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Letters Jan. 30: Speed limits on trails; ‘doing more’ against COVID; sanctimonious premier

Consider speed limits on our favourite trails No surprise, the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails are victims of their own success and this will only get worse. In addition to widening, it is time to consider a speed limit.
The Galloping Goose Trail near the Selkirk Trestle. [Darren Stone, Times Colonist, Jan. 27, 2021]

Consider speed limits on our favourite trails

No surprise, the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails are victims of their own success and this will only get worse.

In addition to widening, it is time to consider a speed limit.

I ride the trails several times a week. The biggest risk is the high-performance “experienced” riders who ride too fast and overestimate their skills.

They belong on the roads, not on a mixed-use trail that includes even wheelchairs.

R.A. Green

Walk on the left when on the trails

I applaud the decision to separate bikes from pedestrians on the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails.

I have walked the latter for years, and have realized that for non-separated trails the simple change of having the pedestrians walk on the left facing the oncoming bikes in the same lane leads to a much great sense of safety and the ability to step off the trail (if possible) when needed.

The bikers approach so much faster than the walkers movement that it makes essentially no difference to the bikers which direction the pedestrians are walking in, but to the walkers it does make a ­difference.

Please, change the walkers lane to the left. The walkers use the left side of a roadway for the same safety reason.

Blyth Hughes

‘Do more’ message will simply not work

We should do more? The government should do more:

1. Clear messages. Dr. Bonnie Henry’s plea for us to do more is a textbook example of a vague message and why vagueness is counter-productive.

Many British Columbians who have been scrupulous about wearing masks and keeping their distance and have taken on their share (or more) of the burden were outraged at being urged to do more than they’re already doing.

And Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s chief medical officer, couldn’t tell CBC what Dr Henry meant by “do more,” only imagining various possibilities. Both the targets and the content of the government’s messages must be clear.

2. Transparency. Henry obviously didn’t mean that all of us should do more. She meant some of us — those of us who refuse to wear masks, don’t keep their distance, travel unnecessarily, gather in pandemic-friendly groups, etc.

But the government prevents such specificity by its resolute refusal to reveal where outbreaks of COVID-19 and its variants are occurring and the likely contributing factors.

Its grounds for refusing are to prevent panic. But knowing there are outbreaks and not knowing where (they could be anywhere! look out! behind you!) is much more alarming than knowing precisely where and why.

To keep British Columbians with them, the government should treat us as adults and tell us what it knows.

3. Consistent policies. The government’s response to COVID-19 can seem arbitrary and irrational because too often it is.

Henry dropped her opposition to masks and began urging us to wear them long after many of us started wearing them because they make perfect sense as part of the set of measures each of us can take.

The 95 per cent effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the 94 per cent effectiveness of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have been scientifically tested only under regimes in which the second dose is administered respectively 21 days and 28 days later.

We simply don’t know their effectiveness under any other regime. Applying any other regime so that more people can receive the first dose is to gamble with and potentially waste our limited supply of vaccines.

The province’s extension of the interval between first and second dose from 35 to 42 days demonstrates that its policy is based on estimates of supply, not on an understanding of effectiveness.

The government should implement a vaccination policy that is fully consistent with our current state of knowledge.

Robert Prescott-Allen

Sanctimonious words from our premier

Premier John Horgan is threatening folks with dire consequences for doing non-essential travel and other stuff.

No news story for the duration of the pandemic should include reference to Horgan without mentioning that he called an utterly non-essential election in the middle of the crisis, and that cases quadrupled afterward.

Thanks, John. Keep up the ­sanctimony.

Michel Murray

Horgan needs to set an example

I find it astounding that Premier John Horgan says that he is going to come down like a ton of bricks on people who break the COVID-19 rules.

Has he forgotten the example he set prior to the Christmas holidays of calling an election, and travelling and gathering in a totally needless fashion? Why would he be surprised if people travelled and gathered over Christmas after seeing him do just that only weeks before?

Now we are told these gatherings over the holidays have caused an increase in cases, and we need to do more.

Horgan always takes great affront when it is suggested that his election call contributed to the spread of COVID.

He is supposed to set an example, and he failed to do that by pursuing his selfish political game.

Martha McNeely
Oak Bay

Stand together to fight racism

The health and well-being of a community is directly related to its citizens possessing a feeling of safety and of belonging. There should be no corner in Canada for racism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism to exist.

These ideologies are rooted in deeply held cultural assumptions, values and practices and, like weeds, must be rooted out.

The vandalism on the West Shore included swastikas, a clear symbol of anti-Semitism since the Nazi rise to power in 1933, almost 90 years ago. Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is a reminder to all of us of the fragility of safety, freedom, family and love.

We must stand together with all people against racism and ­anti-Semitism, since that which hurts one, hurts all.

Sandra Glass, president
Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island

Mutual-aid deal took too long

It was both sad and alarming to read the story of the years-long negotiations to reach a mutual-aid deal between local fire departments.

Sad because the cost to this medium-sized Canadian city of 15-plus separate fire services ­organizations could not be more obvious.

It took less time to renegotiate NAFTA and maybe the Treaty of Versailles than to complete this deal.

Alarming because I wonder if I can have confidence that the needs of this community will always trump the dynamics of the current service delivery model.

This structure, among others in “Dysfunction by the Sea,” must be streamlined. Do taxpayers work for the fire chiefs or do they work for us?

There is no clear answer to this question. But we know that taxpayers and residents deserve better.

John Treleaven, chair
Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater ­Victoria

Waging a battle to visit my mother

My 97-year-old, palliative-status mother is living at The Heights at Mount View Baptist Home on Carey Road. I, too, was fighting for months to get in to see her more than once per week.

On Jan. 4, after speaking to three different administrative staff, I was finally granted daily access — albeit only 90 minutes at a designated time to feed her lunch. The front desk staff clock my arrival time and give no leeway if I am late returning to check out.

I have been phoned and berated for being late, sometimes due to a nurse providing an update on my mother’s deteriorating condition. Before COVID-19, my siblings and I took turns feeding mom lunch, seven days per week.

Then there is the terminology issue. The Times Colonist refers to “essential” and “social” visitors. The Heights at Mount View staff refer to people being “designated” or “essential.”

I read every occasional email update they send and I have never seen an explanation of what these terms mean.

When my status was changed to essential, I was not told that it might be possible for one of my siblings to take my once weekly “designated” visit spot.

And so another battle begins, with the recent Times Colonist article enlightening me on the potential to make my mom’s last days a little brighter.

Marianna Fiocco

It’s time for us to stop enabling the addicts among us

Just wait for the influx of illicit drug users in this city. The free tents, the hotel rooms and now ­container camps with all the food, clothing, hydro, water, ­medicines, drug supplies, etc. that you want.

I’m a recently reformed enabler of 40-plus years, and what you are doing here is crazy. What is the example we are setting for our youth and future generations?

Is this abuse of drug society really what we want our seniors and children to have to bear? Do you want your child cleaning blood off the bathroom walls at the local fast-food restaurant?

We have children, youth, seniors, ill and handicapped people who are neglected and/or undersupported while all levels of government, thousands of individuals and hundreds of charities are all falling over themselves to enable a most dangerous community instead.

We help people destroy themselves and our communities. I understand addiction. Was one. Family full of them. I know what enabling is.

Large communities of drugged out people are not a good thing for any city, and keeps this city from ever becoming “world class.”

B.C.’s beauty is superficial. When you look at the issues in its major cities, it’s bloody ugly.

Monica Babic


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