I would like to thank Wayne Boylan for his letter, “Words to live by,” published November 8 in The Star.
For well over 20 years Ron Hall was our lawyer, and when my husband died, he became mine.
He was kind, and honest; a wonderful man to know.
Uphill road for Mexican worker
Re: Bracing for a 21st century slave trade (B.C. Views, Nov. 8).
Thanks to Tom Fletcher for this article. I was struck by the honesty and courage to speak out regarding abuse of workers, the business of trading human lives and organs for profit (common in Mexico) and also the comments regarding “able-bodied young people begging” instead of getting out there and working like the rest of us.
My Mexican husband has suffered tremendously, up until about a year ago, to make ends meet.
We moved to Canada about five years ago after living together in Mexico for four years.
He was determined to “make it” through hard work and determination and was not afraid to enter the job market at any level to gain experience and improve his English. His first job was basically as a construction labourer, doing menial clean-up jobs, even though he is well educated with eight years of solid work experience in Mexico.
A couple of other positions followed but the lack of respect for his skills and previous experience and the willingness to take advantage, even though it must have been obvious that his competency was of a much higher level, was astounding.
At one point when we were sending job applications out on a daily basis, he threatened to move back to Mexico.
He has been very shocked and disgusted by the Canadian government’s willingness to assist people financially who are, as you stated, able-bodied, when no hand-outs came his way, even though he was not expecting any.
We agree with you. There should be no need to import temporary labourers to Canada.
Things have improved for him us as he is now a second-year heating, ventilation and air-conditioning apprentice with training from BCIT. He has also been recognized and paid by his current employer as a valuable employee.
Carin Moolman and Jorge Mora-Chavez, Summerland
Races divided once again in B.C.
Re: Treaty opposition down to a whisper (B.C. Views, Oct. 18).
Tom Fletcher says opposition to the Tsawwassen treaty and other aboriginal deals will in time “begin to fade away.”
Over time more Canadians will question why one race, or anyone with a single dead relative who is part of that race, receives benefits that others don’t, including the Tsawwaassen band members gaining a permanent rebate on the income tax they will begin paying in some distant century.
Canada has built a global recognition on being good to all races. Now we read about Japanese Canadians having less right to fish the Fraser than native fishers.
Many of the B.C. Liberals in our provincial government repeated Kevin Falcon’s favourite quip that their predecessors in office, the NDP, formed the worst government in the history of B.C.
I think future generations will laud the NDP for implementing the Agricultural Land Reserve and denigrate the B.C. Liberals for this new apparition of apartheid.
The American Revolution was largely a result of unfair taxation.
More awaits us than your editorial suggests.
Jim McMurtry, Surrey
For families first
The BC Association of Social Workers applauds Community Services Minister Ida Chong’s decision to designate a $6 million increase to provincially funded transition house funding, and her acknowledgement of the need for 24-hour access to transition houses.
Social workers know that a women is in increased danger of intimate partner violence once she breaks off the relationship or indicates she may be about to do so. Also, intimate partner violence is often observed by children, who are sometimes harmed during the assault on their parent.
This funding decision will make it easier for mothers to protect their children and will assist social workers as they support them to seek the protection offered by 24 hour transition home services.
Linda Korbin, MSW, RSW, Executive Director, Vancouver
Gridlock needs solutions
Despite the weighty albatross of the Fast Ferries project, there is still a diehard core of NDP supporters who believe the NDP has something useful to add when it comes to discussions about transportation planning.
Witness the NDP’s most recent contribution to the Lower Mainland transportation debate: namely, their opposition to the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and the provincial and federal governments’ Gateway Program.
In opposing the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and the Gateway Program, the NDP have suggested that a “comprehensive transportation plan” is needed for our region.
It’s a suitably vague suggestion coming from a party with vague positions on virtually all issues of note.
Although the NDP may not be aware of it, there is already a comprehensive transportation plan in place for the Lower Mainland. It’s talked about in the news all the time.
It’s a plan that includes the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and the widening Highway #1. It’s a plan that includes the new Canada Line and the upcoming Evergreen Line. It’s a plan that includes future extensions of the Millennium and Expo lines. And it’s a plan that includes more buses and a new Pitt River Bridge.
It’s a plan that also includes a new Golden Ears Bridge to cross the Fraser River between Maple Ridge and Langley. It’s a plan that will successfully restore transit on the Port Mann Bridge for the first time in 20 years with a new rapid bus service that will take commuters from Langley to Burnaby in 20 minutes. It’s a plan that will include, for the first time ever, a cycling lane across the Fraser River and improved pathways for foot commuters.
When taken together with a number of other transportation projects underway in the Lower Mainland, such as the South Fraser Perimeter Road, the North Fraser Perimeter Road and the Sea to Sky road safety improvements, these projects form a very comprehensive transportation plan indeed — and a very ambitious one at that.
The NDP seem blind to the fact that traffic gridlock in the Lower Mainland has been squeezing the life out of us.
They have responded with vague ideas that make no sense. I’m glad that so many projects are underway to address the problems we face in the gridlocked Lower Mainland.
Considering the fact that so many transportation projects are now underway and on track, maybe it would be best for the NDP to keep their suggestions to themselves, and save their transportation planning acumen for their next Fast Ferries Project.
Ryan Warawa, Burnaby