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Letters June 14: Doctor shortage; B.C. Liberals' name change

A cancer specialist looks through a microscope at a tissue sample. A letter-writer suggests a trip to Seattle, though expensive, might be the fastest way to speed cancer treatment for Island residents in the face of the doctor shortage. DENISE McGILL VIA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Screening solution is a short hop away

Re: “Doctor shortage a barrier to lung cancer screening,” June 11.

The story points out the “catch” between the B.C. government’s new program of providing screening for lung cancer, and then the patient needing a doctor to sign off on the test results.

About one million B.C. residents do not have access to a doctor.

Here’s a thought: Get the test done, jump on a harbour aircraft, go to Lake Union in Seattle, a short, simple flight, breeze through U.S. Customs. Then go to the Swedish Hospital where they will give you your results immediately.

If all clear, you are back in Victoria for dinner, with nothing more to worry you. If not all clear, you are in a great hospital and if do you have lung cancer, they will start immediately to save your life.

If you sit around here waiting for a doctor and a test, you might die. And forget about the cost, Canadians worry ourselves sick about the medical costs in the United States, what value do you put on your life?

Do it — you may live happily ever after, if not, you know the consequences.

Jim Laing

Never been Liberal, so change the name

Re: “B.C. Liberals eye name change in time for 2024 election,” June 12.

It’s a great idea that the B.C. Liberal Party should change its name, as it’s never been “liberal” in any sense of the word.

Identifying themselves as the free-enterprise coalition, this hodge-podge of grumps and right-wingers have changed their coat before, from “Conservative” in the 1940s to “Social Credit” in the 1950s to the 1990s “Liberal,” in part to coat-tail with federal success of that national party while swearing they’re not affiliated.

Perhaps they should pattern the new name after the United Conservative Party of Alberta, which is at least honest about being conservative, if not the least bit united. Or how about the Free Enterprise Might-Makes-Right Party, or the B.C. Corporate Interests Party?

Whichever, but good for them for dropping the “liberal” title, which was a lie from the start. You can fool some of the people some of the time….

Gerald Rotering
James Bay

Several possible names for the Liberals

Re: “B.C. Liberals eye name change in time for 2024 election,” June 12.

They need a new name? How about Reform, Alliance, Social Credit or Republican North. Right now, they are about as far from being Liberal as one can get.

Don Duvall

And another idea for a new name

Re: “B.C. Liberals eye name change in time for 2024 election,” June 12.

Kevin Falcon wants to change the name of his party, and one can sympathize. He has a dilemma. He’s perfectly correct that the party is certainly not liberal.

On the other hand, it will still be the same party once the name is changed. In a spirit of helpfulness and authentic name branding here’s a name: The B.C. Lipstick Party — as in lipstick on a pig.

Rob Garrard

Let’s get on with museum replacement

With regard to the expensive proposal to build a new museum in downtown Victoria, I would like to ask readers and doubters to keep things in perspective. After all, it’s all relative.

In 2010, Vancouver received billions upon billions of dollars in direct benefits from the Winter Olympics; the $2-billion Canada Line to the airport and the $800-million Sea-to-Sky Highway come to mind; so does the debatable $2-billion Conference Centre investment. I would like to see a cost-benefit analysis of that decision.

Victoria is tourist-dependent. In my view, we receive a far less share per capita of large capital projects as compared to Vancouver. Therefore, we are past due including the needed beautification of our harbour, an improved ferry terminal area and an art gallery somewhere.

I agree that the optics and selling process has been terribly handled. However, we have a world-class collection of artifacts that visiting tourists and the local public needs to see somewhere on permanent display.

Lastly, this is Premier John Horgan’s swan song. When did we last have an Island premier? When will we have another one? Certainly no other premier would suggest something so bold.

Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth and get on with something practical that will add to our economy and local businesses for years to come.

Nick Gudewill

Divided, we are sure to fall

Re: “A column filled with misdirections,” letter, June 10.

Once again Gwyn Morgan’s opinions elicit some rigid views that many can interpret quite differently. They confirm the maxim that “they only see what they already believe in.”

Our writer generously concedes a few points, but obviously dismisses Morgan’s business background as an ethical impediment.

The art of civil discourse requires we respect differing views. It takes courage and fortitude to get in the ring and fight for progress.

Most human genius falls on stony ground. It is well to remember the golden nuggets are a rarity; it is among the dross of compromise that the best marriages of the mind flourish and endure. E pluribus unum, united we stand, is a good old motto.

Time to drop some of that Right and Left broad-brush labeling and get back to staying solvent and safe. Surely we can agree accountability and arithmetic are always good starting points. Divided and unmoved we will certainly fall.

Russell Thompson

A reading suggestion for Gwyn Morgan

Perhaps Gwyn Morgan should read The Ministry for the Future by K.S. Robinson, and then rethink what he writes in his columns.

Bob Peart
North Saanich

Hybrid is the answer as vehicles evolve

Re: “Electric vehicles in Canada: Fact versus fantasy,” commentary, June 8.

Gwyn Morgan’s commentary about the “futility” of trying to green up the planet by quashing Canada’s oil production in the face of the Ukrainian war contains a number of depressing truths and some half-truths.

The mad rush to electrify Canadian vehicles is a half-truth. If we refer to pure electric, Morgan’s argument holds. Electricity production in our prairies is currently oil- and coal-dominated, so electric here is actually worse or no better than gasoline. Morgan correctly scorns the mass mining of battery material, as this is hardly “green.”

The point he misses is the virtue of the hybrid vehicle. Your hybrid car has a battery one-tenth the size of pure electric, so the “dirty mining” issue almost disappears. Drive 20,000 kilometres per year using a hybrid and about half your energy consumption is electric because much of your driving is close range.

By veering from gasoline to pure electric we are missing the elegant solution in the middle — namely, the hybrid.

Having retired as professional engineer from the Alberta oil and gas industry, I recall many years of trying to engineer more efficient, less-polluting ways of processing natural gas. Almost every time we proposed a cost-effective efficiency program to the oil and gas CEOs, they would thank us politely but prefer to spend their money drilling more wells, as this had a better rate of return on their investments.

I suggest that “greed rules” is yet another depressing truth Morgan might add to his list.

Nev Hircock

Can’t beat the drive in my electric car

Re: “Electric vehicles in Canada: Fact versus fantasy,” commentary, June 8.

I have this discussion with business friends and climate deniers. I say it’s really conviction bias versus fantasy, the conviction being that EVs cost a lot of money.

New money that goes to new and bigger electrical grids, government subsidies, rapid high-voltage chargers and maybe new parking spaces. Add to this the cost of mining rare metals.

Well, it is a lot of money if you add it to that already being spent on fossil fuels. And what about, if one is making a detailed tally of EV costs, we do the same for fossil fuels: Government subsidies, search and retrieval of harder-to-get oil, building more pipelines, cleaning up oil spills, restoring well and mine sites?

More EVs means less money for oil companies to distribute. I’m sad about that because I own some, too.

I ask my friends to get ahold of an EV and drive it for a week. They can’t do that now, but could have a month ago.

So I tell them about my most recent trip back from the airport in mine. I took Old West Saanich Road back.

My fuel tank is registered in kilometres, based on the battery charge. I started off with 346 and after traveling 20 kilometres still showed 336 left. Why? Because the electric engine also acts like a generator.

With careful driving I can get my usage down close to 12 kW-h per 100 km.

Ended up surrounded by traffic on Blanshard Street, admittedly feeling superior. I had had a quiet, fun ride and had never touched the pedal once. The engine acts as a brake, too. For the life of the car I will never need a brake job. It doesn’t even come with a maintenance manual.

As for the fantasy part, lots of famous people have dreams. The present prevailing one is that we can halt global warming. The crack in Comment about people like me hurting Ukrainians is a cheap shot.

Al Hocker

Dog walkers beware, a new mom is aggressive

Please warn all dog walkers about an aggressive doe who is threatening all dog walkers in the King Alfred and Knutsford Place area, because she has newborn babies hidden nearby.

Alan Randell

Commit to spending two per cent of GDP

Our climate crisis is becoming critical and too many people “swing from denial straight to despair stage.”

We have learned from the Paris convention to define one scientific number, 1.5 C.

Now we can try to define the means to achieve this by another number, such as two per cent. That is to increase our global investment in eco-friendly technologies and infrastructure by two per cent above 2020 levels.

Two prominent scientific agencies have recommended the two per cent number based on their independent analysis. They are the UN’s International Governmental Panel on Climate Change landmark 2018 report and the International Energy Agency. Both concluded that to achieve a net-zero carbon economy, we need to spend two per cent of the annual global GDP.

The two per cent is only a small slice of the total global GDP of about $85 trillion US. The two per cent totals to about $1.7 trillion. Our global pension fund holds about $56 trillion US. What’s the point of having a pension if you don’t have a future?

So for the next COP27 convention in November in Egypt, we must ensure in addition to meeting the earlier criteria of 1.5 C, our leaders also sign the cheque for two per cent of annual global GDP.

Barid Manna, P.Eng (ret’d)
Ex-head, Air Quality Management
B.C. Environment

Get back to reality, and away from fantasy

In his excellent June 11 commentary on the harm-reduction response to the drug crisis, Bill Cleverley effectively exposed the problems involved with this approach, which might be summarized by the expression “fantasy world.”

A couple days earlier, Gwyn Morgan exposed the “fantasy world” thinking behind the electric-vehicle promise. Before that, Lawrie MacFarlane exposed the “fantasy world” that human-rights tribunals inhabit, to judge by many of their decisions.

Unfortunately, there are an equal or greater number of opinions expressed that take the opposite tack, such as replacing cars with bicycles and other such “fantasies.”

It might make people feel better to subscribe to these agreeable notions, but as a base for public policy, the results are unfailingly disastrous — and expensive. And here on our Blessed Island, we’re suffering from way too much fantasy-based governance.

Our saviour-wannabe mayor has made a shambles of her fantasy of converting a car-based conurbation into biketopia. Our old-fashioned socialist premier has butchered numerous files, most recently taking a spectacular pratfall on the Royal B.C. Museum banana peel.

To top it off, the spoiled child who swiped the PM’s office on the basis of his last name has torpedoed our priceless resource industry while simultaneously smashing the national piggy bank and flushing its contents down the drain.

The damage done by these “fantasy” policies has been eroding the foundations of our civilization for a few generations now. If we don’t get back on the reality highway very soon, it will be too late.

We are speeding full tilt on the road to perdition.

Michel Murray

Want my business? Then wear a mask

Times have changed the way many things are today. I refuse to eat at a restaurant where the server does not wear a mask when bringing my food or drinks, and this also applies to the cooks.

Am I wrong? All restaurants should do this, please.

Ralf Klostermann

An opportune time to return artifacts

A recent article advocated returning museum artifacts to families and bands they were taken from. This, along with the goal of establishing their own museums, is an empowering idea.

As the Royal B.C. Museum is dismantled, it is an opportune time. Morally correct, reconciling the past with today’s enlightened knowledge.

Heather Graham


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