January 1: Pay nurses correctly, declutter with Hamilton’s active Freecycle group and other letters

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Pay nurses correctly

It makes me sick to hear Doug Ford praise the fantastic healthcare workers who step up for immunizations while at the same time preventing nurses from receiving fair pay increases.

Stop calling them heroes, Doug, and pay them right.

Wasted payments

On the comment titled “Ontario wasted COVID payments” (December 21): There is no objection to the Ontario government’s emergency payment of millions of dollars in pandemic funds to the thousands companies. But when the Auditor General’s report reveals that $ 210 million went to ineligible businesses and an additional $ 714 million for overpayments, it calls into question the level of accountability that rests on Ontario taxpayers. Apparently only about $ 850,000 was recovered and the rest was written off.

Granted, the program was developed in a time of emergency, but strong processes to qualify sales candidates and adequate internal controls should have been properly tested. It’s substandard, and a bit like the $ 400 million Ottawa paid federal officials last year as part of continued compensation for damages to the Phoenix pay system, which caused huge damage. major payroll disruption across government. Taxpayers expect much better results from our hard-earned taxes.

On decluttering

Regarding the article titled “Paving the way for a clutter-free vacation” (December 24): Hamilton has an active Freecycle group, which is part of the global non-profit organization, which accepts offers of usable household items from consumers. members. Membership in Freecycle is free and all items offered must be free. Membership is also free. If you’ve got a mess that’s too good for landfill, chances are a Freecycle member will be happy to pick it up from your porch and give it a new home. Check out Freecycle.org to see how it all works.

Lauraine Wood, Burlington

Drug prices

Readers would be well advised to take the editorial titled “Press Break on Drug Pricing Policy” (December 22) with a grain of salt. Drug prices in Canada have, in some cases, been appropriately controlled by our Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, and the new regulations will improve its ability to perform this valuable public service. New drugs are always needed, but the pharmaceutical industry here and elsewhere will usually provide what is most cost effective, not what is most needed (think new antibiotics). Let’s see how the new tariff regulations work before we condemn them outright.

More transparency

We read the comment “Press break on drug pricing policy” (December 23) and asked ourselves: is this article directly or indirectly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry? Did the authors receive money and / or other similar benefits from pharmaceutical companies?

Some physicians and surgeons have no conflict of interest when writing about drug policy. Many have very significant conflicts of interest as they receive large payments and / or personal benefits from pharmaceutical companies.

Respected academic publishers in medicine require (1) authors of letters, articles, and editorials to disclose potential conflicts of interest, and (2) to properly publish such statements; if no conflict is declared: this too is published.

Pharmaceutical companies continue to advertise in academic journals and seek to influence opinion in these forums, so that they can make a profit; it is a duty they owe to their owners / shareholders.

The public would be better served if The Spectator and parent company Torstar started forcing writers to disclose any conflicts of interest they might have. When will Canadian journalism on editorial pages rise to a higher level of publication?

Dr Michael Bonert and Dr Joel Lexchin

Dyer on Poutine

Gwynne Dyer’s condescending title essay on Putin can be summed up: Putin is bluffing and even if he doesn’t, he is powerless to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO.

He asserts that Putin was not interested before the “revolution” in Ukraine, conveniently forgetting that the “revolution” was a US-funded coup.

An invasion of Ukraine (heavily armed by the United States, if not a bankrupt liability) by Russia would only occur following extreme provocation. Such a provocation could be inferred from a question raised recently by Putin, namely: “What would the United States do if Russia placed missiles on its borders with Canada and Mexico?”


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