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Letters Aug. 18: Mandatory vaccines; no subsidies for fossil-fuel firms

Mandatory vaccines as political fodder The federal election kicked off with the media quick to question mandatory vaccines for the federal workforce.
Mark Iosiphovich prepares a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine at Fort Royal Pharmacy in Oak Bay. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Mandatory vaccines as political fodder

The federal election kicked off with the media quick to question mandatory vaccines for the federal workforce.

There are individuals who denounce mandating vaccines as an encroachment of an individual’s rights and freedoms. What these folks fail to acknowledge is the risk a refusal to be vaccinated poses to the freedom and lives of others.

COVID-19 is a communicable, potentially deadly virus, and mandatory vaccines should not become politicized fodder during the election but rather be decided based upon what science and experience tells us.

In the case of tuberculosis, the population is screened, treated, individuals are quarantined when needed, direct observed therapy is conducted in the homeless population, and for those that do not comply there is the potential of incarceration.

Tuberculosis is not allowed to run rampant. Controlling the spread of a disease or virus should not be a political issue, nor should mandatory vaccines become political fodder.

Pamela McColl
Salt Spring Island

Anti-vaxxers can die on their own terms

Anti-vaxxers have the right to die as they see fit and on their own terms.

They don’t, however, have the right to take me with them.

Jim Palmateer

Along with rights, we have responsibilities

So, thousands march in Montreal against vaccine passports and the ambulance-chasing lawyers are warning of lawsuits about mandatory vaccination or face-mask requirements in public places.

Should we not recognize this as an unintended consequence of seven decades of emphasizing “civil rights” to the detriment (if not elimination) of “civic responsibilities”? Is even the concept of “civics” taught in schools anymore?

One cannot have civil rights without an acceptance of civic (social) responsibilities — the two go hand in hand, and to pretend otherwise leads to the disintegration of society that we are now watching.

Roger Love

Anti-vaxxers should face the consequences

As it appears that we cannot mandate people to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, perhaps the following proposal might get them to see the light.

Correct me if I am wrong, but if someone who is HIV-positive has unprotected sex with a partner without telling them they can be charged with a criminal offence.

HIV is a virus, like COVID-19, so why can’t this type of penalty be applied to someone who refuses to get the vaccine because they don’t want to put something “foreign” into their body, but are prepared to pass the coronavirus to children under the age of 12 who aren’t eligible for the vaccine.

Because those individuals claim that it is their right to not be vaccinated, it is also our right (those of us who are vaccinated) to protect those in our society who cannot be protected with the vaccine.

I have two sisters (both double vaccinated) with grandchildren under the age of six.

One of my sisters works in an office with someone who refuses to get the vaccine. While my sister might not show any signs of the virus, she could still be infected by that individual and pass the virus on to her grandchildren.

Would the unvaccinated individual not be responsible for any debilitating health effects, or even the demise of someone, because of the unvaccinated individual’s irresponsibility and should that not result in some sort of criminal penalty.

Just look at the vaccine as a “condom” that can protect others.

Stephen Reichardt

Can we ask candidates if they’ve been vaccinated?

A recent story out of Manitoba reported how a thrice-elected Conservative MP Ted Falk has refused to inform his constituents as to his vaccination status.

Is it reasonable to ask Vancouver Island candidates for election and/or re-election about their vax status, especially if they intend to go door to door or participate in public forums?

Michael Dupuis

More information on vaccines, please

It seems clear to me that with our cases rising so dramatically, the public needs to begin to see — as soon as possible — a breakdown in new cases, not just by area, but by vaccination status, that is, daily new cases among the fully vaccinated, the partially vaccinated, and the unvaccinated.

This information is necessary for the public to make decisions to keep themselves safe.

Colleen Mead

Make it mandatory to be vaccinated

I find it absurd that Mike Old of the Hospital Employees’ Union believes that “education and access” is the key to improving the vaccination situation, as opposed to mandatory vaccinations.

If intelligent people haven’t figured it out yet that vaccinations are the key to stemming this tide and the problem of access has been taken care of in almost all situations, then yes, we must mandate mandatory vaccinations.

People who are still scratching their heads and sitting on the fence can only be shown the obvious for so long before more drastic action is taken.

You can educate and lead someone to water only for so long before realizing that if they are not willing to drink up the solution and get with the program, then force vaccinations upon them or let them make a stand in some other field that requires no other human contact.

Evan Begbie

No more subsidies for fossil-fuel companies

This week, more than 246 fires are burning in B.C., and people are being evacuated from their homes. The International Panel on Climate Change (the best scientists in the world) have announced that our human-caused changes to our climate are locked in for 25 years.

They ask that politicians and fossil-fuel companies stop all expansion projects so that future impacts can level out, so our children might have a chance of surviving.

Yet politicians act as though everything is fine.

Now another expensive election will distract us from needed emergency action to address the catastrophic impacts happening right now.

Our provincial leader and elected followers are also ignoring the emergency as they put $998 million of our tax dollars toward subsidies to fracking companies set to increase the catastrophic flames in B.C. and other parts of the world.

Under John Horgan’s government, subsidies for fracking and LNG are up 79 per cent over the last year of former Premier Christy Clark. Cutting old-growth forests is eliminating carbon uptake from those trees, clean drinking water and the lives of wildlife.

Young people deserve more. All governments must stop all subsidies to fossil fuels and move funds into renewable energy, public transit and affordable housing.

Personally, we need to reduce or stop unnecessary travel, buy small cars, preferably electric or hybrid, reduce our consumption and waste, and give our grandchildren and other species that are going extinct a chance.

Wake up, Canada.

Sheila Harrington
Lasqueti Island


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