Letters Oct. 13: Car insurance expensive, road rage, not being greedy

Insurance hike unfair to struggling student

Re: “Eby snubs changes to ease ICBC rate shock,” Oct. 9.

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As the grandmother of a struggling college student, I would like to add my voice to those of others outraged by the shockingly steep insurance-rate hikes for young and/or inexperienced drivers in B.C.

Our Emma already faces many financial struggles in her quest to one day become a family-practice physician. She holds down a weekend part-time job in a pharmacy close to her hometown, while living with a friend’s family in exchange for housework, cooking, baking, etc., during the week while attending full-time college classes more than an hour from her family home.

Next year, she’ll transition to the university there. Neither Emma nor her family can afford to pay $5,000-plus yearly (twice her previous rate) for vehicle insurance, and riding the bus won’t allow her to get to and from a job that is helping her learn about the pharmaceutical side of medicine as well as helping fund her education.

Think about it — that’s nearly $500 per month just for coverage, never mind her other expenses.

It’s ludicrous and definitely going to be a game changer when the provincial election comes around unless a correction is made now.

Why would anyone who hasn’t had a serious and preventable crash be penalized this way by an agency under the purview of our provincial rulers?

It’s unconscionable and beyond reason, as well as being desperately unfair. Yes, there are many very-high-income families in and around the Lower Mainland with teens and young people driving luxury cars badly and they should pay high rates based on infractions and insured vehicle value, as should everyone else.

The hardship visited on the average young person who is struggling to get ahead is unwarranted, nonsensical and totally unacceptable. Electorate, take note, this situation is sanctioned by the current government — what could follow when ICBC’s books don’t balance in a few years’ time?

Elaine Cooke


Knowing how to drive is important

The new Insurance Corp. of B.C. rates for young people cost thousands of dollars a year. Along with the cost of a motor vehicle, this could discourage them from learning to drive. Many will think this is a good thing — fewer environmental concerns with fewer cars on the road.

But Victoria has a problem recruiting bus drivers. If young people opt not to drive, how will we expand and grow our transit system?

The government needs to think about the future of transit in this province. It may be too late in 10 years to reverse the damage that has been done.

Eileen Cannon


Cutting foreign aid could have dire effects

How uncharitable and thoughtless is Mr. Scheer’s frequently announced 25 per cent cut in foreign-aid funding.

Not only would that cause massive suffering and death to the world’s most unfortunate and vulnerable, but also hurt the countless organizations here at home who are trying to make a difference.

Eighty-one per cent of us support the Canadian value of being generous. If Canada, already near the bottom of the G-7 nations in giving, reneges on its current commitments, we know the consequences for people and the planet would be dire.

My Thanksgiving includes the millions who are not as fortunate as us in Canada. Let us not be even stingier.

Anita Mark


After debates, words that come to mind

A word that is repeated often in politics, particularly in the recent federal election debates, is the word “rhetoric,” which is defined as the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing. After watching the debates, these words come to mind: broken promises and deception.

Lia Fraser


Stop the rants, they’re insulting

Re: “In campaign, who is the real phoney?” letter, Oct. 11.

It was most unfortunate that the letter-writer was allowed to use her one-sided diatribe to attack the leader of the Conservative Party based on her assessment of the English leaders debate. Clearly her letter is an unabashed attempt to vilify a political leader who clearly provides a credible option to replacing the current Liberal leader.

Most disconcerting however is that the Times Colonist is serving up its letters to the editor section as an electioneering platform for what are nothing more than biased and seemingly fatuous comments. To this end, it is suggested the newspaper and the letter-writer need to develop a more balanced medium at this critical juncture of the election. Such rants and raves are what really disappoint and insult thinking Canadians and need to stop.

Clive King

North Saanich

Brave enough to say taxes will increase

I read about the NDP plan to raise taxes. Finally, someone has the guts to tell us this. The two main parties keep telling us they will cut taxes and increase services. It just doesn’t make sense to me. One of the worst things Stephen Harper did was to cut the GST by two per cent. How much has that cost us over the years since?

Yes, raise the taxes on corporations and the wealthy and cut out subsidies to the fossil-fuel industry. Yes, we will need to pay more for gas too. If we want national Pharmacare and a budget that will seriously address climate change, we will all need to contribute. We need to hear it. I’m still voting Green as I think climate change is the biggest issue for our future, but it is still good to have a politician brave enough to say taxes will increase.

John Miller


Keeping what you’ve earned

Quoting Thomas Sowell, who said: “I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned, but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”

I’m finding that being a boomer seemingly means having to apologize. I started with nothing, but 45 years of hard work, sacrifice, risk and the good fortune to have been born when I was, means I have a nice home and comfortable retirement.

Nobody “gave” me anything and I had to actually move to where the opportunities were — unthinkable to most young people today. Now, many younger folks, aided by left-thinking politicians, feel I got to this comfort level nefariously and what I’ve earned must be clawed back and shared with others. To them I say, work hard, do without as I did, save your money and make your own way.

Steve Kishkan


Consider pullouts to calm road rage

Re: “Driver, 85, assaulted during road rage incident near Duncan,” Oct. 11.

As a resident of Crofton, I too drive Herd Road, where the 85-year-old driver was attacked in a road-rage incident. While this attack is somewhat shocking, I am not completely surprised at its occurrence. On both Osborne Bay Road (connecting Herd Road to Crofton), and Herd Road, it is not uncommon to have a vehicle immediately behind me. Most often it is a pickup, and yes, I recently had a grey Dodge pickup on my bumper urging me to drive faster. This occurred just days ago and might have been the same truck.

There are quite a few drivers using these roads who regularly ride the bumper of the vehicle in front. While the speed limit is 60, I usually drive between 65 and 70 to avoid being the target of road ragers, but I suspect that even if I drove at 80, I would still have a pickup on my bumper.

One solution, since it is very unlikely that bumper-riders are going to be less of an issue in the future, is to add pullouts.

Paved and indicated by signs, a pullout would allow slower drivers to let others by. These pullouts work well on Highway 4 to Tofino, letting “entitled” drivers speed as much as they desire.

One thing that is quite clear to me is this road-rage issue is not likely to be a one-off incident. With the increase in bumper-riders, it will only be a matter of time before the next entitled driver decides to punish someone for the transgression of being a slower driver.

Norm Willey


Climate change and best diets

Re: “Cutting down on meat reduces methane,” letter, Oct. 10.

A letter warning about the dangers of the politicization of science, nutritional science in particular, gives yet another opportunity for a writer to prosthelytize about climate change and vegetarian diets. Climate change is a fact. The healthiest human diet not so much yet.

Using climate change or other externals as a cudgel to control what science can report is misguided.

James Campbell


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