Letters March 17: Begging for vaccine help; a timely suggestion; competition for ICBC

Quién merece, no pide

I wish to arrange a COVID-19 vaccine, but I have no phone nor any relatives or friends who can call on my behalf.

I am almost deaf and have been for 53 years, but I can’t find any method to arrange a vaccine appointment, neither in-person, nor by e-mail, without a telephone.

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I am averse to begging for help, so I am willing to pay $25 per hour for the help I am seeking. Who should I turn to?

I don’t want anyone to offer me free help. I just want to get vaccinated so I can feel safe to visit family members outside of B.C.

I lived in Canada for 60 of my 68 years and I’ve paid more in taxes than I ever received in social benefits.

Because of my hearing, it seems I am now being forced to beg for help for the first time in my life — that sucks!

My sister-in-law Nancy, who lives in Cuba and speaks only Spanish, and who is very familiar with poverty, but not begging, has a saying: “Quién merece, no pide,” which I translate as “Those who deserve, don’t beg.”

I can pay, but the system for vaccine appointments seems to cater only to those who have phones or who have friends or relatives nearby.

All others must beg for help, or stay home unvaccinated.

Thomas G. Parsons
Victoria

A ‘timely’ suggestion for a global society

British Columbia can either follow the lead of Yukon and other jurisdictions in the world, which use only one year-round time, or it can be a leader.

When B.C. adopts one year-round time (which it eventually will), it should, in addition, adopt Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) ­ — the concept of a single time zone in the world.

The concept of 24 time zones was proposed by a Canadian, Sir Sandford Fleming, and first used in the late 19th century to help with train scheduling over long distances.

But in the 21st century we’re beyond train scheduling — we’re now a global society. If B.C. adopts and starts using UTC, when the rest of the world adopts and starts using UTC (which it eventually will), we in B.C. will be ahead of the game.

(Written at 23:00 UTC, or 4 p.m. Pacific Daylight Savings Time.)

Doug VanDine
Victoria

Open auto insurance to competition

I’m appalled to see TV advertising with people opening and reading notification letters from ICBC and quoting “your rates may be down by 30 per cent and we will be more protected in event of an accident.”

I still haven’t received this PR letter and hope not to, as I understand there are the best part of four million private vehicle owners all covered by ICBC. Just imagine the production and mailing campaign cost!

This is an inept business failure squandering money by this government-sponsored body wasting money on TV advertising when there is no private commercial competition.

Or, it may be politically motivated advertising on the instructions of the minister responsible for the ICBC for the so-called ICBC fix promised in the 2017 election. Also, we now learn that that this new act is in dispute from the legal community.

Now is the time for the government to provide a permanent solution by offering the ICBC book of business for bid to the highly competitive Canadian professional private insurers that the majority of provinces use and at lower annual cost for the driving public.

John O’Brien
Parksville

A reminder: Get out and vote

Let’s look at the real solution on how to change the current state of Victoria and its politics.

The citizens of Victoria have to take the muncipal elections more seriously and get out and vote in large numbers at the next election.

Policies of Mayor Lisa Helps, and the activist/political group Together Victoria, have led to the situation the city finds itself in.

How has this been allowed to happen? That’s easily answered.

The supporters of Helps and Together Victoria come out in force to vote.

The only way to see change, if all Victorians who are able to, is to get out and vote and make their voices heard. Make the change!

David Findlay
Chemainus

Support our police forces

Re: “Officers facing more threats, says police union,” March 14.

For anybody who views the police force as one that does not do its job effectively, or generally views police persons as not very nice people (as expressed on the pavement of Bastion Square within recent history, for example), a helpful exercise for such a person might be to do the following:

1. for, say, two weeks, try out the daily work of a police person for the purpose of gaining first-hand experience of the job;

2. subsequent to this experience, consider whether you or anyone you know would be willing to take this job on;

3. consider whether the remuneration for this job is fair, compared with other jobs with similar remuneration that do not involve the same high level of stress and personal risk;

4. contemplate a society without a police force.

My personal opinion is that an ample and properly remunerated, publicly funded police force is an absolute necessity. These workers should be supported with gratitude by society, and given the necessary support systems they require to ensure quality, integrity, accountability and fair remuneration.

Providing the police force with these essential support systems will ensure an ethical and healthy police force, and will prevent corruption caused by a general sense within the force of being overworked, underpaid and unappreciated.

If society continues to demerit and disregard the essential and very demanding work of the police force, the result will be a lawless land.

Make your choice.

Claire Paterson
Victoria

Goodbye Victoria, hello Nanaimo

My wife and I used to enjoy going to Victoria for a “tourist weekend” when we would visit the attractions and have nice dinners.

We can no longer do so. The parking slots have been shrunk to the point that my standard half-ton pickup will no longer fit in one. Even the hotel parking is too small and I am forced to take up two spots, which is embarrassing.

Navigating the insane traffic pattern is best left to someone on LSD, as, I suspect, were the fools who came up with the ridiculous mess the traffic has become.

It is compounded by arrogant Spandex-clad cyclists who have no regard for anyone but themselves and are obviously convinced they are above the law.

We can no longer enjoy strolling through downtown due to the many insistent street beggars. We can not enjoy the parks as they have been destroyed by entitled “homeless gimmes.”

It is too bad nobody has the guts to address these problems, until they do we will be spending our weekends, and money, in Nanaimo.

Kerry Butler
Salt Spring Island

Another reason for sky-high real estate

It is a sad reflection on society when our young people, and some retirees who have spent their lives working and paying taxes in the Victoria area, can no longer afford to live here.

I was faced with one of the reasons for the high cost of real estate when I recently received a letter from a local real-estate agent inviting us to sell our home to offshore buyers.

We were informed that “buyers investing and relocating to Victoria from Vancouver, China, Toronto, U.S.A. and abroad” are “accustomed to higher real estate values; therefore may pay more for your home than the local market is willing to pay.”

Furthermore: “These buyers could be capable of paying in full after subject removal with an extended possession date.”

A tempting offer, but it leads to losing our communities, and community is important for human well-being, caring, happiness, and security.

Shelagh Levey
Cordova Bay

Much praise for Hospital At Home

On Feb. 23, my husband Gordon suffered a heart attack and was transferred to Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital, where he was also diagnosed with a gallbladder infection.

He will be 93 in May and has only minor mobility problems and some angina issues in the past. After three days of excellent hospital care to start antibiotic treatment and stabilize the heart condition, we were both approved for the new Hospital at Home program and he was discharged to home on Feb. 26.

For the next seven days, he had daily nurse visits to administer injections and check that oral medications, IV medications and vital statistics information were being properly handled and electronically transmitted by the resident caregiver.

He was also visited on two other occasions by a Hospital At Home doctor. This was acute hospital care delivered in the familiarity and comfort of the patient’s own home. He was discharged from Hospital At Home on March 5.

It was safe for all involved, more patient-centred and probably cost less than care at a hospital.

We are eternally grateful for his speedy recovery due to the exemplary care and attention to detail by the Hospital At Home team. This program deserves attention, respect and funding so it can expand as quickly as possible for the future health of all B.C. residents.

Mary-Jane Shaw
Victoria

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