Let’s all work together to help our seniors
Recent letters published in this newspaper have commented on the effectiveness of the Office of the Seniors Advocate.
As with other statutory offices, the Office of the Seniors Advocate has made many recommendations to the provincial government that have resulted in positive change.
However, as is the case with other statutory offices, sadly, not all our recommendations have been adopted by government, and I share in the frustration of the letter writers and many others when this is the case.
The issues and challenges that B.C. seniors face are multi-faceted and vary greatly depending on personal circumstances and geography. Despite progress on many fronts, I share with many, many British Columbians the heartache of knowing that some seniors in this province still have unmet needs.
The continuing inability for many seniors to age with comfort and dignity speaks to the significant work that lies ahead for all of us.
As the B.C. seniors advocate, I welcome the continued support from all British Columbians, including the recent letter writers, in asking the government to continue moving forward on making life better for B.C. seniors.
B.C. seniors advocate
Keating flyover takes us halfway there
The proposed Keating flyover is definitely needed for northbound traffic, but what about the southbound traffic? Access to Keating for southbound traffic from Pat Bay Highway requires a right turn onto Island View Road, a quick left turn at an uncontrolled intersection, up a steep hill to a four-way stop, then continuing up the steep hill to the school crosswalk.
I was in that area one morning as kids were being dropped off at the school and traffic was backed up bumper to bumper from the bottom of the hill to the crosswalk in front of the school.
There were cars, small trucks, motor homes, semi trailers and gravel trucks with tandem trailers in tow!
If our tax dollars are going to build this flyover, why not make it 100 per cent effective for traffic in both directions? Going half measures now is very poor planning and I believe dangerous for the school area.
Southbound traffic has a tougher slog
The truly astounding ineptitude behind the Keating flyover blueprint is an example of pushing a design on drivers, put up or shut up.
Our tourist mavens are flush with excitement for cruise ship season, bringing travellers downtown. The same can’t be said for the tour buses, loaded with visitors, coming off the Swartz Bay ferry, heading for the No. 1 tourist destination, Butchart Gardens.
Those tourists will just have to take slow, narrow back roads, or up steep inclines or through speed zones.
Again, B.C. designers are making chalk of one and cheese for the other in deciding who goes where with this architectural fiasco, and for this kind of money the flyover should be for both north and south directions.
Fix the traffic light, save the flyover money
The Keating flyover: A $54 million expense when adjusting the light at Island View would do the trick.
In Victoria, roads are being improved
The Raeside cartoon suggesting that the “city” constructs bike lanes but avoids road repairs in their path is just not true in the City of Victoria.
I closely follow all road construction projects as part of my work and I can ensure everyone that a significant amount of general road improvement is worked in during the course of bike lane projects, all of which earn a great deal of federal funding.
Bring back rail service with a new approach
A recent commentary by a former mayor of Lake Cowichan accurately stated opportunity for significant economic benefits of freight, passenger, commuter and tourism from Port Alberni to Nanaimo and all the rail corridor.
Rail would be a boon for such services. This island is in fact a poor cousin to our provincial government and the Lower Mainland.
About $430 million to help with a small section of Lower Mainland transit fares and billions for bridges, SkyTrain and infrastructure, yet Vancouver Island receives a paltry amount to fund two long-overdue interchanges and some very poorly implemented supported housing initiatives.
Rail needs to be immediately revived, not on the old E&N model but on the recognized worldwide strategies to help First Nations and Vancouver Island economies flourish in this 21st century.
Government should respect our veterans
An internal audit has raised red flags over the maintenance of military graves. What a disgrace.
The federal government cannot even bother to fund the maintenance of military graves in the two military cemeteries that are owned by owned and operated by Veterans Affairs, Fort Massey in Halifax and God’s Acre in Esquimalt.
Surely, veterans deserve better in death, to have a decent burial space.
Those that are buried in these cemeteries “Stood on guard for thee and kept our land glorious and free.” Their remains should be accorded the respect, honour they deserve and are entitled to.
Roger Cyr, OMM, CD
Experienced people being left at the side
Re: “Saanich considers strategy to tackle inclusion and diversity,” April 18.
These are all noble objectives as the city recognizes that there are problems. Ageism is one aspect that is often overlooked in hiring practices at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, and in the private sector.
There is a pool of experienced and capable people who are available in helping Canadian communities. But we prefer complaining that we are short of people.
Our health system needs to evolve
My father and brothers were doctors, my sister a pharmacist and my mother, a nurse.
A James Bay resident, I do not have a doctor.
I am supportive of increasing the abilities of all health-care professionals to enact treatment for British Columbians.
With respect to the retired GP who seems to worry about “authority” and “responsibility” being given to pharmacists, isn’t that stay-out-of-my-lane thinking part of the problem with our health system?
The health system clearly needs to evolve and the inclusion of pharmacists seems, much like the nurse practitioners profession, a step in a positive direction.
The blurring of the lines that separates the professions has started already. The willingness to evolve will be harder than providing the training needed to evolve.
If the health system were a patient, the doctors in my family would want to heal it just as surely as the nurse and the pharmacist would.
Mark R. Fetterly
Don’t forget companies took Indigenous assets
Re: “Fixing a century-old wrong gets expensive,” April 18.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Marc Miller’s statement that, “There is still a lot of stigma levelled on communities based on financial compensation of this nature because of the ignorance that exists in the wider segment of society” is not entirely correct.
Accepting responsibility in having dealt with First Nations deceitfully, the federal government is seeking to make amends. But it isn’t ignorance on the part of, as he puts it, “wider society.”
It’s frustration. Conveniently ignored is that for years forestry, mining, oil and gas industries profited off the illegal expropriation of Native land and, like the Catholic church, should be held financially responsible before anyone else is.
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