Letters June 29: Opioid deaths, free bus rides for seniors, beef ban, shocking photo

So many deaths, so unnecessary

Re: “More treatment beds urged for young addicts,” June 28.

It is hard for any parent to read the report of a coroner’s inquest into the death of a 16-year-old boy from opioid-related heart failure.

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My son, your son, my brother, my sister, your partner, my friend, your friend, my father. It seems it could happen to anyone.

In fact, it has happened to 11,577 people in Western Canada who have lost their lives to the opioid-related crisis in the last three years.

In an exhibit along the whole length of Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, I read the names of the local people who have died. Many are young, 75 per cent are male, and most died alone.

Many had developed an illicit drug dependency following a sports or work injury, where prescription opioids had been administered for pain relief. These were people whose brains were altered by a fast-acting and addictive substance.

For doctors to supply addictive drugs is extraordinary, for pharmaceutical companies to insist that they are safe is astounding, for B.C. Health to sanction them is a tragedy. There are equally effective combinations of safe drugs available.

I urge all health professionals, and anyone with an interest in health and safety, to see this exhibit, on display in Christ Church Cathedral on Quadra and Burdett from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

It is the work of a Comox resident who lost her son. Perhaps if everyone in Victoria sees the exhibit, there might be a change in our public health system.

Gillian Redwood


Free bus passes for seniors

Re: “Free transit for Victoria youth gets nod,” June 12.

I am appalled at the thought that anyone under the age of 18 would be getting free bus fare when they have not contributed anything to society. If you have children, you should budget and plan to pay their expenses, at least to the age of 18.

Seniors should be getting free passes on the bus. They have worked and contributed to society and many are very financially limited. By giving things for free to children, there is no sense of appreciation.

What does this teach them? Is it freeing up money for their parents who should be responsible for their upbringing? I say start making parents responsible, not the rest of us.

Besides, shouldn’t children be out walking more anyways?

Dior Takach


Chance for B.C.to help Alberta

Re: “Canadian meat industry groups reeling from Chinese ban,” June 27.

The B.C. government should promote the purchase of Alberta beef at our grocery outlets while this ban on beef exports is in effect.

Paul Larkin


Canada needs to take a stand

Re: “Canadian meat industry groups reeling from Chinese ban,” June 27.

Two Canadians in jail, a ban on canola, pork and beef and the pontificating about our position on the extradition of a Chinese national to a real democratic country.

Are we, as Canadians, so apathetic that the Chinese bovine excretion is real?

We are still buying their exports. We, as individuals, need to take a stand: Stop buying all products that are “Made in China.”

Bad things can only happen when good people do not speak up. It is time to speak up.

Patrick Brown


Let’s keep Victoria safe

Re: “ Re: “Police chief scuttles crime reduction unit, citing budget,” June 27.


I am a mother of a daughter who works as an emergency-room nurse and whose husband is a policeman with the City of Victoria.

Both these young people are putting their lives on the line keeping us safe.

I frequently see my daughter stressed because of understaffing and no beds for patients. My son-in-law carries a pager and is on call 24/7. He is often exhausted from lack of sleep. These are not jobs for the fainthearted!

First responders need more support from the Greater Victoria city councils.

We are fortunate to live in a beautiful city. Let’s work together to keep it safe.

Jill Taylor


Victoria’s spending priorities questioned

Re: “Police chief scuttles crime reduction unit, citing budget,” June 27.

We have a severe shortage of police to offset the criminal element, and no funds.

We do have a new surplus of traffic congestion, bike lanes, anger, crime and dirty streets. There is an endless supply of money for the Victoria mayor and council’s pet projects.

What a mess.

Berton Cade


Police fundinga reason to protest

Re: “Beyond politics, the grim reality of police cuts,” June 28.

Jack Knox nailed it again with cutbacks to funding for Victoria’s finest.

Victoria council has lost touch with reality when they made the Victoria Police Department pay its own health tax, and now the force is suffering poor health due to cutbacks to services in the community.

Meanwhile, it’s full steam ahead with the controversial bike lanes and other nice-to-have projects such as art sculptures at the new bridge.

Perhaps the protesters who marched down the Pat Bay Highway last week could turn around and march back to city hall and demand more funding for the Victoria Police Department.

Dennis Robinson


Steady resolve in climate-change battle

Re: “Pipeline expansion OK’d again,” June 19.

I strongly believe climate change is a global crisis and biggest challenge for our future and that of future generations. Yet, I also support the decision for pipeline expansion.

The oil economy will be with us until we replace it with renewable energy. This is going to take steady resolve and considerable time.

Billions of poor people in the world, particularly in developing countries, need fuel for their basic needs, such as simply cooking daily food.

Even though they consume much less energy per capita than people in richer countries, they don’t have other alternatives.

Transporting oil efficiently and using profits from the oil industry to further develop and implement renewable sources of energy is a good practical path.

In addition, ownership of pipelines by First Nations, thereby helping their communities, is also a sound idea.

To protect our precious and beautiful coastline, we need to streamline spill-response technologies and procedures. It is my understanding that the federal government is ready and willing to do this.

We should embrace and encourage this.

Let us find practical solutions to the climate change rather than environmental idealism.

Surinder Kumar


Photograph of bodies shocks reader

Re: “Migrant father, daughter ‘died in each other’s arms,’ ” June 27.

I have been a loyal Times Colonist reader for more than 30 years. Normally, I find the articles informative and interesting.

While enjoying my morning coffee, I came across the article with a graphic image of a dead father and child.

This is a horrible example of shock reporting and is not only disrespectful to the deceased, but also disrespectful to readers. I have no desire to see dead bodies at my breakfast table or anywhere else.

I am appalled and disgusted with this tacky reporting.

Amanda Stacey


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