Letters Nov. 18: Needing the police; safety at gyms; don't be a jerk

Just wait until you need the police

Re: “When city council no longer respects the police force,” Lawrie ­McFarlane, Nov. 8.

With regard to the acronym ACAB, created in the Bastion Square mural, perhaps the artists and council members can remember this expression when a criminal is violating their health, safety, well-being or that of a loved one or family member, all the while phoning 911, to please send one of those “bastards,” to possibly put the police officer’s life on the line to protect them.

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Really? Common sense and respect. We need to do better.

Geoff Sutcliffe
Cordova Bay

Try working with your local police

All cops are not bad. I’m 73 years of age, and have never had a bad experience with law enforcement. I arrived on Vancouver Island in 2006 from Illinois. We cannot blame an entire group for an incident involving one or several persons. We could say some, but not all.

I’m an African-American with dual citizenship. Canada is my home now.

A suggestion: Join a block club, get involved with your community and police. Try working with the police.

Doris Sanders

Want to park here? It should cost you

I have much empathy for homeless people living in tents in parks throughout our city and province. I can only imagine how cold, uncomfortable and unsafe that would be.

However, I have little empathy for those persons in RVs who have come to Victoria to sleep (and live) in their RVs on our streets and parks.

I live in James Bay and see these vehicles every day and night in parking lots in Beacon Hill Park, along Douglas Street and Dallas Road. Could the city not do as Canmore, Alta. has done? There, persons living in RVs must purchase a monthly pass from the town which allows them to park in designated areas only.

If they haven’t purchased (and display) a pass or are found to park in a non-designated area, the owner of the vehicle is fined by parking bylaw officers. The fine is greater than the cost of the pass, thus there’s an incentive to buy one.

In James Bay, a designated area could be the huge paved parking area at the Ogden Point cruise ship terminal or the parking lot near Royal Athletic Park. Ogden Point is virtually empty at this time of year. Doing this would allow more citizens to park in Beacon Hill and along Dallas and Douglas.

Of course, winter rates at French Beach Park, Goldstream Park and Jordan River Park are very reasonable too, so there are other ready options not far away.

I guess if RVers don’t like this arrangement (as in Canmore), they can head down the road and look for another place. In Victoria, one should have to pay to stay!

Larry Howe
James Bay

Many gyms are taking safety measures

COVID-19 cases have been linked to a gym in Fraser Health – but Forge Gym and other gyms in Victoria are expertly protecting staff and patrons.

As an emergency physician working during this pandemic, I am vigilant for risk of infection not just at work, but in my daily interactions outside of work.

While the majority of businesses are taking measures to decrease risk of spread, some are doing a better job at this than others.

I attend the Forge gym as I have seen the measures they have put in place as being exemplary.

They have rigorous screening at the entrance, mandatory mask wearing in common areas with mandated social distancing.

They have taped off pre-booked individual workout zones that are spaced and equipped with individual cleaning supplies to sanitize everything pre- and post-workout.

It is also a building with very high ceilings and excellent ventilation.

My hope is that all gyms will take such measures and adhere to them as thoroughly as the Forge to prevent spread as occurred at Platinum Athletic Club in Surrey.

It is also important for gym clients to avoid social contact pre- and post-workout that puts others at risk.

Otherwise such outbreaks tend to tar all businesses with a single brush and risk restricting utilization of very well run and safe sites.

Dr. Jason Wale
Emergency physician

We lose nothing by wearing masks

We are on the brink of an uncontrollable COVID-19 explosion, and yet our government hesitates to impose a mandatory mask rule for indoor public spaces.

This small inconvenience could save untold lives and save us from another debilitating lock-down.

It’s true that masks do not provide 100 per cent protection from COVID-19 but neither are seat belts or condoms perfect, and yet everyone understands the benefits of wearing them.

Even if compliance was only 90 per cent it would be enough to remove most of the fuel that the virus needs in order to spread.

One only needs to compare the North American experience to that of most Asian countries to see what a difference masks can make.

Come on Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, let’s get on with it. What do we have to lose?

Jaroslaw Wyshnowsky

No mask, no service, a simple solution

All retailers need to adopt an old policy from restaurants. A simple sign at the entrance would make things perfectly clear for all that enter.

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Mask, No Service!

Nothing to do with the law, simply store policy. For the odd whiner that will make an ordeal of this, too bad.

The store owner that throws the odd goof out is actually protecting the employees as well as the patrons that actually care about protecting themselves and others in the establishment they visit.

If an occurrence like that made the TV news the complainer is the one that would be laughed at. The store would be applauded for taking a responsible course of action.

Bob Halliday

Caregivers need support as well

I am pleased that the Ministry of Health is actively seeking new ways to manage acute care and taking both patient care and fiscal responsibility seriously.

What dismays me about this initiative is that is places the key responsibility for day-to-day care on families of the patient, i.e. the caregiver.

Caregivers across Canada already put in billions of unpaid hours into caring for elder family members who suffer with chronic illnesses, such as dementia and cancer, children with lifelong diseases and conditions, family members with mental health issues, addictions and the like where the health system and the community don’t have the supports required.

I understand there will medical people checking in but I wonder how often, and for how long. Who will be supporting the caregivers?

Gabriela Townsend

More restrictions, massive fines

A friend and I decided to grab a coffee. We both wore masks and when we entered the coffee shop it was like entering a pre-COVID time warp. No one working there was wearing a mask.

I looked around and saw about 25 patrons. No one was social distancing and not one individual was wearing a mask.

We grabbed our coffees and sat outside in the cold rather than sitting in a potential COVID spreader.

Places like that coffee shop should rethink their protocols. Obviously the word has gotten out that you don’t have to wear masks there.

Maybe as a species we can only self-isolate so long before we lose it and become reckless. We are seeing a big spike in cases due to our social gatherings and reckless behavior.

We need more restrictions backed up by massive fines for the rule breakers. Otherwise we won’t get through this pandemic.

John Townson

Take guidance from Indigenous ideas

The federal government has announced that immigration numbers would be increased to more than 1.2 million over the next three years. It has also announced that it is opening up immigration pathways for Hong Kong residents seeking asylum, on top of the 300,000 Hong Kong residents already holding Canadian passports.

Canada could see an influx of over 1.5 million new residents, roughly four cities the size of Greater Victoria, within three years.

Expanding population is good news for government revenues, corporations and those benefiting from increased real estate demand, but bad news for the environment, quality of life and the majority of Canadians who rely on locally produced incomes to provide for their housing needs.

Especially hard-hit are those at the lowest income levels where full-time employment no longer covers basic housing costs. No wonder we see continually increasing numbers of homeless which will only get worse under current government policies.

One group that has been hit disproportionately hard by housing unaffordability is Canada’s Indigenous population.

Rather than continue to rely on governments influenced by corporate interests to determine the rate of population growth, perhaps it’s time for Canada’s Indigenous community to set the numbers? After all, it’s been their land for the past 10,000 years and they may just be the ones to get us through the next 10,000!

Doug Turner

Local business, time to step up

I know many local businesses are hurting and I do try and shop local — but if local stores want my patronage, they should have the items in stock their sites say they have, or be willing to get them in.

I went to Langford to get a couple of things for my grandson that “we’re in stock” only to be told by the staff that the site sucks.

When I asked if they could get them in, they told me to get them online. Yesterday my husband checked inventory online for two different stores and both listed the item as in stock – but neither store had the item.

Amazon will deliver on Monday.

Julia Pollard

Respect those who are doing their jobs

My friend manages a fast food restaurant. She works hard, keeping her crew employed in these trying times. She and her group, daily endure being yelled at, spat toward, foul language, racial slurs, hot beverages flung at them, and aggressive, disturbed individuals.

She had a customer claim the coffee gave her an STD. She has to adhere to COVID-19 protocol.

Tonight you will eat, however humble, you will sleep under shelter, please consider those in the service industry, who just want to do their jobs.

Sheila Tranfield


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