Letters Jan. 26: A replacement for Payette; violence against women; mandating vaccine delivery

A Payette replacement? The search is over

I am very interested in applying for the job of Governor General of Canada, and feel I am well qualified for this position.

I managed a staff of more than 50 in my own business, and I think most of them liked me as a boss. I really enjoy dressing up, which I haven’t done in a year, and I’m wardrobe ready, although totally great with an update.

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I kept a scrapbook on the Royal Family for many years and still follow all the Royal gossip. I spent the first 43 years of my life in the Maritimes and last 30 in British Columbia, so I understand Confederation.

I have close relatives in Ottawa, so I would happily stay in Rideau Hall, and they could keep me company there. I’ve always wanted a big house.

I love ceremonies (but not long speeches — that might be a problem). I am very photogenic, like to smile and do not have a criminal record.

I actually think I’m an ideal candidate, and at least better than the previous occupant of the position. And I’m available immediately!

Barbara O’Neil

Women suffer more during the pandemic

During the ongoing pandemic, media is reporting that violence against women has been increasing.

Misogyny is not an abstraction, it makes women’s bodies into a battlefield. It kills women.

That is why governments on every level need to establish action committees for violence against women.

Doing nothing is unacceptable.

Ulla Ressner

Order pharma firms to provide vaccine

Every day there are articles and comments regarding, the availability, distribution, who should get it first and the list goes on, and this is the situation for the rest of Canada plus the world.

It is obvious that we are experiencing a catastrophic event throughout the world and we are allowing a few pharmacutical companies hold us hostage.

I do not understand why governments do not force these companies to share their formulas with companies that are struggling to produce a vaccine. I just don’t get it.

While I understand free enterprise, we are experiencing a catastrophic event, and people are dropping like flies.

Don Ross

Plenty of propane for Canadian users

The Canadian Propane Association read with interest a recent story: “Restaurants, bars scramble for propane amid pandemic winter.”

The article points to issues and regulations in the U.S., but not in Canada.

There is no propane shortage in Victoria or in Canada. Our members in Victoria have been able to service all their customers — including restaurants and homeowners — with a sufficient supply of propane. The same goes for our industry across the country, as propane is abundant and produced in Canada.

The article also states that propane tanks carry a date-of-manufacture stamp. In Canada, cylinders must be inspected and requalified every 10 years, not 12 as is done in the U.S.

Lastly, in Canada, we typically use the term “20-lb. cylinders” and not “five-gallon containers,” as they are referred to in the U.S.

The safe operation of propane is a high priority for Canada’s propane industry. This includes the proper training on the safe operation of outdoor propane heaters.

The Canadian Propane Association collaborated with regulators across Canada, including Technical Safety B.C., to develop patio heater safety guidelines. These guidelines are an excellent source for businesses and residents to refer to when operating patio heaters.

Homeowners and businesses alike can be assured that safe, low-emission and affordable propane will continue to be available for their energy needs.

Nancy Borden, board chair
Canadian Propane Association

Blame city council for crime in Victoria

The vandalism and crime in downtown Victoria is the fault of city council. Allowing 24/7 camping and placing homeless indoors has been a challenge for the Victoria police.

They have had to add extra patrols in Burnside neighbourhood and around parks where camping is taking place because the neighbours need a visual presence to reduce crime. That leaves the downtown core lacking resources.

I have pity for the businesses downtown, but again you can blame the council members who consistently don’t know what their citizens expect.

We want to feel safe in our homes and in our local neighbourhoods. Put all your pet projects aside and listen to the people who reside within the city boundaries.

Eileen Cannon

Police foot patrols might reduce the crime rate

With the vast amount of vandalism in the downtown, I wonder if there is a simple solution.

Victoria is a year-round walkable city and walking is encouraged for good physical and mental health. Why do we not have police, walking in pairs during the night? Possibly this young man could have been apprehended after the first window smashed.

I’m sure the people forced to sleep in tents in Beacon Hill Park would also feel a little safer if they knew that a regular police walk through the park could discourage any mischief.

The visible law enforcement could be a deterrent, if not a quick apprehension. Just like speeders slow down when they see the police car on the sideof the road.

Donna Morrison
James Bay

Prisoners first, but please tell us why

Having never been one to shy away from asking questions that might raise some eyebrows, I am curious as to how some inmates at William Head Institution have already received the COVID-19 vaccine.

While I understand these are being administered by the federal government, it would appear that these are clearly out of sync with the priorities established by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

In every aspect that I have thought of, I fail to see how any inmate of any institution should be immunized before others ahead of them on the priority list such as staff and residents of seniors facilities and front-line health-care workers, just to name a few.

It’s just hard not to be a wee bit cynical.

Ted Daly

Vaccine priorities based on saving lives

A recent letter proposed that residents in long-term care homes be at the bottom of the priority list for vaccines.

This is, of course, the opposite of that currently done, based on the ethical principle of saving lives.

The argument is that all the people in contact with long-term residents can be vaccinated, thus making the homes completely safe. This is a fallacy.

Even the most careful daily screening of people entering a facility is imperfect; people can be infectious before they exhibit symptoms, or, especially if they are young, can have such mild symptoms that it is not detected.

Furthermore, even the most effective vaccines are only 94 to 95 per cent effective after two doses, which means that there is still a five or six per cent chance of being infected.

This is borne out by recent studies in Israel, where millions of people have been vaccinated by the Pfizer vaccine. Many people have tested positive after the first shot and a small number have tested positive after the second.

The experience in B.C. and around the world is that COVID-19 runs rampant in care facilities unless stringent measures including vaccinations are carried out.

Kenneth Mintz

And now for something completely different

The old E&N rail track sits there growing weeds and waiting for the day when it can be born again.

Why hasn’t someone devised an electric rail shoe that you stand a bicycle on and be saved from the hazards of asphalt roulette.

Surely the engineering could come from our home-grown geniuses in a contest of some kind. It’s only rocket science and it might be fun to see what ideas emerge.

The crossings might need by-pass ditches, also integrating with the Goose would surely add some safer enhancements for our two-wheeled commuters.

Maybe a licence and a battery fee with coded access works but there are details that will surely be solvable. So come on, all you COVID-19 Couch Lizards, get out there and start figuring.

By the way, it might also serve to boost our tourism and allow spur rails to branch points of scenic and commercial interest, or even pay for itself!

Russell Thompson


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