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Letters Sept. 29: Why do we still need submarines?; old-age pensions should only go to those in need

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A tugboat pulls HMCS Chicoutimi into CFB Esquimalt in 2018. A letter-writer questions whether submarines should still have a role in Canada's naval fleet. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Is there a place for subs in our navy?

Re: “Achieving a more balanced and affordable naval fleet,” commentary, Sept. 28.

There are many things that I have little practical knowledge of, and Canada’s naval forces certainly make that list.

I read with interest, then, the thoughts of a retired naval commander as to what Canada’s navy should look like.

However, all credibility was lost at the mention of Canada’s submarines. Why in heaven’s name does Canada need submarines?

We bought used submarines that to date have provided Canada with nothing but grief. Lastly, we do not have enough submariners to sail whichever boats happen to be operable, which to quote the writer “may pose a problem.”

The submarines seem to me to be an exemplar of the thinking of our current navy.

Asking a retired naval commander what the navy needs is like asking a union boss what the workers need.

Rather than discuss what a “balanced and affordable naval fleet” looks like, let’s start with assessing the need for a combat-capable fleet at all.

Is it time to scuttle the old battleship thinking in this, the 21st century?

Mark R. Fetterly
Victoria

Give the money to those who need it

Re: “Costs pushing seniors into long-term care, B.C. watchdog says,” Sept. 23.

The recent “Falling Further Behind” report from B.C.’s senior advocate office points out that 90 per cent of B.C. seniors receive Old Age Security payments — up to $8,800 per year for seniors over 75 and $8,000 for seniors 65 to 74 — from the federal government.

Roughly one-third of those seniors already have annual incomes of over $50,000 (compared to $51,170 for the prime working age population).

I would argue that seniors with incomes over $50,000 do not need OAS payments from Ottawa. If the federal government were to stop paying OAS to seniors with incomes over $50,000 and instead allocate that money to seniors with incomes below $50,000, the income boost to those seniors would be about $4,100 per year.

Tom Kane
Victoria

Emergency departments deserve high praise

With all the complaining about lack of primary care, I have to applaud the staff at the Royal Jubilee Hospital ambulatory emergency department.

I recently had to visit there and they were spectacular; they never seemed to stop moving and yet provided excellent care while remaining pleasant and kind.

It has made me wonder if we shouldn’t have primary care departments in hospitals as these people seem to be handling a lot of it already, on top of actual emergencies.

I am grateful we have such dedicated people in our health-care system, but they need support.

Deborah Crawford
Saanich

Gas prices continue to rise; what can we do?

If the public would do as they do in France when gas prices rise out of control, we would see immediate change and considerable reductions in prices.

The French stop all driving and movement of goods, which paralyzes the country, forcing the government to freeze prices.

It also cost big oil millions in losses when no one buys their gas.

These paralyzing stoppages only need a week to cause maximum damage to greedy oil companies.

Tolerating rising prices with excuses and complacency doesn’t force change.

James Cooper
Victoria

Don’t be confident that it can’t happen here

Re: “West Coast water too cold for tropical storms,” Sept. 27.

Very interesting the article about British Columbia being safe from tropical storms like the one that just hit Atlantic Canada. According to the scientists interviewed, storms like those “will never come to pass” in B.C., no matter what happens with the climate. It sounds reassuring.

However, I’d wish the experts would have addressed the whole picture and not only the type of storm that hit Eastern Canada.

Just less than two weeks ago a powerful storm, which climate experts call an “ex-typhoon,” landed along the coast of Alaska causing widespread damage, fortunately in a sparsely populated area. This storm originated to the east of Japan and picked up energy from water much warmer than it used to be.

According to what Rick Thoman, a climate scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, stated to Alaska Public Media, “as ocean temperatures continue to creep upward, similar, huge, devastating storms hitting Alaska could become more likely.”

Are we in B.C. safe from this as well?

As a province we need to prepare for the new climate reality that we have managed to bring on us, and we need to determine all the scenarios that merit starting to take action right now. We count on our climate scientists for this.

J.G. Miranda
Victoria

Credit where it is due: Cournoyer tied the game

Re: “Strangers in the Customs house for Summit Series,” commentary, Sept. 27.

This enjoyable story incorrectly credits Phil Esposito. Right winger Yvon Cournoyer is the unsung hero of the series. Cournoyer scored the tying goal in the third period of the eighth game.

Esposito scored Canada’s fourth goal at 2:27 of the third period, making it 5-4. At 12:56, Yvan Cournoyer knocked in the rebound of Esposito’s shot on Vladislav Tretiak to tie the game.

Confusion is understandable because the red goal light wasn’t turned on and a protesting Alan Eagleson was grabbed by Russian soldiers but rescued by Canadian players.

Henderson and Esposito gained the enduring recognition. But never forget it was Yvan Cournoyer who saved the series for Canada by making the winning goal possible.

Alanne Gibson
Victoria

Defining ‘rural’ is vital in North Saanich

In some communities, when people are planning to move to a rural community, real estate agents will give them a scratch-and-sniff manure card. Heads up: Sometimes it stinks around here.

The importance of rural is being hotly debated in the 2022 municipal election for North Saanich. There are references to the pastoral vistas, the hedgerows, and not much traffic. And it’s true, rural does mean those things.

But it also means less infrastructure, fewer staff at District Hall, and (consequently) lower taxes.

We don’t need streetlights, sidewalks or Starbucks. Why?

Because our purpose, as defined by the Regional Growth Strategy, is to grow food and provide green space. Think back to the height of the pandemic, and the experience of there being not much produce on the grocery shelves.

With the lack of water in California, that will almost certainly be a repeat experience.

North Saanich is one of the last areas in the Capital Regional District whose purpose is food production. Cast your eye south down the Peninsula and what do you see?

Gordon Head used to be farm country, as did Cordova Bay, and parts of Saanich.

But this has been eroded by the slow march of densification. Neighbourhood nooks, sensitive infills and village centres are all part of the game to connect the urban dots.

In North Saanich our preservation of rural is linked to food security, carbon sequestration, and green space — for the region.

Susan Chandler
North Saanich

Secondary suites will ease the rental crunch

I’m in full support of Oak Bay allowing secondary suites. The restrictions are reasonable and will ensure the “suite” can’t be used for AirBnB rentals.

If the reason you wanted a secondary suite was to address the lack of availability of cheaper housing, thank you for being a good citizen.

Leslie Holth
Victoria

Don’t be fooled by name, they are not like me

Please note that I do not in any way support or condone the policies of the VIVA slate running for the Greater Victoria School Board.

Hidden on the website are their anti-SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) views.

Viva Moodley
Oak Bay

Henry is right about classrooms and COVID

Re: “Look at the evidence on COVID in schools,” letter, Sept. 17.

There’s a lot of focus on whether being in school contributed to higher infection rates.

Given estimates that we’ve now seen that up to 80 per cent of people have been infected with the disease, and for the most part we are in the same condition (other than perhaps a bit more mentally battered) than before, rates of infection don’t seem to be an issue.

Even if being in school contributed to slightly higher infection rates, Dr. Bonnie Henry could still be correct in asserting there was not enough danger to warrant continued restrictions on developing young kids.

Depriving them of major developmental processes like socializing normally is certainly something that needs to be balanced against restricting them further to avoid a disease that has, at this point, affected most of us without significant consequence.

Walter Ash
Victoria

Political stripes all look the same

I find it interesting how politicians here in Canada and around the world formulate their rhetoric to attract the fringe element to their cause, but as soon as they are elected or the fringe element turns on them, they disavow any connection to those groups. How can anyone trust a politician or believe what they say?

Mike Wilkinson
Duncan

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