Letters Feb. 28: Condo insurance rates; cartoon was not funny

Insurance rate hikes predicted decades ago

Re: “A one-year insurance rate jump: $265,000 versus $817,0000,” Les Leyne column, Feb. 27.

Les Leyne’s column on the drastic hike in condo insurance rates notes that the reasons are, in part, due to increases in claims resulting from more and more severe, natural disasters. The insurance industry has known and has been warning policy-makers about this for decades.

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I recall attending a conference 25 years ago where one of the speakers, Dr. Andrew Dlugolecki, then chief scientist for the U.K. insurance industry, predicted this very situation. He said that insurance would become both more costly and harder to obtain as climate-change-caused natural disasters increased.

As he put it then: “You don’t have to believe in climate change, you’ll pay for it anyway.” He was right, a generation of politicians ignored him and others who brought the same message, and now we are paying the price.

Perhaps we can now get serious and act on avoiding and mitigating climate change.

Alex Zimmerman

We need more health-care capacity

Over the past weekend two families I know took their children to Victoria hospital emergency units and waited more than four hours to be seen, not an unusual situation from all reports and from my personal experience. One family left, without their child receiving the cast needed for a broken arm because the attendants were “too busy.”

This reflects badly on our generally cherished health care system in B.C.

The lack of capacity both for emergency issues and hospital beds make one wonder what would happen should Vancouver Island experience an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

News that Victoria will “look forward” to more cruise ship visits this year increases the probability that more health care resources will be required, possibly in response to COVID-19. We’ve all come to learn that cruise ships can become floating “petri dishes.”

This is a global concern that requires a local plan. Here, on Vancouver Island, it's not looking good and has added another dimension to the serious health concerns around cruise ship emissions, which remain unaddressed in James Bay.

Marc B. Pakenham

Unfunny cartoon about important topic

Re: Adrian Raeside cartoon about Teck Resources’ decision to cancel the Frontier mine project in Alberta, Feb. 25.

I have heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. With a few deft strokes of the pen much can be said. A mild chuckle may be drawn forth and on to the next thing.

It is worth pausing to note what is not said, but what is deftly implied. A few words are needed here.

The cartoon shows heaps of mass-produced protest paraphernalia, apparently ready for shipment to the frontlines — signalling that protest itself is a sort of industry — indistinguishable from any other in pursuit of profit.

We are shown the disappointed supplier of these now-unneeded products — a standard-issue stereotype of protesters as bearded, unkempt and unsanitary (note flies buzzing around his head).

Not funny.

Opposition to our governments’ suicide pact with the oil industry comes from idealistic youth, thoughtful seniors, educated scientists, parents concerned about the survival of their children, all who fear for the survival of nature itself — not to mention bankers, business people, and economists who recognize a losing bet when they see one — in other words, the majority of Canadians.

Does Adrian Raeside not understand and treasure one simple truth — that direct and clear expression of the people’s opinions to government is the very lifeblood of democracy?

Or is he content to make a joke of all this to sell a thoughtless chuckle?

Martin Hykin

Maritime Museum might go to Langford

Re: “Langford planning $87M arts centre that includes Maritime Museum,” Feb. 25.

The Maritime Museum of B.C. should be near or on Victoria’s waterfront. In fact, I suggest it should be located in the CPR Steamship Terminal building and under the auspices of the Royal B.C. Museum. Moving the Maritime Museum farther away from the ocean to Langford is nonsensical.

Jim Parker

Where is the proof of the greater benefit?

Re: “The one per cent who help everyone,” letter, Feb. 22.

When I read this letter, I wondered if this thesis is correct. I looked locally and could not find clear evidence. I did notice that one name, possibly the same person, appeared on billboards and car sales companies. but was not associated with charities that I know.

When I extended my search to the United States, I considered first the “billionaire” who is president. I could not conclude that he was a philanthropist.

There were a variety of other examples, including some who have set up foundations or taken other actions with noble aims and others who have not, but there was not a general rule I could find.

As about 30% of U.S. citizens live in poverty, the “one per cent” clearly have a job to do.

As I recognize the limitations of my searches, could I ask the writer of the letter to provide evidence to back up the claim that the “one per cent” help everyone?

Edwin Daniel

This council can’t give away freebies

Re: “Fare-free transit for youth in Greater Victoria rejected again,” Feb. 26.

It was disturbing to learn that the City of Victoria has been unable to give away even half of the free youth transit passes it is paying for.

The city is paying, as the article notes, $81,000 per month ($972,000 per year!) for 7,200 passes.

“City figures show that 2,433 youth picked up passes in January, up from 2,130 in December.”

So, in December, only 29.58% of the passes were picked up. In January, only 33.79%.

Who would have thought that council would be so inept that they can’t give away free passes?

Aah, must be the same council that wanted to waste another pile of money raising their salaries by 50%. The same council with its notorious free lunch.

We need recall legislation now!

Fin MacDonald
James Bay

Doses of reality thanks to Islander

The public should be thankful for two pieces from Sunday’s Islander section that imparted badly-needed dosages of reality into two issues where it had been sadly lacking.

Lawrie McFarlane pointed out the bizarre state of the reconciliation file: Dealing with multiple jurisdictions that are conflicted within themselves is not difficult; it is impossible.

And although blockades and such inconvenience the public at large, they also stop cold any progress on reconciliation efforts — or any efforts touching on Indigenous issues, for that matter.

Also, Claudia Walker has brought to our attention one downside of the proposal to bring no-default car insurance to the Insurance Corp. of B.C.: If you thought service was poor when customers had recourse to the courts, how do you think it will be once ICBC is free from that constraint?

Tough to imagine it will be an improvement.

We seem these days to face an infinite number of problems, large and small, coming at us from almost every direction. And to each one someone has a solution that might resolve it — if we lived on a planet with infinite resources, with people full of good will who are eager to compromise.

But we live here on Earth.

So maybe we should set aside ideal solutions and try hammering together some imperfect fix-ups that can make things a little better day after day.

I know — that’s crazy talk.

Michel Murray

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