Letters to the Editor – March 16

Water rights, provincial government and committee work come under fire by letter writers

B.C. health firings elephant in the room

B.C. residents, long inured to corporate and political collusion, were promised transparency by Premier Christy Clark in the last election.

Most didn’t realize this meant a view of the elephant in the room that is the unjust firing of health-care workers.

Were these pink slips for the benefit of Big Pharma? Well, it looks fishier than week old farm salmon.

Big Pharma, including Pfizer, donated nearly $600,000 to Clark’s government leading up to the last election.

Our premier then suddenly announced help for people quitting smoking using, you guessed it, a Pfizer drug called Champix.

Trouble is Champix was causing health problems in other jurisdictions and under scrutiny by our own Therapeutics Initiative — an independent drug-therapy assessment organization.

Did our government, seeing an important corporate donor’s product threatened, begin to defund the Therepeutics Initiative and fire other involved health-care workers?

The allegations against them were proven to be trumped up and groundless costing taxpayers a fortune in damages and legal fees.

Now, using the age old dodge of an “inquiry,” our government is giving those involved in the firing , legal fees and access to documentation denied to the victims who are trying to clear their name.

And still no one can find out who actually ordered the firings.

Attorney General Suzanne Anton claims the whole process is free from political interference?

Thank you to John Horgan and the opposition for actually delivering the promised transparency.

Ted Roberts, Sooke

Juan de Fuca water under attack again

On Oct. 23,  the Capital Regional District committee of the whole passed a resolution concerning water servicing policy to be included in the revised regional growth strategy.

The policy states: “… staff be directed to prepare a servicing policy for the updated regional growth strategy  that would apply to both municipalities and the CRD that is silent with respect to the expansion or provision of water services.”

No longer would the 5,000 residents of the Juan de Fuca be denied access to clean safe public water, access that the other 300,000 residents of the CRD already enjoy.

The residents of East Sooke and Otter Point rejoiced.

So the draft RGS document has been prepared and is ready to be sent out to the municipalities and the Juan de Fuca for comment, after a brief stop at the CRD board on March 9, and it is indeed silent with respect to water.

But wait.

It seems that some CRD directors, led by North Saanich Mayor Alice Final and Saanich Coun. Vic Derman, really don’t want the Juan de Fuca to have water and they are leading a move to de-rail the document.

They had tried to attach a requirement in the RGS that all future official community plans and regional context statements would require a two-thirds approval vote by the board, the price of water equality being even more control by the CRD over the Juan de Fuca.

This proposal was subsequently deemed illegal. So on March 9 at the CRD board meeting these directors attempted to send the RGS back to the COW to re-impose water access restrictions.

The new RGS draft document should be referred out now to the municipalities and Juan de Fuca for comment, not hijacked once again.

Zac Doeding, East Sooke

Committees’ work undervalued by council

Re: Land bought for new library (News, March 2)

Currently, there are two council committees exploring opportunities for community center spaces and for parks and recreational uses.

The two committees are overlapping in some of the opportunities but are working with the community at large and seeking input for how we manage our spaces and what are needs are and how can they be better fulfilled.

These meetings are open to the public.

I feel blind sided, personally, by the purchase of the 5.26-acre property for a new library for a price of $1.42 million. It was bought without a concrete plan, other than perhaps a library can be built there in two to three years.

I am afraid we have bought an albatross and now no other opportunities, which may come from the other committees, will be allowed to come to fruition.

What is the point of appointing committees for consultation?

I recall being on the official community plan committee where we had extensive input from the community and put forward a plan reflecting consultations only to have the entire plan changed the night it was submitted by council presenting and approving Mariner’s Village and extending the height for building from a limit of four storeys to eight storeys.

Personally, I feel our input is undervalued.

Ellen Lewers, Sooke