Letters Oct. 15: Outrageous promises; litter on our beaches; waiting too long for tests

Outrageous promises take away from issues

Re: “Unprecedented bribery being dangled by all three of the major parties,” editorial, Oct. 14.

The editorial should be required reading for everyone casting a ballot in the election. The promises on all sides are a bit wild and irresponsible, to say the least. It is like a race/contest to see who can outdo the others by offerIng the biggest (unfunded) giveaway they can think of. Can’t wait to see what’s on offer tomorrow.

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Of course what we don’t see from any party is a promise to raise taxes or cut programmes to maybe cushion the blow. This election should never have been called, so at least two of the parties have got that part right.

And the fight against COVID-19 and how to mount an economic recovery seem to be the biggest casualties of the election call.

Things are getting worse than they were in the spring, and Premier John Horgan has unfairly left Dr. Bonnie Henry to hold the fort while he abandons the people of B,C, so he can pursue his dream of a majority government. I can’t believe that even he believes the hollow excuses he has put forward for calling the election.

So we are left with three leaders who seem bent on outdoing each other with outrageous and irresponsible promises, rather than staying focused on the life and death problems at hand. Many issues/promises are valid and important, but we have bigger fish that need frying right now.

Terry McGinty
Victoria

Bottles, styrofoam clutter our beaches

I participated in a plastics clean up recently at Catala Island Marine Provincial Park and Yellow Bluff Bay on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

We picked up a variety of items including makeup kits, fibreglass sinks, and fish floats. However, the two items in greatest volume were two-litre plastic bottles and blocks of Styrofoam.

The plastic bottles were largely lodged between logs or tossed by winter storms into the spray zone area and sometimes on the upland. We picked up bottle after bottle, some intact, but others ripped apart by surf action.

We eventually filled 10 super sacks with debris, plus we piled up a mountain of Styrofoam.

Some blocks were heavy and required up to four people to move to the trashcraft. Plastic bottles are a serious problem; we can do better.

Styrofoam unfortunately deteriorates and leaves small particles on the beach, which is consumed by fish. Needless to say, it is not digestible. Plants sometimes seem indestructible. I noticed a whole garden of plants growing on one slab of Styrofoam. Simply unbelievable.

I would also like to note that this provincial park was in a state of deterioration with broken signs and strong signs of neglect. We really need to invest some funds in our B.C. parks. At least my organization and a partner organization cleaned up the beaches in this pristine location.

Paul Grey
President, B.C. Marine Trails

Politicians, deal with what matters

I am so surprised by the frantic indignation of a candidate uttering sexist comments at an on-line roast of a retiring MLA some months ago. And that the Liberal leader who had not denounced it immediately wasn’t fit to lead his party.

Such indignation from some candidates sounded almost heartbreaking.

I’ve been a staunch supporter for equal rights for women in all situations in community and political positions. At 83 I’ve seen it all many times over and this tempest needs to be cooled down.

South of the border we have the one country in the world that was able to keep dictators and authoritarian countries cautious.

Now we see the U.S. splitting up over morals and democratic rule.

All we have to bat about seems to be a foolish sexist quote at a time of frivolity .

I want to hear much more from out politicians about helping out seniors in this province of seniors. We, having lost activity centres, swimming pool access, dementia care programs and a need of a respite for seniors who need drivers tests. So many programs and worthwhile opportunities overwhelmed by forced indignation.

Eric Roberts
Victoria

Wild animals must remain wild

Excerpts from “Takaya: Lone Wolf” (Islander, Oct. 11) have taken me back the day I heard that the Discovery Island wolf was shot dead. It was indeed devastating news.

However, the subsequent outpouring of attention and focus on the fact Takaya died at the hands of a Vancouver Island hunter is ignoring a very important contributory factor: habituation.

From a biological science or wildlife management point of view, habituation, a direct consequence of human behaviour, is a key factor leading to human-wildlife conflict and in many cases the needless death of wildlife.

It seems Cheryl Alexander, apparently a former environmental consultant who photographed and took video footage of Takaya over many years, knew that Takaya was growing accustomed to people.

This raises an important question: Why would someone, who professes an understanding of the potentially disastrous consequences of habituation, embark on a multi-year effort at gaining a wild animal’s trust? Is that not habituation writ large?

The human dimension of habituation has largely been ignored. It seems Takaya’s story reinforces a well-known fact: Habituated wildlife will rarely come out on top in their interactions with humans.

Ken Dwernychuk
Esquimalt

We are waiting too long for virus tests

Our governments have dropped the ball on the COVID-19 action plan, while we have done our part — we have social distanced and reduced our contacts.

We are sacrificing every day to bend the curve and we have accomplished that.

It was our government’s responsibility to increase infrastructure, have more medical supplies available, buy more ventilators and increase testing ­capacity. They have failed, especially when it comes to readily available testing with timely results.

My wife had a mild symptom and called for testing.

She had to wait three days to get tested and another two days to get the results. This is unacceptable.

She works in the health-care industry and is supposed to be fast tracked. There needs to be a service level agreement on how long it takes to get tested and have the results otherwise we will not stem the spread.

If a member of a household has symptoms, that person and everyone in the household should self-isolate until test results are available. In our case this meant that all three of us had to stay home for five days ­ that amounts to 15 days lost income.

With a service level agreement of 24 hours for testing this would be three days of lost income.

We have bills to pay and need a roof over our heads. We cannot take a week off work every time someone in the household has a sore throat or the sniffles.

The government’s inaction will mean people will continue to go to work with either symptoms or symptoms within their bubble unless they can get prompt test results. None of us can afford to lose a week of work because we might have COVID.

We have done our part, it is time for our governments to do theirs. If this is not addressed immediately we will not be able to cope with the second wave.

Robert Busteed
Victoria

Getting rid of sales tax doesn’t make sense

I question how Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson’s pledge to cancel the seven per cent B.C. sales tax for one year with a three per cent tax the following years will help anyone under the poverty line, although it will be extremely helpful to people buying big ticket items.

Sales taxes are the equitable method of replenishing depleted revenues. Necessity requires raising sales taxes, not lowering them.

The new government and the opposition will be judged on their handling of their roles.

If and when and when we are over COVID-19, it will take government tenacity and a watchful opposition to tackle out-of-control drug deaths, the homeless population, manageable day care charges, higher wages for service providers and an enhanced transit service for an increasing population.

A better B.C. is a worthwhile goal.

Shirley Swift
Victoria

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