Ottawa on guard for seniors

Dear editor:

As our economy starts to reopen, the health and safety of Canadians is our number one priority.

That’s why the Government of Canada is acting now to put the right tools in place before a potential second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits.

We have negotiated a Safe Restart Agreement with the provinces and territories that will invest $19 billion to protect the health of Canadians and ensure they can safely return to work.

This Agreement bolsters the capacity of the provinces and territories to conduct contact tracing and testing, with a goal to have capacity for up to 200,000 tests a day across the country. This is vital to containing future outbreaks quickly before they spread.

To better protect seniors in long-term care homes, we are funding infection prevention measures and expanding eligibility for federal infrastructure funds so they can be used to modernize and renovate long-term care facilities.

We have set up a contingency reserve of personal protective equipment so front line and essential workers have the vital protection they need to do their jobs.

The agreement also makes a significant investment to ensure sufficient and safe childcare is available for families. By ensuring staff and children are safe, parents will have the peace of mind to feel confident returning to work.

The federal government is creating a temporary national sick leave program so no one feels pressured to go to work when sick. The program will provide 10 days of paid sick leave to workers who do not already qualify through their employers to ensure they can stay home and get well.

Throughout these difficult times, Canadians have stood together to look out for one another and protect our communities. Our government will continue to ensure that Canadians have the supports to stay safe and get through this pandemic.

Deb Schulte, Canada’s Minister of Seniors

No masks reveal their stupidity

Dear editor:

The character Forest Gump once used the line, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

This phrase seems very appropriate when applied to a group of Kelowna people shown on Global News who had gathered to protest the wearing of masks and social distancing meant to protect them and others from the Covid-19 virus.

I don’t wish them any bad luck – actually I do – but it might teach them a lesson if they ended up in the hospital (or, better yet, getting arrested and spending a few nights in jail).

There are several wise sayings that suit people who object to laws that are made to protect them from themselves:

• Stupidity makes you dangerous to yourself and everyone around you.

• We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

• The problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.

• Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

• Life is hard but it’s harder if you’re stupid.

• If we’re looking for the source of society’s troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity.

• Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative. (A personal jab at Conservatives.)

• God must love stupid people – he made so many of them.

Watching the Republicans gathered together on the White House lawn, fawning over their asinine leader, I would have thought that most Canadians had more common sense than that, but the Kelowna protest group would have fit right in with them.

As Agatha Christie said in one of her novels: “Use that fluff of yours you call a brain.”

Frank Martens,


Let’s end stigma of drug abuse

Dear editor:

We need your help, Dr. Bonnie Henry. Every day in British Columbia, people travel to liquor stores and dispensaries to purchase and consume recreational drugs. In fact, British Columbians enjoy some of the finest products in the world that are produced locally by skilled craftsmen. Our wines regularly win international awards for quality.

If wine drinkers were to suddenly start dying at the rate of over five per day on average, we would not be discussing an overdose crisis in the wine industry. We would not be diverting tremendous resources to our medical services, distributing overdose prevention kits and having our trauma services intervene daily in the lives of hundreds of people who were affected by tainted wine.

The BC Coroners Service shows that from 2000 to 2010, about 200 British Columbians’ overdosed annually. The number of overdose deaths for the month of July 2020 alone was announced as 175. It is misleading to assume we are in an addiction crisis when there is no evidence to support an increase in rates of people who suffer from the disease of addictions. Massive amounts of resources are being used to treat what is essentially a supply problem.

This could easily be corrected by providing the same quality of products that other British Columbians’ experience. The moral decisions of what or how substances are used is not something we need to debate today. We need to reduce the stigma by helping people who truly suffer from this disease. Another 875 people could die by the end of the year if we do not respond immediately.

The board of directors for Pathways Addictions Resource Society believe we have world-class staff providing services for people seeking help with addictions and have served the community for almost 50 years. Our Intensive Coordinated Care Opioid Navigator program is having a major impact in the community with

serving over 100 opioid use disorder clients with zero overdoses.

We are trying to expand our services and require funding for programs.

We would love to expand our facility to meet the needs of the community one of which is a Daytox program. Correcting the supply problem would reduce the strain on many services. A portion of the savings could be diverted to helping British Columbians seeking help with the disease of addiction and have a major impact on our society.

Please help.

Mark Smed, Summerland

Strange linguistics by POTUS

Dear editor:

Disregarding the content, two things have always bothered me about Donald Trump’s speeches since he was elected, including those made at the GOP convention.

One is that he frequently appears to be distracted, looking anywhere but at his audience, the other is that he almost always allows his voice to trail away when he is making a point and especially during the last sentence or two of his speech.

The distraction suggests to me that he has little interest in the audience and that he wishes he was somewhere else. The trailing away of his voice contrasts with most politicians and speakers at gatherings where the speaker is promoting a cause. Most such speakers build up when they make a point and emphasize the last few words. They make a point of doing this at the end of their speech, ending with strong emphasis.

The fact that Trump allows his voice to fall away conveys to me that, whether he realizes it or not, instinctively he has little or no confidence in what he has said.

Personally, I find this very worrying in a man who is supposed to be the leader of his country.

Brian Butler, Penticton