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Letters April 13: Improving primary health care; ferry reservations unfair; threatened on Douglas Street

The provincial government should leave management of hospitals to the boards they appointed. Graham Hughes, The Canadian Press

Reform primary health, don’t micromanage

The Canadian Press reports that the “Government of B.C. will require ­hospitals to have designated space for substance use.”

This seems like an extreme case of micromanagement. Would it not be ­better for Premier David Eby and Health ­Minister Adrian Dix to focus on solving the mess in primary care, by reforming primary health services, and leave the management of our hospitals to the boards they appointed?

Meaningful reform in primary health would go a long way to addressing issues of substance use.

Ken Fyke


We need government that helps the economy

Instead of bragging about the ­creation of a new billion-dollar program designed to provide a free nutritious breakfast for our school kids, the Liberal ­government should be asking themselves why these same children’s parents are no longer able to afford to feed them ­themselves.

If only the Canadian economy had been more effectively managed by the Liberal government this kind of program would never have become necessary.

Maybe the time has come to elect a new government capable of creating such an economy and allow parents to take care of their children themselves.

Bruce Cline


Ferry reservations are just not fair

Are there others who disagree with B.C. Ferries? Why do people who have more money to spend on reservations get on first while the rest of us have to wait?

Why does it take me six to eight hours to get home? This is public transportation, this is a highway.

B.C. Ferries has bumped the reservations up to 70 per cent of capacity, so only 30 per cent left for regular travel?

And then there are the people who have assured loading. This doesn’t make sense and I don’t understand why people are accepting this.

There needs to be a change. I should not have to reserve and spend more to get to my home. I have no other means of travel. It’s a public highway.

Cindy Unwin


Multiple reservations? Find out the reasons

Instead of raising the reservation fees, it would be better to understand the root cause of the multiple-reservation ­problem.

For example, business people with meetings on the Island may need to stay longer than expected. Some people may have a medical or family emergency. Both scenarios will trigger the need for multiple reservations.

Maybe B.C. Ferries should engage a PR company to call these people to ­better understand the multiple-reservation ­reasons because raising the fee by $2 will not be enough of a deterrent to solve the problem.

David Blacoe

Oak Bay

Threatened on Douglas, but what is being done?

I guess we are all expected to just live with the criminal behaviour we either witness, or are a victim of on many ­downtown streets in many ­communities on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in B.C.

I crossed the street from the ­Sandman Hotel a few weeks back and a heavy set, dishevelled man in his 20s began ­yelling at me. He repeatedly yelled, “I’m gonna kill you,” as he followed me north up Douglas Street before he walked into traffic and crossed the street to what looked like a homeless residence.

I am a 72-year-old, former Canadian soldier. Apparently he was angry with the walking stick I have been using for 10 years or so.

I just don’t understand how there seems to be no solutions from government to ensure people can walk downtown streets without being accosted.

Many businesses and residents are affected in many communities’ downtown cores. It is outrageous to see no action taken.

Mike Oliver


Fix our problems with amalgamation

Re: “There are many reasons to wonder about Victoria,” commentary, April 11.

I have lived here for 13 years and have seen the steady decline of what was once a downtown area that was nice to walk and lovely to shop.

I have voted each time it was offered for amalgamation of the 13 municipalities and outrageous and costly duplication of services.

It is a scary prospect to drive on many of the bike lane streets: So narrow I poor pity the bus drivers and tourists trying to navigate the same.

Bike lane construction is costly and services far fewer individuals than do motor vehicles, but there is no bike licence fee charged to help defray these “necessary” costs.

The councils appear to pander to a small number of people, with no ability to push back. Nor any follow-up as to how their “improvements” are working.

It’s time someone, perhaps the province, forced some fiscal sanity on the 13 municipalities. The duplication of ­services is ridiculous.

We visited Saguenay, Quebec several years ago where they had amalgamated three cities and small municipalities to great success.

I imagine no one here wants to be the bad guy who takes on this issue.

But it needs to be done. Victoria is starting to turn into a mini Vancouver.

There is no cohesive plan to sustain the growth with so many cooks in the kitchen.

Thanks to Vinod Bhardwaj for a great piece of commentary.

Mary Dales

Oak Bay

End decriminalization of illicit drugs

I strongly object to the government decision to not subject adults to criminal charges for the personal possession of small amounts of certain illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.

This decriminalization policy needs to be reversed, especially in public spaces such as hospital, schools and government offices where employees are at risk.

We don’t need a task force. We need the B.C. government to end ­decriminalization of drug possession for personal use now.

Gerald and Joy Gabel


Carbon tax increase is certainly not a blessing

I was amazed to see only praise for the carbon tax increase in the April 4 ­letters.

I am sure that none of the correspondents have to drive between 50 and 150 kilometres daily just to go to work in ­Victoria or Duncan and surrounding areas.

They also ignore the fact that it doesn’t just affect driving your car or pickup. This is just increasing inflation of ­everything — and to add insult to injury, we are taxed with PST and GST on top all the other taxes on fuel, which just add “fuel” to the problem.

Michael Wilson


Hope we fare as well as Taiwan did

A single five-storey building leaning nearly 45 degrees, but still holding together, following Taiwan’s 7.4 Richter scale earthquake on April 3 — and ­little reported damage elsewhere — is an impressive testament to the quality of the building standards in that country (in sharp contrast to the utter ­devastation caused, for example, in southeastern ­Turkey’s earthquake).

Let us hope that B.C.’s building ­standards fare as well when the next Big One hits here.

Jonathan Stoppi



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