Letters: Week of February 27

Refocus on ferries

On Feb. 5, the B.C. government released its report on a round of public consultations on ferry service. The report states that a majority of respondents opposed the government’s plans to cut service, introduce gambling, and eliminate the seniors’ discount. Nevertheless, the government announced that it would proceed with its plans anyway and ignore the report. Following a damning court ruling on labour relations, this is just more evidence that the current government is out of touch with reality.

The reorganization of B.C. Ferries in 2003 has brought rising fares, debt, declining ridership and service, and severely reduced accountability through a legal shell game. B.C. Ferries now treats itself as a tourist attraction, not a critical piece of infrastructure. Because Islanders vote NDP fairly consistently, there is nothing for the Liberal government to gain by providing better ferry service. Communities here get hosed, while Vancouver gets lavished with new bridges and highways.

This situation directly affects UVic students, many of whom travel to the Lower Mainland to see their families during breaks. As such, I think it would be a good idea for the UVSS to start advocating for ferry fairness.

David Blair
UVic Student

 

Dog not imposter, driver not enforcer

I would like to share the details of an incident that I witnessed on Victoria public transit Feb. 25, 2014. I believe that it is important to inform readers of such occurrences, and to hold the driver accountable for his appalling actions.

A woman and her service dog boarded the #14 bus. As the woman went to pay her fare, the driver put his hand over the coin slot and demanded to see proof that the dog was, in fact, a service dog. She co-operated and showed him the card, however, the driver continued to harass her and refused to give the card back until he had thoroughly scrutinized it. Eventually, the woman was allowed to board the bus, but before she even reached her seat, she was in tears. When the bus approached her stop and she went to exit, she confronted the driver and told him, through tears, how rude and triggering his behaviour was. All he said in response was “don’t hit the post on your way out.”

I’ve encountered many rude bus drivers in this city, but I’ve never witnessed this level of harassment and discrimination on public transit. Needless to say, this driver has been reported…

Sacha Rockliffe
Community member

 

Challenge your assumptions

Re: “Soldiers need Canada to take responsibility with PTSD education and support,” Feb. 20, 2014

This article raises questions. What does the author consider a returning soldier’s appropriate emotional response? Is being devastated by war properly characterized as a disease? If so, is a soldier who’s not affected by killing then to be considered healthy? And, whether we’re talking about disease or trauma, is saying “people don’t work without brains” really helpful in a time when we’re supposed to be trying to de-stigmatize mental illness?

Francesca Allan
UVic Student

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