Re: Fraser Health first with wheelchair fees, Sept. 10.
I just read the article about Fraser Health charging care residents a monthly wheelchair-rental fee, and I am compelled to respond.
I nearly choked on my coffee when I read Fraser Health’s spokesperson Tasleem Juma’s explanation for why they are forging ahead with this tax, even though the rest of the province decided against it. Apparently some paperwork has already been completed and they don’t want people to be confused. Seriously?
Shame on Fraser Health for expecting the public to accept such a weak excuse for taxing vulnerable seniors, who have already spent their lives working hard and paying taxes! I’m sure they wouldn’t mind being “confused” about the heaps of paperwork that has been generated, if it means saving $25 per month.
The very fact that so much paperwork has already been completed should be a great big wake-up call about the wisdom in administering yet another tax.
Jennifer Findlay, Surrey
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Re: Cities eye licensing wheelchair users, Aug. 27.
I am following the proposed licensing of electric scooters for the disabled with great interest, having needed to use one for the past few months.
To those voting on this move, might I suggest they spend at least one full day using one as their primary means of mobility, before making their decision. They might discover some of the drawbacks faced on a daily basis by those who rely on this type of transportation.
I notice the lack of adequate sidewalk space, which as a rule is sufficiently narrow to make passing pedestrians walking in the opposite direction or negotiating one of the benches at bus stops potentially hazardous.
Some apartment-block owners neglect the bushes growing in front of their buildings, allowing them to encroach onto the sidewalks – another significant hazard faced by scooter users and pedestrians alike.
If we are to be licensed – taxed – does this mean the municipalities will rectify these conditions?
As a user, I value the little independence my scooter provides – allowing me to remain an active member of the community by socializing outside my home, rather than leaving me housebound and vegetating.
Introducing licensing and testing would require considerable expenditures that municipalities do not have, nor do they have sufficient staff in place to administer such a program. The municipalities would very likely lose money on the scheme.
On the other hand, if councillors are hell-bent on grabbing extra money from anything with wheels, would it not be fair to include skateboards, bicycles and those monstrous over-sized push chairs that young, and not-so-young, mothers insist on trying to negotiate around crowded stores? Then, as a last resort, what about the profusion of carts the elderly use to take home their meagre shopping from the supermarket or corner store?
Can anyone tell me when, or even if, this kind of nonsense will every stop?
The function of city councils is to ensure taxpayer money is not frittered away on frivolous, financially unsound projects. If they cannot come up with anything better than this, perhaps they should not be voted in at the next election.
Richard Mahony, White Rock
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Re: Friends rally for Greyson, Sept. 3.
Like everyone else who read the article about baby Greyson, I was amazed at the size of the baby and just hope that everything goes well with him.
It seems incredible that a baby so small will, with modern medicine, have a good chance to survive.
What popped out at me when reading the article, however, was the part about the mom having to walk an extra block at Peace Arch Hospital just to save on the parking.
That just made me so angry, that a person should have to worry about parking costs when she was in distress.
I am lucky to be able to buy a White Rock pass so, if I have to go to the hospital to visit, I can park out on the street. I know how expensive it can be to park there if you don’t. My daughter was there a few months ago to have labour-induced birth, and her husband spent quite a bit of time with her and paid a fortune on parking.
On the other hand, the other day I had to go to Delta hospital and I was so pleasantly surprised that parking was free. I looked at my husband and said, “why can’t Peace Arch have free parking for patients?”
It’s just one more way the City of White Rock has to gouge people, because they are so desperate for money.
D. Barros, White Rock