Letters Aug. 20: Cycling festival, national pharmacare, 'boring' Trudeau

Iding backed-up cars and cycling festival

Re: “2,300 cyclists turn out for Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria,” Aug. 18.

Kudos to all those behind the Tour de Victoria. From what I observed it was very well organized and, from all accounts I have heard and read, a very successful event.

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I unfortunately needed to travel south and then north on Saturday from Saanichton at the same time as the Tour and drove through many intersections controlled by the volunteers. My hat is off to them for doing an admirable job, and I acknowledged them all with a wave and a thank you as I passed through the intersections.

On the down side however, it did not go unnoticed by me that traffic was backed up easily more than a kilometre and likely closer to two kilometres both northbound and southbound on the Pat Bay Highway from the Sayward Intersection for hours. It got me thinking about all that Victoria council has done to increase bike traffic in town at the expense of the automobile (a disaster in my opinion), to decrease emissions from vehicles. More on point, with those thousands of cars idling on the highway, I wondered how much that presumably has been achieved from those changes in terms of less carbon emissions, were wiped out by this one single event.

Like my late wife always said, it’s about a fine balance. I am trying to see both sides of this car versus bike debate. The story of the family from Squamish with the five-year-old girl cycling 15 kilometres with her two stuffed puppies in her bike’s baskets put an enormous smile on my face. Sadly, seeing that backed up traffic on the Pat Bay Highway spewing those fumes did not. There is no right or wrong here. We must always strive to find a balance.

Ted Daly

Tour de Victoria was a wonderful event

I want to send a huge thank you and congratulations to the Tour de Victoria event organizers — what an amazing day! My parents came over from Vancouver with their cycling club to take part in the ride, and I did the 60 kilometre with them.

To the event organizers, from ride kit pickup to event instructions, everything was clear and easy to understand. To the flaggers directing traffic, thank you for making sure we were safe. To the motorists trying to get around town, thank you for your patience.

To the volunteers, thank you for your directions and help, you truly make the event special. To the vendors, your gummies and bars saved me. To the locals who came out and cheered, your enthusiasm kept me going. To whoever made the hundreds (thousands?) of peanut butter and jam sandwiches, you are my heroes.

What a great way to showcase our beautiful city and bring thousands back year after year, contributing to the local tourism economy. My parents are heading back to Vancouver to spread the word about this great event — we’ll see you next year!

Tessa Humphries

We need a national pharmacare system

Re: “Health experts ask federal leaders to commit to pharmacare,” Aug. 15.

Some of the six million Canadians living with arthritis rely on costly medications to manage their condition, and at times have to make difficult choices between the medicines they need and basic living expenses.

Too many people are not well served by the current system, hence the need for a national pharmacare program to elevate the standard of coverage available and improve health outcomes for people across Canada.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Patients who rely on prescription drugs to treat a variety of conditions must be at the table as decisions are being made that will have the greatest impact on them.

A national pharmacare program must increase affordable coverage for those who need it most, while removing obstacles to accessing that coverage. It should not lead to a lower standard of coverage — a sort of “race to the bottom.”

Canadians need coverage for a range of therapies, to ensure patients and their physicians can find the treatment that works for them without being hindered by overly restrictive formularies or a system that is slow to recognize the value of new therapies.

The Hoskins report recommendations address some but not all of these considerations. This process must be informed and advised by strong patient participation focused on addressing urgent patient needs.

As the federal election approaches, we will be writing to each of the party leaders to express their support for these principles, and will share their responses at arthritis.ca/advocacy.

Janet Yale
President and CEO, Arthritis Society

Electing MPs based on skin colour

Re: “Activist calls for more black candidates,” Aug. 17.

The article quotes the chair of Operation Black Vote Canada as saying that there should be more black MPs, as there are only seven at the present time, which does not proportionally represent the black community, which is 3.5 per cent of the population of Canada, which would require 11 MPs for proportional representation.

So the question is, what makes a community? Something in common? How about age and gender? 76- to 100-year-old males constitute 5 per cent of the population, but there are only 8 of us in the house, so we are underrepresented by 50 per cent. Do I care? Not at all.

What makes black people a community? Is skin colour enough to demand proportional representation in Parliament? How about handedness? Are there a proportional number of lefties in the House? How about hair colour? Are there enough blonds? I could go on, but I won’t. Seems to me there is too much attention paid to what makes us different, and not enough to what makes us alike.

Ian Cameron
Brentwood Bay

How Justin Trudeau can boost his poll numbers

I’ll come right out and admit it. I am not a politically savvy pundit versed in my own country’s political machinations. Yes, I should be embarrassed to admit that I am one of many Canadians caught up in the American chaotic circus of Donald J. Trump and his extremely loyal band of blind leading the blind followers. So let’s face it Canada, Justin Trudeau has been so boringly “Canadian.”

On a daily basis, American politics has offered a more twisted entertainment value than what Justin Trudeau can or would want to offer. Imagine Trudeau using his time to call his opponents childish derogatory nicknames , boast incessantly about his fantastical accomplishments, swoon over his late night phone calls to Vlad Putin and his love letters he receives from Kim Jong-un.

Look at your poll numbers, Justin. You need a big boost. Why don’t you call a few people at all hours of the night to heap praises on you? Get on the airwaves and give us a few speeches loaded with garbled words that make no sense and throw in a few snorts here and there and finish your day with a good old meltdown. Give us something cringe-worthy to laugh at too.

Stop being so normal. Dye your hair?

Al Strandlund

Wanted: a clever way to remove algae from lakes

Re: “Algae warning issued for Beaver Lake,” Aug. 12.

I read about lakes across the country, not just our local lakes, being killed by algae. Perhaps we need some clever scientists to design a skimming system to remove algae and weeds from our lakes to restore them to better health. This could be processed back into fertilizer or something else useful.

John Miller

Where our grey water goes

Re: “Cruise ships targeted for grey-water dumping,” Aug. 15.

From a happy cruiser to all non-cruisers. where does your grey water go? Likely to the same place as the grey water from cruise ships.

Linda Romain

Victoria council is driving people away

This Victoria council and mayor have had their own agenda from day one, and nobody is going to stand in their way, especially the people that pay their wages.

They are driving people away from Victoria, myself and my family included, but that seems to be their goal — turn the city into what they and their minority followers want and to hell with motorists, business owners, tourists, and the general public overall.

I have no idea how they got re-elected, but for the people that voted them in: you elected them, live with it.

Personally I haven’t gone near Victoria ( I live in Saanich) except for Deuce Days since they were voted in and will not in the future.

Larry Zilinsky

A jaywalker and a $98,000 court award

Re: “Victoria jaywalker who witnessed crash gets $98,000 award for ‘nervous shock,’ ” Aug. 9.

Let me get this straight. A couple are crossing the street illegally. She gets knocked down. He is stressed. He is rewarded $98,000.

What can “our money” do to relieve his stress?

Once again a case of so-called legality ... but not justice.

Judith Hodgson

No need for motorbikes to roar

While watching my young granddaughter play on the jungle gym in a local park, she repeatedly called out, “Look at me! Look at me! (Everyone) look what I can do.”

Just then a motorbike with extra loud “look at me” exhaust pipes roared by. I thought, “how similar.” Your bikes are beautiful. We will notice them. You don’t have to beg.

Colin Baur
View Royal

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