Canada Day is a good day to reflect on what it is to be Canadian. For me, being Canadian means being part of a diverse society of people, languages and of course, food. We share a love of nature and are proud of our universal healthcare. We pride ourselves on being tolerant and respectful of each other, despite our differences, be they our economic status, ethnicity, or our sexual and/or political choices.
As we all know, the political world is becoming a scary place. To the south of us, U.S. President Donald Trump’s actions horrify many of us. In Ontario, Doug Ford is in charge of Canada’s biggest economy. Perhaps even worse, their divisive, inflammatory rhetoric is hurting us.
That is why we need proportional representation. Under a proportional voting system, Ford would have 40 per cent of the power, not all of it, and Trump would not be the president. Under a proportional voting system, politicians from across the spectrum would have to work together, for the greater good.
Ann Remnant, Nelson
Speculation tax hits renovations
Your video, “Five things you should know about the speculation tax”, does a good job of summarizing the salient points about the tax, but it leaves out one important thing: Homeowners who buy a property with the intention of building a new dwelling (or making extensive renovations) will be subject to the tax. The only exemption is if you rent or live in the house.
But how does one live or rent out a house that’s under construction? The absurdity of this scenario shows that the NDP government hasn’t thought through the implications of this tax. Former premier Mike Harcourt is right when he says this tax needs a second look.
Milton Kiang, Vancouver
Pot greed sells out kids
Thank you Calvin White for your impassioned indictment on the lawmakers who rushed to legalize marijuana based on insufficient research and those who switched allegiance to become proponents of this gateway drug.
It takes a high school counsellor to reveal that we — the adult generation, under the guise of legal expediency, through our greed — have sold our kids out.
Frederick Kwong, Vancouver
More reefer madness
Calvin White’s op-ed reminded me of the old, misguided movie Reefer Madness, which irrationally demonized marijuana. White now irrationally demonizes smart steps to legalize marijuana and regulate it.
Everything being done now works to better protect teenagers and help adults. New tax revenue will fund research and treatment of drug abuse and addiction. Young people will avoid unjust criminal records, and marijuana’s distribution will be controlled by government, not criminals.
How does White believe keeping things the same will help?
John Tak, West Vancouver
Medical schools need to expand
Re: When a medical school gets its own education, June 18.
University of B.C. medical school dean Dr. Dermot Kelleher extolls the new distributed model of medical education that was developed and instituted before he took his post in 2015. But what is his vision on medical education in the future in B.C?
There is a crisis of people unable to find family doctors. And there is another huge crisis of impaired access to dermatologists. The shortage of dermatologists in B.C. is now 50 per cent of the specialty size. Dermatology is the canary in the coal mine. UBC and the Ministry of Health have been aware of the problem with dermatology for several years and yet no attempts have been made to address it. Nor are there visible solutions for general practice and the other specialties to follow.
UBC has never produced enough doctors for this province. B.C. poached them from elsewhere. Meanwhile, many of our children were turned away from UBC medical school. Some went to other countries to train and faced roadblocks to return after graduating.
The UBC medical school needs to be expanded, just as the Liberals promised in the provincial election campaign. And we need to not only remove the roadblocks for our children who went elsewhere to study medicine, but facilitate their entry into practice in B.C. Lastly, faculty and clinic resources need to be provided to the UBC department of dermatology to increase the number of resident trainees from four to six a year. This needs to be done now, not years from now.
After all, Kelleher did admit to social accountability and write that, “We owe it to the public.”
Dr. Evert Tuyp, president, B.C. Section of Dermatology, Vancouver
More awareness needed to battle homophobia in Surrey
The article about the defacement of the rainbow crosswalk in Surrey truly astonished me. Though it is 2018, some individuals have still not accepted the LGBTQ community. Surrey is showing its support toward the LGBTQ community but the vandalism makes that difficult.
My main concern is that the LGBTQ community is still facing discrimination. Though everyone has a right to an opinion, defacing someone else as a human being is horrific. As a community we need to raise awareness and educate others about the LGBTQ community. They are no different than anyone else.
Simran Brar, Surrey
American should resist
A funny thing happened to me earlier this week. I saw a car with a Washington State licence plate and I wanted to tell the driver to go home and that he was not welcome in Canada. I realized that for the first time in my life I had become anti-American.
I imagined that the driver would defend himself by saying he didn’t agree with what U.S. President Donald Trump is doing and that he hadn’t voted for him. My answer would be, then do something about this man. Don’t just stand by and let him ruin your relationship with Canada and the rest of the western world.
Garth Evans, Vancouver
PR mess already here
Since proportional representation was introduced in 1996, no single party in New Zealand has been able to form a majority government. Minority governments have been cobbled together, coalitions formed, confidence and supply agreements all made in exchange for political favour.
Political mavericks have become kingmakers and now have a say on who forms government and how long they stay in power. All have demanded a price, usually in the form of a cabinet post or other government appointment and it was all done under the guise of “dialogue and consultation.”
B.C. has already had its first taste of how PR really works when Darryl Plecas defected from the B.C. Liberals to accept the dream job he always wanted as speaker of the Legislature.
As for Green party leader Andrew Weaver, don’t expect him to remain the pillar of virtue and turn down his dream job once he’s provided another opportunity from Premier John Horgan.
Ron Gladiuk, Abbotsford