Letters June 2: Victoria council’s mandate; speaking out against racism

Victoria city council oversteps its mandate

Re: “City books hotel rooms for homeless, moving them out of Beacon Hill,” May 29.

Victoria city council has overstepped what the taxpayers of Victoria elected them to do.

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I don’t pay taxes to support the homeless. I expect road repairs, policing, garbage pickup and a new public swimming pool, which we won’t get because we have spent more than $9 million helping the homeless population.

Eileen Cannon
Victoria

Speaking out against racism

The Chinese Canadian Benevolent Association of Victoria opposes all forms of hate crime, racial attack and discrimination.

We are alarmed and therefore are speaking out against the increase of racist incidents, and commentaries advancing linkages between the COVID-19 pandemic and China.

Many of us have heard of or have been subject to racism, exclusion and prejudice. As this pandemic continues, all Canadians’ physical, mental, emotional and financial well-being are being severely impacted and stress is running high.

There is no reason or excuse for those using the COVID-19 crisis to divide us, blame, revile, or enact violence against Chinese and other groups.

We stand against the rise of hate or exclusion of any racial, marginalized or vulnerable group.

That would diminish all communities and Canada’s ability to act in solidarity, as we must, in order to overcome this world-wide pandemic.

Let us not turn against one another and let us continue the development of our communities as we foster a strong Canadian multicultural identity and strive for the health, safety and respect of all persons.

Allen Ma
President, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Victoria

Horgan ignorant on B.C. care homes

So Premier John Horgan is “horrified” to read the reports coming out of Quebec and Ontario about terrible conditions in care facilities. But here in B.C. he can say “with great certainty that the providers are giving the best care possible.”

Oh? Is he unaware that the provincial Health Ministry has sent its own administrators into several care facilities? These are privately owned facilities that have repeatedly failed to meet standards during inspections, even after corrective action plans.

There have been allegations of abuse and neglect in homes run by Retirement Concepts, one of the largest contractors.

This has been going on since last fall and just five days ago (May 25) the government administration had to be extended. Do these names refresh memory?: Selkirk Seniors Village, Nanaimo Seniors Village, Comox Seniors Village, Summerland Seniors Village?

It was under the previous government, the B.C. Liberals, that many care homes were taken from of the public realm and contracted out to private corporations. But private, for profit ownership has also been identified as a source of the problems in Quebec and Ontario.

Profits versus good care. Guess which wins.

Paul Glassen
Nanaimo

B.C.’s forest economy is failing

Re: “Many questions about the handling of COVID-19 pandemic,” commentary, May 30.

Democratic governments have gotten into the bad habit of helping economic interests in the hope that benefits will trickle down.

The COVID-19 pandemic required governments to do their real job of acting directly to protect the people.

The B.C. government rose to the challenge and we have had a better outcome than most jurisdictions.

It is not surprising that Bob Plecas, a former deputy minister of forests, is advocating for greater regard for economic interests in the pandemic.

Most of our forests are public and they were supposed to be managed for the greatest good for the greatest number. Instead of robust arrangement for stewardship, our forests are managed under a system of private timber harvesting rights.

The outcome of this system of regard for sawn lumber and pulp interests is a failing forest economy. Forest dependent communities cannot get the benefit of value-added wood manufacture and nature-based tourism.

Even our parks and protected areas do not get sufficient stewardship to protect them.

At least Plecas gives good advice that “we should be using this time to completely reconsider what we do and how we do it.”

Andrew Mitchell
North Saanich

Telemedicine saves time, hassle

Re: “After pandemic, we should keep option of seeing doctor by phone,” editorial, May 29.

I have had a telephone appointment with my doctor in Courtenay and a video-conference call with my electro-physiologist in Victoria during the pandemic and it has been a wonderful alternative to office visits.

It was 10 minutes on the phone compared to 40 minutes taken up by a trip to the office, waiting room time and appointment time. And my Victoria appointments usually involve a three-hour drive each way and usually an overnight stay. That phone call also took 10 minutes.

When I couldn’t get an appointment with my doctor for four days, I tried Babylon Health by Telus. I received an appointment within four hours. In all three cases my prescription was phoned or faxed to the drugstore and ready immediately.

If a physical exam is not necessary, this is definitely the way to go.

Scott Lyle
Courtenay

Nothing unusual about WorkSafe’s investments

Re: “Public pays price for WorkSafe’s mistakes,” letter, May 29.

All publicly funded pension plans invest in equities. All private pension plans invest in equities. As do all publicly funded worker insurance plans such as WorkSafe B.C.

In all instances, the amount of money going into the plans paid by beneficiaries is insufficient to pay for the money going out to the beneficiaries.

One alternative is to require those enrolled to pay a higher percentage of their income to the pension plans. The better alternative is to invest in the stock markets and let the money do the work for us.

The Canada Pension Plan recently reported an increase of $17 billion in assets for the 2019 fiscal year. As for the loss by WorkSafe B.C., it is realized if the equities are sold below the purchase price. Like any seasoned investor and especially pension plans, buy good equities and hold them.

When it comes to pensions and benefits plans, they all invest and we are all in this together.

Clay Atcheson
Saanich

Live long and prosper two metres apart

Great to see the photos of all the creative and expressive face masks.

I just need to add a bit of feedback for the Trekkie in the bunch. He should be stating “my personal two-metre exclusion zone,” as the Star Trek universe uses metric. Very logical since two metres is actually longer than six feet. Live long and prosper.

Heather Siddon
Saanichton

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