"We can not overlook those left in its wake."

Letters to the editor, April 1, 2022: Readers weigh in on a Kelowna development war, the shadow of COVID-19, and impoverished seniors in Vancouver’s Chinatown
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Defying Developers

In February, Jason Markusoff wrote about a Kelowna millionaire’s battle against a developer.

I am so proud of Chuck Fipke for fighting hard to protect his small piece of paradise from greedy developers (“Kelowna showdown,” March 2022). Despite being surrounded by massive condos, Mr. Fipke stays in his home, where he remembers what a beautiful natural paradise Kelowna, B.C., used to be. He is doing what so many others should have done: stay on their land to protect the natural landscape, wildlife habitat and stunning views of the shoreline. The money offered by developers is tempting, but what good will money do when our lives are deprived of the very things that sustain us? I am in a similar situation, where my childhood home in Prince Edward County, Ont., was once a hidden gem, with many wild spaces that allowed nature to thrive. Mass development has come in like cancer. Some locals are leaving, with many relocating to Nova Scotia, as I have done. But just like Mr. Fipke, I will not sell out to any developer, and my 160 acres of land is in the process of being forever protected through the Ontario Farmland Trust.

Jen Ackerman, Pleasant Bay, N.S.

COVID’s Shadow

In January, Christina Frangou wrote about long COVID.

Thank you for your timely coverage on long COVID patients (“When the virus moves in,” February 2022). These people need the validation that it is not just in their heads, and their families and friends need to know this, too. Supporting people you love through this is very challenging. My brother has had his career as a biomedical technician halted after having contracted COVID-19 in his workplace. The stress of being off work on disability, and the reality that you may never work again with all the personal and financial strains that entails, becomes overwhelming. We can not overlook those left in its wake.

–Mary Macfarlane, RN, Peterborough, Ont.

Informative article about long COVID. It seems there are so many challenges in dealing with it, possibly even more so in Canada, where our health-care system has been stretched to the limit. Aside from the medical community having to learn on the fly about this whole new syndrome, what writer Christina Frangou did not mention is that we are in a crisis: millions of Canadians do not have a primary-care physician, not to mention the months- or years-long waits to see specialists or access testing. Canada needs to solve the ever-worsening problem of attracting and keeping physicians.

–Linda Rand, Halifax

During the past two years of the pandemic, how many hospitals were built or facilities acquired and converted to COVID health-care centres or sanatoriums? And how many cohorts of condensed accelerated training for medical staff were put forth with all the money our federal government has spent during the pandemic? None that I have heard of, federally or provincially. Other jurisdictions past and present have built designated facilities to handle pandemics. Tuberculosis is one example that comes to mind. So what is wrong, when our government seems intent on spending, that they don’t follow precedent?

–Mark Macneill, Mabou, N.S.

Family Connections

In February, Nathan Sing wrote about food insecurity in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

I read Nathan Sing’s article about seniors in Vancouver’s Chinatown with feelings of puzzlement and disbelief (“In need of a helping,” February 2022). After my brother and I immigrated to Canada, we sponsored our widowed mother so we could take care of her while she was aging. We had to meet the income threshold requirement as a guarantee that we would be able to support Mom financially for her first 10 years here. After that she became eligible for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Since she lived with me, she had more than enough money to contribute to the household expenses and even to make modest savings. We did not bring our mother to Canada to become our unpaid babysitter or a farm labourer, so she could “help with the rent.” Are all the seniors described in the article victims of broken sponsorship obligations or, in fact, broken family obligations?

–Joanna Dudek, Ottawa