LETTERS – Unusual bikes, CFL boosters, HRM scheduling issues, irregular health care costs and more

Unequal care

Subject: Dr. Charles Shaver’s interesting “Gap in Travel Health Care Costs Needs to Be Closed,” July 16.

I consider the behavior of this first surgeon who refused to treat an injured patient to be terribly unethical, and the College of Physicians of British Columbia might agree. The patient must file a complaint.

Second, not only does Quebec pay less than the other provinces. Other provinces typically process payments in about a week; Quebec takes a month or two.

Finally, of course, the fee schedules should be the same across Canada. In the vaunted Canadian health care that claims to provide needed treatment to all Canadians, the rich provinces should not poach doctors from the poor provinces.

Dr. William P. McKay, Halifax

Different reactions

For the past six years, Janet and I have traveled Halifax on two folding bikes known as Bromptons; they have 16 inch wheels and are just adorable.

A few days ago we were approaching the Halifax Common in Robie when a guy in a van drove by and yelled, “Why don’t you take a regular bike!” Compared to previous obnoxious bike screeches, his sounded moderately refined; at least he wasn’t shouting that he hoped we were going to die, or that he hated all bikes, regardless of wheel size.

Anyway, we pulled into the Common and shortly after, a little boy, walking with his dad, said, “Look at that cool bike!” Then, “There’s another one!” We rode a little further and another little person said to his mother, “Look at those beautiful bikes!”

Guess it’s two nice kids versus a jerk in a van. No one won, but the numbers don’t lie.

Hudson Shotwell, Halifax

Confused planning

Subject: Gail Lethbridge’s ironic comparison (“From Big Bang to Big Bust: Halifax’s visionary streetscape project craters”, July 16) between NASA’s deployment of the James Webb Telescope and HRM’s attempt to revise the use of Spring Garden Road .

This is one of HRM’s many disconcerting adventures in traffic mismanagement. From the wacky “deviated lanes” on Robie to the “bump-outs” that pinch Vernon, making this street absurdly more dangerous for bikes, drivers, and pedestrians (not to mention a curse on snowplows), it often seems that the HRM traffic planners do not drive, ride, scooter, bike or walk in this city!

Instead of those annoying prompts, a good place to start would be simple signage to let people know of lane assignments when approaching some of the major intersections, so you don’t come around the corner only to suddenly find yourself in the wrong way .

And while HOV lanes may have reduced congestion for transit, other cities are also allowing motorcycles to use these lanes. No one on a motorcycle has ever slowed anyone down, and in terms of passengers per pound (or liter), they are high occupancy vehicles if there ever were.

Peter King, Halifax

Need for nurses

How many times over the past few years have I heard the cry, “We need more nurses? According to Janet Hazelton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union, this crisis has been going on for years.

What happened to the training of nurses in large hospitals? For many years these hospitals were training nurses and I don’t remember there being a shortage at the time. They received classroom training as well as on-the-job experience. At the end of this, they graduated as registered nurses. At that time, they were training over 1,000 nurses a year. Then the authorities decided that all nurses had to have a university education. Now we are down to several hundred a year.

I can see the problem – can anyone see the solution?

Who created this problem in the first place? Did they know Nova Scotia’s population was growing? Was the quality of hospital-trained nurses inferior? Or was the old system training too many nurses? Who would have thought that Nova Scotia would run out of nurses?

Our current situation is not going to be resolved overnight. This problem took years to develop and now our healthcare system is suffering because those responsible did not act in a timely manner. The citizens of Nova Scotia, as well as our current nurses, are suffering because of the previous myopia of officials.

The recent announcement of 200 additional nurse educator positions is good news, but what is the timeline? More classrooms need to be found, from nine months to a year. Teaching staff must be found; this will reduce the number of nurses available to hospitals. The nurse training program is two years. We won’t see any of the additional nurses for at least three, maybe four years.

Good luck with the new program.

Mike Hackett, Daisy Chain

CFL time

As a football fan, last week’s CFL extravaganza in the Halifax/Wolfville area boded very well for the sport. As a former high school coach, high school league coordinator, and varsity coach, I’ve seen the number of high school teams quadruple since I started, including in new areas of our province.

Minor tackle football, led by Football Nova Scotia, has also seen increased growth. Non-contact football, touch and flag, are now part of the co-ed physical education curriculum, intramural and competitive leagues in dozens of our schools.

For more than a decade there has been a women’s league in the Maritimes, and the revival of football at Dalhousie, UNB Fredericton, as well as Saint John and Holland College in the Atlantic Football League, has given hundreds of high school seniors and underage players a spot to play post-secondary football with traditional AUS teams.

The COVID pandemic has halted the promotion of a Schooners CFL team in Atlantic Canada. Of course, the bone of contention here is a stadium. It’s embarrassing that this progressive city and big industry couldn’t make it work.

Lately Wanderers FC have been pushing for a permanent stadium. Now is the time for Derek Martin, former Saint Francis Xavier quarterback and owner of Wanderers FC, to meet with CFL, city and provincial promoters to rally to make this happen.

The excellent full-page article published recently by the CFL in your newspaper is inspired by the Hamilton model. It lists Tim Hortons field tenants like the CFL Tiger-Cats, Hamilton Forge FC (soccer), World Championship and Olympic soccer international exhibitions, and many other events ranging from concerts to trade shows professionals who increase occupancy and, more importantly, increase a sense of community pride. We can be the Eastern Roughriders or the Northern Packers.

Let’s get the ball back in the air! Communicate and cooperate, and add to the diversity and excitement that football and a stadium can bring to make this great city even better.

Rick Rivers, Halifax

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