Playing politics with the pandemic

Plus, vaccine rollout a bust for downtowners, more lockdown idiocy and calling all cannabis-loving hippies in reader mail this week

Mudslinging becomes status quo during COVID crisis

Re Doug Ford Swings Into Re-election Mode (NOW Online, May 4). It boggles my mind that anyone can play the shock and awe card when any sort of scandal happens in politics. If there is one thing we can always be sure of, it is that regardless of political affiliation, mudslinging is the acceptable status quo. Why do we keep lapping it up like pap? Is it too much to ask politicians to go to work on time, treat employees, colleagues and superiors with respect and not embarrass themselves? Stop telling me what other parties are doing wrong and start telling me how your party will work with others to make our democracy more representative while solving problems by working together. All politicians and parties should be ashamed of themselves, especially those on the Left. The NDP slags the Libs and the Cons run away with the loot.

Roberta Miggiani – From NOWTORONTO.COM

For downtowners it’s Etobicoke or bust for COVID vaccine

Re COVID-19: Ontario Reports 3,434 New Cases, 16 Deaths (NOW Online, May 3). I’m annoyed that so many people in downtown hot spots have to go all the way to Etobicoke to get vaccinated. Cloverdale Mall? Dixon Road? Really? Why haven’t we opened up more mass vaccination clinics downtown – Skydome/Scotiabank Arena/Direct Energy Centre – all possible locations that people can walk to? Now those who are trying their best to stay close to home have to figure out how they are going to get themselves safely to Etobicoke and back – not to mention the extra time they will need to take off work to do so. And then do it all over again for the second shot. Ridiculous.

Chris ArmstrongFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Longer grass isn’t always greener

The No Mow May movement (NOW Online, May 5) has some very sound reasoning behind it, but it will need the support of local municipalities. Bylaw officers will need to differentiate between those who are neglecting their property versus those who are keeping their grass long for ecological reasons.


Let your dandelions grow

The taller you let your grass grow the less it costs to maintain. I don’t water, fertilize or aerate at all. Much higher grass (seven inches) shades out weeds, does not require watering or fertilizing or expensive lawn maintenance. It seems people cut their grass really short in the spring to get rid of the sight of dandelion flowers. Really bad idea. That just weakens the grass and encourages more weeds to grow and it leaves most of the dandelion plant behind. People who spent thousands on sod now have a lawn that is bare or mostly weeds after only a couple of years.

Nathan Cole – From NOWTORONTO.COM

Help wanted: cannabis-loving hippies

We Have Sommeliers For Wine – Why Not Concierges For Cannabis At Retail Shops? (NOW, May 4.) Lotsa senior hippies still kicking could supplement their income doin’ this work from valid experience.


Stuck in cellphone limbo during lockdown

I do not have a landline, only my mobile phone. Today, the battery died, which compelled me to sift through what is open and what is not during this latest lockdown to discern whether I could get out of this predicament. Well, I’m stuck in cellphone limbo. How is it that people can buy liquor, but a high risk, 79-year-old person, who uses a walker, can’t get a new battery because computer/cellphone stores are not considered essential? This is idiocy.

P. CitronToronto

Canada selfish not to support vaccine waiver at WTO

I was born in India and raised in Canada. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the influence of both countries. As India teeters on the edge of collapse, I am disappointed and saddened at Canada’s lack of commitment to help.

India continues to fight a devastating COVID-19 crisis, seeing more than 400,000 new cases daily. The surge has overwhelmed hospitals and resulted in a shortage of ICU beds and medical supplies.

Canada has pledged $10 million in direct aid but is not supporting India’s proposal at the WTO to waive intellectual property rights on vaccines, despite being the only G7 nation to have ordered doses through the internationally funded COVAX initiative.

In this pandemic and otherwise, Canada continues to rely on the benevolence and charity of countries like India, not only for exports of vaccines but also for future healthcare professionals, like myself. By supporting India’s waiver proposal, Canada can demonstrate that the time of being selfish is over.

Ishita AggarwalVaughan


Brand Voices

One response to “Playing politics with the pandemic”

  1. Re: “As India teeters on the edge of collapse, I am disappointed and saddened at Canada’s lack of commitment to help … Canada has pledged $10 million in direct aid but is not supporting India’s proposal at the WTO to waive intellectual property rights on vaccines …”

    I feel similar to the letter’s author; however, our federal government’s conduct was/is sadly predictable, given how the pharmaceutical industry has puppeteered one prime minister (and his inner circle) after another. Look at what happens here at home. Whenever a Canadian federal government promises universal medication coverage (the last such promise was made following the last election, October 2019) the pharmaceutical industry reacts with threats of abandoning their Canada-based research and development (R&D), etcetera, if the government goes ahead with its ‘pharmacare’ plan. Why? Because the universal medication coverage would negatively affect the industry’s plentiful profits. Of course profits would still be great, just not as great, which apparently bothers the industry greatly.

    Once again promised universal medication coverage was conspicuously yet quietly missing from the federal budget, released a couple weeks ago. We continue being the world’s sole nation that has universal healthcare but no similar coverage of prescribed medication, however necessary.

    Recouping R&D costs is typically cited by the powerful industry to justify its exorbitant prices and stiff resistance to universal medication coverage public plans, the latter which it’s doing in Canada. However, according to a Huffington Post story (“Pharmaceutical Companies Spent 19 Times More On Self-Promotion Than Basic Research: Report,” updated May 8, 2013), a study conducted by the British Medical Journal found that for every $19 dollars the pharmaceutical industry spent on promoting and marketing new drugs, it put only $1 into its R&D.

    A late-2019 Angus Reid study found that about 90 percent of Canadians — including three quarters of Conservative Party supporters specifically — champion universal medication coverage. Another 77 percent believed this should be a high-priority matter for the federal government. The study also found that, over the previous year, due to medication unaffordability, almost a quarter of Canadians decided against filling a prescription or having one renewed. Not only is medication less affordable, but many low-income outpatients who cannot afford to fill their prescriptions end up back in the hospital system as a result, therefore costing far more for provincial and federal government health ministries than if the medication had been covered.

    So, in order for the industry to continue raking in huge profits, Canadians, as both individual consumers and a taxpaying collective, must lose out huge. And our elected representatives, be they federal Liberals or Conservatives, seem to shrug their figurative shoulders in favor of the pharmaceutical industry — yet again. Considering it is such a serious health affair for so many people, impressed upon me is the industry lobbyists’ potent influence on our top-level elected officials — manipulation that our mainstream news-media apparently fail to even try to fully expose, let alone condemn — for the sake of large profit-margin interests.

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