Letters: User fees penalize the sick

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Editor, The News:

Re:  Making health care free again (B.C. Views. Feb. 28).

I often read Tom Fletcher’s column with some interest and agree with him that our health care does need some work.

I must comment that he needs to lose his anti-socialist bias. I don’t agree that user fees are the answer, but don’t think that makes me a Marxist, as he seems to suggest.

User fees tend to only deter those with limited funds and can penalize people who are very sick, aged or have multiple illnesses.

Yes, please, make health care free and pursue more reasonable approaches to remind people that it does, in reality, cost us all.

Paul Gregory

Maple Ridge


Tax needed

Editor, The News:

Re: Voter’s Guide to Carbon Taxes (B.C. Views, Feb. 8).

At a time when addressing climate change is at its most urgent, Tom Fletcher implies that human-caused climate change is “propaganda.” His views fly in the face of the overwhelming scientific consensus, as well as many globally esteemed organizations, such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

We are at a time in history that if we don’t rapidly reduce our carbon emissions, we are committing our children and grandchildren to a world with ever more extreme forest fires, drought, severe weather, sea level rise and ocean acidification. A refugee crisis of an extent never seen before will happen at a time when our world population peaks. The economic costs will be staggering.

Top economists from around the world tell us that a steadily rising price on carbon emissions is the most effective and least expensive way to reduce our emissions and decarbonize our economy.

It isn’t only progressives and “elites” who favour a predictable and rising carbon price. A group of Republican elder statesmen presented a proposal to the White House – the Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends – calling for a steadily rising, revenue-neutral carbon tax with the proceeds returned to households.

Gordon Campbell recently endorsed a similar policy.

Avoiding catastrophic climate change will take a global effort, one that British Columbians and Canadians need to be a part of. I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that we were proud to have done all we could to make their future secure.

Doing nothing is not an option.

Laura Sacks



Getting ugly

Editor, The News:

Re: Voter’s Guide to Carbon Taxes (B.C. Views, Feb. 8).

So much cynicism. Looking at the history of Tom Fletcher’s “opinion” pieces, one merely sees attacks shored up with misinformation.

According to former NASA scientist James Hansen, current rates of fossil fuel burning are equivalent to adding 400,000 atomic bombs per day 365 days a year.

How can this have no impact?

Does Fletcher think so little of Canada that he undermines any strides towards leadership in clean energy and a livable future?

But cynicism has its base. David Black, owner of Black Press, is an enthusiast of oil refineries in B.C.

B.C. is so much greater than this ugliness.  I won’t look to Fletcher for voting advice.

Dona Grace-Campbell



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