Letters June 20: Beacon Hill; pandemic lockdown; praise for medical clinic

Move Beacon Hill campers to old playing field

Re: “Decision on Beacon Hill Park campers postponed by council for one week,” June 18.

Given the pandemic, forcing the homeless to pack up their belongings and move every day, as suggested by Coun. Geoff Young, is unlikely to get council support. However, that doesn’t mean councillors should abandon their responsibility to manage the situation.

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At the very least, council should move the campers to the old playing field in the park’s southwest corner where they can be socially distanced and services such as toilets and washing facilities can be provided.

Allowing homeless campers to take over the park, destroying sensitive ecosystems, and, by their presence alone, threaten other park users, is not acceptable.

Thousands of residents have petitioned councillors for action but instead, confusing inertia with compassion, these elected officials clip on the blinders and run to provincial health authorities to provide cover.

Pitiful.

Bill Cleverley
Victoria

Driver in Oak Bay crash should lose licence

Re: “New driver with ‘street racing is not a crime’ bumper sticker wraps car around tree,” June 18.

The 20-year-old new driver in this case should have her licence suspended for the foreseeable future.

Her speeding, bumper stickers and lack of maturity is indicative of someone who is not ready to operate a motor vehicle responsibly.

I would hope that someone caught driving this way, especially at such a young age, would suffer severe, long-term driving penalties.

If a driver like this isn’t nipped in the bud at a young age, their future driving puts everyone at risk.

Diane St. Jacques
Victoria

Numbers don’t add up for pandemic lockdown

Re: “Is lockdown worth the long-term consequences?” Gwyn Morgan, June 19.

I agree that the long-term consequences of the lockdown need to be given a much higher priority. The numbers reported just don’t add up for such a response.

Someone once said that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

I can’t help but wonder if this is what we are experiencing now.

Joe Hronek
Colwood

Is lockdown worth it? Look at U.S. data

Re: “Is lockdown worth the long-term consequences?” Gwyn Morgan, June 19.

The piece suggests that British Columbia shows the virus can be controlled with fewer restrictions. It does not.

To the extent that B.C. provides an example, it shows the value of politicians and experts working together to make the best choices on the basis of the available evidence.

We are fortunate to have a highly qualified public health officer in this province. She has previous experience dealing with SARS and Ebola. The political actors here have wisely recognized the value of her input, and have acted accordingly.

If you are looking to determine the impact of a less restrained response to the pandemic, the analysis must include data from the United States. That data is very scary.

The U.S. has 4.5 per cent of the world population. The most recent figures indicate that it has one-third of the total number of active cases in the world.

As most are aware, the U.S. response has included a significant effort to undermine the input of experts.

Although he does not express it this way, what Morgan advocates is the second-guessing of expert evidence.

Yes, we do need to consider all relevant factors in finding an appropriate balance point. However, we do not make any progress on this with selective use of data.

We are justifiably proud of the way we have come together in B.C. to deal with the pandemic. But to use that to argue in favour of a less restrictive response is highly irresponsible.

David Lyon
Saanich

Writer’s opinions on medical issues irrelevant

Re: “Is lockdown worth the long-term consequences?” Gwyn Morgan, June 19.

Why did you run Gwyn Morgan’s comments regarding COVID-19?

Under the leadership of Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia has achieved exceptional levels of public safety during the pandemic.

Morgan is a retired oil company executive; his opinions on medical emergencies are irrelevant and troublemaking.

Jon Blair
Sidney

Praise for Langford’s urgent primary care clinic

It may take a powerful premier and team to get a new health clinic in place, but it takes many heroes to really make it work.

The Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre set up by Premier John Horgan’s government is a case in point.

Nurse Chari and Dr. Sun were my Horgan’s Heroes last weekend. I sliced the top of my finger with a sharp axe at the China Beach Provincial Campground 34 kilometres west of Sooke, and was shocked and scared when told I had to go all the way to Victoria General for treatment.

But a savvy Sooke pharmacist directed us to the walk-in clinic in Langford. This facility was in the right place with just the right people. The medical care was excellent — they were extremely skilful — another example of courageous medical heroes in this time of COVID-19.

Rev. Mark Collins
Sidney

We need a Bonnie Henry for climate change

As I watch the calm, compassionate, rational and authoritative handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by Dr. Bonnie Henry, I can’t help but think we need this for B.C.’s environment and ecosystems.

Dr. Henry’s primary goal is to work with the Ministry of Health and others to safeguard the health and well-being of the people of British Columbia. A similar position working with the minister of environment would ensure the same science-based, non-partisan, and authoritative voice for the health of the natural world.

Now imagine those public and environmental health officers working together on climate change. Finally, we might be able to tackle the greatest crisis we’ve ever known. It is an emergency that has demanded the same kind of strong, practical action that we have taken with the COVID-19 pandemic. We must flatten our CO2 curve to avoid unimaginable loss of human and non-human life. A provincial environmental health officer could help us do it.

Chris Alemany
Port Alberni

Stop old-growth logging before it’s too late

I am strongly opposed to old-growth logging and in particular to the recent decision that the Sunshine Coast will be logged in old-growth ecosystems areas.

Forestry practices need to be changed. We need sustainability and preservation of the old-growth areas that remain in our beautiful forests. The grandmother trees are worth more standing than cut.

All old growth here on Vancouver Island needs to be preserved. Be bold; take action now to save the old-growth trees, change our forestry practices and preserve the streams, the salmon and the orcas in the process.

Rural development should not mean rural destruction.

Georgina Kirkman
Victoria

Pay health-care workers more than MPs

In these appalling days, who deserves to be paid what? I think front-line health-care workers deserve to be paid far more than our federal MPs and senators, who are painfully absent.

The fact that government employees are not being given pay cuts doesn’t fit in with the fact that we are all supposedly in this together.

Taxpayers will be hit down the road, after government employees continue to be paid. But there again, we are told that we currently have democratic government.

G.R. Greig
Victoria

A thank-you to considerate drivers

This is a note of thanks to the kind drivers who, on Thursday, stopped their vehicles on North Dairy Road so that I could catch my escaped puppy. Thanks to you the story had a happy ending.

Barbara Johnson
Victoria

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