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Letters Sept. 21: Why are surgeries being repeatedly delayed?; PM's singing in London in poor taste

A letter-writer would like to ask Premier John Horgan why his urgent surgery has been delayed nine times in the past six weeks. UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK VIA CP

Urgent heart surgery delayed nine times

I have been patiently waiting for open-heart surgery, for a condition that requires rather urgent care. While I have been given a diagnosis and surgery has been planned, that surgery has been delayed and postponed nine times with reasons being given as “staff or facility shortages.”

These dates were Aug. 12, 24, 26, 29, 31, Sept. 1, 15, 19, and 20.

The added stress of surgery postponement isn’t ideal for this condition. My question to Premier John Horgan: Why is the health care in the province so backed up? It’s something you really do not see unless you or a loved one is facing this mess.

A.W. Vase|Saanich

PM shows disrespect by singing in a bar

Once again Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, representing Canada in another country, has chosen to act in a manner that is embarrassing and extremely disrespectful.

Singing in a bar while in London for the Queen’s funeral is beyond belief for most Canadians. Where is the sense of decorum? Where is the respect for a country in mourning?

Perhaps Trudeau is preparing for his next career as a lounge singer or perhaps he mistook the bar for a drama classroom.

Regardless of the reason for his behaviour, he has again shown his lack of judgment and total disregard for the sentiment of Canadians.

Charmaine Lovell

Debate about monarchy best left for later

Many people have fond memories of the reign of Queen Elizabeth and her amazing contribution to her subjects and beyond for 70 years.

During these days of the official mourning period, I was distressed to witness the inclusion by the media of the debate on the future of the monarchy in our country. Surely this issue could have been set aside for 10 days.

Along with this comes the issue of taking our children out of school for the day of the Queen’s funeral. What a missed opportunity for a teaching opportunity of our children.

Tony Southwell

Don’t forget the killings in Saskatchewan

Re: “British monarchy supports legacy of harmful colonial conquest, critics say,” Sept. 18.

Nina Grossman’s story brought home the jarring disconnect where educational institutions, media and government make it a priority to address and counteract “white privilege,” yet the British monarchy escapes scrutiny.

From the monarchy’s staunch support of the slave trade and later reparations made to slave owners, to its avaricious misappropriation of the Koh-i-Noor diamond, history teems with such disturbing stories that in the past two weeks have been all but ignored. Instead, world leaders shed tears and grandstand in highly choreographed spectacles.

But let us not forget the dozen deaths in Saskatchewan, which happened around the same time as the demise of one person born into great wealth and privilege.

Shannon Moneo

Continue to publish a diversity of views

As a community institution, the Times Colonist’s credibility rests on fairness and balance. We look for views from the left and the right, from the traditional and, lately, the woke.

Please continue running Gwyn Morgan now and then.

Bill Stavdal
View Royal

Institutional care would help those who need it

Re: “Community safety is a wicked problem with no simple solutions,” column, Sept. 18.

Trevor Hancock quotes a Victoria Police crime survey suggesting that 34 per cent of offences are attributed to homelessness and mental-health issues. These causation factors are very difficult to manage as the two causes likely feed on each other.

It’s reasonable to assume that many homeless also experience mental illness, so then it really is one problem which needs to be addressed.

In the 1970s care institutions closed and, by doing so, abandoned individuals who were unprepared for life outside the controlled environment of mental hospitals.

The thinking of the time was that community support measures would ramp up and fill the void the hospitals had previously provided. This did not happen. The reasons why are not as important as the resulting mess this absence of care created.

I strongly suggest we need to resurrect the previous model where care (sometimes custodial and secure) is provided in institutions. As residents (patients) became capable of managing their own affairs, they moved into group homes or back to their families.

Those residents who were not able to manage outside the hospital settings remained in the institution and were provided for.

It is not a perfect solution, but it is better than seeing tent cities, the scourge of overdoses and folks sleeping “rough” in the bush or under bridges.

Gordon Svenson

Missing middle housing will work; get on with it

Victoria council, at its Sept. 8 meeting, co-opted the affordability issue, paralyzed themselves into indecision and punted the missing middle housing initiative to the next council.

And all of that after two-plus years of excessive and extraordinary consultation and reworking of policy.

Hardly anyone can afford to live in a single family house these days, which is why townhouses and houseplexes are so desperately needed in every neighbourhood.

Surely Victoria has moved forward since the advent of gentle density in its myriad forms. And with secondary suites, garden suites and laneway houses now on many single family lots. All of it leading towards townhouses and houseplexes in all our neighbourhoods. The time is now.

I fully support the MMHI as proposed by staff; three storeys and all. It is well-conceived, brilliant and visionary.

It will provide housing for some median-income families who are otherwise unable to live in any of our residential neighbourhoods. It will also promote neighbourhood best practice version 2023, revitalize our “aging” neighbourhoods and make our neighbourhoods more inclusive.

No policy is perfect. Let’s not allow perfect to vanquish the good.

We do not expect this policy to be everything to everyone. Council shouldn’t either. And while townhouses and houseplexes may not be affordable for every median-income family, every house is affordable for someone.

Let that be council’s mantra when considering affordability and making decisions on housing policy.

Joe Calenda, consulting city planner

ArriveCan lottery snares a family doctor

I was one of the unlucky ones to have to get an ArriveCan arrival COVID test upon flying back from Britain the other day.

We went through customs easily, but nobody told me I was one of the one-in-20 people they were going to persecute until the next day when I started receiving the first of seven officious emails telling me to get tested.

I had to work the next day, but after much complicated internet searching I booked a test at downtown Shoppers Drug Mart. That went OK, but then I still got the emails.

By three days later I go two robot calls to confirm that I was tested and finally 73 hours later I got an email with a link to see my test result — but the site was down.

I finally phoned LifeLabs, and after a 20-minute wait on the phone finally got through and she walked me through my results — negative. But of course it was.

I am a family doctor. I have had four shots and even had COVID in April and two negative rapid tests in the past 10 days.

This ordeal with the government was like mini Hell. Whoever thought up ArriveCan should be sent to a Siberian prison. And by the way, nobody even wears masks in Britain now.

Dr. Roy Smardon

Some ideas for placing the Macdonald statue

There seems to be some difficulty in where to place the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, this Father of Confederation with a now unpopular past.

He only visited the Island once, in 1886, to drive the last spike on the E&N railway. Perhaps his statue could be placed by the last spike location. Satisfying to some, few people will be able to find the location.

For an alternate location, may I suggest 600 feet below Diver Lake in Nanaimo, where later that day it was rumoured that he and coal baron Robert Dunsmuir polished off a bottle of whisky down a coal mine shaft to be out of sight of their wives.

Again, people may be satisfied that the monument would be buried.

While monuments seem controversial, in the case of Canada and Macdonald it may be best to reference the phrase quoted for Christopher Wren: “Si monumentum requiris circumspice.” If you seek my monument, look around you.

Scott Lang


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