Why we need to remember
I came to Canada when I was almost two. My family moved to Elkford in the 70’s, and except for going away for school, I have lived in the Elk Valley ever since. It was here that I found a faith which has given me deep joy and strength and sustained me through the years. And it is here that I have had the privilege of caring for people and working with a wonderful health care team as a family physician.
Through this pandemic, I have been bewildered at the resistance towards public health measures, especially from some in the faith community. And I have been deeply concerned, and grieved, at the protests which have obstructed access to health care and, now, essential transportation routes.
At the beginning people expressed gratefulness for Dr. Bonnie Henry, her calm, gentle demeanor which gave us direction and hope. People appreciated the provincial government supporting her and letting public health take the lead. The public was grateful for health care workers who worked tirelessly and at risk with a virus which we knew little about and had no vaccine for. What happened?
We grew tired – I get that. We became lonely – I understand all too well. We were frustrated that it was not going away – totally with you. But in that state, some turned against public health and government instead of the real “enemy” (if one has to use that language) which is the virus.
I just finished working this week looking after in-patients at the regional hospital in Cranbrook. The ICU is filled with COVID patients. They are so short staffed that those of us from other communities are stepping in to help. Elective surgeries have, again, been postponed for another few weeks. This impacts you, me, us. Those needing hip or knee replacement wait, with pain and immobility, as their procedure is delayed yet again. Those with cancer wait, and worry, as the cancer is given a little longer to grow and spread. Anyone needing access to medical services, especially ICU, are more vulnerable in a system that is extremely stressed.
This is why the public health officer and government have mandated public health orders – to protect you, me, us. To protect the vital infrastructure needed for a healthy society. Perhaps we have forgotten. Perhaps we need to remember.
Marian Ma, MD/Fernie
* * *
B.C. wolf slaughter
To: Premier John Horgan and FLNR Minister Conroy
Recently the British Columbia government decided to continue slaughtering wolves from helicopters. To date more than 1429 wolves have been killed. This ” short term” killing program is now well on its way to last at least a decade in the South Peace, South Selkirk, North Columbia, Tweedsmuir, Hart Ranges and Itch Ilgachuz regions.
A recent BC government survey resulted in 60 percent of respondents opposed the Wolf kill program, and yet the government chose to continue the killing.
Your decision to slaughter wolves from helicopters is incredibly unethical and continues a pathway to ecological disaster that the previous liberal government started. Diverting the blame ( of reduced Caribou numbers) by scapegoating wolves is not going to accomplish anything other than redirecting millions of dollars that should instead be going to hospitals or used to rebuild our highway infrastructure. I would appreciate it if you would stop wasting my precious tax dollars Mr. Premier and Minister Conroy.
So what should our conversations be when it comes to elements ( caribou ) in Nature’s infinitely complex ecosystem equation? The narrative coming from the British Columbia Premiers office should be based on a few realities that we humans cannot escape from – nor should we apologize for.
1. Humans are incredibly successful at reproduction ( 9,000 humans are added to the global population base of 8 billion every hour ) with significant resource demands and ecological impact in our province.
2. Humans are incredibly successful at resource extraction and resource use ( logging, mining, oil and gas exploration, and recreation use such as snowmobiling, heliskiing, cat skiing ) – with a significant ecological impact in our province.
3. Humans are excellent at dispersal to new areas in which to live – with a significant ecological impact in our province.
These all add up to a massive human footprint in our beautiful province of British Columbia that has a major impact on nature and is getting larger all the time.
In conclusion Mr. Premier and Minister Conroy, our human ecological footprint is not going to be reduced by killing wolves. Our human condition – in BC and around the globe – is what it is – no apologies.
A breeding pair of wolves need to feed their family just like you and I do. If that means Caribou happens to be on the lunch menu, so be it. Let the family of wolves live their lives.
* * *
Desecration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
I couldn’t be more disgusted and disappointed in fellow Canadians over their abhorrent action at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the War Memorial in Ottawa as part of the protests against vaccine mandates. People that do that are not worthy of being called citizens of our great country. These truly are sacred sites to honour those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for all our freedoms.
I think their actions demonstrate to us the mentality of those who oppose measures by our governments to keep us safe during this horrible, unprecedented and dangerous time we are in with the pandemic.
The other issue, that is also so distressing to me, is the failure of our military and government to ensure these sacred sites are guarded on a full time basis.
As far as I know, most nations that I am familiar with, have an honour guard full time on these types of sites at all times. As I understand it, the reason we do not do this, is due to budget restraints to our military.
This is exasperated by one astounding factor, and that is, our military does not have any permanent facilities in our nation’s capital! In other words, if they were to have units rotating in to guard these sites, there isn’t any facilities to house them, provide transportation, or any other support services for them.
Only in Canada, would you find this level of disrespect for our veterans and military.
By copy of this letter, I am requesting our MP Rob Morrison take this on and make representations to the government to correct his appalling situation.