We had a fire at 9 a.m. on June 27. Now we understand the trauma people go through when they experience a fire. This is a story of luck, professionalism and empathy. The luck involved an outside fire, not inside. It involved the Courtenay fire chief and his assistant chief crossing the Fifth Street Bridge and noticing the black smoke even before we were aware of a fire at the back of our premises. They arrived on scene as we just discovered the fire and had already alerted the fire hall to action. Luck was also on our side as the fire was up against a cinder block wall, not the wooden wall right next to it. It was, however, the professionalism of the firefighting team and the insurance adjustors that really impressed us. The fire chief’s main concern was for the safety of the occupants, including adjoining businesses and their staff. He immediately assured evacuation of all occupants in an orderly manner. There was no doubt he was in control and concerned with our safety. Within minutes, two pumper trucks arrived with a full complement of firefighters. It was like “poetry in motion” to watch them prepare to fight the fire; every person had a job and executed it within seconds. The police arrived and conducted traffic and crowd control. Even an ambulance was on the scene. This speaks well of the training our fire department goes through, and a well-executed plan of action. Further professionalism became apparent when insurance companies were contacted. Within an hour the adjustors were on the scene, assessing the damage and arranging for timely repairs so we could be operational. A special thanks to Belfor Restoration for their prompt attention to our recovery. Finally, thanks to all involved for their empathy to all affected by the fire. They truly understood the trauma you experience and dealt with us in a kind and professional way. Again, a superb example of professionalism. My advice to readers of this letter is to do a walkabout of your premises and property, looking for potential fire hazards and “fuel” for a fire, and attend to it. You do not want to experience a fire first hand.
I had to laugh about the piles of cut broom on the side of the road. From all the beefs I had read, I envisioned big piles the size of logging slash burn piles, placed unceremoniously along the road. So I travelled up that way and saw little two-foot piles, branches all lined up neatly facing the same direction, piles just so far apart. Haha.
Many thanks and a bouquet to the Comox Valley Classic Cruisers who gave their time to drive the graduates of Highland Secondary School on June 1 around the town of Comox. To ride on graduation day in those beautiful classic cruisers will be something for them to remember.
Regarding the Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa and the singing of The Maple Leaf Forever. If I remember correctly the first verse of that song goes like this: “In days of yore from England’s shore, Wolfe, the dauntless hero came and planted firm Britannia’s flag on Canada’s fair domain.” Now, if you know Canada’s history, Wolfe defeated Moncalm on the Plains of Abraham. At that time Quebec became a part of Canada. The French people of Quebec did not like that very much, and the Francophones of today don’t like it any better now. So, that particular song has been pretty much banned for a long time! Personally I have not heard it for well over 70 years!
So far any discussion of “co-operation” federal opposition parties has been limited to what party leaders say, ordinary Canadians have not been given a chance to express their own ideas about the value of working together to promote and protect Canadian values so much under assault by the Harper government. Are these your Canadian values — fraudulent elections; gutting CBC; lobotomization of the parks system; vaporizing the National Roundtable on the Environment, the First Nations Statistical Institute, the National Council on Welfare and the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric; limiting regulatory oversight of the fisheries was limited to stock that are of “human value” (against the advice of 625 fisheries scientists and four former federal Fisheries Ministers); handing the Canada Revenue Agency $8 million to investigate the political activity of not-for-profit and charitable organizations; a deliberate attempt to obliterate certain activities that were previously viewed as a legitimate part of government decision-making — namely, using research, science and evidence as the basis to make policy decisions. It also amounted to an attempt to eliminate anyone who might use science, facts and evidence to challenge government policies; accelerating climate change while moving Canada to become a petro-state.
With great interest I read “Nothing to fear but fear itself” by Ken Piercy in the Record July 9. Recently I just finished a phone conversation with my sister who resides in the Netherlands. Their economic situation is based on reality, a reality that originally was based on no fear. Nothing was impossible and fear became a word of the past. That was then and this is what it is now, two of her three children are daily counting the few pennies that come in. One is unemployed and one works part time on an hourly wage of less than six Euros, which used to be 60 Euros per hour in her profession. Before the 2008 collapse The Netherlands was seemingly very rich — nothing was impossible. All the stuff that Ken is writing about like “bigger houses, flashy cars. RVs, etc.” was all acquired, too. Now the Dutch newspapers often compare the present situation with the 1930s. Eventually those early problems were all taken care of; they, like the Americans “catapulted themselves into wartime economic and industrial powerhouses.” This reality was due to fear of losing personal freedom because of Germany’s and Japan’s war developments. Today’s fear by Canadians is based on reality as well, because no society can survive on borrowed money. Just look over the border to our brothers and sisters. I am all for “covered bridges, bike lanes, art and music” and anything we want … as long as we can pay cash for it. A long time ago I learnt a hard lesson; a beautiful house with no money to heat the home was based on bad decision-making — it was a long cold winter.
• • •
Do you have somebody to praise or something you have to get off your chest? Have your say by submitting to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get a written submission to 765 McPhee Ave., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 2Z7 or fax to 250-338-5568. If you wish to talk to the editor, phone Mark Allan at 250-338-7816, 2309.