Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Letters Dec. 10: Water for Mount Washington; the ethics of medically assisted dying

Two skiers enjoy the view at Mount Washington. A letter-writer has suggestions on how the ski resort could deal with its water shortage. NICK THORNTON, MOUNT WASHINGTON

A watery idea for Mount Washington

The ski resort may like to take a lesson from Bermuda, whose residents often display a sign in their loos: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down.”

Most houses in Bermuda sport roofs with a series of channels that direct any rain water into an underground tank — an idea for the ski resort?

Anne Moon


Deciding what is right when it comes to MAiD

A recent letter expressed concerns about conflicts of interest in dealing with complex situations involving assisted suicide. The writer seems to feel that since MAiD may decrease a psychiatrist’s “client base,” they should be relegated to the sidelines in these discussion.

My experience is that it is more difficult to see a psychiatrist than a family doctor in our existing health-care system, and the client base is almost infinite.

Perhaps we should all turn our attention to the fact that death is cost-effective in our health-care system. Our health-care system has saved millions of dollars since MAiD was introduced and approved, and will save many millions more in years to come when mental-health issues in the young are accepted into the program.

I would think the push to decrease the cost of care by governments for the suffering in our society should be of more concern than the loss of “client base” to psychiatrists and family physicians.

Dr. Al Wilke (retired)

Salt Spring Island

Rights versus good, plus authenticity

Re: “Deciding what is right in a complex situations,” letter, Dec. 8.

This signals one of humanity’s ongoing dilemmas: Where does good come into play?

The dilemma is relatively easy to understand if we assume all matters of human rights are means to ends, not ends in themselves, a universal mindset.

The real end of all human behaviour — and thus the decision-making initiating behaviour — is good, a point of view echoed by great minds for past two millennia. Ideally we create human rights to enhance, protect the good. But given the heavily personalized and subjective nature of good, we opted for dealing with rights because rights are outcomes of rational-based mental processing.

Attempts to generate rational-based issues of good guarantees throbbing headaches beyond Tylenol. But there is a way out. By simply inserting the idea of authenticity in the construct of good we end up with a continuum of authentic good at one end and inauthentic good at the other end — another term for evil.

Authentic good is that which enhances, improves, maximizes that which exists within the individual, for the betterment of that individual, and all other individuals interacting with that individual.

Saints and swine function at extreme ends; the rest hover around the middle.

Donald Lang


We need to convince our doctors to stay

The decision of the B.C. government to fund the establishment of a medical school at Simon Fraser University is being touted as part of the solution to the extreme shortage of family physicians in the province.

The fact is, having another medical school will only be helpful if the graduates of this school stay in the province and elect to become family physicians. So far, the provincial government has been silent on how it will ensure this ­outcome.

Several options come to mind. For example, tuition fees could be lowered for med students who commit to stay in the province and practise as family physicians for a set number of years once certified.

Absent these kind of retention ­measures, ponying up taxpayer funds to establish and operate another medical school will be all sizzle and no steak when it comes to addressing the crisis in family medicine.

Hannah Wells

Cordova Bay

New strata rental law takes away rights

Premier David Eby, how dare you.

My partner and I have worked very hard to raise sufficient money to purchase our home. It cost us just shy of half a million dollars and is a one-bedroom condo in a collection of six buildings in a safe and quiet area.

We are seniors. Now that we are ­settled in our little home, Eby came along with what he perceived to be a brilliant suggestion that rentals be allowed, that we can no longer place restrictions on our buildings because he feels that it ­disadvantages others.

We do not have a lot of choices in our lives left. We left the door open to anyone over the age of majority to be able to ­purchase in our complex, which was as far as anyone was willing to go.

Because we had only the option of buying our units, will the province pay for the damage and decay of our buildings because we are forced to embrace renters who don’t care about the esthetics of our property?

Will the province pay us the difference between what we paid for our condo and the devalued result because of Eby’s cavalier orders? This will not do anything toward the visible homeless population — many of them choose to remain living on the street.

Where are our rights? Why does Eby disadvantage us so someone who cries poverty gets to move in and devalue what we put our lifetime hard-earned money into?

Eby is destroying one segment of the populations’ life choice just to make another segment happy.

Nancy Egely


Cowichan hospital can still be used

Re: “Use the old hospital for the homeless,” letter, Dec. 8.

The old Cowichan District Hospital should be used as a hospital. The fourth floor is the part that should be the equivalent to Riverview, as it was in ages past.

It certainly doesn’t make sense to tear it all down, either. After all, Royal Jubilee Hospital is still a hospital even after Victoria General was built.

April J. Gibson


Nursing crisis at Lady Minto Hospital

There is a nurse staffing crisis at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island, where on any given day the nurses who work there are left to do their job with fewer than half the number of required staff.

This means the daily reality is having to work unsupported and understaffed, while managing soaring patient demands in unsafe conditions.

It’s not unusual for nurses to have to reach out to their colleagues to help cover shifts, and many are distressed not ­knowing if there will be a nurse available to care for their patients when their shift ends.

These dire working conditions are behind the overwhelming strain and moral distress our nurses face as they work to provide safe patient care.

The residents of Salt Spring Island deserve better. The nurses of Lady Minto Hospital deserve better.

We are calling on the government to invest in the province’s health-care ­system, so that hospitals like Lady Minto and communities like Salt Spring Island aren’t left to manage the health-care crisis alone. This means coming up with strategies to recruit and retain enough nurses to provide quality care to British Columbians.

The B.C. Nurses’ Union will be on site at Lady Minto Hospital to support its members from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Everyone can take action to support nurses by going to and emailing your MLA to demand change.

Carly Koeppen

Leanne Robertson-Weeds

B.C. Nurses’ Union regional council members

South Island Region


• Email letters to: [email protected]

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• 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.