Letters Jan. 21: Recovery benefits (or not); wandering councillors; controls at the border

Six days from application to cash

The report on the B.C. Recovery Benefit prompted me to check my phone and determine that I had indeed just received my electronic transfer of funds from the B.C. government.

I wondered why I was different from the “hundreds of thousands” that were reported to be still waiting for theirs.

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My wife and I are also seniors, and I applied online Thursday in a 10-minute process that ended with me receiving an acknowledgement that said if my claim was verified, I would receive a specified amount.

On Saturday, I received and email saying my claim was verified and I would receive the money within five days.

On Monday I received a letter in the post telling me the same thing. This morning, I’ve got the dough in my account – six days from easy application to receipt of funds.

If there’s a more efficient government program out there, I’ve never seen it.

Kevin Worth
Victoria

Recovery benefit based on old income

The recent story on British Columbians waiting for the recovery benefit pointed out that the government’s election promise was to have the COVID-19 recovery money in people’s bank accounts before Christmas.

This was their stated reason for basing eligibility on 2019 taxable income, rather than waiting for the more accurate 2020 income tax year. It must be extremely frustrating for those who are still waiting.

As Liberal finance critic Mike Bernier points out, there are other British Columbians who will get zero recovery benefit despite the fact that their 2020 income would fully qualify them for it.

Like those who lost work in 2020 due to the pandemic, those who retired (in January 2020 in my case) with substantially lower incomes don’t qualify. This is because eligibility is based on our 2019 taxable income when we were still employed.

I called the recovery benefit call centre in December to inquire about a remedy and was told that my only recourse was at the political level.

I wrote to Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Grace Lore, the premier and the finance minister.

I’ve only received a form reply from the B.C. Recovery Benefit Team, apparently delegated by the Premier’s Office or Minister of Finance as it’s CLIFF recorded. It provided no solution.

I’m sure I’m not alone.

Margaux Finlayson
Victoria

Forms completed, where is the money?

My wife and I are among the hundreds of thousands still waiting for the B.C. recovery benefit.

We completed the application clearly and with all the information required. Weeks and weeks go by and then last week we get a request for additional information.

They wanted proof of income, proof of identification and proof of residence.

We have been living at the same address, paying the same federal, provincial, municipal, property and every other kind of tax you can think of for over 20 years, yet this government wants us to jump through hoops to gather up all this information, that they already have, and send it to them before we get what was promised to us in an effort to buy our votes.

We submitted the claim, we avowed the information was true and correct under penalty of conviction, so why should we have to do more than that?

This is harrassment and a clear stalling technique.

Peter Day
Victoria

Spreading the virus wherever we go

I think we should be aware that travel is a two-way event.

Self -centred politicians and others go their merry way abroad regardless of us stay-at-homes upon their return, we must be also aware that COVID-19 exists here also.

That means that we could be carriers to other places, other people.

The corollary is that we must do the right thing and isolate for two weeks minimum at our destination.

Our search for pleasure or money (business) could otherwise lead to the death of others in other places.

Could we really be this self-centred?

Neil Buchan
Comox

Virus won’t buy Dubow’s reasoning

A recent letter suggested that Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow should be given a second chance, because he has apologized so nicely. I have a question:

When (or if) a COVID-19 virus lands on Dubow, with the mission of infecting him, is it likely that the virus will agree that his excuses are so touchingly presented, so the virus will fly on to the next subject?

Dubow travelled thousands of kilometres, and might have been exposed to multitudes of people in many countries.

I came to Canada as an immigrant over 60 years ago from a small country. I was lucky. The many people preceding me to Canada from my country had on the whole behaved very well, settled in, accepted the Canadian ways.

As a result, I have benefitted enormously from the goodwill they had developed. In turn, I have always respected and accepted the ways of Canada.

What Dubow does will reflect on his fellow countrymen who may be tempted to come to Canada.

Finally, when people learn that Dubow will say one thing and do another, they will turn him out.

Bjørn W. Meyer
Oak Bay

Border controls offer more protection

Those citing potential legal or Charter of Rights infringements if controls are imposed on travellers to B.C. are using a convenient red herring as an argument for doing nothing.

As a comparison, Canadians are free to enter or leave the Atlantic bubble whenever they want. But when they enter they must isolate for two weeks.

If they have brought COVID-19 with them, everyone is protected and tracking potential innocent bystanders is simple.

There is no denial of whatever rights people believe they might have to go and do whatever they want.

But there is added protection and respect for B.C. residents who are staying home and doing their best to stem the pandemic.

Vince Nealis
Victoria

Answers are needed on vaccine delays

Does it not seem strange that the multinational pharmaceutical company Pfizer-BioNTech did not know until last Friday that they had to close (for expansion) their Belgium manufacturing plant, thus requiring a reduction in production and shipment of vaccines?

From my experience with the pharmaceutical industry, I don’t believe they can be so skilled at planning, quality control and standard operation procedures for the vaccine production and not apply the same skill to building capital facilities.

The Government of Canada needs to get some straight answers and share them with Canadians. The current storyline is not believable!

Ken Fyke
Former deputy minister of health in B.C. and Saskatchewan
Victoria

First vaccines should go to front-line workers

Inmates received vaccines before front-line workers? Really?

People who don’t contribute to society get to be the first to be vaccinated?

I have lost all respect for the health authorities personnel who made this decision.

Bonnie Reszel
Victoria

Quakers stand beside the Cowichan Tribes

Cowichan Valley Quakers join with Cowichan Tribes, government leaders and many others in speaking out against targeted racism in the past few weeks toward Cowichan Tribes members.

We can and must do better than this. We stand united against racism and are grateful to live on this land that has been cared for by Coast Salish peoples for millennia.

Donna Sassaman
Administrative clerk, on behalf of the Cowichan Valley Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
(Cowichan Valley Quakers)
Duncan

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