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Letters April 30: Shortage of family doctors; housing costs and doctors; pizza and hotdogs in schools

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Pizza day is popular at schools, a letter-writer says. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Better to die quickly than wait for health care

Maybe Island Health should issue us cyanide capsules for when we get seriously ill. That way we can die quickly at home, rather than slowly dropping dead while lined up in the cold and rain outside an urgent and primary care centre.

Bruce Chambers
Victoria

Government incentives can reduce shortages

Re: “Try the Cuban way of recruiting doctors,” April 27.

The writer has made a valid and workable suggestion regarding paying for a medical students’ tuition in exchange for having to serve in areas where there is a doctor shortage for a certain period of time. I know this type of program works from personal experience.

In 1967, I graduated from the University of Manitoba with a bachelor of science degree. At that time there was a shortage of qualified teachers in Manitoba.

The government of the day (under Premier Duff Roblin) introduced a program where the tuition for education was paid for by the government with the proviso that the graduating student taught in Manitoba for two years.

I enrolled in the faculty of education, graduated, taught for the two mandatory years, and went on to a further 33-year teaching career. The program was very successful attracting new graduates from the arts and sciences and in reducing the teacher shortage.

Robert Milan
Victoria

Pizza and hotdogs can help in schools

It is with great sadness I read that the food involved in school fundraisers is to be banned. Those of you thinking of doing this, I would like to bring to your attention that after doing these fundraisers for Sooke schools for 13 years, the students were happy and excited to have pizza day or hotdog day.

While these foods are not on my family’s routine much, pizza or hotdogs is only done a few times in the school year.

I worked in schools that were home to many single-parent families, with most students living with their mothers on low income.

These kids adored pizza days, as they couldn’t afford the luxury of having pizza at home. I find it tragic if these foods are banned, the kids will lose out.

Speaking of fundraising, pizza and hotdogs were the only really successful ways to fundraise in our school, as most parents were living on incomes where every penny was accounted for.

Having to fundraise for student ­activities or playground items is an unfair way to provide the extras. One day, I went to a school at Bear Mountain to help in a class.

As I entered the school, I walked by the music room. Wow, they had amazing instruments and their music room was full. When I asked the teacher how they got all the instruments, the teacher replied: “We work hard at fundraising.”

I was smacked in the face as, at that moment, I realized this is wrong, as the kids in economically depressed schools are not getting the same level of education.

For the sake of those schools in economically challenged areas, please leave pizza and hotdogs on the table.

Lynda Slater
Sooke

Want more doctors? Lower your house price

A letter writer quite correctly asked if the price of real estate is an issue in attracting family practitioners to Victoria. As the writer suggests, it is, at least in part, a “probable cause.”

The real estate component of the problem is a basic “supply-demand” issue, just like you studied in high school economics those many years ago.

When demand exceeds supply, prices of any commodity go up. So what to do? Bring down the prices, that’s what. If there is a for-sale sign on your front lawn, call your Realtor today and instruct him/her to reduce your asking by, say, 40 per cent.

It’s not the full solution, but will help.

The foregoing is of course offered tongue-in-cheek, but I hope the point is clear: Don’t moan about the doctor shortage while asking — and probably getting — some outlandish price for your property. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

You’re welcome. Any time.

Bob Beazley
Victoria

School budget cuts play the same old song

Here we go again! It always seems that when it comes to school district budget cuts, one of the first cuts is to the funding of music lessons in our schools.

This despite the many reports and surveys outlining the many benefits of participating in music lessons.

The time has come for less emphasis on sport in the schools, and by doing so, cut the sport budget by 20 per cent.

Jennifer Shore
Victoria

No road, that will just bring traffic

The plan to build a new road “up the hill from Interurban” in order “to prevent large numbers of vehicle traffic to the area,” as a result of planned developments around the Camosun campus simply does not make sense.

According to the well-established concept in urban planning known as “induced demand,” the construction of more roads to alleviate traffic on other roads, generally has the opposite effect.

Instead, making more roads increases traffic on them, and hence increases the demand for even more roads. This is a vicious cycle, born out most notably in New York City in the 20th century.

The plan also runs directly against what we are being told time and again about the evils of road traffic. If that is true as the politicians keep telling us, then why on earth do they want to build yet another road? Such doublespeak can only stretch the credulity of the electorate to its very limits.

What exactly is “sustainable” about more roads at the cost of more trees and habitat? Let’s be honest here. What the world and the Capital Regional District really need is more narcotizing serials, more roads, more development and less natural habitat.

Why would we even think about minimizing our footprint in the 21st century?

With over 10,000 kilometres of new roads each year in B.C., being one of the main causes of rapidly decreasing wildlife populations, maybe it’s time to stop building more of them.

Sasha Izard
Saanich

Politicians, give us ideas, not just insults

It is with dismay that I watch the politicians hurling insults at each other instead of working together to solve problems. I want my elected representative to offer solutions.

I don’t want to vote for anyone unless they are offering concrete suggestions and are committed to working together with all the rest of the community.

All the crises we are facing will only be resolved when we are all committed to the greater good of everyone. We seem to be lemmings running over the cliffs of willful ignorance, blindness and self-interest.

Will we wake up in time to save ourselves and each other? What are we doing personally and collectively in our communities to improve life for all?

There are lots of organizations and people out there that can use our help.

Betty Doherty
Saanich

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