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Letters Oct. 16: Does North Saanich need to be 'complete'?; vaccine mandates have saved us all

Let’s move forward in harmony Re: “North Saanich needs to be a complete community,” commentary, Oct. 13. Perhaps for complete transparency, and our edification, the author could have apprised us, more fully, of his present position and or occupation.
North Saanich - generic. Credit: Google Street View

Let’s move forward in harmony

Re: “North Saanich needs to be a complete community,” commentary, Oct. 13.

Perhaps for complete transparency, and our edification, the author could have apprised us, more fully, of his present position and or occupation.

Does this “opinion piece” raise concerns other than espoused by same? If it doesn’t, it should.

Hysteria is certainly not an appropriate description one might, nor should, use to describe reasonable cogent responses to the Official Community Plan process, negative or otherwise.

I gather that “white and wealthy” live in other jurisdictions (Oak Bay, Esquimalt etc. etc.) and their “farmland” is now virtually non-existent as are some areas in the southeast quadrant of North Saanich.

As a further comment, any First Nations input in this regard (especially housing) will be interceded by Indian Affairs in Ottawa — Mega OCP!

Please note, as a final rejoinder, I became part of the “landed gentry” to North Saanich over 50 years ago.

I certainly had no expectations I would, or should, need to respond in this tenor to unbridled, unfettered, undeserved and unabated self-serving promotion by a relatively “recent” arrival.

Please may we move forward ­harmoniously. It’s the Canadian (not Trumpian) way.

Ronald H. Irish
North Saanich

North Saanich is fine just the way it is

Re: “North Saanich needs to be a complete community,” commentary, Oct. 13.

I’ve lived in North Saanich for 24 years and am puzzled that only now I’m learning that it’s somehow “incomplete.”

If Tom Gore is correct in this respect, surely I would have been so greatly inconvenienced by the lack of housing and amenities that I would have moved elsewhere long ago.

Instead, we found affordable ­housing, abundant recreational opportunities and plenty of stores and services just a 10-minute drive away in Sidney.

And no, we are not wealthy.

For most of these 24 years we’ve owned only one vehicle, but taking the bus to Sidney and Victoria is fast and convenient, with a bus stop just a seven minute walk from our house.

The reason we chose to live in North Saanich is because of its rural character, quiet neighbourhoods and uncongested roads. North Saanich is not “incomplete.”

In fact, it’s a gem, which has largely maintained its rural charm through ­careful planning and slow growth.

But doubling or tripling the number of housing units, as district politicians are suggesting, and adding commercial amenties, would mean it would no longer be recognizable or a place we would want to live.

Surely, in a region of 13 ­municipalities, everyone can find a community that meets their needs.

If you want the housing options and amenities of a town, then choose one.

If you want a quieter, more rural lifestyle, then come to North Saanich, where houses are regularly on the market and young families are moving all the time.

But don’t try and remake North ­Saanich into something it isn’t and doesn’t need to be.

Suzanne Morphet
North Saanich

Reducing the risk for fellow Metchosinites

Re: “Vaccine mandates deny fundamental rights,” letter, Oct. 14.

Metchosin Mayor John Ranns poses a straightforward question: “Has anyone thought of what kind of citizen you ­create when you callously deny [employees] fundamental rights [to refuse to be ­vaccinated]?”

The answer is similarly straightforward. You create citizens who care for their fellow Metchosinites, become ­vaccinated, and reduce the risk of severe illness or death for themselves, their loved ones, their friends and their fellow citizens.

Ranns’ rant does none of these — and poses a clear and present danger to the citizens of our municipality.

Phil Meyer

Government mandates have saved us all

Re: “Vaccine mandates deny fundamental rights,” letter, Oct. 14.

Metchosin Mayor John Ranns errs in his statement regarding the issue of fundamental rights where vaccinations are concerned.

Simply put, there is no “fundamental” right to refuse, any more than there is a medical reason for well over 95 per cent of the populace.

What has been missing in this too-long, very sad episode of the Canadian story has been the will of the provincial and federal governments to treat COVID-19 and its variants the way smallpox, tuberculosis and polio were treated in the past.

Simply ignore the election-clock countdown and issue the appropriate mandate, thereby saving millions of Canadians from harm.

Although it has been said more than once that examples exist of the ­various vaccines possibly causing serious side effects, it is usually the same few ­examples that are trotted out as “proof” by the different mouthpieces, while the members of medical profession (who are far better trained and more experienced than you or I) have stated repeatedly that the only way to return our society to even a shadow of its former self is to make sure that as many of us as possible are vaccinated.

To put it in three words: “Vaccinations save lives.” Period.

In days past, it was government mandates that saved Canadian society from smallpox, polio, tuberculosis and other incredibly serious diseases that so many seem to have forgotten in their zeal to defend their “rights.” The courage to do once again what previous governments did to save the population is what is needed now.

K.M. Frye

Irresponsible behaviour jeopardizes others

Re: “Vaccine mandates deny fundamental rights,” letter, Oct. 14.

The letter-writer continues the erroneous tradition of equating free choice in all matters of endeavour with the fundamental rights of a citizen of this country.

At no time in our history has the population had free rein to do whatever it wants. Constraints upon our collective behaviours are common, and we accept them.

Why? Because these constraints are for the public good, and are indeed well thought out; think road laws, theft laws and the like. And, it should be noted, ­constraints in the area of public health.

We want our government to apprehend Typhoid Mary, and keep her isolated. In so doing, the government does not deprive anyone, including Mary, of their fundamental rights.

Those who refuse to be vaccinated (as opposed to that very tiny group who cannot be vaccinated) do not hold “well thought-out reasons” for not being vaccinated. I say this, because if they did have a deep, researched conversation with themselves on the subject, they would have long since come to the conclusion that being vaccinated against disease is a no-brainer.

The unvaccinated are simply wishing upon a star; hoping that the virus/disease will miss them. There can be no other explanation.

Their irresponsible behaviour ­jeopardizes others, whom I guess don’t matter to them, since it is their rights they are concerned with as they trample everybody else’s.

David Hansen

They made their choices, this is not a rights issue

Re: “Let’s cool the hatred over vaccinations,” letter, Oct. 13.

Hate is defined as “a feeling of intense or passionate dislike for someone or something.” Note the operative word here is “dislike.”

Given this definition, it is completely understandable that the vast majority of our citizens dislike those who are harming themselves, and more importantly, others in their zeal not to get vaccinated.

They are unnecessarily redirecting and overwhelming our hospital infrastructure, and consuming its limited resources, to preventable COVID infections; leaving vaccinated folks to be declined their “right” to planned ­surgeries and related hospital care.

It is failed logic that they think their rights are being compromised. They simply are not, as they can choose not to get vaccinated; just stay away from those who have.

John Stevenson

Don’t force vaccines on health-care workers

Is forced vaccination the way to show our appreciation for health-care workers?

The powers that be are planning to suspend and/or fire health-care workers who have not complied with their mandated vaccine rule.

These are the same workers we praised as heroes just a few short months ago, who have given their all throughout this miserable, never-ending pandemic.

Now we are comfortable with having them punished?

We have constantly been told that the hospitals are understaffed and the staff is overworked, so suspending these health-care workers seems like a classic case of “cutting off your nose to spite your face” on the part of the government.

Regardless of where one stands on vaccination, according to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, medication of any kind is a personal choice.

The choice should not be influenced by any form of coercion. For those who are concerned that it is the unvaccinated who are spreading the virus and therefore claim that these personal choices affect others, we now know from public health officials that vaccinated individuals can also be infected with COVID-19, carry similar viral loads as the unvaccinated, and also spread the virus.

So, rather than suspending or firing these special people on whom many have depended over these past 20 months, let’s applaud our health-care workers, give them our support, let them do their jobs, and leave them be.

Janet and John Ashton
North Saanich


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