Utility trucks need same rules

Dear Editor:

I am wondering why we see Fortis BC  and Telus vehicles operating in B.C., but with Alberta licence plates.

These vehicles can be purchased and registered in Alberta and brought to B.C. without paying provincial PST.

If anyone else brings a vehicle to B.C., they are required to register the vehicle in a short period of time and at that time pay the PST.

Are these firms allowed to avoid the PST? Are we, the B.C. taxpayers, being cheated by these “reputable business firms.”

These vehicles should be checked for proper registration. Are they?  

Brian Henry


Seniors facility, not drug dealers

Dear Editor:

There was a very large turnout for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of our lovely Sarsons facility. A display of art by the painters group, the singing by the choir and the crafters group display were much admired.

A large number of the bridge players were also present as well as other users of this facility. All were positive signs of the use of the building.

Much appreciated was the presence of city representatives Maxine Dehart and Charlie Hodge and all the others who came to support we “citizens” of the community who use the house all winter long.

A parking lot as a replacement for the house will be unused all winter and will be of no benefit to any of us who prize this facility, although it will provide more space for the drug dealers to conduct their business.

Would city officials please reconsider its plan the replace this well-used facility still in good condition with a parking lot.

Callie Basham


Softwood issue far off the radar

Dear Editor:

B.C.’s resource industry is in chaos. Sawmills across B.C. are closing as thousands of resource workers lose their jobs. Yet, in the recent NAFTA 2 (CUSMA) negotiations the well-publicized points of contention were mainly for eastern interests; steel mills and supply management.

Both issues concentrate on vote-rich Ontario and Quebec. Softwood was so far off the radar screen, it never appeared at the forefront of these negotiations despite its devastating effects on B.C. workers.

Softwood has long been a bone of contention with the U.S. government. Until Donald Trump, the conflict would go before the World Trade Organization which subsequently ruled in Canada’s favour. During this long drawn out process, lumber barons in the American south get rich selling lumber in their now limited market.

Currently, the WTO is hamstrung with two empty seats which need to be filled by U.S. appointments. Trump refuses to do so and so the unfair U.S. tactics against softwood lumber continue.

Raw log exports from B.C. are now at an all-time record high, regularly above six million cubic metres annually and sometimes as high as eight million cubic meters. (One cubic metre approximately equals one telephone pole).

Prior to the last B.C. election, the logging community and environmental activists lobbied the B.C. government to restrict raw log exports, failing to address the real issue which is the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S., which limits our ability to keep the forest industry healthy.

For the past decade, foreign money has poured into B.C. fueling unrest in our resource industry. Money is power and a good example of that is the stranglehold environmentalists have put on the resource industry and the political inroads they have made federally and provincially.

These militants are apparently indifferent to the terrible damage they are inflicting on our economy.

The U.S. has still not ratified CUSMA. Canadians should hope CUSMA fails. According to a study conducted by the C.D Howe Institute Canada’s real GDP stands to shrink by 0.4 per cent and our economic welfare will fall by more than US$10 billion.

We need to start over. Kick out of our country the foreign money interests that have no allegiance to Canada and are interfering and creating havoc in our resource communities. We need a new set of negotiators after the election. Negotiators that recognize there is more to this country than Ontario and Quebec.

Elvena Slump


Complexity in health care

Dear Editor:

As a consultant pediatrician of almost 20 years, I wish to highlight not only the lack of primary care, but the general undervaluing of “generalism” in the medical system.

As any practitioner will tell you, the system pays those who do procedures, and those who deal with well-circumscribed problems within highly specialized areas.

The areas of complexity, ambiguity, chronicity and problems that don’t fit into a well-defined box are the longest and most challenging problems a practitioner deals with …. and the most poorly paid, most cumbersome and most fatiguing.

Experts on compassion fatigue point out that any doctor would rather deal with 20 patients with one or two problems each than two or three patients with 30 or 40 problems between them.

Each patient with complexity, in areas of medical health, social issues and mental health have not only a lot to navigate, but their system needs are frankly overwhelming for any single practitioner.

My own inbox is simply overflowing with requests for tax credit forms, special authority to fund prescriptions, requests from schools to summarize my diagnoses, requests from lawyers and to co-ordinate community supports and so on and so on.

I could see at least 25 per cent more patients a day, if not more, if I simply had help with paperwork and fielding the calls, forms and system issues.

This speaks not at all to the fact that I must see patients with “primary care issues” simply because I have no GP with whom to share care.

Supporting and rebuilding a primary care system that works is essential, but as we look to solutions, it is generalism as a whole that must be valued and supported; general internists, general pediatricians, general psychiatrists and so on, in the community where the patients are.

It is exactly in the gaps between silos of super subspecialists that patients fall, and although teams have a role to play, we must be careful about building unwieldly care-providing groups that reduce face time with caregivers, see very low volumes and cannot meet societal needs.

Dr. Jennifer Balfour

Pediatrics, Clinical Associate Professor