Letters Oct. 16: Banning plastics; no rail tracks on bridge; need for more doctors

The same people who manage surgeries

I take it that we may presume that, once the government takes over the long-term care system, it will not be satisfied until the waiting lists for urgent care are at least as long as those now needed for surgery.

John Appleby

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In the end, we are all mongrels

Many of us related to Premier John Horgan’s comments in the debate about growing up with, and seeing as people first, youth of different ethnic groups. The Toronto I grew up in during the 1960s was a regular United Nations of Blacks, Chinese, Germans, Japanese, etc.

Horgan and people of his generation cannot be expected to lie about the fact we competed with various others, on the sports court and off, for wins, schools, jobs and the like. Sometimes we won, sometimes we lost.

Affirmative action, which tilts the advantage to ethnic groups and women, is state-sponsored discrimination against merit and white males. It added to the challenge. I know a man whose dream of becoming an RCMP officer was dashed because of this.

Scientists tell us we’re all mongrels, since pure race does not exist. “White,” therefore, is subjective, in the eye of the beholder. Let’s accept that life is a struggle for all of us and stop laying blame.

Brad Bird

Putting profit above the planet

Re: “Ban on single use plastics ignores spirit of USMCA,” Oct. 13.

Environment Canada has roused the ire of the U.S. plastics industry by classifying single-use plastic items such as soda straws, plastic bottles, and food containers as toxic and proposes to ban their use.

While they may not be toxic when used as food containers, when discarded into the environment, these plastics become toxic to marine animals that ingest or become trapped by them and are potentially toxic to humans that consume them.

According to the National Resources Defense Council, between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste is dumped into the sea annually. A foam plastic cup takes 50 years to decompose and along with other plastics degrades into tiny particles called microplastics.

Microplastics now permeate the oceans, including bottom sediments where they are ingested by marine animals which in turn may be consumed by humans. Microplastics from seafood have been found to accumulate in human organs some with adverse health effects.

According to Wikipedia 83 per cent of tap water samples from around the world were found to be contaminated with plastic pollutants and in the U.S., 94 per cent of tap water samples contained substances from plastics.

Environment Canada is correct in classifying single use plastics as toxic substances and banning their use. In objecting to Canada’s ban on single use plastic items, the U.S. trade associations have placed profit above people and the planet.

Harvey Williams

Politicians are ignoring this group

I watched the leaders debate on Oct. 13, hoping that one of the speakers behind the podium would raise the issue of housing for adults with developmental disabilities.

Not one leader discussed adults with developmental disabilities nor was the topic raised by the moderator. During this time of pandemic and opioid crisis the needs of the homeless, the elderly, and children are being considered, but our most vulnerable population, adults with developmental disabilities, is being ignored. Worse, it is not even a part of the platforms.

Adults with developmental disabilities fall under Community Living BC. This agency is assigned the task of funding the housing and services to meet the needs of a diverse population.

The services are then provided by non-profit agencies. As with other human service fields there is high staff turn over and low compensation. Unlike other fields there is no specific training required.

My brother arrived from the Lower Mainland on June 29. Remember that time when the COVID-19 numbers were low? That is when we moved him.

I had been in touch with CLBC before his arrival in the hopes that housing could be acquired through a non-profit agency or an extended care facility. After living with us for three weeks we had to make the difficult decision to take Craig to Royal Jubilee Hosptial.

In the hospital my brother, who had Down Syndrome, deteriorated further due to an aggressive form of early onset dementia. At 43 years of age my brother was no longer able to dress, bathe, toilet, get out of bed on his own, and to swallow.

On Monday, Sept. 28, my brother Craig died in hospital. He died in hospital because even after the heroic efforts of CLBC in Victoria, housing was not found in time, even though they expanded their search to include for-profit long-term care facilities.

I ask each of the leaders running in this election to articulate how they will address this issue because if you ask any doctor, the worst place to die is the hospital.

Denise Pawliuk

B.C. has an urgent need for more doctors

We had a family doctor for the last 34 years and he just retired in August. I searched for a replacement and contacted more than 30 offices by phone and in person without success.

Every office said that they were overbooked with current patients and were not taking new patients. Many offices stated that they have doctors that are retiring or going part-time soon, and the outlook for replacements is not good.

Yes, we need a second medical school in British Columbia. This would help to increase the number of doctors over the long term. Every person deserves a family doctor.

Are there other things that we can be doing to solve the shortage of family doctors now?

Please help! We are in a huge crisis.

Anne Wilson

We are all human beings

A response to the topic on racism and systemic discrimination, that one never discriminated and saw everyone as the same, i.e., as a human being, regardless of their religion, colour, culture or race is a very valid positive comment.

Society tells us that individual actions taken about recycling, and reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, etc. are necessary and effective in bringing about societal change.

So if someone says that they never felt any different towards someone of another race or religion, is this not desirable? If everyone felt this way systemic racism would disappear.

Focusing only on existing systemic racism assumes it would disappear by legislation rather than by the sum total of human attitudes and behaviours. Both bottom-up and top-down approaches are necessary and valid and one approach to the topic should not be disparaged because it is not the other one.

Louise Manga

Rail idea is dead; no bridge, no riders

As much as I am a fan of rail travel, the ideal of commuter rail into Victoria was effectively killed when the decision was made to not include the rail line on the new Johnson Street Bridge. As for the recent survey on the E&N, it only needed one question: “How many times a week would you use the train?”

Without ridership it is just a pipe dream.

Doug Row
North Saanich

Stop sending your spit in the mail

Adrian Raeside’s cartoon about mailing in an election ballot shows our cartoon character licking the envelope before mailing it. Got me to thinking about that practice.

Isn’t it time we stop spitting on envelopes and started using tape? COVID-19 aside, I’m not interested in anyone’s spit arriving with my mail.

Patricia Marsh

Don’t call Horgan a racist

The only thing worse than Premier John Horgan saying that he doesn’t see colour was the fact that he felt pressured to apologize for it.

I like like him as much as I can like any politician because he is relatively straightforward, always has an answer and never seems to sit on the fence.

When are people going to realize that being born a white male doesn’t make you racist? Racism is taught by ignorant people to their ignorant children.

Horgan is not ignorant , not stupid and certainly not a racist. The complainers need to quit looking for the bad in everyone and start focusing on the good.

C. Scott Stofer


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