Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Letters Nov. 8: A U.S.-trained Canadian doctor can't practise here; Roundhouse development; absence of poppies

Doctor trained elsewhere is not welcome here

Re: “Canada is stealing its doctors and nurses,” letter, Nov. 6.

Would you like to hear something even more ridiculous? I have a daughter who did her medical training in the United States.

She did so simply because of limited space in medical schools in Canada. Some of our incredibly qualified and talented candidates have to go elsewhere if they still wish to pursue medical training.

The really sad, and frankly stupid, part of the deal comes at the end.

Once a person finishes their training (about seven years and $300,000 US later), being admitted to a practice back in Canada becomes almost impossible even after they write and pass their Canadian certification exams.

If you are a new Canadian immigrant arriving from some far-off land, having completed your medical training outside Canada, the regulatory body seems only too happy to welcome you with open arms — but not if you are a Canadian citizen who left to complete your training.

I have never received a satisfactory answer as to why, I only know that my daughter, even though she graduated from a very prestigious institution, will remain practising in the U.S.

While quite sad, I get comfort from the fact she will have a very comfortable life there, albeit not where she wanted to be, and not where she is truly needed.

John Reilly


Roundhouse market needs public involvement

Re: “Follow these steps to create a ­successful public market,” commentary, Nov. 1.

I moved here from Vancouver some 40 years ago. When the Songhees industrial site was slated to be redeveloped as residential, I thought what a great place to do something like the Granville Island Market and False Creek in Vancouver, which was also redeveloped from industrial.

I lived there for about 10 years and loved it. The condos were built back from the water with nice parks.

Granville Island Market went on to become famous. An amazing waterfront area was developed along with restaurants, pubs, interesting stores, a theatre, a hotel and a great place to buy groceries from independent producers. The parks are lovely, including a children’s playground. It’s always busy!

What a great opportunity for Victoria I thought. Learn from this success. It didn’t happen.

Instead, condos were built right up to the waterline with high buildings behind, a couple of boring parks but a nice hotel in a nice place at one end and a great pub at the other end.

That’s it. No fun in between. There are no exciting elements in Songhees.

The plan for the Roundhouse development sounds really great but JC Scott’s comment on the lack of success of privately owned public markets is based on international experience.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation runs Granville Island on land owned by the federal government. Make the property truly public by putting the land in public hands and utilize the principles of cooperatives or a non-profit society made up of users to run it.

I suggest Victoria council listen closely to JC Scott’s insights and follow a path that worked at the Granville Island Market.

Let’s not create a failure on this one great opportunity when there are good examples from which to learn. Victoria needs this to work.

Bill Day


Is it Remembrance Day, or Forgotten Day

I was in the two largest shopping malls in Victoria during the weekend leading to Remembrance Day. The pre-Christmas shopping season was well underway with significant crowds, but what I did not see was poppies.

I would estimate that less then 10 per cent of people in those malls were wearing poppies. For me, this shows a lack of recognition of our history and sadly a somewhat lack of respect to our fellow Canadians who gave their lives in war and conflicts.

How disappointing.

Jean-Yves Forcier


Environmental hypocrites on full display

There seems to be a real gnashing of the teeth these days, whether it’s how the dogs are destroying the harmony of nature or how the deer are destroying the environment.

We are going to leash our dogs in Saanich so that they don’t wreck the local flora and we kill or ban our local fauna. We are going to exterminate all the deer on Sidney Island so that they don’t interfere with the local flora.

If we take this logic further, we should demolish all cities, remove all sidewalks, parking lots, and roads. Nature is fluid, man is unfortunately not.

When one species of flora is removed, another species fills the gap, it’s been that way since time began. Some people call it evolution.

This feeble attempt by parks departments and other special interest groups to protect dandelions at the expensive of our local fauna and to deny our dogs the right to be untethered is what happens when the parks departments become the driving force of policy in a municipality.

Virtually every decision in Saanich is driven by the parks department.

Doug Coulson


After leashes, let’s deal with problem forks

Thanks to Saanich council for banning those dangerous retractable leashes.

Calling upon that same decision-making rationale, I request a ban on forks, as they are an extremely hazardous eating utensil.

For example:

The April 2019 edition of the Pediatric Dental Journal reports of a child needing medical treatment after a fork got stuck in his mouth while eating breakfast.

In 2018, a young woman in San Francisco was hospitalized after being attacked other women armed with sporks (the equally menacing spoon-fork hybrid).

At Guantanamo Naval Base in 2004, an angry prisoner used a plastic fork to stab a guard in the hand.

There are also several documented cases of people taking the term “eating utensils” literally by actually eating/swallowing plastic forks. Additionally, a recent study found that eating with forks can negatively impact our dental health by changing our bite and alignment. And, there is always the ever-present risk of poking an eye out with a fork.

No further study or consultation is needed. I urge you, Saanich council, to please take immediate action and ban these dangerous eating utensils, for forks’ sake.

Stan Davis


Amalgamation could reduce dog questions

Count disparate rules about dog management in the Capital Regional District’s 13 municipalities as yet another reason to support amalgamation.

There is confusion and frustration amongst both dog owners and non-dog owners alike.

Let alone the enforcement officers from Victoria Animal Control Services (Victoria, Oak Bay and Esquimalt) and CRD Bylaw and Animal Care Services (CRD Parks, Saanich, Colwood, Langford, Sooke, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, Metchosin, Highlands, View Royal, Sidney, North Saanich, Central Saanich, Tsawout First Nation, Songhees Nation, Pauquachin First Nation, Tsartlip First Nation, Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands), who have to remember which rules they are enforcing in each jurisdiction.

And now we have multiple municipalities each conducting their own separate, and not inexpensive, dogs in parks strategy studies, with very different methodologies and very different outcomes (see Saanich and Metchosin).

What a mess so easily prevented if we could just get over the hurdle of amalgamation.

Stacy Jacobs


We are to blame for what we have become

Re: “The torch has passed, but who is the foe?” letter, Nov. 2.

The letter says it all, and what a lot of Canadians are feeling, finally.

We have had it driven into us for the past eight years that we have no Canadian identity, we are racists if we don’t subscribe to the government’s agenda, and the country is divided like never before.

We are on the brink of bankruptcy, both financially and morally and we have ourselves to blame. The government is at fault to an extent, but they will drive their agenda and ideology. It’s our fault for sitting back and letting them get away with it.

“I think it may be a very short Remembrance Day ceremony this year with no O Canada, no God Save the King, no prayers and no hymns” the letter states — is this what we’ve allowed our country to become, after our fathers and grandfathers fought and died for what we had?

Canadians need to wake up and look around and see what has happened and is happening.

Larry Zilinsky


UN’s veto provision must be discarded

With war and multiple international crises raging across the globe, it is now all too clear that the United Nations is not the institution the 21st century needs.

The UN does amazing work around the world, and it would be a travesty to have that work undone.

The fatal flaw (literally) in the UN is the five permanent members of the Security Council, and the absurd fact that these five countries have been given veto power over the resolutions collaboratively generated by the council.

In reviewing many of the resolutions axed by veto, it’s easy to see many missed opportunities for a safer, more peaceful world. These vetoes have been an obstruction to global progress, and an affront to the democratic process.

The vetoes must go. And the permanent members really need to wait their turn like the other 187 member states.

Daryl Elving-Klassen


All the street changes are the wrong priority

After driving on upper Fort Street over the weekend I was amazed at how the so-called traffic improvements are narrowing the street to one lane by adding bike lanes and artificial concrete impediments.

I am sure there must be some wider purpose to this, but it escapes me.

But I was left wondering how the City of Victoria can find all the funds required for these endless so-called traffic improvements throughout the city when it cannot find the money to properly house so many of our homeless living on the very streets the city purports to be trying to improve.

David Collins


Giving the NDP a whole new meaning

The BC Liberals changed their party name to the BC United. To keep with the times, I think the New Democratic Party should change their name.

The new party name should be “Next Developer Please.”

David Hill


Let’s abandon the Gulf Islands

Here’s a modest proposal to resolve claims that the Islands Trust is failing to adhere to its mandate to preserve the environmental integrity of the Gulf Islands.

From Quadra right down to Pender, we should completely depopulate all of these islands and return them to First Nations to administer as parks.

Think of the savings in ferry costs alone. Over time such savings may go some way to cover the costs of removing residents and rewilding the islands.

The primary issue is no longer if, but when water levels on the Gulf Islands decline to the point where human habitation is no longer sustainable.

By evicting Gulf Islanders the province may be doing them a favour, in addition to achieving an important environmental goal.

An added bonus will be to end the seemingly endless bickering that has followed from allowing excessive and still growing human populations in these confined and environmentally sensitive areas.

Paul Walton



• Email:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Aim for no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity.