countries to protect us. In the Arctic Russia is a real threat and we are not prepared. One of the main functions of a federal government is protection of its people and its borders by its military.
Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh agreed to sustained spending on dental care and pharmacare. Health care is a provincial jurisdiction with some federal funding. The percentage of health-care funding by the federal government has declined in recent years. The number of hospital beds per 1,000 people for OECD countries (2018 to 2020) has Canada ranked 31st out of 34 countries. Before adding other things to our health-care costs, we should fix what we already fund.
Canada is among last of the G7 countries in per capita GDP over the five-year average ending in 2019. Canada’s projected real GDP per capita growth (compound annual growth rate) from 2020 to 2030 is projected to be last among the 38 OECD countries. The county’s labour productivity as measured by workers’ hourly output trails all those countries. Our government needs to work on productivity and encourage domestic and foreign business investment in Canada , including oil and gas, and not so much on government spending.
Ian Sutherland, Strathroy
No award for violence
Re: Infamous Oscar slap flashes spotlight on growing, serious problems (April 2).
Columnist Joe Belanger writes: “When comics can’t be comics, that’s when laughter stops and real war begins.”
Did Will Smith deserve the Oscar? Not so much for King Richard, but for his body of work. Remember, he wasn’t nominated for Concussion years back.
After the slap incident, Smith’s son Jaden Smith posted on Twitter, “That’s how we do it.” This comment was deleted hours later.
Prior to the Oscars, Jada Pinkett Smith shared her view on alopecia saying, “Why I feel the freedom today — I don’t give two craps what people think of this bald head of mine. Because guess what? I love it!” Maybe Pinkett Smith should have shared her thoughts with her husband prior to the Oscars.
Resigning from the Academy was the right step. Perhaps Will Smith should also surrender the Oscar. Wouldn’t that set an excellent example? Violence should not be rewarded.
Mary Anne Reid, London
Root out abusers
I as a Catholic am appalled and disgusted by all of the historical information surfacing regarding the residential schools run by Catholic priests and nuns, and sanctioned by our government.
I am still not sure whether the government was aware of the horrific actions of those priests and nuns. If it was aware, that makes this entire blemish in our history even more ugly.
I am also not sure if the mothers superior, the bishops or other leaders of the Catholic church in the regions where the residential schools were run were aware of what was going on. If so, that makes it all the more horrific.
Now that the Pope has offered an apology on behalf of the Catholic church — which hopefully will be also given in Canada –I think all the nuns and priests who were responsible for the abuse and deaths of so many children should be excommunicated. They should be disgraced by the church and any living relatives.
I believe this will bring justice to those thousands of lives lost, both physically and mentally, under the hands of these so-called religious.
Genevieve Grech, London
Regardless of the COVID resurgence and strict lockdown there, I feel the Chinese authorities have, overall, handled the pandemic in their nation quite pointedly.
Watching the little amount of news feed allowed to leave the nation in the fall of 2019, I was somewhat amused by TV images of some citizens being literally dragged back into their residences to help contain viral transmission.
As the months passed and COVID-19 became a global pandemic, I couldn’t help but notice how China’s strict handling of its own outbreak, while allowing little rights and freedoms to its people (and maybe even big business), likely enabled a relatively short duration of its initial crisis.
Perhaps with greater democratic freedom can come weaker national security. While I wouldn’t exchange my Western freedom for such national security, it is foolish to pretend a national security sacrifice isn’t being made in exchange.
Frank Sterle Jr., B.C.