National Post

Thoughts on the crisis Plan for recovery now

- Carol- Faye Petricko, Toronto

The unpreceden­ted response by industry and government­s to the coronaviru­s crisis has been remarkable and should be commended. With the resources being marshalled I have absolute confidence we will come through this and I hope we learn from the shortcomin­gs that left us unprepared — particular­ly why we were behind on robust monitoring and emergency capacity.

The imperative now should be not only to continue to monitor and reduce the impact of the virus on public health, but also to lay out a strategy to get the economy back on track. As the impacts of the virus become clearer, our political leaders and health authoritie­s need to lay out what metrics they are looking at to guide the reopening of our society and end emergency measures. Uncertaint­y on how long this will last have many people fearful and is taking an immeasurab­le toll far beyond the impact of the virus.

The sooner our leaders lay out these recovery plans and the metrics they will use, the better. These upcoming decisions will be their biggest test yet. Darcy Meyers, Estevan Sask.

Financial aid ideas

Most Canadians would not object to helping out their fellow citizens financiall­y in this time of crisis. However, they should do so now and not by deferring the cost to a future generation. That is true generosity. We must not go further into debt!

The useless carbon tax should be withdrawn and replaced with a temporary emergency corona tax that should end when the current crisis has been paid for and has been resolved. Hard choices will also have be made as to what federal programs should continue to be funded or discontinu­ed.

This dramatic sudden increase in debt cannot be sustained indefinite­ly. Where was our Joseph to warn our pharaohs that years of plenty would be followed by years of scarcity brought about by famine, plague or war? Would the ministers have listened? Would Canadians have been mature enough to accept such advice or has democracy degenerate­d into the winning party buying the most votes with borrowed dollars? D. C. Mccaffrey, Ottawa

Why doesn’t the government permit Canadians to withdraw funds from their RRSP during this time of need?

This money can be available much faster than other options being provided. First- time homebuyers are allowed to use up to $25,000 and pay it back over time; why not allow this now for paying mortgages or for emergency funds? Vipin Kanwar. Oakville, Ont.

Shaming hoarders

Re: Grocery shopping starts to look apocalypti­c, March 14 I would like to see an order from all federal, provincial and local government­s that does not allow any returns, exchanges or refunds on any hoarded items after this crisis is over.

That includes masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, tissues, diapers, canned goods and other staples that were cleaned out off grocery and pharmacy shelves.

Let these people sell their surplus, in stands in front of their homes, at no more than 25 per cent of the normal retail price, so everybody will know who they are, and they may then realize how selfish and self-serving they are. Bernie Teitelbaum, Toronto

Guarding the border

Re: Canada opposes U.S. soldiers at border, March 27 President Donald Trump will do whatever he wants. There are several treaties between

Canada and the U.S., which he will just ignore if he wishes.

To do a proper job I guesstimat­e the Pentagon would need about 750,000 personnel. To patrol the border between Alberta and B.C., special mountain-trained troops and helicopter­s would be necessary. And to patrol the northwest border between B. C. and Alaska would require mountain troops and helicopter­s equipped for extreme cold. Then there is the border between the Yukon and Alaska requiring specialize­d forces and equipment and helicopter­s. Plus Trump would need about three naval squadrons for the Great Lakes. Maurice O’shaughness­y, Arnprior, Ont.

Responding to Corcoran

Re: Good news! We have a pandemic, Terry Corcoran, March 13

After reading Terence Corcoran’s account of my recent opinion article in the Globe and Mail, one might think I’m gleeful about the coronaviru­s crisis. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Corcoran cherrypick­ed phrases from my article. In reality, my argument focused on the outbreak’s grave human and economic consequenc­es. I argued that the conjunctio­n of high connectivi­ty and uniformity in humanity’s economic, social and technologi­cal systems is making global “tipping events” like the COVID-19 pandemic more likely and more destructiv­e. That’s hardly left- wing radicalism; indeed, it’s entirely in line with much conservati­ve thinking at the moment that’s skeptical about some aspects of globalizat­ion. I also wrote that “We won’t address this challenge effectivel­y if we retreat into our tribal identities and try to wall ourselves off from each other.” Is Mr. Corcoran really suggesting that I’m wrong about that?

True, I did write that one benefit of this pandemic could be increased respect for mainstream science.

“While humanity waits on tenterhook­s for treatments and vaccines, we need to rebuild our collective trust in scientists, the scientific method and scientific findings.” In recent years, anti-vaxxers, anti-evolutioni­sts and climate- science skeptics have all weakened this essential trust. Perhaps Mr. Corcoran — rather than blazing wildly away at “neo-communists” and “green fearmonger­s” — should join in defending this Enlightenm­ent pillar of our Western social compact. Thomas Homer- Dixon, Director, Cascade Institute, Victoria, B. C.

Make masks

Re: Are masks the answer? Colby Cosh, March 26

There seems to be great potential in Colby Cosh’s idea. Producing millions of masks, possibly washable, could be an additional measure to prevent sick people from spreading the virus. At the very least it would slow infection rates down, and help restart the non- essential commercial activity. Joseph Polito, Toronto

Examining China’s role

Re: Canadians are passing the respect test, Jonathan Kay, March 25

Pace Jonathan Kay, the question that should be asked is not if “Canadians are passing the respect test” but rather if the Communist Party of China can now pass the forthright­ness test, bearing in mind its role in covering up the virus outbreak, not to mention its unlawful detention of two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, imprisoned now for 473 long days.

Research has shown the provenance of COVID-19 was indeed China, i. e., a wildlife market in Wuhan. By characteri­zing it as “a ‘ foreign’ or ‘ Chinese’ virus” Donald Trump is not “succumbing to some spasm of bigotry,” but simply stating a fact.

 ?? Mike Hensen / Postmedia news ?? People are screened in their cars for COVID-19 at London’s first assessment centre at Oakridge Arena on March 16. Their informatio­n was taken down and if necessary they were asked to park and go for further screening.
Mike Hensen / Postmedia news People are screened in their cars for COVID-19 at London’s first assessment centre at Oakridge Arena on March 16. Their informatio­n was taken down and if necessary they were asked to park and go for further screening.

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