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Letters Sept. 13: Restrict right turns on red; make sure your toilet isn't leaking; this is making drivers aggressive

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A red light, and a red-light camera, at the intersection of Hillside Avenue and Shelbourne Street. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

More restrictions needed on right turns on red

Even when vehicles have a red light, they often just slow down to make a right turn, rather than coming to a complete stop before turning.

When the opposing traffic has an advance left turn signal, what often happens is the advance left turning vehicle has to make way for the vehicle turning right on a red.

Already some intersections have a “No right turn on red” sign. I would like to see these signs posted at all intersections where there is an advance left ­signal.

This would apply even to those roads that have two lanes in each direction, as the vehicle with an advance turn signal often has to enter the farther of the two lanes because it needs to make a right turn within a short distance.

Louise Manga

Victoria

Careful that your toilet does not waste water

I write concerning the evolution of the flush toilet and the unknown waste of water. I live in a wonderful community of the drought-stricken Pacific Northwest.

Twice this month I found two toilets separated by miles leaking water due to faulty valves!

Please pay attention to your toilets and if you are leaving your home for a extended getaway, shut off the valve to your toilet.

Your ability to have a quenching drink or flush might depend on it!

Paul Culp

Orcas Island

Four ways to interpret ‘normal’ comment

Health Minister Adrian Dix, addressing the most underfunded, overworked, collapsed heath-care facility in Canada at Surrey Memorial Hospital, states that “this is the new normal.”

This extraordinary admission can be interpreted in several ways, all of them examples of profound failures by our government’s health-care policies.

Interpretation 1. This failed health-care delivery is as good as it can get. We can’t make it any better. Just grin and bear it. Be like your minister … accept the increased mortality and morbidity rates.

Interpretation 2. We have deliberately not invested in this facility over many years because we are quite happy to see standards decline to the new ­“normal.” 

Interpretation 3. We have no need to think of innovative forward planning measures. Why should we? That would make the situation abnormal!

Interpretation 4. The recent surge in patient numbers has become so frequent that it has normalized the crisis. This deliberately ignores the fact that without such surges, the facility is still and has been for years, grossly underfunded, overworked, bursting with inadequate care.

Dix’s speech reflected disregard for B.C. residents’ lives and suffering and insults the dignity of all health-care staff who work under impossible conditions.

To blame a previous government for the current situation when his party has been in power for six years displays ­contempt for accepting any responsibility.

This minister is entirely unsuited to the job at hand.

Dr. Adrian Fine, MD, FRCP

Retired medical specialist

Victoria

Rapid densification makes drivers aggressive

A few weeks ago, I watched a B.C. Transit bus waiting in the intersection of Douglas and Belleville to turn left at the corner.

The light had tuned red and I expected the driver to complete his turn. But he didn’t!

Then, I noticed a car half a block away accelerating at high speed towards the intersection. It was obvious that the driver of the car was not going to obey the red light.

The transit driver deserves credit for preventing a major collision.

I have observed recently other drivers who deliberately drive through red lights. A root cause of aggressive drivers is the rapid densification of the South Island — we are still a car-centric society: more people means more cars which means more and more traffic jams which cause driver frustration.

I dream of intelligent political leaders who will plan a new, green city well north of the Malahat with a modern electric-powered train running along the Island Corridor providing easy access to the whole region.

Instead our politicians work with developers to knock down existing buildings to build larger buildings at a higher dollar per square foot cost, increasing the affordability crisis.

Kenneth Mintz

Victoria

Not a colonist, a settler, or an Indigenous person

Re: “Accept our shared past, find ways to move ahead,” letter, Sept. 7.

Thanks for the clear exposition that “…the very first people on Earth developed indigenous to Africa, then moved into Asia. Sub-theories for this period are academic and diverse” and that, therefore, all of us have come from somewhere else for reasons as varied as simple curiosity, better living conditions, “tribal” movements, and — all too often — sheer greed and power.

And those who were in an area first had to adapt one way or another to whatever culture arose to become dominant: some with success, others with less.

So — despite my ancestors’ origins in Greater Britain and even Germany before 1066 — I am not a “colonist,” nor am I a “settler,” nor an “Indigenous” person (as the term is currently being used).

But I am, indeed, a “native” person (“natal” being the Latin for “born”) having been born in Moncton, New Bruns­wick, many years ago and raised in Victoria. (So Canada is, in fact, My Home and Native Land.)

David Grubb

Victoria

Amalgamation delays are  holding us back

If a few more non-Victoria local politicians were as passionate about their core governance as they were over the plight of “their” Centennial Square fountain, the region would probably have fewer than the 100 or so municipal politicians it has today.

The crowd who are protected by a higher level of government, the NDP – the party which ironically forfeited social equity and fairness for the area society (from regional policing to all those nice things you here about) by standing alone in Canada in refusing to respect the local ballot vote for an amalgamation review which was acknowledged by the previous Liberal government.

As true today and as valuable today to Greater Victoria as it was then. The NDP tract has been to dismiss regionalism entirely and it seems unfortunate to see them hold the region back for so long.

John Vickers

Miramichi, N.B.

Make transit free, just like libraries

Re: “Umo transit card sparks grousing,” Sept. 10.

Challenges introducing B.C. Transit’s Umo card (at what cost?) invite us to consider a more basic question. Why have a fare box at all?

Isn’t it time, facing widening wealth inequality as well as climate change, to act on universal free public transit?

We don’t ask “who pays?” when we go to public libraries. We aren’t looking for new “affordable” book rental fees at libraries, reducing our friendly librarians to clerks who collect our rental fees.

So why do we still rent seats on buses, making the driver into a fare-supervisor rather than that friendly helpful driver safely taking you where you want to go.

But, if there’s no fare, who pays for buses, drivers and such? We all do, just like we pay for libraries — because they are good for us.

Greg Holloway

Victoria

Don’t forget role played by Woodrow S. Lloyd

Re: “Politicians, spend health dollars wisely,” letter, Sept. 8.

The letter mentioned, “Our beloved system, which was founded by Tommy Douglas in Saskatchewan in about 1962.”

Missing is the role played by Woodrow S. Lloyd, who had taken over the premiership of Saskatchewan after Douglas left to become a founder and leader of the newly formed NDP.

Lloyd was not the charismatic leader that Douglas was, but he had strength of character and a firm belief in what is now called Medicare.

He stood up before a sustained attack on the concept and legislation by the likes of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party whose leader, Ross Thatcher, led massive rallies in Regina against Lloyd and the CCF/NDP.

Saskatchewan doctors went on strike in opposition to the legislation. Eventually, Lloyd came to a compromise agreement with the doctors and we have the beginnings of our beloved medicare system, so under attack now.

Woodrow S. Lloyd has largely faded from our historical remembrance of the fight for a universal medical care system, but without his courage and strength we would not have it today.

Lorne Finlayson

Cumberland

Put me on waiting list, I might need help one day

I am a 57-year-old male who is lucky, despite a life of labour, to have no hip or knee issues. I do have a real bad shoulder that has had an X-ray and an ultra sound (took forever to get) but that lack of results is another letter.

This letter is about wondering how to get on a list, so maybe 10 years from now, when I will likely need hip and or knee replacement, I can get an operation in a reasonable amount of time.

Currently people seem to be waiting way to long to have their pain and discomfort relieved.

C. Scott Stofer

Victoria

If the ivy turns colour, it’s a native plant

Re: “Don’t let that ivy destroy your evergreens,” letter, Sept. 8.

The Empress had Virginia creeper growing on the outer walls and is native to North America. Unlike English ivy, the Virginia creeper turns a orange ­reddish colour in the fall, and of course, ­beautified the hotel at that time of year.

Peter White

North Saanich

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