HAVE YOUR SAY: Grateful for Merville plowing, but aghast at driving

Just like to say a few words concerning the driver of the snowplow who must have been on contract for plowing Merville Road.

Just like to say a few words concerning the driver of the snow plow who must have been on contract for plowing Merville Road during the recent snowfall on Saturday the 22nd. While we are very grateful to have our road plowed, we do not wish to witness an accident or be victims ourselves of this snowplow zipping back and forth along our road at least four times at 100 km/h or more. There was no warning it was coming; it screamed like a jet plane when it passed, and streaked by so fast that we could barely get a glimpse of it; but from the flash we could see, it was a truck with some red on it, a grey tank of some sort on the back, and a big blade on the front. This part of Merville Road is a narrow, windy road with blind curves and driveways, and during the day we saw several cyclists go by as well as someone walking along the road with a child. Had any of these been on the road when this machine flew by they would not even have had time to scramble into the snowy ditch and would have been flattened and buried. Had any of us been venturing out of our driveways in cars or on foot at the time we would have been flattened and buried. Given the terrible conditions, it’s hard to imagine such wanton recklessness of a driver of any vehicle, let alone a big machine. Like I say, we’re certainly grateful for our road being plowed to make it safer, but it was far more dangerous with this maniac on the loose at the wheel of a big machine.

Cups of warm Irish cocoa for the snow removal team at the public works department, City of Courtenay (and City executive assistant Susie. Yes, you were “just doing your jobs” during this recent round of white stuff, but you should know you are appreciated.

It is unbelievable that more than four days after the snow started i.e. 4 a.m. Saturday, that we are still waiting for a snow plow. It is getting pretty close to noon Tuesday. Is there no one supervising the contract for road clearance? Are our tax dollars being spent keeping the rich folks on Mount Washington happy? Does the contractor not have enough equipment for the contract they bid on? We as the taxpayers deserve some answers. This is by far the worst service we have ever received and we haven’t  received much in the past. Get a grip, Ministry of Transportation, and do your job. (Editor’s note: Private contractor Emcon is responsible for clearing snow from Comox Valley rural roads).

Thank you and much luck to the gentleman at the end of the road who had the kindness to shovel the long driveway. What a great neighbour you are!

At approximately 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, we were headed up Ryan Road toward Costco so I could go to work. Given the horrible snowfall and rain mix we had, we were very aware of our speed. We were going around 50 to 55 km/h. We were in the left lane. A balding man driving a white SUV type vehicle came speeding up from behind us in the right lane and proceeded to cut us off as the hill started to level off before the turnoff to NIC. He barely left us one foot between bumpers. The sudden cutoff covered our windshield with slush, leaving us blinded. Had there been a car behind us, we would have been rear-ended. Had there been a car in the right lane, we would have been hit. My husband had to hit the brakes and move over to the shoulder in order to regain control of the vehicle. The worst part is my two young children were in the back seat. The driver did not gain anywhere in line from cutting us off and risking our lives. He turned left towards the Veterans Memorial Parkway as we went straight through after the light changed. We were stopped beside each other at the light. If you know this man, the RCMP would love to have a chat. I’ve already called them with the licence plate number. If this man is reading this, How dare you risk the lives of two young children? Are the lives of four people less important than what you rushed meaninglessly for? You could have merged behind us like you legally should do. You could have merged farther ahead. There were no other vehicles in your way, only one truck in the right lane farther ahead. Shame on you.

This year I decided to do my income tax online for the first time. It didn’t take long before I needed help, so I phoned the toll-free number. A woman answered. She sounded like she was from India. India! Great! Just what I needed at that time! She said her name was Manisha. We had some communication issues where she didn’t understand me, and some where I didn’t understand her. There were a few times she asked if she could put me on hold while she asked someone else. Forty-five minutes later I reached the point where I could save my work, and log off. I thanked the woman for her help. Then before I was able to hang up, I was asked if she could send me a survey about the service I had received. “Survey,” I thought. “I hate surveys.” And so I replied, “Yes, thank you for sending it to me.” During my meal preparation I thought about the ordeal I had just gone through. I began to think of this woman. It was very likely that English wasn’t her first language, and I admire anyone who can communicate using a second language. Regarding the times I was placed on hold while she asked for some help, I wouldn’t know if she had had adequate training, or if even this was her first day on the job. I knew I couldn’t respond to the survey and say anything that might put her employment in jeopardy. Might she have been a single mom? Might her wages have been just enough to get by – or perhaps even less? And all through our session she was very polite. I decided I would complete the survey, and I did just that. I spoke well of Manisha and of the help I received on the phone. And afterward, I said a prayer for Manisha. I knew this was the Catholic thing to do.

This bouquet goes to the fella in the white and turquoise truck who did pull over and allowed me to use his cell phone. Thank you! Thank you! I was getting worried and you were the only one (besides the red-headed fella in the little white car who had to back up a long ways – thank you as well) who actually did stop to see if I was OK. I would have put my hood up but the guy at the garage slammed it down so hard, it won’t open. And the same kinda karma to those who almost ran me over and the cop who didn’t stop.

Roses to Mr. Pineau, the president of the Highland-Glen Strata Corporation. Having been flooded by the heavy rains hit on Feb. 16, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for his prompt responses to take proactive measures aimed at avoiding potential future flooding. Firstly, despite the pouring rain, his presence to observe the situation demonstrated not only his guardianship and diligence but also his leadership. Furthermore, to take temporary measure, he ordered sandbags and had the Home Hardware store deliver them to my place the following day. Most importantly, as he mentioned when observing the flood situation on Feb. 16, it is absolutely essential to install drainage, which can prevent disastrous water damage in the future. Mr. Pineau deserves to be recognized and highly praised for his voluntary contributions to ensure that the properties of the strata corporation are well-maintained and managed both physically and financially. He is our true hero. Thank you, Mr. Pineau.

I just received some Conservative propaganda in the mail, sent by our MP John Duncan to everyone in my neighbourhood at taxpayers’ expense. The mailing boasts that the Conservatives are good at managing our money. I find it ironic that these great fiscal managers spend millions of taxpayer dollars on partisan propaganda every year, but they can’t find an extra penny to help our struggling veterans.

• • •

Do you have somebody to praise or something you have to get off your chest? Have your say by submitting to editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com. Please focus on people’s ideas rather than speculating about their character. 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.

Comox Valley Record