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Letters April 23: Biggest issue is decriminalization of drugs; centre-right needs to consolidate

B.C. Premier David Eby. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Decriminalization is our biggest issue

Re: “In this election, Eby should be put to the test,” editorial, April 20.

It was quite surprising, even unbelievable, that the editorial did not list decriminalization as the primary issue Premier David Eby and the NDP have to deal with in the upcoming election.

In B.C., this decriminalization experiment has been an unmitigated, uncontrollable disaster.

Given both our record-setting deficit and the debt listed in this year’s budget, rather than traipsing around the province pouring billions of borrowed funds off the back of his money truck, the premier should be wandering around our family-oriented beaches, open city sidewalks, school grounds, fast food operations and, even more of a disaster, in all levels of our hospitals and health-care facilities, to see where drug addicts function, untouched by even our dedicated police forces.

The state of Oregon saw the tragic error of their ways, and have reversed their stand and recriminalized the drugs.

How Eby and the NDP, given what is going on in this province with regard to safe drugs and decriminalization, can support B.C. being the only constituency in North America to do so is outrageous, and hopefully voters will send a message this year.

Harry Rice


Consolidate parties on the centre right

Re: “In this election, Eby should be put to the test,” editorial, April 20.

Like many, I wholeheartedly applaud the editorial.

The ongoing battle of the centre right between John Rustad’s Conservatives and Kevin Falcon’s United serves no one other than the isolated selfish interests of these two men.

The simple fact is, under Rustad’s leadership, a Conservative win is an impossible consideration, and how can anyone trust Falcon’s judgment after the failed rebranding of the provincial Liberal party under the United banner?

Our province is the laughing stock of this dominion — inept at every conceivable level — it cannot and must not be allowed to continue.

A united centre-right party, under new leadership, is our province’s only option, and frankly, its only hope. The fiscal and policy damage wrought by Eby in just 18 months is only a small reflection of what he will do if given a full four-year mandate. It’s inconceivable and must not come to pass.

Do the right thing gentlemen: Consolidate your parties and step aside. The time has come for new ideas and leadership and the end to any thought of four more years under the destructive NDP banner.

Mike Houle

North Saanich

No cancer medications, but free drugs for addicts

The height of hypocrisy! Premier David Eby and Health Minister Adrian Dix and their government will continue to sell death-causing items such as alcohol and tobacco at a profit, and will go ahead and sue other companies for harmful items sold?

I have stage four colon cancer and am sure that alcohol had some effect on my medical situation.

The NDP continues to give free narcotics to drug addicts, and I cannot get the cancer medications I need after paying taxes my entire life.

They are seriously out of order and their priorities are way out of line.

Dix should be going on TV and apologizing daily for people dying from the poor health care. What you don’t know will kill you.

Scott Piercy


B.C. should stop enabling drug addiction

Re: “No plans for overdose-prevention sites at all B.C. hospitals,” Dix says,” April 21.

A request to Premier David Eby and the courts: For everyone’s safety, please stop enabling drug addiction.

As is the policy in Singapore, where one can walk down clean streets without fear of being accosted and where businesses thrive, please make decisions so that, when individual rights have a negative impact on the community, then community rights must take precedence.

Here, for the health and safety of the already-stressed-out hospital community, the consumption of street-type drugs and carrying of knives on hospital premises should never be permitted.

Health-care funds need to be spent treating patients, not creating space to enable the smoking of drugs whose harmful effects jeopardize the health of other patients and hospital staff.

For the sake of the school community, where smoking of tobacco products is prohibited, consumption of drugs should be banned from both school grounds and their environs.

For the overall community, especially businesses, the same prohibitions applied to smoking tobacco products should apply to drug consumption.

Drug addicts need access to treatment facilities, not to “free” drugs (paid for by the taxpaying community) and most certainly should not be given the “right” to consume drugs where it can cause harm to the overall community.

This enabling is just pure insanity, unjust to all and has to stop now.

Susan M. Woods


Think we are leading? Then walk along Pandora

If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto really want to convince the people of Victoria that we are leading the way, it would be nice to see the two of them take a walk down Pandora Avenue together without any armed guards or sharpshooters on the rooftops looking out for their safety.

Bruce Cline


After a major drug bust, let’s see major charges

It was heartening to hear that the RCMP are doing their job to combat drugs, with their arrests on South Vancouver Island on March 13 and 19.

With the seizure of three kilos of suspected fentanyl and $240,000 in cash, I would assume the suspects will be charged with manslaughter and attempted murder?

Are they not connected to the B.C. death toll from illicit drugs? Until the courts start taking this seriously, criminals will continue to take the chance to get rich quickly, at the cost of an ever-increasing death toll on B.C. streets.

The catch-and-release system does not work. Probation has little effect on behaviour after release. Instead of releasing criminals after serving a fraction of their sentence, how about making them serve the sentence?

I say this with tongue in cheek — this is Canada after all, where the guilty have more rights than the victims.

Darcy Eggleston


Truth in advertising, but politicians exempt

While I appreciate the motivation behind B.C. Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau’s ad regarding natural gas and climate change, I find it rather ironic that a bill regarding truth in advertising would be brought to the legislature by a politician.

In as much as we already have such legislation at the national level in the form of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, I would suggest that her proposal is not only redundant, but ask why she has not pursued her claim regarding the truthfulness of the ad under that act.

The only shortfall I would suggest of the Canadian Code is that it specifically exempts politicians. I wonder why that is?

Perhaps one of her colleagues in the chamber will put forth an amendment to include ALL advertising. Then perhaps we “consumers” would have some accountability when a politician fails to live up to promises made when campaigning.

As it stands now, the LNG industry is subject to what could very well be an unfair and misleading attack by a political party that is protected from making misleading statements about the industry.

I’m sure we’d all feel better if Furstenau were able to supply us with real solutions to the problems we face rather than attacking those that are ­simply filling a need we all have.

Climate change is a real problem. What we need are real solutions. Not political opportunism without constructive solutions.

Jack Trueman

Brentwood Bay

Protect old-growth trees while we still can

Re: “Tree-sitters call for protection of Walbran from logging,” April 19.

These disruptions are not appreciated by any of us, however the slaughter of our old trees breaks the hearts of many.

As someone who was born on Vancouver Island, we have known, for at least 50 years, that the forestry industry has a limited time frame.

Our old-growth trees can never be replicated. All of these trees in B.C. need to be protected as an endangered species now before they are gone forever.

Premier David Eby has passed laws to protect our renewable stock of housing, how about legislation to immediately protecting our irreplaceable old growth trees with their documented capacity to store carbon.

It will be soon be too late.

Lynne Rogers


While suing Big Oil, they celebrate a gas station

Qualicum Beach council signed on to the lawsuit against “Big Oil.”

But Qualicum Beach council congratulated the Qualicum First Nation for opening a gas station on Horne Lake Road.

How does one reconcile this? Can one not see the hypocrisy here?

Please spare me the paragraphs of political rhetoric. Try something simpler as in “put your money where your mouth is,” something our representatives at all levels used before, with great success.

Valerie Axford

Qualicum Beach

Upset with health care? Be sure to cast a ballot

Re: “At 87 years of age, a long wait for care,” letter, April 20.

There is something you can do. Run, don’t walk to the election booth, there will be thousands of us with you.

We want a medical system that works all the time for everyone.

Peggy Bodnar

Qualicum Beach

Canada pays a high price for its carbon-tax folly

An open letter from 200 economists defending the carbon tax presupposes that Canada’s reduction of its two per cent of world CO2 emissions will significantly alter climate change. It will not.

Much of the world suffers poverty, which they seek to alleviate with relatively cheap energy — not the expensive and inconsistent energy of wind and solar, which rely on backup.

China and India are heavily invested in coal energy, which is one of the greatest contributors to human-caused CO2 emissions. That situation is unlikely to change without much research, development and technology.

Focusing on achieving net-zero will deprive Canada of legitimate use and sales of its own stores of fossil fuels, leaving other countries to supply world needs until there is a viable cheap energy replacement.

Canada annually imports billions of dollars in oil and oil products from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Norway, Colombia and the United Kingdom —despite Canada’s own vast natural supplies.

Why should other countries supply what we have in great quantity, and what we and others continue to purchase?

Forcing Canadians, via annually increased gas taxes, to limit travel or to purchase expensive electric cars, may partially “work” in reducing Canada’s minuscule CO2 emissions to the world atmosphere, but at what cost?

Edward Field


Victoria council ignores major problems

Victoria council does not care about the citizens of Victoria.

Consider: the community plan survey only asks how we agree with them; they voted a big increase in their pay; they’re spending $750,000 to study their Centennial Square improvement plan.

We get thousands of expensive new housing units to welcome more people to Victoria, great for developers, but congestion and higher taxes for the citizens while doing nothing for affordability.

More housing that looms over neighbours and destroys privacy is just money for developers.

And what are they ignoring? Increasing street violence and spreading graffiti.

The Pollen park (Laurel Point) remains bare, years after we were promised a park. The Dallas Road off-leash dog area is now a muddy patch of dirt after they spent $100K on a pointless fence.

These are not the leaders Victoria needs.

Raymond Fischer


Go online to declare or pay thousands

I’m not opposed to a speculation tax. I’m sure it’s a good thing. But I won’t be surprised to find out that others had the problem I did.

I glanced at the first notice I got and concluded that something would arrive in the mail, I would sign it and send it in and be done with it. So I was rather alarmed when I got a message saying that I owed thousands of dollars, having failed to make the required declaration.

OK, it was in large part my fault, as I was operating in the old technology of signing documents and putting them in the mail.

So for people in my age group the message is this, things have changed. Be ready to make an online declaration. And read the notices you receive in the mail.

Ken Hiebert


Many thanks for the work on the book drive

I was delighted to take part in the annual Book Drive sponsored by the Times Colonist. It is now such a “well oiled machine” that donating becomes very simple.

I noticed that the majority of volunteers were seniors and that they seemed to be enjoying their work.

Thank you so much to the organizers of this event and to the volunteers who physically make it happen. You are all very much appreciated.

Lucille Longley



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