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Letters Sept. 23: Can MDs de-enrol from our health plan?; we already know what extreme heat can do

A letter-writer wonders if doctors can legally de-enrol from the provincial health-insurance system, and whether that would comply with the Canada Health Act. TERESA CRAWFORD, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Questions about B.C. health care

Re: “If doctors opt out, we have a two-tier system,” commentary, Sept. 16.

The commentary asked some good questions, and hopefully there will be some quality responses. It is time for an informed and worthwhile discussion.

Can the B.C. government de-enrol a patient from the B.C. provincial insurance plan, such a patient being under the care of a de-enrolled but duly qualified and licenced family physician in B.C.? Would this comply with the Canada Health Act?

If Dr. Perpetua Nkechi Nwosu’s, or any other licenced physician’s, resignation from the B.C. Health Care insurance plan is not legal, is the B.C. government practising some form of forced servitude considering Nwosu is a qualified and licenced physician in the province of B.C.?

I would suggest that Nwoso’s statement regarding alternative care is a fact, not a mockery. The mockery is the provincial government’s lack of responsibility in providing that alternative care while suggesting they are.

Albert Wilke, retired MD
Salt Spring Island

Saanich council candidates fall short

I just finished looking at the online list of candidates for Saanich council and was surprised that a number of them had no information at all and the rest were sadly lacking any real details on why they were running for office.

The ones that did offer some detail were all vaguely the same speaking to improved housing, transportation and other feel-good subjects.

However, no one spoke to good governance, budgets that were in line with residents’ means rather than funding pet projects, or issues outside of council’s real purview. Zero-based budgeting, right-sized staffing rather than bigger is better staffing, a focus on effective management of priorities — all nowhere in sight.

It looks like we will get another council that lacks business and financial experience, avoids the amalgamation issue, and a focus on pet projects rather than resident needs.

Another four years of mediocrity and wokeness.

Chris Sheldon

Just look away from Elk Lake building

Re: “High rise beside Elk Lake will change the area,” letter, Sept. 19.

The writer laments the possibility of being able to see a tall building from “anywhere on Elk Lake” once the approved 11-storey Doral Forest Park condo is in place.

I wonder if he considered the fact that the building will be about four kilometres from the lake, downhill at the south end of Beaver Lake, and likely not as aggressively visible to those on the water as he fears.

Heaven forbid increasing housing density near enough to both an outdoor recreation area and a shopping centre for people to walk or cycle in order to get their needs met.

Perhaps those who enjoy kayaking could simply look in another direction, instead of at the offending building. Or perhaps they could frequent a lake that isn’t directly next to a highway and residential neighbourhood — like Durrance, Matheson or Kemp Lake?

Michelle Mason

Singing is no reason to attack Trudeau

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

No, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not showing disrespect.

He is entitled to off-hours. This was not a public event, and it appeared that the leaked video was surreptitiously filmed by someone with a phone camera in the hotel.

Consider the opinion of Canadian musician Gregory Charles, honoured as part of the Canadian delegation to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, and renowned for his particular talent of playing the piano from an encyclopedic knowledge of songs.

He said that the delegation “found moments of joy and celebration” outside the official events, including the Saturday night sing-song. He said that the Saturday night event reminded him of Caribbean funerals, “blending sombre moments of respect with ones celebrating life and sharing stories.”

He was clearly thrilled that everyone (including our PM) sang with him for two hours.

These people are not robots and are entitled to find joy amidst all the sadness and pressure of strict official protocols, as any of us would do, privately, when gathered at such events.

Trudeau was much featured in BBC coverage, including respectful interviews, and he acquitted himself well. So did the rest of our delegates.

We should be proud of our participation in such a historical event, not looking for any excuse to launch a personal attack.

Val Crossley

We don’t need a study of extreme heat

Re: “Island awarded grants to help deal with extreme heat,” online story, Sept. 22.

Please tell all of us over-taxed citizens of B.C. which consulting firms are so bedded with the NDP that they’ve been given a free ride to “study” the effects of extreme heat.

Those of us with half a brain already know the effects. This is nothing but a monumental fraud.

T.L. Pedneault-Peasland

Landlords work to keep houses available

Re: “Increasing rents when tenants leave is an injustice,” commentary, Sept. 21.

Owning a rental house isn’t a licence to print money.

Not every landlord is a developer, or planning to sell their property. For some it is a long-term investment, with a mortgage the owners work two or three jobs to pay off over many years.

Some rental owners are self-employed and don’t have pensions or jobs with income security. They work hard to purchase a rental property which will provide an income as they age.

The work needed to keep a rental house in good repair is expensive and time-consuming. There are expenses they have no control over: Insurance, utilities, taxes — which increase every year. There are on-going maintenance problems and upkeep.

There are major expenses: Replacing older chimneys, a new roof, drainage problems and water leaks, replacing appliances, upgrading electrical. When tenants leave, there are often expensive repairs to fix damage renters and their pets have done.

That “loophole” the writer complains of is one of the only ways smaller landlords can keep the houses they offer to the public in good repair, and keep them on the market.

Janet Merryweather

Advance voting spots are highly suspicious

The University of Victoria, Victoria City Hall and Our Place are the locations for early voting in the civic election.

It’s hard to imagine older people and those with handicaps showing up at Our Place to vote early. Not much parking around city hall.

In days of yore, the early voting areas were churches or schools that afforded adequate parking for everyone. One is prone to suspect that the people that picked these locations have a certain agenda.

Bob Beckwith

Keep party slates out of our elections

Municipal elections differ in so many ways from the other levels of government. The most outstanding way is the lack of obvious partisanship. Each city councillor is accountable to each citizen of Victoria and not to party line.

I see this as a democratization of decision-making and the value of citizen engagement. I am opposed to pseudo-parties coming together just for the sake of having a broad influence in civic elections.

Viva Victoria is one such party. None of the seven members of that party who are candidates for Victoria council will gain my vote. As well, none of the six Viva Victoria candidates for School District 61 will get my vote either.

Sandra Glass

Simple advice for the men who need it

Here’s a suggestion for men the world over.

It applies most immediately to the Iranian and Afghani regimes, other conservative Muslim societies, Orthodox Jewish populations, various Protestant cults, and to a lesser extent Roman Catholic cultures — those that designate arbitrarily determined parts of women’s and girls’ bodies as responsible for distracting men from the paths of holiness and which therefore must be shrouded from view.

However, it also applies to the general ranks of sexual harassers, rapists and pedophiles.

Why don’t you just learn to control yourselves?

There, that was easy. Don’t mention it.

Hilary Knight

Saanich does not need yet more tower blocks

What does Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes mean by “momentum” on his election posters?

The last thing that Saanich needs is a mindless development “momentum” of tower blocks. We need a considered, ongoing look at just what development would benefit the district for the long-term future.

Concrete tower blocks with one- and two-bedroom apartments are affordable housing only for singles or childless/downsizing couples. They are not affordable housing for young families; ask anyone who’s tried to raise small children in a high-rise apartment.

We badly need those young families to in order to correct our miserable demographics and to keep Saanich as a vibrant, living community.

Young families need low-rise, two- and three-bedroom townhouse developments with ample surrounding green space and a good isolation from nearby main roads; space for the families to get outside and for the children to play within sight of their parents.

There are many excellent examples around the world of how to design such developments, and we should be learning from them.

Apart from one notable exception, I don’t see any understanding of this issue from our candidate list in Saanich. Are we really going to elect an administration who see endless construction of towers as the future of Saanich?

Does “momentum” just mean that a continuous forest of tower cranes building a dormitory for Victoria is a good policy aim? Time to put this train back on the right track.

Alec Mitchell


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