Letters to the Editor: Feb. 26

First hospital overnighter; The current threat; Extirpation

First Overnighter

As I hit the floor with a dizzy spell and nearly passed out, my first thought was “Oh my God, I might have to go to the hospital.”

Terrified of the inevitable, I held out all that afternoon and throughout a very scary night. By 6 a.m. the next morning, a decision was made — mostly by my wife — that it was time.

Now, you need to know that I am a 68-year-old who is petrified of anything to do with the medical system, and have never spent a night in the hospital in my entire life.

On arrival (approximately 8 a.m.) at the emergency ward of the East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook, I was immediately taken in to be examined by Dr. Turner. I was very impressed by the calming effect she had on me — her bedside manner, her thoroughness and mostly (to me) her compassion. For the rest of the day I was subject to a battery of tests from various nurses, doctors and assistants, all of which were very good. I was eventually admitted to ICU about 10 p.m. That evening and given a comfortable bed.

The following afternoon my family physician came to see me, and a decision was made to conclude two further tests at home, and my bed would be given to another sick person. I was released that afternoon.

To summarize my event, I was very impressed at the care that I received. After I had arrived home, I thought that I would assess my event via the internet. I typed in “Doctor Turner in Cranbrook” and there she was on YouTube discussing the problem the hospital system has in Cranbrook. How lucky I was to arrive on a slower day and have the perfect staff to look after me. I would invite everyone to go on-line and send a message to your MLA to rectify this system and help these professional and overworked people so they too may have a quality life.

I wish to thank all the staff at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook and my family physician, Dr. Rolandi, for your professionalism and compassion that you showed me on Feb. 10, 2015.

G. Anderson/Cranbrook

The Current Threat

MP David Wilks states that “the international jihadist movement has declared war on us” (Townsman 02/24/2015) and goes on to justify the passage of Bill C-51 as necessary tool to fight this threat.

Really Mr. Wilks? If we were truly “at war” why would one of the PM’s most trusted lieutenants, John Baird, have recently jumped ship? It is clear that our MP has never experienced real war and thankfully neither have I.

I would strongly suggest that anyone who wishes to have a broader understanding of the real situation in the world seek out writer and former war correspondent Chris Hedges. In a recent interview on CBC Ideas Hedges talked of the “drug of war” and as a war correspondent covered wars in Central America, Bosnia, Iraq and other global hotspots. He has seen the horror, loss, pain and fear that poisons people’s souls in conflict zones. The spiritual emptiness that ensues leads survivors to lust for revenge in an escalation of violence which can never be quenched.

The axiom that violence begets violence should give Canadians pause when our Prime Minister advocates the use of force whether it is in Ukraine (an exceedingly foolish move if pursued) or in Iraq and Syria. We have nothing to gain and everything to lose by taking an aggressive stance on these matters.

Does this mean that I think there is no threat. Absolutely not. But it must be kept in perspective. To gain further insight into ISIS I would suggest reading an article recently published in the Atlantic Monthly entitled “What ISIS really wants.” It is a chilling insight into the newest bogeyman that we have to deal deal with on the global stage.

As I said, we must keep this in perspective. The turmoil in the Middle East is very much an American problem. Yes, they are our biggest trading partner but does that mean that we must participate in their invasions, occupations and self- appointed role of global policeman?

It will take great courage and wisdom to seek another path. Should we assist in trying to thwart supporters of violent extremism? Of course. But let us not be driven by fear and subsequently surrender the very freedoms that Stephen Harper and his underlings would have us believe that they are “protecting.”

To Mr. Wilks I say this:  I realize that as a backbench MP you have no choice but to support bill C-51. Do you not wonder why as many as four previous Prime Ministers are on the record stating that we need much more rigorous oversight than currently exists and that the expanded powers of this bill (which could undermine our constitutional rights) are far in excess of what is really required to deal effectively with this current threat?

Jim Campbell/Kimberley

Extirpation

I find to impossible to believe in this day and age there are people living in our society supporting the extermination of a specie of our wildlife. I am talking about those who are advocating abandoning the wolf kill program designed to protect a small herd of caribou that are facing extinction.

Our ungulate numbers are being decimated by predation, including hunting and if something is not done soon we will be into a full and rapid decline. People are having trouble seeing moose, sheep herds are disappearing (Premier Ridge), complaints regularly appearing about the few whitetail deer left, mule deer have never recovered from the winter of 96/97 and their numbers appear to be moving downward and elk populations are way down.

We seem to be spending our time and effort in ensuring predators survive and now we must give the same attention to out ungulate populations.

Why have deer taken up residence in Cranbrook and Kimberley? Because the wolves and cougars have us surrounded and are even hunting within our communities. If you were a deer would you wander into this overly rich predator environment? Pack pepper spray for your protection, if you are afraid of deer.

Unchecked predation in Yellowstone Park has reduced elk populations from 22,000 to 2,200 and reports indicate a continued downward trend. Kootenay and Banff National Parks have had ungulate numbers almost eliminated since the return of wolves.

If we have 8,000 wolves province wide, each wolf needs a large ungulate a week to maintain themselves. The number of ungulates taken just by wolves is not sustainable. We also have to maintain cougar, black bear, grizzly bear and coyote as well without wiping out their food sources.

I foresee two things happening if predator controls are not implemented. The first thing to happen will be increased predation of ranch animals (already happening) and then a reduced or elimination of hunting seasons and a loss of government revenue and employment.

No animal ought to be faced with extinction in this day and age and that includes all of our ungulates and all of our predators as well. All must be kept in a balance to ensure maintenance of our ecosystems health. Too many elk means overgrazing takes place. Too many predators means loss of ungulate populations. Too many hunters means overkill takes place.

Too many single-minded people means all will be lost.

Larry Hall/Cranbrook

Correction:/Andrea Chénier

The screening of the Opera Andrea Chénier at Columbia Theatres in Cranbrook is playing at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, not 11 a.m. as previously reported. The Townsman apologizes for the error.

There will be an encore performance on Monday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m.

The opera that British press have been raving about is making its Canadian debut at 30 cinemas nation-wide, including Cranbrook.

Jonas Kaufmann stars as Andrea Chénier, the pre-romantic poet embroiled in the French revolution. Conducted by Antonio Pappano and directed by David McVicar, the new production for The Royal Opera opens during the opulence of pre-revolutionary France and comes to its climatic end in the final days of the “Reign of Terror.”

Andrea Chénier, Saturday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. at Columbia Theatres in Cranbrook.