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Joanne Hampton, Edmonton

Long waits no longer unexpected

I spent 1-1/2 hours on hold today, trying to get through to the “service” department of my insurer, because wait times were “longer than expected.”

A few weeks ago, I tried to complain about changes to one of our major airlines’ policies on social distancing, only to be told that wait times were “longer than expected.” (I still have not received a response to my email complaint). My bank has wait times that are “longer than expected.”

How long does this have to happen, until those wait times are actually “expected” (which they apparently are) and they actually hire more people to answer the phones? Or do they just hope that we will get tired of waiting, and just give up?

Jon Rossall, Edmonton

Keep government out of public services

Re. “We will have to fight for our institutions,” Opinion, Aug. 14

Read your column on access for services and I disagree only when you insist that the government should provide the services. As a supplier of virtually any service, the government is sloppy and inefficient.

I used to think it would cost us twice as much for the government to provide things but in truth it is more like three to five times as much. Too many rules, too much bureaucracy, too little initiative. I am in favour of helping people through programs that encourage a longer-term solution. Using your first example, rather than providing respite on a more or less continuous basis forever, let’s provide the support for the mother to use education and/or training programs to improve her situation to the point where she can afford to pay for respite care.

It is important to have those that you are trying to help act as willing participants. If not, they will fail no matter how much assistance they are given.

Keep the government out of it.

Tim McGee, Edmonton

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