No vicious circles or circular reasoning here. Just a set of points on a place all equal distance from its core, the centre. Photo by George Le Masurier
The Week: No new snow, no new bridges and no new beds
This article has been updated to correct information about School District 71 school buses
Every homeowner knows that when you delay repairs to your house, they just get worse and more expensive to fix with the longer you wait. Courtenay City Council learned that lesson this week about the Fifth Street Bridge.
Back in 2015, City Council decided to save money by recoating the bridge rather than undertake more costly renovations. At that time, the recoating and some deck repairs were estimated to cost $2.2 million. But council discovered this week that price had ballooned to $6.3 million and is still not underway.
The nearly 60-year-old bridge could be nearing the end of its life span. Although structural engineers say lifestimes of 100 years are achievable with appropriate maintenance planning and if durable materials were used in construction.
This crossing of the Courtenay River is the only bridge for which the city is responsible. The 17th Street and North Connector bridges fall under provincial jurisdiction.
¶ Don’t expect seat belts in Comox Valley school buses in the near future. In a statement to a local media query, School District 71 said it was aware of a CBC series on school bus safety that found seat belts could have prevented thousands of injuries and many deaths.
Transport Canada, however, doesn’t think seat belts are necessary in school buses. “Transport Canada has declared school buses are already designed to protect children in a crash,” according to the SD71 statement reported by The GOAT.
The CBC reported that Transport Canada’s position against seat belts is “based largely on a 1984 study.” And the CBC investigation shows that “government officials have known for years that seat belts save lives and prevent injuries on school buses — information the department has kept hidden from the public.”
Let’s hope there’s no reason to question Transport Canada while they pull their heads out of the sand.
¶ If voters decide against proportional representation in the electoral reform referendum that concludes at 4.30 p.m. today, some fingers might get pointed at the mainstream media, including the Comox Valley Record.
An analysis of major media coverage of the referendum by Fair Vote Canada, an organization the supports proportional representation, found most newspapers tilted coverage against reform, if they covered it at all.
The Comox Valley Record, one of many newspaper owned by Black Press, refused to print any pro-PR columns written by Pat Carl, the publicist for Fair Vote Comox Valley, although it printed anti-PR material sent by the Black Press head office.
And, The Record also found itself in violation of campaign advertising regulations by printing a full-page advertorial written by Kevin Anderson without a proper authorization statement on file. After Megan Ardyche, Fair Vote’s volunteer coordinator, complained to Elections BC, Anderson was registered retroactively as a third-party advertiser.
In a letter to Fair Vote supports, Ardyche wondered why the newspaper didn’t know the legalities of election advertising. Good question.
¶ Decafnation received a kind note from Gwyn Sproule this week in which she praised women newly elected to local governments.
“It certainly is a joy to sit at the regional district board table and see so many young professional women entering local politics. I applaud them. It’s tough to be in politics as well as manage a family.” Well said.
¶ While we have been enjoying some unseasonably warm and dry late-fall weather in the Comox Valley, some of us are a little worried about the upcoming ski season. Mt. Washington has delayed its originally opening date — today! — because there just isn’t any snow on the mountain.
Temperatures have dropped this week, however, and the mountain has made snow on the lower runs. But the ski hill says it needs a good three-foot base to open, and that may take awhile.
¶ Why has Island Health delayed announcing contract awards to build the promised 151 new long-term care beds in the Comox Valley. Long-term care patients take up acute care beds in the Comox Valley Hospital, one of the factors in its ongoing overcapacity problems. And exhausted caregivers at home need help.
Island Health says it will still meet the 2020 deadline for having the beds open, but that’s looking like an overly-optimistic statement with every passing day.
Despite our enquiries, Island Health won’t say specifically why they’ve missed the Aug. 31 date to get the project underway. Do any insiders out there have a better read on the situation?
Re: The Referendum
“Anderson was registered retroactively as a third-party advertiser.” Why? How is it that some people do not follow the rule of law but still get away with it? What does that say about the NO side? Do they think the rules do not apply to them? Why did Anderson get a free pass?
Why did the Record get away with publishing it? Ignorance of the law is no excuse. What are the normal penalties for ignoring the clearly stated rules? At least the Record should have offered equal time and space to the YES side – for free. That would have at least been fair.
Are long term care beds the same as complex care beds? I was alarmed to realize that the Chinese govt. now owned some of our Seniors Homes although they are managed by a company in BC. How does staff negotiate for wages, benefits and safety when the owners are another govt,? Will the company that wins the bid be covered by the new trade agreements? I can see why this is taking awhile to figure out. Will we be awarding contracts to locals, to BC, to Canada or to any foreign corporation that can come up with the cash? As a senior, approaching the time when I will need care, I certainly hope they take the time to make careful decisions. I also hope I will be in a facility that adheres to Canadian standards for the sake of residents and employees. The last thing I want are underpaid, overworked, disgruntled staff, bad food and unsanitary surroundings. Please get it right.
This viewpoint by Peter Ewart in the Prince George Daily News is an brief analysis of the media’s participation in this referendum calling them “smug editorialists and windbag pundits “. I can only add that they should have been registered as third party advocates.
“Big media, which includes the big corporate chains and monopolies, has waged a relentless campaign against proportional representation and its advocates in British Columbia for going on a year now. As such, it has served as the “spin doctor” for the No side in the referendum by propagating half-truths, fear mongering and outright lies, as well as attacking PR advocates.”
Thanks George for bringing journalism to the Valley