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Letters Nov. 18: Better access to child care would ease doctor shortage; show of force by police; Poilievre wrong about housing

Federal Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre speaks to workers during a visit to an apartment construction site in Victoria on Nov. 14, 2023. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Better child care would ease doctor shortage

I am the mother of a GP. She provides full-service ER, primary and maternity care.

She has a 16-month-old baby. She hopes to have a second child.

They live in Fernie and are 125th on the wait list for daycare. My granddaughter will be in grade school before a space opens up.

My daughter explored getting a live-in nanny but learned that before universal $10 day care is fully implemented and available to all, the federal government has put the horse before the cart and cancelled the program that facilitates connecting families with caregivers, mostly from overseas.

An immigration lawyer explained it is virtually impossible to bring in child caregivers from overseas, and if successful, it takes well over two years, making the process pointless.

Want more GPs? Provide adequate child care.

My daughter’s working hours, along with those of all other needed health-care workers in short supply, will be limited by the availability of child care.

Rachel French de Mejia, retired RN


B.C.’s health system is undeniably broken

How is it that we have hundreds of B.C. residents travelling to Washington, Mexico, Quebec and Alberta to receive hip replacements and other medical procedures, in private clinics.

One B.C. resident, who took out a second mortgage on their house, states that half of the patients in the Calgary clinic she attended were from B.C., with a cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.

In B.C. one cannot even obtain an MRI in a private clinic.

Health Minister Adrian Dix, unbelievably, stated publicly that at every level of care, we have a better health-care system than the U.S. He did not mention, however, that we are sending thousands of B.C. cancer patients to Washington for cancer treatment.

Indeed, our system is undeniably broken.

We are close to the point where the cost of our public health-care system, as unacceptable as it is, will absorb 50 per cent of our annual provincial budget. This is a recipe for bankruptcy.

No other country, other than Cuba and North Korea, does not have a private element to their health-care program. Go to countries such as France and Singapore and you will be treated in hours for a medical emergency, not the weeks and sometimes months in this province it takes to be treated for even a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.

To save its health-care program, Ontario is leaning extensively on the private sector, as has been done in Quebec for years.

Unless we do the same, our health-care system will never move to acceptable, and perhaps our emergency departments will be able to operate 24 hours a day.

H.J. Rice


Government support needed in housing

Re: “Governments should get out of home-building,” Nov. 15.

Pierre Poilievre gets it wrong again. The government should get back into home building, in my opinion.

I have lived in two housing co-ops, where the federal government provided funds to purchase land and provided financing for co-operative housing.

As a result, many people, including myself, had comfortable housing at a reasonable cost.

Nowadays, I don’t understand how the ordinary Joe can afford anywhere to live. A typical conservative, Poilievre seems to want only two things: Lower taxes and a handout to developers.

I’m happy to pay my taxes, because I know that the government will provide the things I need.

But I’m 85. I’ll be dead soon and it won’t matter.

Good luck, world.

Ralph Parker


Policing priorities on display in Victoria

I have the luxury of being able to walk to work every day to my downtown office. My route takes me behind the Victoria Police Department headquarters.

On Thursday, the police taped off a section of the parking lot behind the arena to stage their urban assault vehicle, the Terradyne Gurkha, ironically labelled as “rescue,” along with motorcycles, regular police cars and a couple of ambulances.

These vehicles were the backdrop for a platoon of officers posing in para-military formation with hands on their various weapons.

One officer was carrying an assault rifle. A camera crew was there. It appears this show of force was for some sort of promotional exercise.

Continuing on my walk to work, I passed the 7-Eleven on Johnson and Douglas. One of the store’s windows had been smashed overnight. Newly placed plywood covered the opening.

Outside of the store, a half dozen or more addicts were staggering on the sidewalk. They were stooped and barely maintaining the ability to stand.

The contrast between these two scenes could not be more clear. In one tableau, hundreds of thousands of dollars and the brute force of the state are on display, while in the other, a lack of security, desperation and distress are all there is.

I do not know what the answer is but it is clear to me our resources are ­misallocated.

Christopher A. Siver



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