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Letters June 25: Try higher density in Rockland; LifeLabs' move; defending ICBC

Around 80 people with flags and signs in support of LGBTQ+ rights and a loudspeaker blaring gay pop anthems protest on June 22 outside the Victoria Conference Centre where the Reclaiming Canada conference was being held. TIMES COLONIST June 22, 2024

If density is so nice, try it in Rockland

Re: “Fernwood mixed-use project moves ahead despite lack of parking,” June 21.

I’m appalled by the decision to shoehorn way too much housing on a small lot on Gladstone Avenue and the comments to support the decision.

”Redevelopment of single family homes” leads the mind to two city lots, but this is one small city lot already divided up for two small homes. And it is significantly higher ground than the housing behind it, so the structure will completely overshadow their yards.

And this speaks nothing to the parking situation, which can be argued forever. And the nerve of Coun. Matt Dell to call this a “fantastically dense little neighbourhood” and make it even denser.

How about turning part of Rockland into a “fantastically dense little neighbourhood” instead. At least the development wouldn’t completely overshadow their neighbours and it could add a much-needed coffee house to the area.

Susan Link


Another cut to Island’s health care

Re: “LifeLabs to move testing to Surrey, union warns of longer wait for results,” June 21.

I am appalled at yet another cut to Vancouver Island’s health care. This cut will add to the wait time for adequate health care. Time-sensitive laboratory testing that relies on B.C. Ferries seems to be an incident waiting to happen.

I urge people to write to their MLA and to the health minister demanding better accessibility to health services here on Vancouver Island. With a population of about 870,000, we need to demand better accessibility.

The median age is 48, which says to me the demand for timely health care is going to greatly increase in the very near future.

Brenda Gourley


LifeLabs testing decision will cause new risks

Re: “LifeLabs to move testing to Surrey, union warns of longer wait for results,” June 21.

The phrase “penny wise, pound foolish” comes to mind, concerning the announcement that LifeLabs in Victoria and Kamloops will be closed and consolidated into a single lab in Surrey.

It seems that efficiency and automation are more important than the health of the public.

We know that the results of lab testing have serious implications for medical treatments and delays of even a few hours can have life-or-death consequences.

Putting all testing into a single facility is a foolish and potentially dangerous situation. We are talking about thousands of tests being done daily. Where is the scientific data to show that the present system is not working?

The increased necessity of using ferry or airplane means to transport tissues, blood, urine or other products is against the best interests of health of the public.

In addition to mechanical failures of ferries, more storms due to global warming, and increased population growth, we should be increasing the scope of testing in Victoria and Kamloops, not shutting their labs down.

And we need sufficient highly trained personnel to carefully prepare and check the results of complex testing procedures. The proposed reduction of on-the-ground workers needs to include the salaries of the CEO and senior management.

Thor Henrich


Express these views, but cancel those views

Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Grace Lore attended the Reclaiming Canada Conference protest, as is her right in our democracy. She also attempted to block/cancel the conference from taking place.

Whither (and wither!) freedom of speech and debate? She doesn’t like the opinions of others, so cancel them, but it’s fine for her to openly express her views, and not be prevented from doing so?

This is a trend throughout the western world now, particularly in universities. So much for the enlightenment and the age of reason.


Media, and all free-thinking people, should be concerned.

Mike Spence


ICBC’s payment likely to exceed previous system

Re: “No-fault needs to be fair to accident victims,” editorial, June 21.

The Enhanced Care insurance model is designed to help anyone injured in a car crash with ongoing medical and rehabilitation support.

While we’re always looking to improve the model, the idea put forward that it is “deeply flawed” and not providing seriously injured people with support is simply wrong, and ignores how this system of care works here and has worked successfully for decades in provinces such as Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

ICBC has a dedicated team of advanced recovery specialists available to help seriously injured people to ensure they are getting the ongoing support they need.

Benefits available include income replacement if they’re unable to work, treatments like physiotherapy, kinesiology and massage therapy, modifications to a person’s home and vehicle to make them safe and accessible, assistance with their daily activities like personal care, and cash compensation for serious and permanent injuries.

The editorial about a catastrophically injured person receiving enhanced care benefits does not include any reference to how much ICBC has paid to date in benefits or what will continue to be provided throughout their lifetime.

These benefits and payments are likely to far exceed what would have been available in the old legal-based system where an injured person may have been eligible for a one-time settlement that was, in most circumstances, limited by an at-fault driver’s liability coverage, would often take years to resolve and would be reduced by one-third to pay for lawyer fees.

We know that car crashes can result in devastating, life-altering injuries. It’s important for British Columbians to know ICBC is here to help. We take concerns about the Enhanced Care model and our organization’s commitment to supporting crash victims seriously.

We are working hard to make improvements — whether that’s through better training for our recovery specialists, simplifying the claims process, and collaborating with advocacy groups and health leaders to ensure British Columbians are getting the care they need after a crash.

Jason McDaniel

Vice-President Operations, ICBC

Let’s help them turn their lives around

The downtown streets of my beloved city are shameful. How did we ever allow this to happen?

Last week while walking on View Street at Douglas I witnessed a young man, face-cheek on the sidewalk, laying still. No one passing by actually could know if this young man was alive or dead.

This is shameful. No one wants to live like this. If this young man could see himself from afar and the lifestyle he lives, he too would be uneasy.

In our schools, when someone needs help, we create an individualized plan to boost the learning outcome and life of each student. That’s because we care and we want each student to succeed.

Why are we not doing this for those living on the streets? We need to talk about mandatory rehab and give those in our community a true opportunity to live a productive life.

Giving these young people the choice for rehab is only giving a voice to the drugs they consume. Getting off drugs is hard, staying off drugs is harder.

I’ve lost a family member to this lifestyle, and it is devastating for all. He wanted the help but the drugs said no.

Allowing this to continue means we are all facilitators to the homeless and the drug dealers.

We don’t need Tiny Towns, abandoned or empty hotels, or temporary camps in parks. Use our tax dollars to build proper rehab housing on proper land space, away from drug dealers, and to educate staff in creating and supporting programs that bring our homeless into a life that they can be proud of.

Only then can we rebuild the downtown core of this beautiful city.

We need to be the creators and leaders in turning this around.

Celina Mason


Fire Bonnie Henry? What a major mistake

If you had any thought of voting in the provincial election for the Conservatives and their leader John Rustad, I’m certain you have changed your mind since he has stated that, if elected, he will fire Bonnie Henry.

That is dumb political planning. Henry might not be a political figure, but she is definitely in the political arena.

She is also the most universally respected civil servant in the province and probably in the history of British Columbia. To single her out for a political attack in an election shows Rustad is incapable of leadership of any value.

He’s humiliated himself and sunk his political future, before getting into the gate.

There is no way the Conservatives and BC United, running separately, can defeat the NDP. Rustad’s wrong-headed attitude toward a beloved B.C. institution has guaranteed an NDP election victory.

Grumpy old men do not belong in this game. Look at the United States.

Jim Laing



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