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Letters Nov. 28: Victoria's police budget compared; comfortable hospital blankets; hockey jersey

Victoria’s police budget compared to Halifax

The regional Halifax municipality, hosting about 40,000 more residents than Greater Victoria, approved an operating budget of $1.1 billion this year. Of that amount, $89.2 million was delegated for regional policing, which amounts to 8.1 per cent of the municipal budget.

I see VicPD costs Victorians 25 per cent of their municipal budget, a small core city the size of Chilliwack additionally burdened as the regional downtown.

This entire mess and all the disservice that comes with it sits on the doorstep of the NDP. They refuse to stand up for the region, they hide in the forests with a long-failing municipal goverance policy, the fragments of which get worse and worse.

And they are supposed to be the party of equality. There certainly is no equality for the residents who live around five city halls within eight kilometres of the bridge downtown.

John Vickers

Miramichi, N.B.

Heated flannel blankets help in hospitals

Kudos to the letter-writer for their expose on the wonders of the simple heated flannel blanket in hospitals.

I have experienced a few orthopedic surgeries in my life and recall with great appreciation coming out of the anesthesia and finding myself wrapped in the warm, loving embrace of a heated flannel sheet.

What a wonderful, yet simple way to provide much needed comfort to an ailing or injured person. Thanks for reminding me of a pleasant memory from an otherwise painful experience.

Len Dafoe

Nanoose Bay

Governments making inflation worse

The definition of inflation is a general and progressive increase in prices.

Suffice to say this is the current situation in Canada. The reason is simple.

Every government level, by giving money away or offering rebates or credits, is in fact exacerbating and making the problem of inflation self-fulfilling.

All businesses, local, provincial or national, observe governments giving money away and they see a profound opportunity to increase their profits by increasing prices regardless of cost mitigation or worry.

Unfortunately government sees this all as another opportunity to make more profit too, from taxation.

Please let it be known that the solution to inflation is not giving money away, but by ensuring that business needs to adapt and control their greed.

J.F. Logan


They were never Liberals, only opportunists

The B.C. Liberals changing their name? They were never Liberals to begin with.

A coalition of Conservatives from the Social Credit Party, which was disbanded because of bad policy, which caused them to collapse, invaded the B.C. Liberal Party under the leadership of Gordon Wilson, who brought that party to popularity after that well-known debate that criticized the other parties.

They were looking for a place to go so they joined them, then squeezed Wilson out because of a scandal to take over leadership with Gordon Campbell. So the new B.C. Liberal Party was born.

Now, the “B.C. Liberals” have collapsed yet again because of policies that became unpopular, and a name change isn’t going to change that.

Buried in the past — are they hoping that people will forget? They weren’t Liberals in the first place, only opportunists. That’s the point.

They went where the best opportunity took them, and a name change isn’t going to change the colour of their coat.

E.C. Jewsbury


Uniform photograph brings back memories

The photograph of the Victoria Royals in the old Navy uniforms brought back a lot of memories.

My Dad took me to my first hockey game. I was eight years old and we saw the Navy play the Air Force at the old Willows Arena.

I can remember seeing some of the players, Chuck Rayner, Bernie Strongman and Hal Brown.

Brown, like Rayner, went on to play with the New York Rangers. He was also a wonderful skater, probably the fastest in the league at that time.

I did not realize how good the teams were until later. Both the Army and Navy teams had players who had been pros or who would go on to play in the NHL. The Army team played for the Allan Cup in 1943 or 1944 only to lose to the Ottawa Commandos; another Army team loaded with ex-pros.

I also remember listening to Dick Batey broadcasting the games on CJVI.

It’s hard to realize this was 80 years ago.

Don Thomson

Cobble Hill

Living wage varies with each person

A recent article that said Victoria’s living wage spiked 20 per cent in a year, topping Vancouver’s, is very misleading. The model for this article is based on two adults and two children.

In some businesses there are very few employees with four-person families.

Rejigging the model for one person, no kids, no car, no three-bedroom accommodations and no expenses for kids, the numbers change dramatically. A wage of $20.50 per hour instead produces a surplus of around $4,800/year.

In the family model, two parents pay $8,409 taxes at $24.50 wages. Make it easier for families with federal and provincial tax reductions or program investments like $10-a-day daycare and $500 a year for dental work.

Or reduced taxes for families. I’m pretty sure $20.50 is adequate in Victoria or Vancouver.

Please do not assume the only answer is to increase the minimum or living wage.

Doug Pelton


Amalgamation must start at the grassroots level

Re: “Province must take the lead on amalgamation,” commentary, Nov. 16.

Peter Diamant’s article is good in theory, but what is missing is that the provincial government would first need to amend the Community Charter (assented to May 29, 2003), specifically Part 9, Division 1, Section 279: “No forced amalgamations.”

Until this is done, nothing will happen within the province unless the issue of municipal amalgamation is initiated at the grassroots municipal electorate level.

This is exactly what was done by the voters of Victoria and Saanich in the 2018 municipal election, and underscores the importance of the upcoming creation and deliberations of the “referendum approved” Citizens’ Assembly.

Provincial support of this initiative is limited to the $250,000 in funding, matching that approved by each of the Victoria and Saanich voters.

Provincial leadership through forced municipal amalgamations was quashed with the 2003 Community Charter, so the leadership for change in municipal governance rests with the voters.

Doug Pascoe


Our health-care system is past its best days

Re: “Shadow boxing does not lead to health care,” editorial, Nov. 19.

The editorial brought out some very interesting facts worth discussion pertaining to Canada’s health-care system. Certainly there was much to start serious discussions between all levels of government and the public at large.

Unfortunately the editorial concluded with “then we could have a meaningful discussion about how to save our country’s health-care system.”

May I suggest that discussions should rather pertain to providing access and good health care to the citizens of Canada instead of trying to revive a “system” that is past its best-before date?

Dr. Al Wilke (retired)

Salt Spring Island

Our head of state deserves our respect

Several recent writers have opined that it is time for Canada to dump the monarchy. Maybe so, but they also want to dumb down visible courtesies to our head of state, such as not placing the King’s picture in public places like our ferries, or excluding an image of him on our currency, coins or stamps.

Is it too much to ask that while our head of state remains the sovereign we demonstrate enough dignity to show him the respect he is due as our head of state?

David B. Collins


Public transportation is needed more

Re: “We need a rail trail, not a railway,” letters, Nov 18.

With respect, Vancouver Island does not need yet another biking and hiking trail. It needs reliable public transportation and environmentally friendly economic development.

While I am certainly not opposed to people getting out and hiking or riding bikes, the reality is that only a very small percentage of Islanders use the many already-existing trails. Adding another is not going to change that.

Also, riding a bike from Courtenay or even Duncan into Victoria for a day trip is not a realistic option for most.

On the other hand, bringing back passenger rail service with a convenient schedule would provide a fantastic option to the roughly 465,000 people — more than half of the island’s population and many of them retirees — who live north of the Malahat.

Repairing the tracks will also bring the possibility of freight traffic — still extant in Nanaimo today — to much of the Island, which could lead to further economic development in communities that badly need it.

Cities and countries around the world are investing in commuter railways today because they are a cost-effective and less environmentally harmful option.

$431 million is a lot of money, but public infrastructure does not always need to make a profit so long as it provides a needed service.

And given that government just finished spending nearly $100 million to fix one intersection in Saanich (McKenzie), I think the Island Corridor Foundation’s proposal would be good value for our money and should be pursued.

Our grandchildren will thank us for it.

Mike Baker


National health-care system is needed in Canada

Re: “Central licence authority needed for our doctors,” letter, Nov. 16.

The call for a national accreditation system for the medical profession is a good and obvious start. (In a similar parochial vein, my native-English speaking-daughter was told to take an extra English course to get a B.C. teacher’s licence, after graduating from Queen’s University in Ontario.)

However, the real problem appears to be the lack of the national health-care system (do we really have any health-care system?) and parallel private care availability that every other OECD country that outranks us in healthcare quality has (i.e., almost all of them) — and which all operate at lower per-capita cost.

Roger Love



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