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Letters Oct. 5: Our navy needs more resources; Ottawa is letting us down

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HMCS Edmonton, left, and HMCS Brandon docked at A Jetty at CFB Esquimalt. A letter-writer suggests Canada should not be riding the coattails of the U.S. when it comes to defence of our shores. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Canada’s navy needs to be strengthened

It’s comforting to know that in an increasingly unstable world, our naval forces are understaffed and ill-equipped. Canada has an extensive coastline that will need defending when Putin or Xi come calling.

Our country has been riding on America’s coattails for far too long and, if their own internal collapse continues, America may soon become a former superpower.

When that happens, Canada will be like a lost flock of sheep awaiting whatever fate the wolves decide. Enough with the identity politics, endless handouts and nonsensical platitudes.

It’s time the grownups got back to running our country like a country and not a day care for guilt-ridden social engineers.

Len Dafoe
Nanoose Bay

Federal government is letting us down

Not having a family doctor has become so widespread in B.C. that this is where most scrutiny of the dire state of B.C.’s health-care system is focused. But understaffing, underfunding, and overworking personnel is rampant across every corner of the health-care system.

Nurses, exhausted, are leaving the profession in droves. Family doctors, underpaid, are closing shop. Medical imaging technicians, phlebotomists, EKG technicians, CMAs, housekeeping and transport personnel — every frontline worker across B.C. Health — is being asked to do more with less because Ottawa is reneging on its legal obligation to pay 50 per cent of provincial-territorial health-care costs.

The Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act, passed in 1957, obligates the federal government to pay half the costs of hospital and diagnostic care across Canada. The Medical Care Act, adopted by Parliament in 1966, extended the 50-50 cost-sharing formula to physician services outside hospital.

Ottawa at this time is paying 22 per cent of total provincial-territorial health-care spending.

Political opportunists attacking Health Minister Adrian Dix and B.C. Health need to ask themselves why Ottawa is ignoring laws it passed itself mandating its financial obligation to healthcare workers — and patients — across Canada.

The solution to B.C.’s health-care crisis is for Ottawa to honour its obligations and properly subsidize B.C.’s hospitals, as their laws direct, including properly funding team-oriented primary health-care clinics, as family doctors are demanding.

Bill Appledorf
Victoria

Build oil refineries to secure energy supply

There is only one reason why our gas prices here and in the Lower Mainland are at record high prices: Lack of local refinery capacity. All forms of environmentalists have blocked this development for 30-plus years, and every form of government has bowed down to them. It is high time to take care of the next generation.

The carbon tax started by the B.C. Liberals in 2008 has done nothing to reduce oil usage, as oil use in B.C. has climbed predictably every year since then.

The Liberal carbon tax was given back via a tax credit. Once the NDP got into power they did a predictable power grab by throwing the carbon tax into general revenues.

Oil is not going away and governments using excuses to raise taxes have not only done nothing, bowing to the envirofreaks; they are harming everyone with higher prices for every product they purchase daily.

If Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon even has a dream of becoming elected, he will need to admit that the B.C. carbon tax implemented by his prior leaders has failed to reduce gas usage and should be eliminated.

We need to get B.C. back to energy self-sufficiency and competitive gas prices for our citizens by building more B.C. oil refineries.

Let us start with David Black’s plan for his clean refinery in Kitimat and politicians having the backbone to get the job done.

As the wise Gwyn Morgan has said: “Who could have imagined that the West’s attempts to phase out fossil fuels, which supply 84 per cent of global energy, would leave two dictators in control of both global energy security and the supply of manufactured goods? The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.”

Our rabid environmentalists have been conned, and they need to admit it. It must stop and we need to move forward.

John L. Krysa
Oak Bay

Graduate, get a job, find a place to live

Re: “Families, homelessness, and a municipal opportunity,” commentary, Sept. 30.

This commentary was thoughtfully written, but didn’t provide much in terms of useful actions. The writer quoted Trevor Hancock’s list of five “scientifically proven prevention programs,” but these only talked vaguely about “engaging,” “supporting” and “strengthening.”

While the social scientists and politicians are trying to figure out what these actually mean, I’d like to offer some specific advice that parents and schools can provide to the youngsters in their charge:

1. Graduate with a Grade 12 education.

2. Get a steady, full-time job and stick with it.

3. Find clean, safe accommodation.

4. Find a steady, reliable partner who has achieved the same things.

5. Don’t have a child until you have achieved all the above and your lives are stable.

While there’s no substitute for parental nurturing, young people who can achieve the above will be off to a good start.

M.H. Ward
Victoria

Acclamation is not really democracy

It is interesting to compare the ­plethora of candidates in the municipal elections with the dearth of candidates for the ­leadership of the provincial NDP.

I am aware of several municipalities across B.C. where candidates have been acclaimed (meaning that there was only one candidate and so they took the role without competition), but the majority of districts seem to have a highly competitive race.

In comparison, the provincial NDP seems to prefer to not have any competition. John Horgan was acclaimed as the leader of the party in 2014, and now David Eby is “frustrated” that anyone is running against him.

Anjali Appadurai should be applauded for forcing a race by entering as a second candidate.

I heartily support anyone who runs when there would otherwise be only one candidate. We cannot have a democracy if there is only one choice.

Scott Newson
Nanaimo

There is just one choice: We must build up

Re: “Saanich does not need yet more tower blocks,” letter, Sept. 23.

If only the housing issue could be so easily solved by learning how to design a community suitable for young families. There is no shortage of world-class architects in Victoria; there is, however, a shortage of land.

With the cost of land, money, labour and materials going through the roof, the only method of building anything close to affordable housing is to build up.

Ed Lien
Victoria

What happens to those carbon tax dollars?

I have received my regular delivery of heating oil. As a senior living alone, I was shocked to see that I am paying more carbon tax than GST.

On 519 litres of oil I am paying $67.52 carbon tax, and the GST came to $59.14. With another carbon tax increase looming in the new year, many seniors on fixed incomes will suffer.

The prime minister seems to think this recent hurricane is a result of climate change and will continue with this tax. Maybe the prime minister is not aware that hurricanes, typhoons and flooding are not new.

I confess that I am ignorant in this matter, but where do these carbon tax dollars go?

William Jesse
Victoria

North Saanich should help with housing

A recent letter made the case ­regarding preserving North Saanich as rural. I would argue that we are far from rural.

We have a number of neighbourhoods such as Dean Park, Deep Cove, Curteis Point, Ardmore, etc. These are not as dense as properties in Victoria, but ­designating them as rural is a stretch.

In the middle of these areas we have Victoria International Airport. Hardly rural.

If we are depending on North Saanich for future food production, I would be worried. Suggesting that we are “rural” and the breadbasket of the Capital Regional District are both exaggerations.

Most of the resistance to increasing housing options is just NIMBYism. It’s never been anything but that.

We all need a job and housing. Jobs currently seem plentiful but housing is a problem.

North Saanich needs to do its part to provide housing options.

Jouni A. Tomminen
North Saanich

SEND US YOUR LETTERS

• Email letters to: letters@timescolonist.com

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

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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