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Letters Feb. 23: Throne speech promises; we'll pay for housing; don't focus on hospital TVs; we need a rail line

Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin delivers the speech from the throne at the B.C. legislature on Tuesday. Chad Hipolito, The Canadian Press

Throne speech promises more of the same

The throne speech clearly told us we were in for more of the same.

So, more open drug use on the streets, more folks without doctors, more ­suffering while waiting for that operation, more homelessness, more unaffordable homes, more high interest rates, more inflation.

The NDP has had seven years to fix all this. It’s time for a change.

Rick Fonger


When in hospital, I want my CBC

I’m only here a few weeks on vacation, have been reading the plight of no televisions at the local hospital.

I’m 87 and in good health, and if I had to be hospitalized I’d want a radio to listen to CBC like I do daily back in Ontario – but like one of the writers I’d also miss Jeopardy.

Marylyn White

Peterborough, Ont.

Forget the TVs, focus on health care

I cannot believe the latest controversy about broken or missing televison sets in the patient care rooms at Royal Jubilee Hospital. There are more than 500 rooms housing patients with various illnesses including emergency, burn, cancer, cardiac, mental health, renal, respiratory, and vascular treatment in this first-class facility.

As challenged as our health-care system is, those short- or long-term in the hospital receive 24/7 expert, passionate and caring attention. The people there make miracles happen every day.

Can you imagine what the cost of a new contract would be to provide all new TVs and service maintenance in 500 rooms, as some would suggest?

I would rather have the Hospital Foundation and Island Health spend their budget dollars more wisely on hiring more staff and continuing to provide the world-class service we receive.

You can live without a TV. It’s not a hotel!

Brian Shaughnessy


Someone has to pay for all that housing

A home for all, how noble!

Perhaps all taxpayers of B.C. should open a savings specific account to pay for the impending significant tax increases that are sure to follow.

Eric J. Ronse

Shawnigan Lake

Island rail line is a key solution

Re: “Restore the train to ease housing crunch,” letter, Feb. 17.

The rail line is staring us in the face as a solution to the ongoing Malahat disasters and housing problems.

Why isn’t Premier David Eby pushing for the restoration of the island rail line, which could be a vital advancement to the housing solution and economic future of Vancouver Island as a transit corridor for commuters, freight and tourism.

The line could be upgraded to a ­modern electrified LRT.

Ideally the line should be twinned to Langford, however a single-line track could be adapted to operate efficiently by installing double-track platform stations for passing, one inbound and one outbound as in many other parts of the world. One operated by Queensland Rail north of Brisbane, Australia which carries more than 100,000 passengers daily into Brisbane, partly on a single-track line.

The carbon tax has done little for the environment except make life more expensive for everyone. The tax should be mandated to be dedicated to invest in transit and new green technology development.

Sooner or later, we are going to be forced into resurrecting a modern rail link up-Island, and the sooner we do this the better.

Certainly an operational rail line on the Island makes common sense and would relieve a lot of pressure from the Malahat and be of special benefit to commuters and those who have to travel from up Island for medical appointments.

LRT and tram systems are exploding all over the world as commuters embrace a more stress free green environmentally friendly way of commuting and travel.

Vancouver Island cannot continue with this unsustainable reliance on road transport especially over the Malahat.

Let’s get it done and bring it home.

Robin Chown

North Saanich

Ferries should be built in B.C.? Maybe not

Residents of B.C. only have to look to the eastern part of this country to witness the ongoing boondoggle of the navy shipbuilding project.

The spiralling costs of the 15 new frigates has doubled to $80 billion. The delivery of those ships has recently been projected to be on the far horizon of the 2030s.

Although none of those delays can be blamed on the workforce, one wonders if your workforce is anywhere ready for this kind of project?

Will there be enough skilled trades people available for the Halifax travesty when the Trudeau government finally gets it act together? Will most of your experienced people be out of province on that project when they are needed at home?

One has to also look at all the foreign components that were outsourced to China for the Kitimat LNG ­project. ­Private corporations are a much more astute bunch financially than any ­provincial government, and bureaucrats.

If your province is ready to roll the dice on future major shipbuilding one has to bet that residents should be prepared to add to your $100 billion-plus accumulated debt?

It is not so bad being landlocked, it is definitely cheaper!!

Alan M. Pugh


Politicians, please show some respect

When politicians at every level were elected into their positions, they were given an automatic posting to a certain scale of respect.

Once elected, people in their constituency felt the need to pay attention to the ideas they represent and to the way they present those viewpoints.

“What they say is important. Their communications denote and exemplify the character of our community. Those people are our leaders. They speak for us and what they say ensures the harmony and credibility of our population.”

So, what happens when a leader doesn’t live up to the expected standards? What happens when that person is crude and disrespectful to other leaders? Is that what we, as citizens, are supposed to learn and promote in our own personal interactions and relationships?

In my opinion, that’s the sure way to ensure life standards become meaningless and to make our various social communities become crass and unlivable.

Politicians have been elected to lead our communities into a healthy and co-operative lifestyle. We are depending on them.

No more sniping at one another. No more belittling other people’s ideas. We need them to respect other people’s suggestions and communicate until discussions and compromises result in well-crafted solutions.

Jean Jenkins



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