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Letters Jan. 6: Words of wisdom for 2022; questions about capital-region amalgamation

Thick smoke fills the air and nearly blocks out the sun as a property destroyed by the White Rock Lake wildfire is seen at Monte Lake, east of Kamloops, in August 2021. DARRYL DYCK, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Words of wisdom for us to follow

During 2021 we have witnessed floods and fire of Biblical proportions and a world plagued by the ravages of COVID.

This has brought home to me the reality that in this life all we are assured of is the now.

With this in mind, if there is anything important that you would like to do, or to say, to someone special, now is always the best time to say it.

Wishing us all a brighter and safer 2022.

Roy Summerhayes

Why bother with study if the answers are known?

Re: “Why does the province ignore Victoria and Saanich?” commentary, Jan. 5.

The chair of Amalgamation Yes writes imploring the province to fund a study exploring potential amalgamation between Saanich and Victoria.

And yet it is clear that Amalgamation Yes has all the answers already and a study is unnecessary. Is anyone else confused?

David Screech
Mayor, View Royal

There’s a better way to dispose of bodies

Finally, a famous, revered Nobel Prize Winner, Bishop Desmond Tutu, has taken a lead by choosing alkaline hydrolysis as his preferred method of body disposal, instead of cremation, because it has 95 per cent less of an effect on the environment.

Why has this choice, which shows real environmental leadership, not been featured in our media to a greater extent, especially by those who claim they are focused on ways of reducing carbon emissions?

The effect of the most popular method, cremation, on the atmosphere has been ignored in discussions about air pollution. B.C. politicians have been deaf to requests to change the law, which now forbids the use of aquamation/alkaline hydrolysis.

Three other provinces and many states/countries allow this method but “green B.C.” still prevents people from choosing this as an option.

This method would not infringe on anyone else’s rights, cause any rise in taxes or affect anyone except the user, so on what grounds is it forbidden?

It seems I can refuse a vaccine, yet I do not have the right to refuse burning, or burying my body’s remains, despite a more acceptable method being available.

Barbara Spencer

We are all responsible for public safety

Re: “Look both ways before crossing the road,” letter, Dec. 23.

This advice applies to both pedestrians and drivers. I know from personal experience and engaging in both roles, driver and pedestrian, that it’s important to be aware, alert and responsible anywhere on the road.

Especially near crosswalks and intersections where pedestrians abound.

There is no point playing the blame game, but can’t we just all pay attention? It’s true that as pedestrians we need to be visible and look both ways, but also the drivers out there have to do the same.

Many times as a pedestrian I’ve had close calls with unconscious drivers who aren’t paying attention and fail to see what’s right in front of them.

Let’s all share the road, slow down in any kind of weather and stop the moronic behaviour of texting while driving. That’s a whole other topic, but definitely contributes to needless accidents.

Stay safe, look around, slow down and enjoy your life.

Suzanne Leblanc

In the end, don’t trust anyone on the road

As a retired HandyDART driver of more than 30 years, I concur with the recent letter regarding looking both ways before crossing streets and you should never be hit by a car, plus I agree the drivers should follow all the rules of the road and cellphones should never be used while driving, but also they shouldn’t be used by a pedestrian or bike rider when coming up to and crossing a street.

Lives are precious and everyone is responsible for theirs. Parents have the responsibility to teach their children to look both ways when doing anything near a road or highway because, as one writer said, it’s a heavy piece of machinery driving down the road.

I learned not to trust drivers, bike riders or pedestrians, and thankfully retired with a clear conscience.

Dennis Bourne

Transparency needed as Saanich pays out

Re: “Group questions $580,000 severance package for departed Saanich CAO,” Dec. 29.

What exactly is the new direction in which Saanich is moving? Former CAO Paul Thorkelsson left his position with Saanich at the end of November for a recommended severance of almost $580,000 for undisclosed reasons.

According to Mayor Fred Haynes, matters such as these related to human resources are highly confidential and private.

I would submit that a severance package of over half a million dollars of taxpayer money needs a bit more transparency than some nebulous reference to a change in council’s direction.

Keith Laxton

Omicron, Omega and more Greek letters

Re: “COVID-19 a lesson in Greek letters, one variant at a time,” Dec. 28.

The article explains the new mutant COVID-19 virus naming, but not the letters themselves.

The Greek alphabet uses two letters or phonemes “O.” One “O” is short or small, the other long or large. Accordingly, the first one is called “micro O,” the second one “mega O.” And therefore “O-micro-n” and “O-mega” are in use.

We may well hope that this virus will never mutate and proceed from the 15th letter Omicron to the last, 24th, letter of the Greek alphabet, an “Omega” variant.

Hermann Helmuth

Medical system needs improvement

The lack of accessibility to timely, responsive medical care is a crisis in this province. This is no secret to anyone. All of us have either experienced it personally or know someone who has.

This is not due to lack of effort, intention or will on the part of the medical practitioners in British Columbia. They do a herculean job and are tapped out.

Nor can it blamed on COVID-19, although the pandemic took a bad situation and made it exponentially worse.

I lay the blame and hence the solution squarely at the feet of federal and provincial governments whose regulation, regulations and policies result in doctor shortages and force the creation of unnecessary practices, such as mandatory doctor’s appointments for routine prescription renewals which only choke availability and access further.

We do not have enough doctors. The doctors we have can’t work to maximum efficacy due to limitations on their flexibility and freedom to provide medical services in the most efficient way possible.

The answer? Pay doctors much more. Create more available spots in medical school. Stop government limitations that force doctors into practices that only further reduce the capacity of the system.

This is a worthwhile expenditure of our taxpayer dollars. There are so many other public funding priorities that do not even approach the benefit this would have for everyone. People are suffering.

How do we, as a group, put pressure where pressure is needed to bring change? This can’t go on.

Launa Palset

Remember history, don’t rewrite it

It has been moving to read the letters and commentaries about preserving the Royal B.C. Museum’s Old Town.

The letters expressed how much the displays were enjoyed by those who attended and cogent arguments have been made regarding delaying the closing and destruction of the third floor exhibits until a plan has been adopted to rewrite our history.

Unfortunately, those remarks will not be considered because we are living in a time of extreme political correctness. Woke is the badge of the politically correct crowd and their feeling of intellectual superiority does not permit room for other views or accepting history, warts and all.

Once, I visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Upon entering, I was met by a stern woman dressed in a drab-looking brown suit who ordered me to go over to the wall and pick an ID card from the slotted display.

The photos on the ID cards were of people murdered during the Holocaust. This encounter amplified the experience I was embarking on.

I will not forget it, and we should not rewrite our history either.

Wayne Cox


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