April 28 Letters: We Need Action on Health Care; we need smoother roads; we need proper housing plan
Stop confrontation, solve the problem
Flying sparks in our legislature will not solve our doctor shortage. Posturing, yelling, and heckling can make our elected officials look like they’re doing something, but in reality, most adults know that complex problems usually require complex solutions that have been developed collaboratively.
Confrontational politics only serves to alienate the electorate and, in turn, makes it easier for autocrats to appear as rational choices to results-oriented voters.
My advice to Premier John Horgan and all lawmakers is to stop the bogus drama, grow up and do what you were hired to do.
Horgan and Dix must act on health
Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan are not listening to people.
There is a serious shortage of family doctors in this province and when politicians don’t listen, it could be a game changer in politics.
They have both been riding a well-deserved wave of support and respect for the way they have handled the COVID crisis. However, it’s time for them to ask family doctors for their advice on the best way to solve this crisis.
The shortage of doctors was severe before they took office, but the whole healthcare system imploded. Their palliative measures exacerbated the problem rather than solving it.
As we have just been told, we have the longest wait times in Canada. Our emergencies are full; people don’t have a family doctor to visit, so it’s their only option.
People are fed up; doctors cannot afford to practice in our province. They need more money and support now – and the government needs to engage with the public now too.
Margaret Thatcher had the right idea
Clinics are closing, a million people are without a doctor, overworked and underpaid nurses are quitting, young Canadians are reluctant to enter the profession, immigrant doctors and nurses cannot be certified fast enough, politicians blame each other in the Legislative Assembly. Will things get better or worse?
The province continues to ask Ottawa for more money. All provinces have been calling for increased funding for health care for years.
Will this ever happen? According to a recent letter on this page, transfer payments from Ottawa only cover about a quarter of the cost. Will this ever be fixed?
Providing the service is a provincial responsibility, but the federal government collects most of the tax to pay for it. Theoretically, in a democracy, the taxpayer paying for the service should have a say in how their money is spent. She can vote, you say.
But how will she vote? At the federal level, the current Liberal-NDP partnership is based above all on the promise to provide “free” dental care and prescription drugs.
So we’ll be able to get prescription drugs for free, but not really — because we can’t find a doctor to write the prescription. Why do politicians spend our money on prescriptions instead of doctors?
And will voters who can’t find a doctor to get a prescription still vote for parties that promise free prescriptions? Or would that matter?
Will things get better or worse? “Socialized medicine”, to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, “is a great idea until you run out of other people’s money.”
But how many people understand this, or want to understand it?
Horgan expressed a common view
Premier John Horgan should be forgiven for his profane outburst in the Legislative Assembly. After all, one in five BC residents say the same thing every time they think about seeing a doctor.
Victoria needs smoother roads
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said in her recent letter that the city has been spending more on road repairs than ever since 2015.
I think there is some rigging of numbers in there. Installing curbs and islands while removing parking for more bike lanes doesn’t count in my mind as repairing the road. Neither do the creative paint jobs on the pedestrian crossings.
While riding the TC10K, I constantly stared at the worn road for fear of tripping. I think Victorians would be happy with smooth roads for all modes of transport as soon as possible.
C. Scott Stofer
Stop complaining about pickleball
I’m disgusted by James Bay residents near Todd Park who complain about the “unbearable noise” of pickleball players.
Reading my Times Colonist over the weeks where real unbearable situations exist in Ukraine, Yemen, Afghanistan, many countries in Africa to name a few, makes me say to those pickleball complainers to open your eyes and ears and stop the bad habit of complaining about nothing!
Thank you Victoria; now it’s Saanich’s turn
Kudos to the Mayor and Council of Victoria for passing much needed fast and efficient affordable housing approvals.
Many of our local councils are shamefully slow in approvals.
We can only hope that our largest and slowest approval municipality (Saanich) finally sees the light and finally speeds up the critical approval process.
E. A. Lubick
Devil in detail with Victoria’s housing plan
The Affordable Housing legislation passed by Victoria Council is commendable in promoting more affordable housing. However, the devil is a particular detail.
It “will no longer require rezoning or public hearings when it conforms to the city’s official community plan.
Who decides on the official community plan?
The board does; they can and do (witness recent changes to the Fernwood/Oaklands plan) modify the plan as they wish. They solicit answers to a survey, but they make the changes they want.
This new legislation gives the council complete power and removes all influence from the hands of the neighborhood community.
Ukraine abandoned by the United States and the United Kingdom
While Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine, the United States also bears some responsibility.
In 1994, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia signed the Budapest Memorandum guaranteeing the security of Ukraine and, in return, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal.
Not knowing who would end up ruling Ukraine and wanting to stop nuclear proliferation, it seemed like a reasonable deal for the US, UK and Russia to make.
Today, Ukraine is invaded by Russia and neither the United States nor the United Kingdom respects the terms of the Budapest memorandum. Without nuclear capability, Ukraine has become easy prey to Russian aggression.
Russia quickly realized that the United States and the United Kingdom had no intention of coming to Ukraine’s aid, and the Budapest memorandum was not worth the paper it was written on.
Since Ukraine had given up its nuclear deterrent, the stage was set for a Russian takeover. Now Ukraine is in ruins and all the US and UK are doing is imposing sanctions and sending in weapons. The security promised in the Budapest Memorandum is missing.
From now on, there will be only one of three tragic outcomes: Ukraine is destroyed but retains its independence. Or Ukraine is destroyed and divided. Or Ukraine is destroyed and becomes part of Russia or a Russian puppet.
This is what happens when the United States and the United Kingdom waive their security treaty obligations.
Self-inflicted misery because of deficit
The April 12 letter calling for higher deficit spending made me want to cry.
The interest cost of servicing the debt for this year is approximately $25 billion. Under the new budget, it will grow to more than $40 billion a year – and that’s before the interest rate increases take effect.
This represents 40 billion dollars in tax revenue, in addition, which does not pay a teacher, a nurse, a policeman. It goes into the coffers of the banks, where it will be loaned to hedge funds. They will use it to drive up the price of real estate.
They do it because holding actual dollars is for suckers. Every dollar printed makes every other dollar worth a little less, and Drama Boy has had the printing presses red hot. This is the result of your deficit spending
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has persuaded many people, like the author of the letter, that all will be well in the end. He doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about monetary policy. The deficit will pay for itself.
Anyway, for him it will certainly not be a problem. As for his liberal henchmen and his New Democrat cronies, all is well, as long as their comfortable rides keep rolling.
The worst thing about all this tragedy is that it is self-inflicted.
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