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Letters Dec. 3: Restaurant staff vaccination status; Shelbourne needs bike lane

Readers have questions about whether restaurants and other public spaces can let customers know if their staff have been vaccinated, and to what degree. LARS HAGBERG, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Can restaurants mention vaccinations?

I am a senior who has been careful since the beginning of the pandemic; wearing masks, avoiding crowded spaces and, since vaccines have been widely available, avoiding people who have not been vaccinated.

I would love to be indoors at a restaurant with friends during this festive season. My friends have all been vaccinated and we have the cards to provide it.

However, if the servers at the restaurants are not vaccinated, how can this be safe? If a restaurant has a completely vaccinated workforce (there must be some!) is it legal to advertise this on their social media?

Patricia Beatty

If they won’t tell, take business elsewhere

Re: “We have to show proof, but can’t ask for theirs,” letter, Nov. 20.

In response to the writer concerning servers possibly not being vaccinated, the system is far from perfect, but I believe it works.

Anyone who wants to dine out needs to be vaccinated. The fact that the server may not be vaccinated is not the “lever.”

When that server wants to go to a restaurant, a sports event and more, he or she will also have to show vaccine status, that is the lever. I think it works 99 per cent of the time.

When it does not, I suggest you not patronize that establishment. I have heard of many businesses, restaurants or otherwise implement, not mandate, vaccines, either by a democratic process or by the management requiring it.

Sadly, I personally believe we need many more “levers” to get the balance of the population on board. I have been double vaccinated since early summer, and I have yet to turn into a sterile sheep-headed zombie.

I am safe from a serious disease, though.

Rod Stiebel

Finish Shelbourne, and add a bike lane

I have been living just off of Shelbourne Street for a year and a half. Each morning, as I ride my bike to class, I have to endure an unsafe and dangerous bike ride.

Construction on the northern end of Shelbourne has lasted for as long as I have lived there, and the lack of bike lanes makes it treacherous. The District of Saanich should fix the northern end of Shelbourne and implement a bike lane for bikers to get places faster and safely.

With the proximity to the University of Victoria, Gordon Head is composed mostly of students. A large number of students commute via bike on Shelbourne.

A bike lane would help students get to campus more efficiently and dramatically increase safety. Making biking on Shelbourne more accessible will also allow for less traffic on roads.

Without a bike lane on Shelbourne, there are times in the winter when biking is not an option due to the risk of not being able to be seen. The next viable option is to take the bus or drive.

Driving to campus increases congestion, and increases emissions, and fills parking spaces, which UVic lacks. A bike lane would increase people’s willingness to take their bikes to campus.

The construction on the north end of Shelbourne is causing harm to bikers and seems to be getting worse as more time goes on.

Although upgrades are likely needed, not having a detour route for bikers is outrageous. The road is dismantled with gravel and manhole covers extruding, making it almost unrideable for bikers.

Jesse Harold

Barbados is a republic, but should we care?

Hooray. Barbados has become a republic.

Judging by the breathless non-stop coverage on CBC, this was a significant development, except that it was preceded by India, Ireland, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and the list goes on.

Twenty-one Commonwealth states have become republics, just as Barbados has now done. Since the former governor-general of Barbados assumed the title of president with the stroke of a pen, all that was really needed was a change of stationery.

Conjuring up a good story, the CBC got to raise the question of the monarchy in Canada, where the situation is completely different from the former slave society of Barbados, and where the mechanism to make the change, if needed, is complex and likely impossible to manage.

But it filled the airwaves for a couple of days — and it wasn’t even a “slow news” period. Was there a hidden agenda?

Hugh Stephens

Stick to the facts on bus proposal

Re: “Malahat solution will take more than buses,” commentary, Dec. 1.

I am not sure what to make of Island Corridor Foundation CEO Larry Stevenson calling into question the proposal, by Todd Litman and Alistair Craighead, that frequent public buses could help alleviate congestion and transit time over the Malahat.

Stevenson argues that these buses would get stuck in the same traffic congestion as cars, but he seems to wilfully ignore the fact that reliable and frequent bus service would presumably reduce congestion on the highway by encouraging people not to drive cars in the first place.

Whether or not Stevenson’s proposal for an expensive rail corridor to supplement the existing highway is a good idea, he would very much help his case by responding with logic to counter-proposals, such as Litman and Craighead’s bus idea, rather than seeking to bolster his own views through an illogical misrepresentation of theirs.

Lincoln Z. Shlensky

If we can afford Site C, we can afford old trees

Surely, if the B.C. government can spend $16 billion destroying precious farmland and building the Site C dam, they can come up with a few million dollars to save our old-growth forests.

Lia Fraser

Ministry not open about its hub proposal

The Ministry of Children and Family Development is hosting a series of information sessions for parents to call in and hear about the new hub model that Minister Mitzi Dean announced in late October.

We were told this information session to put our minds at ease and be a platform to have our questions answered. This was not the case.

The sessions were scripted and so are the answers to the questions. They skirted around most questions and were unable to give a direct answer to questions put forward.

They limited the Zoom capabilities so parents and service providers could not see questions being submitted by the other people on the call. Is that being transparent?

These sessions have proven that Dean is not listening to parents or service providers, has failed to provide basic information and is continuing to disregard the well-being of our children. Parents know best!

This hub model will have a negative impact on thousands of children.

Elena Lawson

Nurse practitioners could ease shortage

Re: “Is there really a physician shortage in B.C.?” commentary, Nov. 25.

An interesting retrospective from a retired family practice physician, without any mention of nurse practitioners as part of the resolve to the problem.

All of the “by the time the patient meets the physician” tasks could be completed by a nurse practitioner, and the “physician” in the narrative could be replaced with a nurse practitioner depending on the complexity of the patient’s issues.

There is also a shortage of other allied professional family health-care practitioners; physicians represent one of several other important players.

There are other professionals too that need to be inserted into the current “shortage.” Improving the shortage in one area will have spillover effects to others, leading to a consequent increased demand for other health-care professionals that will be unavailable.

It is not just about family practitioners!

John Stevenson

Medical paperwork a problem for veterans

Re: “Thousands of disabled veterans waiting years for government support,” Nov. 6.

As someone who takes pride in assisting our veterans, and as a veteran myself, there needs to be some guidance with regard to military members transitioning from the military to civilian life.

I am not sure how many realize that once we leave the military we no longer have a doctor.

Obviously this is a concern for everyone these days, but while we are in the military we have a doctor for however many years we serve. Many of us have to get out of the military for medical reasons due to our service.

The problem is that when we try to get a doctor to fill out Veterans Affairs paperwork for our disability once we get out, we run into a huge roadblock. Walk-in clinics are hesitant to fill out the paperwork and some downright refuse because they do not know enough about our medical history.

This has caused much depression and anxiety amongst our deserving veterans who are willing to put their life on the line for our country, and the world for that matter.

This situation is unacceptable for civilians and military veterans.

I wonder if someone could figure out a better solution. Let’s hope….

Terri Orser

Sixty days to wait to prove who I am

Many years ago, I lost my B.C. identification. ICBC insisted I start all over again to duplicate what they already had. I did, and they took my picture again and I got my ID in less than two weeks.

Last week, I had to go through this once again, but some ICBC genius thought it was OK for me to wait, after getting my picture, up to 60 days before getting my photo ID.

Without that I can’t get my official vaccination card and therefore I cannot check into a hotel for a place to live while I reorganize my life.

Is this incompetence or contempt for us?

Richard Patterson


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