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Letters July 29: Hire more people for health care; PM needs to stay in Canada; war not the solution

A modern way to say goodbye While looking for a book in a neglected corner of my library I came across a book of epitaphs, which I had forgotten or never opened.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the NATO Summit, on July 12 in Vilnius, Lithuania. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

A modern way to say goodbye

While looking for a book in a neglected corner of my library I came across a book of epitaphs, which I had forgotten or never opened.

Some were sad, some humorous, but I was prompted to consider what my epitaph might be. In the blink of an eye, I had it.

“Sorry, but I have Zoom meeting.”

Ian Cameron

Brentwood Bay

Want to fix health care? Hire more people

Re: “Platitudes: the invisible enemy of health reform,” commentary, July 26.

One aspect remains a significant issue and that is our current reality of an overwhelming shortage of health-care professionals. Sadly, even if the reforms suggested by Ken Fyke were to be implemented this will remain a challenging aspect of any such reform.

Our colleges and universities simply cannot meet the educational demand and sadly our varied health-care professional colleges continue to obstruct any reform that would enhance or expedite the recruitment of out-of-country trained health-care resources.

In short, any national reform of Canada’s health-care system must be in tandem with a robust and effective strategy to get more human resources into the system, across the country!

John Stevenson


Different governments need to help our cities

Daily, as my wife and I walk from our downtown condo we are witness to the filth, drug abuse, broken windows, torched homes, cars and businesses, panhandling and craziness that has come to define downtown Victoria.

There must be a new approach to dealing with and reducing this, it won’t be easy, however it must be on many minds that enabling the present situation is failing. Hardworking, taxpaying citizens should be marching in the streets demanding change. Madness has taken over our city.

There needs to be a toughening of laws dealing with drug dealers and criminals, charges that stick, more jails as needed. Obviously more police need to be hired.

Drug addicts need to be taken off the streets and forcibly treated rehabilitated and retrained before being returned to society. Their “rights” need to be suspended until it can be determined and proven that they are fit to return to society.

Therefore, treatment centres must be built.

Housing must be built to accommodate them upon their return.

These steps will likely never be implemented by the failing left-wing governments we elect at every level. We know in our hearts and minds the type of politicians and parties we need to elect.

That’s all I have.

Stephen Kishkan


PM should stay home to deal with problems

It seems to me that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “out of Canada” more than here doing his elected job.

I was under the impression that when he was elected, it was to be the leader of our country, not the world.

It is about time he stayed home and started to look after our deteriorating health system, the strike that is paralyzingly B.C. and the homeless and drug situation and more!

Enough of the photo opportunities. It’s time to get down to taking care of some serious issues here at home.

W.E. Morrison


Try accommodation rather than a war

Are the major federal parties gearing up for an election, possibly in 2024? Will any of them advocate for negotiation and compromise in international relations instead of believing that war is the way to solve disputes?

As a member of NATO, Canada is supplying Ukraine with military support to keep the war in Ukraine going, but Canada is also supplying the Ukraine government with money to keep the government functioning.

Canada has provided $4.85 billion in loan assistance to Ukraine to help Ukraine meet its balance of payments and to support its macroeconomic stability.

On a per capita basis, Canada’s support for Ukraine is the highest in the world (at nearly $100 US per person), ahead of France, Germany and the United States.

War destroys people, human relations, infrastructure, and negatively affects the environment. Instead of trying to help end the war in Ukraine, Canada is financing its continuation.

After nearly two decades in Afghanistan, NATO finally ended its involved in September 2021 – just in time to focus on Ukraine!

The problems in Ukraine didn’t begin with the Russian invasion in Ukraine, it began before 2014 with the Euromaidan demonstration that turned violent.

Ukraine in the 2000s was a divided country, ethnically, linguistically and culturally, and was noted for its high level of corruption.

Witness all the recent wars in the Middle East in which the United States and its NATO allies were participants. Did any of them end up better off after the Americans and its allies withdrew?

With all the military and financial support flowing into Ukraine, the world has become increasingly polarized.

We all share this planet. Now is the time when the world needs compromise and co-operation to tackle important global issues such as global warming with the increasing natural disasters.

Won’t any Canadian political party take the stand that war is not the solution to political differences internationally? Canada follows a policy of accommodation, dialogue, and compromise to solve domestic issues, why does it not do so at an international level?

Louise Manga


Hundreds of bicycles are using Henderson Road

Letter writers who dismiss those interested in modernizing protocols for the Henderson Road bike lanes as the nagging voices of a handful of cyclists should be reminded that average daily numbers for the UVic entrance are more than 500 a day, year round, with significantly higher numbers when classes are in session. That makes for a pretty big small minority.

They are not cheering the rights of Oak Bay residents, but rather championing the private privilege of a very real small minority whose average five parking spots per household is apparently not enough to meet their needs.

None of those lobbying for a change to the time-share bike lanes have demanded that the street be closed to traffic, only that it no longer be used for storage of empty cars.

The bike lanes first appeared in 2008, 32 years after I made my first appearance at council to lobby for them, but that’s a speedy response for Oak Bay.

Capacity for traffic was unchanged by the fresh paint, though the visual cues offered by bike lanes will have helped to moderate traffic speeds to more closely resemble the posted limit.

Consulting engineers asked by council for recommendations on active transportation encouraged the elimination of time-share bike lanes as far back as 2011, and no engineers would support the protocol as safe infrastructure.

The majority of those responding to proposals to eliminate free parking along Henderson who made ­submissions to council supported the change, with ­opponents no more than you could count on one hand.

Rather than those on council who supported the change being afraid for their seats at the table come the next election, it is those whose practised resistance who should be reminded that the voters are coming for them.

John Luton


Give us hard numbers on many factors

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

First a reminder that the bike lanes weren’t built for the experienced “ardent cyclist” author, but for folks who want to cycle, or cycle further afield, but require the safety of the lanes to do so.

As for his methodology that relies mostly on “volume of bike traffic,” where are the actual traffic volume numbers? “No bikes,” “an absence of cyclists,” “considerable volume,” “[in]sufficient cycling volumes,” etc. are meaningless.

Show me the hard numbers! Not only today’s usage but in comparison to previous years.

As well, provide the numbers to back up the assertion that the cost of “active transportation” has “been excessive in money and outcomes.”

For example: The numbers on reduced C02 emissions by people being on bikes rather than driving cars. The per cent of costs covered by federal and provincial grant money specifically earmarked for cycling infrastructure. The reduction in physical and mental health costs through the exercise cyclists get. And so on.

It’s only these numbers that allow us to determine what constitutes “reality, practicality and common sense.” The world that most people on municipal councils seem to inhabit versus that of the writer.

John Farquharson


Traffic solution is not safer for anyone

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

I’ve been a cyclist for years and I don’t have issues with making biking safer. However, despite asking Amsterdam for advice, which the city ignored, and was told their plan would not work, Victoria created a disaster.

The lanes are not safe for bikers, pedestrians or cars. They inhibit bus and emergency vehicle traffic. They do not decrease car pollution but increase it because now cars have to drive farther and wait longer.

For example, in order to get into the Wharf Street parking lot from the south for the marina, Harbour Air, Orca Spirit Whale Watching, Milestones, the Causeway and the Tourist Bureau, I have to turn right up Fort, go to Douglas, go down to Pandora to Wharf and all the way back to the parking lot so I can turn right into it.

An extra 10 minutes plus of driving as opposed to a simple left turn.

And don’t forget the command to watch for bikes behind you before you turn right. Try that one sometime.

Good luck fixing this screw up.

Bill Day



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