Letters Aug. 4: Dealing with history; bursting bubbles; system not set up for deaf people

Find a balance when dealing with history

These are weird times with the pandemic, racial protests and autocrats.

There is a strong foundation to support racial protests. The brutal killing of George Floyd, racial discrimination and the historic attacks on Indigenous people here in Canada.

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One of the solutions in Victoria was to remove former prime minister John A. Macdonald’s statue. Other statues of people in the U.S. are being removed for their involvement in and reminder of slavery, and names are being dropped or changed for buildings.

I wonder if that doesn’t erase or permanently ignore history and some good that was promoted by these prejudiced people.

What comes to mind is the name change at Princeton University of a building and school named after former U.S. president Woodrow Wilson.

With this action, will the efforts of Wilson as U.S. president during the First World War and after to promote world peace through a League of Nation to prevent war be ignored or diminished in history?

Will the removal of Macdonald’s statue diminish his achievements of building and guiding a successful national government for the new Dominion, using patronage to forge a strong Conservative Party, promoting the protective tariff of the National Policy, and completing a national railway?

Where is the balance of searching for the truth in writing and keeping history accurate and at the same time recognizing problems of the past?

Robert Winkenhower
Victoria

Bad licence-plate advice from premier

For Albertans like myself, who own property in Victoria, I was dismayed and disappointed with Premier John Horgan’s advice to people who come in to “his” province with non-B.C. licence plates.

His advice was to “change your plates or use a bicycle.”

It is impossible to change one’s plates unless you reside permanently in B.C. and illegal to try and do otherwise.

What he should do is to strongly denounce those B.C. people who are either threatening, defacing or damaging cars of people with non-B.C. plates. I have heard of personal examples of Albertans’ cars having their tires slashed and the wheelnuts loosened. In the latter case it was lucky it wasn’t fatal.

Show some leadership, Mr. Horgan. We are part of your tax base in property and sales taxes and deserve some consideration and not useless advice.

Brian Lowry
Calgary and Victoria

Return to school plan will burst bubbles

Bubbles of 60 for younger pupils, bubbles of 120 for older pupils are the new guidelines for school reopenings here in B.C.

No compulsory masks.

What happens to these “bubbles” when children return home each day?

In the words of the song: “I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty (aka bonnie) bubbles in the air.”

Kate Hanley
Victoria

Trying to get a virus test when you’re deaf

I write this letter as a deaf person who has experienced what could have been a true nightmare trying to get tested for COVID-19.

Most deaf people do not have phones. After all, we can’t hear. The COVID-19 testing centres insist on us calling them for an appointment, and being referred by our doctor. They won’t take email requests. And no dropping into a centre.

My GP retired last December and left a lot of his patients in the lurch, trying to find a new one. His practice was taken over by two doctors, and their updated website says their office is closed, due to COVID-19, and they’ll only provide over-the-phone attention to your problem. Tell that to a deaf person.

So, my daughter, very concerned for my health, tried to book an appointment for me and was first told that since I wasn’t with her at the time she was on her phone that they could do nothing. What was she supposed to do, on my behalf (and hers because she’s extremely worried)? Come to my home and possibly get infected? Or keep trying?

She kept trying, and said the person at the testing centre who answered her call was very nice, and expressed considerable concern about my age (66) and the fact that I had a heart attack several years ago. She spent a full hour on the phone with them, and finally got me an appointment.

The nurses were incredible. They were forewarned about my hearing problem, and wrote down everything. Talk about empathy!

But there’s more to this issue than getting a family member to help you make an appointment for something that could be life-threatening.

I know deaf people can read, and I hope that if you publish this letter some of them will realize there is a very real possibility they won’t get the attention they need. When the health authorities set up a system to try to eliminate this very nasty killer, deaf people were left out. I hope they can change that system for the benefit of others like me.

T. Lorne Pedneault-Peasland
Saanich

A better spot for homeless people

There was an opportunity at Woodwyn farms. Not sure why that opportunity escaped.

The mentally ill need help and housing; Riverview hospital should be re opened.

The addicted need medical crutches, such as opioid prescriptions to slowly help them regain control.

As for the rest, teach them how to fish.

Sabine Orlik
Victoria

Forget Mars, we have the Sahara

The current fantasy by many countries is the idea of inhabiting Mars, which any sensible person can tell you is uninhabitable.

A better use of this money would be to make places like the Sahara Desert viable.

Send Elon Musk to Mars.

G.R. Greig
Victoria

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