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Letters Dec. 9: Farming at Sandown; COVID-19 testing; playing nice

And now for the good news Two recent items made me happy and hopeful. First, the former Sandown racetrack property for farming, outstanding.
A letter-writer was happy to hear of the new plans for the former Sandown racetrack property.

And now for the good news

Two recent items made me happy and hopeful.

First, the former Sandown racetrack property for farming, outstanding. Growing up here in the late ’30s to the early ’50s, locally grown fresh produce was readily available and eaten daily.

Second, the support from the Capital Regional District to preserve 20 acres of forest in Saanich. We have already lost so much to rapid development all over the Island. It is encouraging to know that conservators are aware and taking action.

To support local business and preservation of any kind is essential to keeping our Island such a special place to call home.

Josephine Wigmore

Oak Bay

COVID-19 test was done promptly

I phoned to have a COVID-19 test at 3:30 p.m. and received a call back at 4:30 p.m. I was scheduled to go the next day at 10:20 a.m. which I did with my daughter.

We were greeted with a smile and a nurse came to explain the procedure. She was kind, patient and very nice. Laura was her name.

We were out of there by 10:40. I was amazed at the efficiency and kindness of the workers. Thank you!

I do not have COVID but the experience will stay in my mind as a very positive one

Thank you COVID workers and thank you for your smile in these difficult times!

Denise Branter


More opportunities for care coming

Re: “Desperate for care, patients crash clinic’s website,” Dec. 3.

To all the people who hoped to attach to our clinic, please be assured help is on the way.

Health Care on Yates is a new team-based primary care clinic and despite our technical troubles, we will continue to accept new patients as expeditiously as possible.

As we know, the demand for primary care providers is greater than just our clinic can provide. The Ministry of Health launched their primary health care strategy in 2018, and since then significant planning has been underway in Victoria to develop a coordinated and streamlined process for opening new clinics that will put people at the centre of care.

The Victoria Division of Family Practice, Island Health, First Nations Health Authority, and patient representatives are working together to create a primary care network of services and providers with the goal of providing culturally safe and accessible care in a timely and coordinated manner.

I have been impressed with the commitment, organization and experience of the planning teams and am grateful that Health Care on Yates is a part of the process.

We felt honoured this week that so many want care from our clinic and equally disappointed that there were glitches. We will continue to intake patients as the capacity of the clinic allows but with procedural changes to make the process smoother. More opportunities for care are on the way.

Lynn Guengerich

Pediatric nurse practitioner and clinic director, Health Care on Yates

The new etiquette forced by masks

Face masks are altering street etiquette. Nowadays when we bump into persons somewhat familiar we are prompted to address them with a subtle difference.

“I know your name but what is your face?”

Graeme Roberts

Brentwood Bay

We are failing vulnerable seniors

We’ve been dealing with COVID-19 for many months, yet seniors in long-term care facilities are still dropping like flies.

We can split the atom and send people to the moon, yet we can’t seem to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

Obviously, it’s not a priority. Ageism is indeed alive and well in Canada. Shame on us.

Cheera Crow

Brentwood Bay

Group affiliation should not be shown

We received our mail in ballots for the Victoria byelection and were surprised that the candidate affiliated with Together Victoria was allowed to display her affiliation on the ballot.

No one should have been allowed to put anything other than their name on the ballot. People who are aware of an affiliation will vote for that person by name, not by association with a group that exists as a voting block on council.

It’s fine to advertise that fact in their materials promoting themselves but it is totally inappropriate to advertise that fact on the actual ballot.

Ernie Kuemmel


Let’s play nice and get through this

Remember the early days of COVID-19, when at the federal level of politics all parties worked together in a non- partisan fashion for the collective good of all Canadians.

It seems like an eternity ago. It started with the prime minister addressing the media in front of the snow-covered lawn of his residence. It’s like Groundhog Day; he’s back there again.

I find it odd that premiers who mostly tell the PM to stay out of their way are now asking the federal government to determine who should get the vaccine first. Hmmm.

Lastly, just mere weeks ago we were all so excited to hear about vaccines on the horizon, and now the Opposition party and premiers are clamouring for exact delivery dates and numbers of vaccines that their provinces will be receiving.

Come on folks, we are still in the middle of a pandemic that is taking lives, leaving people without jobs, and acerbating mental health issues.

Can’t we all just play nice in the sandbox once again until we get through this pandemic together? Please?

Ted Daly


Decline of public safety in Victoria

Recently while on a run and crossing the street in morning rush hour traffic, a person suffering a mental health or drug-related episode attempted to attack me.

Firstly, I would like to thank the elderly man and vehicle driver who were prepared to intervene and allow my getaway to safety.

Secondly, I would like to thank the Victoria Police Department who responded quickly with action, a personalized and compassionate response and support for a traumatizing experience.

As a lifelong resident of Victoria, I am deeply saddened that the downtown core continues to deteriorate as poor decisions pile up in the pandemic.

How unfortunate that there is a slate dominating the decisions of city council on many issues and overriding the voices of councillors with experience and sound judgment.

I can’t imagine the suggestion to defund the police will help to address public safety, now a priority issue.

Should we also consider defunding council?

Lisa Arora


Thanks for keeping leaves off of our roads

Over the years, I’ve written many letters to local governments and the Times Colonist, pleading with civic leaders and the public not to rake or blow leaves onto the streets and into the bike lanes. It is simply too dangerous for cyclists.

For whatever reason, this fall, there are far fewer leaves in the streets, at least in the eastern part of the city, than usual. They haven’t disappeared, they have been properly piled on boulevards and the edges of owner’s properties.

Maybe it’s because there are more people on bikes who have seen the danger up close and personal or maybe it’s because Dr. Bonnie Henry has preached being kind.

Whatever the reason, to all of you who are helping the cause, keep up the good work and thank you on behalf of one, two, three and four wheelers everywhere.

Dave Secco


We need tougher COVID measures

It’s long overdue to criticize the provincial government and Island Health for not imposing adequate rules and restrictions province-wide to slow the growth of COVID-19 infections.

Courage and leadership will no doubt be required to implement the necessary restrictions but there is only one consequence of not imposing correct province-wide restrictions – more deaths!

Quit tinkering and appealing to people to do the right thing. There is only one way to get we humans to do the right thing – strong leadership and appropriate restrictions! How many more people have to die?

J.F. Logan


Canada Post favours those with technology

I patiently stood in line at the post office to mail a small parcel to the United States. I was told the customs form needed to be filled out online because of border security requirements, then you present the electronic barcode to the post office.

So to make this clear, everyone now requires a computer and printer or iPhone to mail an international package. Why can’t Canada Post provide a paper form with a barcode? How does this increase security?

I phoned customer service to repeatedly hear the message “Let’s keep the post office friendly this season.”

The service agent pleasantly advised me to go to a library and use a computer there and hope they would print the bar code for me. Does Canada Post really think everyone has access to this technology, especially seniors?

Sandra Rowan



• Email letters to:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity.

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