Letters to the Sun, July 16, 2022

Spending a lot of money on a useless initiative like this name change doesn’t make sense, in my opinion.

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I first heard about the proposal, initiated by Mayor Jonathan Côté and approved by his council, to remove the “royal city” designation from New Westminster during a television news, then I saw it again in the Vancouver Sun. As a native of Royal City, born at St. Mary’s Hospital, I am very saddened by this plan, and I’m sure there are many more like-minded.

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There are several issues in New Westminster that need attention, such as housing for homeless and low-income populations, the revitalization of the business districts of Sapperton, Queensborough, 12th Street and 20th Street, and the modernization of Queen’s Park. Spending a lot of money on a useless initiative like this name change doesn’t make sense, in my opinion.

If Prime Minister John Horgan can backtrack on a bad idea like building a new museum, Mayor Cote and council can also overturn a misguided motion to redesignate the royal town.

Myrna McRae, New Westminster

gone too far

New Westminster council’s decision to rename the city by dropping the word “royal” begs the question: Has political correctness gone too far?

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For example, are we removing the word “prince” from cities such as Prince George and Prince Rupert, renaming the capital of British Columbia, or removing “empress” from the iconic hotel in Victoria?

Such actions would negate colonial history, despite its checkered past.

Jill Warner, Vancouver

Clarification of the health system

Two articles on our health care system in the July 8 edition of the Vancouver Sun deserve some clarification and comment.

The first, by Camille Bains, about a Quebec visitor to Sun Peaks who was denied surgical treatment at a public hospital, undermines any claim that we have a universal or portable system in Canada.

However, the fault in this case does not lie with the hospital or the surgeon, but with the Government of Quebec, which refused to participate in the reciprocity agreement which makes our public systems portable and universal. Their position violates the Canada Health Act, but, for political reasons, the federal government refuses to penalize them. I believe it is the only province that has never been fined for breaking the law.

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Patients in other countries with universal systems do not suffer from such problems and history provides a strong argument for combining our 14 health systems into one.

Imagine how much money it would save in administrative waste if we really had a Canadian health care system.

Vaughn Palmer’s second article (Federal Health Funding Still on Horgan’s Agenda) sheds light on the short-term memory of politicians.

It is ironic that Prime Minister John Horgan blames the current health crisis on the federal government. His quote — “While British Columbia waits for Ottawa, people are waiting for health care” — is astounding considering that it was a former NDP government in British Columbia that inspired the provinces across the country to close or downsize nursing and medical schools, which is the root of the current crisis in our system.

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A statement by Liberal BC Health Minister Terry Lake during a debate in the Legislative Assembly in 2016 summarizes the record of previous NDP governments on health care in British Columbia: “Interestingly, in the 1990s, no hospitals were built, 1,600 full-time nursing positions were eliminated, and no additional space was provided in medical schools. I just want that on the record as well. Certainly, we knew the baby boom of the 90s.

The record of the current NDP government speaks for itself as patients suffer and die on BC’s public waiting lists.

Dr. Brian Day, Vancouver

There is only one taxpayer

Provincial and territorial leaders have been making headlines in recent days with their relentless — it never stops — complaints about the amount of federal funding in local health care costs. But it’s not as “simple” as dollars. There are also areas of federal taxation previously transferred from the federal government to the provinces.

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BC Premier John Horgan, as president of the Council of the Federation, says the federal government should “sit down like adults” and discuss the issue. It really means sending more money, with no strings attached.

The doublespeak is mind-boggling. The so-called “have provinces” – including British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta – are effectively telling the federal government, “Tax us more so you can make us cheaper.”

There is only one taxpayer, whether he pays federally or provincially.

If the “have provinces” want more money for health care, let them get it from their own budgets without hiding behind federal government tax levels. Again, there is only one taxpayer.

A discussion between adults would actually require adults on both sides. Maybe that’s hoping too much.

Ian MacLeod, Richmond


Letters to the editor should be sent to [email protected].


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