Letters Sept. 23: Cruise-ship-free Victoria would be a draw; PM's ego cost us $510 million

Market Victoria as a cruise-ship-free city

I was thinking that we should organize a convoy of double-decker buses to invade the Washington state Capitol in Olympia, to protest the repealing of the Passenger Services Act, until I recalled that the land border is only open to Americans.

My backup plan was dead in the water after attempting to book a fast ferry from Victoria to Seattle. Sorry, Americans only.

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A letter-writer suggested closing the Inside Passage to cruise ships. Cruisers that transit the Inside Passage are primarily Vancouver based, so there is no indication that Vancouver is at risk of losing business, yet.

The time has long since passed to fix this travesty. Instead of getting together with the affected stakeholders early to come up with a simple solution, such as to allow for closely monitored technical stops (nobody comes ashore) until the situation improves, Transport Canada slammed the door shut.

Our local government and authorities who understand the business even less than Transport Canada were naive enough to think the situation would eventually resolve itself. I doubt there is a mariner on this coast who has dealt with the arrogance of Transport Canada who believed that would ever happen.

In my opinion, Victoria should market itself as a cruise-ship-free destination; that’s what we look for when we travel to the Caribbean. Victoria will become so desirable because no one comes here anymore that the cruise ship companies will be lining up to get into Victoria. Obviously we have a bit of sprucing up to do first.

Trust me.

Captain Ed Lien (retired)
Victoria

Trudeau’s ego cost us $610 million

One man made the decision to assuage his ego that just cost us $610 million. And he guessed wrong.

Remember that in about 18 months.

Paul Ellegood
Courtenay

A day off with pay, a chance to sleep in

I am very disappointed with the government’s decision to give some employees a day off with pay to reconsider Truth and Reconciliation. Not everyone gets a paid day off. Will people spend the day on this subject — really? This sounds like a political vote-grabber.

If Ontario doesn’t give a paid holiday on Nov. 11, and neither does Great Britain, why should Sept. 30 take precedence?

It would make more sense, as several comments to the paper reminded us, if members of the Indigenous population in the country, plus federal and provincial employees in the ministries that serve the Indigenous populations, would go to the schools and discuss the subject that day.

Otherwise, this is simply a day off, with pay, to sleep in.

L.M. Martin
Victoria

Mothers were relieved when polio vaccines came

I recall when I lived through the U.K. polio epidemic with two of my playmates ending up in leg irons. I recall the relief of terrified mothers when the vaccine appeared and we all lined up in school to receive it.

In my day, vaccinations were administered in the schools and parents did not have to much say in it.

I am horrified to witness serious objections by mothers, with children in arms, to the expert medical advice we are receiving and thankful to the government for their efforts to irradicate COVID.

We are lucky that one can recover from COVID; however, if some other terrible affliction were to appear again, that put their children in leg irons, would they be objecting and demanding their rights?

A.R. Shaw
Campbell River

Wrong timing, anti-vaxxers

The goal of balancing individual freedom with community responsibility is noble. As an engineer of 30-plus years of experience designing control systems, I came to know one needs to begin corrections as soon as the balance has been disrupted.

Waiting until the disruption is severe inevitably causes the attempted corrections to clash with the present state of imbalance. Showing opposition to imposed restrictions, after the restrictions become onerous, may have the noble goal of restoring balance, but the timing is wrong — it causes strife.

Control theory says that a gradual response that accumulates over time will eliminate the imbalance in the shortest possible time.

As an experienced engineer, I advise those who oppose COVID-19 government restrictions to tone down your opposition without giving up in the short term. We need your support to ensure restrictions remain temporary.

Thomas G. Parsons
Victoria

Mandatory masks for K-12 students

It is with rising alarm that I read about increasing COVID-19 outbreaks in elementary schools in Greater Victoria.

We know that school outbreaks are caused by adults bringing COVID into schools from the community. As COVID increases in the community in a fourth wave, there is increased risk of bringing COVID into schools.

At present there are no recommendations to vaccinate children under 12. How can we protect these children in a time of increased community transmission?

The only answer is mandatory masks for all children from kindergarten to Grade 12 (not just Grade 4-12) and mandatory vaccination of all adults in the schools.

Why are there not mandatory vaccinations for teachers and other school staff? Is the John Horgan government putting the political expediency of avoiding a fight with the teachers’ union or other unions above protecting our unvaccinated children (or grandchildren in my case)?

David M. Ward, retired physician
Victoria

Try self-testing to encourage vaccinations

The Netherlands government took an additional measure to indirectly encourage vaccination. They mailed out, first upon request, and later irregardless, self-COVID-testing packages.

Each package contains two tests and, upon request to the ministry of health, a second package can be obtained for another two tests.

This has allowed people, who for one reason or another fear dealing with officialdom, to check their own health.

B.C. should perhaps consider this as a means to augment the drive to achieve herd immunity.

Boudewyn van Oort
Victoria

This still resonates: Don’t be a litterbug

If you are over 60, you might remember the messages on TV saying “don’t be a litterbug.” It’s a pity that they are no longer on the tube.

My wife and I walk the Esquimalt Lagoon every morning, and every morning, in spite of Colwood’s daily collection from garbage cans, there they are: paper coffee cups, lids, piles of cigarette butts, beer cans, a variety of stuff that individuals care not to take home with them.

It’s a shame and we can do better.

Michael Becevel
Langford

A lack of respect for her possessions

On Monday, I was waiting for a bus on Douglas Street near Broad Street when an ambulance pulled up near the bus shelter.

Two male paramedics got out and went over to a young woman who was wrapped in a blanket, lying in an alcove of the building by the bus stop. They picked her up, put her on a gurney and into the ambulance, and drove off.

Her meagre belongings, including her shoes, were left behind on the sidewalk by the alcove.

How very sad that the paramedics had so little respect for this young woman that they couldn’t bother to take a few minutes to gather up her belongings and take them with her. Especially her shoes, which she would need when discharged from the hospital.

Had I been able, I would have bundled up her things and brought them to the hospital myself. I was, however, in a wheelchair and my power bar was indicating that I was about to run out of power and I was afraid I wasn’t even going to make it home.

Martha Warnes
Victoria

Make Saanich safe and friendly again

A few months ago the “homeless” people who were housed at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre were transferred to the vacant Mount Tolmie Hospital at 3690 Richmond Rd. There were assurances that this action would not negatively affect the surrounding community. This seems not to be the case.

A recent article states that the community surrounding Shelbourne Street, Richmond Road and Cedar Hill Cross Road has been subject to numerous break-ins with the theft of valuable property.

The suspects were arrested in the 3600-block of Richmond Road.

While the municipality feels it must meet the demands of this population, it also needs to meet the rights of the residents in this area to be safe from criminal acts.

The two needs do not appear to be mutually compatible. Return our neighbourhood to its previous safe and friendly environment.

George Wildman
Saanich

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