Letters Oct. 27: Voting by mail; priorities for government; praise for Dallas Road

Cheated by the mail-in ballots

I feel cheated out of my vote. I chose a mail-in ballot this year and am so disappointed to learn they were not counted on election day, yet the results (unofficial) have been announced.

It makes me feel as though my vote didn’t count. In future I hope all votes can be tallied on election day.

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Wendy Swinton
North Saanich

About that ‘snap’ election

It’s important to understand that before 2001, all provincial elections were “snap” elections.

B.C. was the first jurisdiction in Canada to adopt fixed election dates, doing so in 2001. The Constitution Act called for an election on May 17, 2005, and the second Tuesday in May every four years thereafter.

In October 2017, the legislature passed amendments to the Constitution Act that changed the fixed election date from the second Tuesday of May to the third Saturday of October.

In 2008 a suit was launched protesting calling a federal election before the fixed date. The court effectively found that the fixed election dates were not binding on the prime minister or legally enforceable by the courts.

Debate about having fixed election dates continues, with some saying that having fixed dates means campaigning never stops.

Diane Kennedy

One bad mechanic can destroy the ride

Congratulations, John Horgan and the New Democratic Party on your election success. Please return your focus to navigating the pandemic and rescuing our economy.

As well, you would be wise to remember the axiom: Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

Now would be a great time for the NDP to check the oil level and tire pressures before setting off on its next big adventure.

B.C. voters will reward you again in four years if your integrity holds fast. But it would suck if the wheels fell off the Magic Majority Bus because some shady under-the-table mechanic forgot to tighten a couple of lug nuts.

Ask Glen Clark, Ujjal Dosanjh, or Christy Clark what it’s like trying to thumb a ride from disillusioned voters weary of reading about conflicts of interest.

Again, congratulations and good luck. Now get back to work!

Doug Stacey

Election income pays for medical test

On Saturday I started my job as a voting officer at 6:30 a.m. and was finished by 9:05 p.m. I had two short breaks of about 20 minutes to eat a sandwich in my car.

It was fine, though, because it meant I would earn enough money from the government for that day’s work, so I could pay for my mandatory and outrageous Driver’s Medical Examination Report fee in order to continue driving.

These fees range from $75 to $275 (from my personal research) depending on which doctor you go to – and have to be administered every two years.

Thank you, government of B.C. and RoadSafety B.C. for trying to stop me driving, trying to push me into giving up my independence, getting to my volunteer shifts.

You are generally allowing doctors to charge whatever they like above $75 to administer the same test. How do you explain that, in a province where “We care about seniors” is something of a motto. Poppycock!

Marie Denton

COVID-19 is not the only battle

John Horgan was rewarded for his government’s stellar performance in keeping COVID-19 at bay.

We know the COVID-19 battle is not yet over and the fight goes on, however, COVID-19 is not the only battle in the health care war.

Many other battles are raging – cancer, heart and stroke, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, mental illness and addiction, to name only a few.

Let’s not lose sight of these other critical health care issues that afflict hundreds of thousands of families throughout B.C. every day. Let’s not have tunnel vision when it comes to B.C. health care.

COVID-19 will pass, but these other diseases are here to stay.

David Mansell

John Horgan will face the real test

Premier John Horgan got his wish for a majority government. He will hold a lot of power and influence in B.C.

Power and influence can be used for good or it can corrupt the person holding it.

Only time will tell what Horgan is really made of.

Lia Fraser

Amalgamation, please, again

Eight mayors claim that all parties are “missing the boat” with regard to the Greater Victoria transportation issues and recommending yet another costly level of bureauacy be created to address this challenge. Is this not a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

Greater Victoria’s 375,000 taxpayers pay more than $2 million in salary and expenses for the 91 part-time mayors and councillors in the region’s 13 municipalities.

This figure is at least 50 per cent higher for cities with a comparable population, such as Surrey. Mayors and councillors also receive additional pay if they have seats on the Capital Regional District Board.

Is it not a reasonable assumption that cities with equivalent populations are able to deliver integrated services in a far more efficient and cost effective manner?

With the provincial election resulting in a significant majority for the NDP, is now the time for our provincial government to forgo further studies and mandate an amalgamation plan for our region?

Elizabeth Kozak

Dallas promenade is wonderful

Walking Nelson the Rottie Sunday along Dallas Road, I took time to examine our new “promenade” along the section around The Breakwater District (we really are getting rather cosmopolitan) and Ogden Point.

The city and its partners really have done a wonderful job! Separated bicycle and pedestrian lanes, angle parking for those still wedded to their automobiles, permanent Adirondack-style chairs, benches, water fountain, cabled railings and more.

Sadly, Victoria is a haven for naysayers when it comes to anything new or even a tad unconventional. Thankfully they didn’t get their way this time around and we have a wonderful promenade on Dallas that will attract all sorts, including tourists.

Come on down!

James (Jim) Parker,
James Bay

Protest matters, we are all connected

Re: “No need to block traffic,” letter, Oct. 24.

A reader asks the question, “why can’t people protest whatever their cause without the disruption to traffic and thereby people’s lives and livelihoods?”

Kwick’kanum, hereditary chief of the Tsawout Nation, addressed that very question in his address to the crowd convened on the Pat Bay Highway on Oct. 23. Fans of Douglas Adam’s novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency will also know the answer to that question – because everything is connected.

The issue is broader than what the reader described as “a complicated fishing dispute on the East Coast.” As Steven Lawton, a member of the Mi’kmaw Nation, told the crowd, the dispute is not “a lobster issue” but rather a “treaty issue.”

Rallies are held to remind us that Indigenous peoples have rights protected under Canada’s Constitution and upheld by Supreme Court decisions.

It was a small inconvenience to take a detour or stand in the rain to become aware of issues that affect all people on Vancouver Island, and across Canada.

As the hereditary chief also reminded us, as soon as a plane or ferry lands on the Island, they land in Tsawout territory and most of their neighbours don’t even know about their people.

Maybe this minor disruption can increase our understanding of how everything is connected.

Maureen Scott

Fairy Creek battle is in the budding stage

In a little-known neck of the woods in Premier John Horgan’s riding, there exists a wee village.

Here, there are families, children, bush toilets, plenty of water and both a sacred and profane fire.

This community is known as the Fairy Creek Watershed Logging Blockade and has been established to protect the last stand of deep old growth timber on Vancouver Island.

It ain’t quite a “war of the woods” yet, but I genuinely feel the “Battle for the Blockade” is merely in the budding stage.

2021 will be an interesting year, here on the Island.

John O’Carroll
View Royal


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