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Letters Aug. 10: Can't get a ferry reservation; substandard care for heart-attack patients; what is causing our hot summer

Motorists waiting to board at Swartz Bay ferry terminal in July. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Our health superiority is a fabrication

Re: “People suffering heart attack up-Island are getting substandard care: doctor,” August 8.

It was very depressing and disillusioning reading the opinion of Dr. David Coupland, in which he describes very accurately the level of substandard health care available to Vancouver Island citizens.

I am not surprised and I am sure this is seen all over B.C., especially rural B.C. I find this an abomination, contemptible and should never be acceptable anywhere.

The B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons, the regulatory and licensing body, is solely responsible for this. They have done nothing for decades about this, promoting the false idea that Canadian-trained physicians and surgeons are the best in the world and all “foreign-trained” physicians and surgeons do not meet the high Canadian standard.

This propaganda is rubbish and there is not a shred of evidence to support such a fabrication. But Canadians still accept this? And Health Minister Adrian Dix, who is responsible for overseeing the college, has done less than nothing. I believe this illustrates the incompetence, ego, and hubris of the college and the health minister.

They should be held to account for dereliction of duty. How many citizens must die and have their health conditions deteriorate substantially before anything is finally done?

Dr. Paul Fenje Jr., MD


Picking wrong location for a heart attack

Re: “People suffering heart attack up-Island are getting substandard care: doctor,” August 8.

I was stunned and shocked to read to read the article. I’m 74 my wife is 79. Let us hope that we don’t have a heart attack here in Chemainus.

In the Nanaimo mayor’s comment, the closing paragraph says it all: “In Nanaimo, it’s a long way over the Malahat to Victoria and if you are coming from Port Alberni or Courtenay or Comox … we have more than half the population north of the Malahat and we don’t have a cath lab — in what world does that make medical sense?”

Time for action from Health Minister Adrian Dix!

John C. Hobbs


The heat this summer is only temporary

Re: “‘Something’s changed’: Summer 2023 is screaming climate change,” Aug. 6.

A screaming headline like this must warm the hearts of the climate alarmist community. Finally, they think: even those pesky climate “deniers” will have to admit it’s time to dismantle carbon-based Western civilization and move on from, as columnist Trevor Hancock puts it in the same issue, a “consumer” to a “conserver” society.

Alas, what’s “changed” to cause this year’s “record” heat, floods, droughts, forest fires, etc., isn’t increases in carbon dioxide but the eruption of a massive undersea volcano last year in the Pacific Ocean near Tonga.

The eruption, according to a research paper published in Nature Climate Change, threw as much as four million metric tons of water vapour into the atmosphere, increasing the amount of planetary water vapour by 10 to 15 per cent. This increase, the paper says, could temporarily raise the global temperature above the 1.5° Celsius mark.

Water vapour is the main greenhouse gas, responsible for up to 90 per cent of global warming at any given time and place, so this huge addition explains the year’s “record” temperatures.

Also, in a kind of “perfect storm,” 2023 is going to be a large El Niño year, which means added warmth.

In other words, this year’s “record” temperatures have almost nothing to do with human-caused carbon dioxide levels, Western civilization should be safe for now, and climate alarmists will have to find a new cause célèbre when temperatures fall back to “normal” in a year or two.

Paul MacRae


More action needed on climate change

The federal government’s latest climate bills and statements have huge loopholes and insufficiencies, such as the carbon capture measures omitting harms from burning fossil fuels, and capture being used mostly to pressure more fuel from the ground.

Unfortunately, the NDP and Conservatives seem no better or even worse by far. Our offspring, and some of us living are likely to die prematurely from climate and fossil-fuel pollution causes.

Deaths will occur from violence as stress of many sorts brought on by climate diversions of resources reduce the well-being of many. Recently some are noticing a reduction in civilized behaviour even hereabouts.

It is vital that we have a government determined to address climate change as one of the principal contributors to several of our ills, and a factor that, if left unaddressed before the harms run away on us, will render nearly all social injustices incurable.

The only political party appearing willing to tackle climate mitigation forcefully is the Greens.

We should openly support and vote for them. At least it should scare their rivals into moving to the firmer action we desperately and urgently need.

Glynne Evans


No reservations possible for a weekend ferry

I’m a Victoria resident trying to go to Vancouver on Saturday but I can’t get a ferry reservation in the morning at any price! I need to go over on a morning ferry and it’s one week out from my (hopeful) trip and it’s all booked up. I’m checking the website many times an hour, hoping for a cancellation … I know the system.

I don’t mind travelling without a ­reservation but in this case I’m travelling with my dogs and if I don’t have a reservation I will be put on the lower car deck and during the summer it can get quite hot in the lower car deck, too hot for the ­doggies, even if I leave the windows open.

If I were to leave the dogs in a hot car on a summer’s day I would be irresponsible, but if I want to travel on B.C. Ferries I don’t have a choice, because I can’t get a reservation.

This situation is unacceptable. What’s going on that the entire morning’s ­ferries are booked up at least one week in advance, and it’s not a long weekend?

Lorna Allen


Transportation future: Hydrogen-powered rail

Recently, a hydrogen passenger train began service in Quebec. It would make an excellent choice for rail restoration service on Vancouver Island.

Increasing demand for transportation options on Vancouver Island has never been higher. A hydrogen powered passenger rail service would complement the new fast catamaran ferry service in Nanaimo as well as B.C. Ferries and island airports.

As customers are encouraged to travel as foot passengers on our ferries, we need passenger rail to transport them from the terminals to their various destinations. The economic benefits would be welcome in all communities.

I encourage everyone to support hydrogen rail passenger service for Vancouver Island by contacting your representatives to get the job done.

This is an exciting opportunity for all levels of government and First Nations to work together for a cleaner, efficient and sustainable environment.

Ronald Starkie


Keep perspective about rainbow crosswalks

It is just so maddening to hear people talking about the vandalism of rainbow crosswalks as “devastating.” Do these people not bother with the wider news in general, and what is happening around the world?

For instance, it is devastating when your leg is amputated. It is devastating for parents to lose their young adult children who were heroically fighting wildfires. It is devastating when you can’t find an organ donor for yourself or a beloved family member or friend.

A rainbow crosswalk is just a stretch of pavement endowed, by some, with a few symbolic colours — that’s all.

It is not sacred. It is not a matter of national security.

Nor should it be a matter of national outrage, when so many other more ­pressing causes dealing with the actual welfare of human beings in peril really should be.

Is it really too much to ask for people to keep some perspective?

Lesley House


A tag on a senior might make life easier

Reports of “lost” members of a family who are suffering from dementia or other related diseases seem to be increasing.

This places extraordinary stress on family members and local authorities to track down a family member or other person who has wandered off undetected.

Measures such as placing locks on doors or assigning supervision to a family member or friend does not always work.

I wonder if our seniors’ organizations have thought of marketing the use of applicable non-invasive electronic tracking devices to help.

We use them to track our luggage when we travel. So why not our loved ones as well?

Cary Corbeil

Qualicum Beach

A lack of thought about bike-lane plans

Re: “From disasters to successes: A ­summary of bike lanes,” commentary, July 22.

The commentary is a perfect way to summarize and criticize the “bike lane dream” put forward by the minority in our city.

The Tillicum Road traffic idling — beside empty bike lanes due to the single-lane fiasco — is only going to get worse as the bike lane extends farther up toward Craigflower.

Help us all.

I am disgusted at the lack of foresight by each of the three municipalities on the issue of the restriction of the vehicle lanes in an effort to encourage bike use.

There seems to be a lack of thought for our driving population, the environment or the economic impact to business.

Work crews sit waiting for lights to change while zero bikes make their way along the extra wide pathway custom built for “they will come” bicyclists.

Yes bicycles are nice, and yes it is a great way to commute, but not at the expense of everything else.

The number of vehicles is increasing faster than the biking population. Think about that.

Oh I forgot. They are not thinking. They are dreaming.

Richard Ackrill



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• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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