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Letters Sept. 22: Who's paying for all these election signs?; how we can boost organ donations in B.C.

Municipal election signs along Dallas Road near Cook Street. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

With all those signs, show us the IOUs

No better sign of an upcoming election than … signs. Lots and lots of signs, some very polished and professional, others more basic.

Of particular interest to me is the proliferation of upscale signs. Walking through Cook Street Village I noticed one candidate for council has a plethora of signs, and more than once they have placed five signs in a stretch of 50 feet.

This got me wondering who is paying for these signs. And why. I would like to know where the IOUs are going.

Mandatory disclosure of total campaign contributions and specific disclosure of donors contributing more than a set amount for each candidate would be useful in this regard.

Victoria deserves better than the best council money can buy.

Keith Hutton

Nova Scotia’s law helps boost organ donations

In 2021, the number of organ donations increased by 40 per cent, more than the previous year. This year should be even better, due to the decrease in COVID-19.

This is due to an organ donation law, proclaimed unanimously in April 2020 and enacted in January 2021. This law makes everyone 19 years and older an organ donor, unless they opt out.

Nova Scotia is the only jurisdiction in North America to have such an organ law.

I feel every province should have such a law. As it is now, too many people are dying because of a lack of organ donations.

Please write your MLA or the health minister and advocate for a Nova Scotia-based organ donor law.

John Hungar

Let the prime minister take time to relax

Re: “PM shows disrespect by singing in bar,” letter, Sept. 21.

The letter writer repeatedly states that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was singing in a bar. This is false. He was in the lobby of the hotel he was staying at, along with the others in the Canadian contingent (including the pianist).

There is no indication he was drinking or acting in a drunk or disorderly manner. He has never shown anything but the greatest respect and affection for the Queen.

But I guess he’s not allowed to relax, put on a T-shirt and socialize a little, well before all the rigourous formalities of the following days.

Can we cut him a little slack? There are much more pressing issues to be dealt with.

Betty Wurtz
Shawnigan Lake

Queen would have loved PM’s musical moment

Re: “PM shows disrespect by singing in bar,” letter, Sept. 21.

The letter suggested that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has shown disregard for the sentiment of Canadians by having a private moment relaxing and singing along during his visit to London.

As a longtime royalist, I am absolutely positive that the Queen herself would have had a little giggle at Trudeau’s choice of song. I can say that with all the assurance that this letter-writer also seems to command by reading the sentiment of Canadians.

Trudeau’s singing a popular song is much less embarrassing than having the prospective and now leader of the Official Opposition meeting with and marching with the Freedom Convoy who, with foreign financial supports, are trying to undermine the Constitution of Canada, and specifically, the health and well-being of people wanting to protect themselves from a global life-threatening pandemic.

Now that is lack of judgment and total disregard for Canadians.

Anne Miller

15th Field Regiment deserves kudos

Thank you for the great coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral commemoration. I would like to pay tribute to the members of the 15th Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery, our sister regiment from Vancouver, who were also an integral part of the 21-gun salute here to honour Her Majesty on Monday.

They provided a detachment of howitzers and large contingent of soldiers who, as army reservists, gave up their weekend to come to Victoria to prepare, drill and be a part of the artillery salute so essential to these moments.

Their contribution was deeply appreciated.

John Ducker
Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel
5th (B.C.) Field Artillery Regiment

Choose candidates who have positive values

The Sept. 14 letter “Pierre Poilievre fills me with chills” resonated with me, but a Sept. 17 rebuttal saying Poilievre was OK left me cold.

Values such as compassion, integrity, decency and humility are universally accepted and timeless, and their meaning generally understood. I was fortunate to have had parents who exemplified these virtues in all aspects of their lives.

My father contracted polio at age 17, and made an almost complete recovery, except for a few minor symptoms that reappeared in his 70s. He was overjoyed for others when a vaccine was developed and made available in the 1950s, and I doubt that he would have objected to mandatory vaccination for that illness.

He also served in the infantry for four years during the Second World War, soon after his wedding. On one of the rare occasions on which he spoke of that period, he mentioned his two darkest days; being denied leave for his father’s funeral — they were too short of men — and stepping off the train at the end of the war to meet his wife and her parents, burdened by guilt because his brother-in-law did not make it home with him.

Like more than a million other Canadians, he championed a freedom that is a privilege tied to responsibility, and with the greater good as its guiding principle.

The version of freedom espoused by the convoy participants and their supporters — the notion that we can do or own whatever the hell we want with no obligations whenever we disagree with a legal or political decision — is an egregious affront to everyone who has contributed to and sacrificed for the precious gift that we must preserve.

The least that all legitimate voters must do is to vote, at all levels of government, for candidates who we feel to be most representative of positive values, who support freedom with responsibility, and who have a record of collaboratively tackling tough issues.

Charlie Burton

Two tests together are best for detection

Re: “Colonoscopy is better for detecting cancer,” letter, Sept. 19.

The letter concludes that colonoscopies are more effective in preventing colon cancer than a fecal (blood) test. I am 78, a long-time resident of B.C., and I have diverticulosis because I did not eat enough fibre as an adult.

I am therefore well acquainted with fecal blood tests.

I have also had several colonoscopies in B.C. because of the results of fecal blood tests, and polyps were removed on at least one occasion. However, as a result of the latest fecal blood test and subsequent colonoscopy, I recently had abdominal surgery to remove a malignant tumor in my large colon.

In my experience, neither a fecal blood test nor a colonoscopy can prevent colon cancer, but in combination both can identify cancer at an early stage and lead to effective surgery.

I do not know why the writer of the letter said he “didn’t meet all of the requirements” to get a colonoscopy.

I have a GP who referred me to a surgeon who did the colonoscopy, who then referred me to the surgeon who did the abdominal surgery. Nobody told me there were requirements that I had to meet.

Christopher Wilson
North Vancouver

Qualicum council has offered transparency

Qualicum Beach Coun. Teunis Westbroek stated he has “acknowledged and apologized,” but what is he apologizing for? Asking a staff member to remove information that could be considered evidence in a lawsuit?

Town council was right to censure him for that action. As a courtesy to Westbroek, and perhaps in consideration of his many years of service, the town offered Westbroek an opportunity to leave politics at the end of his term and have his transgressions kept confidential.

They honoured their end of the agreement; he did not, as he is running for mayor.

Council has provided numerous avenues for people to obtain information on matters before council and decisions made. The process for approvals is clear and concise.

All the information is there for anyone who wants to look it up or have it sent to them. Public meetings are held to encourage public input.

Based on my observations, the previous council made arbitrary decisions based on their beliefs of how Qualicum Beach should grow or not grow, or which groups made the most noise, or the personal opinions of the mayor or councillors that, if expressed publicly, have or could lead to lawsuits.

The most recent council, under the guidance of Mayor Brian Wiese, has provided transparency and efficiency in proceedings. Let’s not go back to the way it was.

Towns and cities are growing and we need people who can and will make decisions based on reason and rationale. I don’t always agree with every decision made by the current council, but I look at what benefit it brings to the town, not just to us personally.

That’s how a community works. Not by lashing out at others who hold another view and telling them to “get out of town,” or disparaging people who have moved here in the past decade, or slandering companies or individuals.

People who do that do us all a disservice.

Carla Farmer
Qualicum Beach



• 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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