LETTERS: Community responds to Eileen and Trevor Wicks story, aerial spraying

June 9, 2022

Eileen and Trevor Wicks story raises concerns and a complaint

Dear Editor,

Girl and Boy Scouts pledge to help other people at all times and to do a good turn every day. In a 1908 original text, it was suggested that one of such things might be “to help an old woman cross the street”. Over time facetious urban legends popped up about the old woman who didn’t want to cross the street, but was physically carried across by a strong individual regardless. There is some humour in that story, but it is not very funny in the case of Eileen Wicks who was similarly carried against her wishes from a free, healthy and happy life, to miserable incarceration in a cheerless institution by very powerful Orwellian forces. It’s for her own good, is it?  

Admittedly, I am not familiar with the details of this unfortunate situation but do smell a rat, in that the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has applied to B.C. Supreme Court seeking orders to “prohibit the publication of any information which would tend to identify Eileen Wicks, and to seal all current and future affidavits and evidence”.

I often encountered the Wicks at the beach where they were busy cleaning up a bit and unclogging drains. Helpful little boy scout deeds, not appreciated by the Town (union?). Eileen always seemed cheerful and said hello with a smile. She appeared to be in good physical health and was always properly dressed. From all appearances, Eileen would most likely not only live just a more dignified and happier, but also a longer life, if only allowed her freedom in the care of her husband.

Christopher Hitchens issued a warning years ago when he said, “There’s a police-state coming, get used to it. And it will all be done in the name of niceness”.  Are we there yet?

Hans Rysdyk, Qualicum Beach

Dear Editor,

You have gone “all in” on one side of the Eileen Wicks case. The continuing allegations that you have made about the public officials in Ms. Wicks’ case are strong, yet there is no attempt by you to provide balanced or fair reporting. These are serious charges that you are making about public officials tasked with doing important work. Because of privacy and professional concerns, they have limited ability to defend themselves from what you report.

Are you at all concerned that you are doing a disservice to your readers and the public officials involved by failing to fully investigate and to provide a balanced reporting of events?

Ron Everard, Qualicum Beach

Dear Editor,

Thank you so much. I have no doubt in the least that the BC health system, re: elder care, is problematic!!

Maureen S., Qualicum Beach

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank you for your in depth coverage of the Wicks’ situation involving both Trevor and Eileen being arrested and detained by the RCMP & VIHA, and for Eileen’s continuing detention at Nanaimo Regional Hospital by VIHA. If it wasn’t for Second Opinion QB, this would have been just another elder abduction by VIHA and family that would be kept in secret with the elders involved left helpless to defend themselves.

It is inhumane treatment to forcibly separate an elderly couple, and then confine one of the elders to a small hospital room against their will for months after a totally over-the-top arrest and apprehension by the RCMP and VIHA. It also seems unbelievable that all this was precipitated by a family member with no actual independent investigation involved to substantiate claims made or a closer examination of the motives involved. So it is completely horrifying that anyone can make any claims, unsubstantiated, and destroy a couple’s lives based on those allegations.

Now it is up to the courts to separate fact from fiction, but at a huge expense to the elderly couple (who sadly must now spend their retirement funds on a court case) and a huge expense to taxpayers to fund VIHA lawyers.

By the time this winds through the courts, will Eileen even be healthy enough to return home? And if she returns home, the traumatized couple will likely find it very difficult to trust any potential help that is offered by VIHA to those with dementia. And of course those who precipitate these situations face no repercussions whatsoever.

Sandra Paulsen, Pitt Meadows, BC

Dear Editor,

The more I read about this case the more I am shocked amazed and infuriated at not only the incompetence and stupidity of it all but outraged that all this nonesense is funded by the Canadian people. Thank you for bringing this into the light and hopefully the public will awaken and put an end to this nonsense and those responsible be held accountable. Good luck and keep up the good work.

Nick Mancuso, Paris, France

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to say thank you for running this story about Eileen and Trevor Wicks, as someone who knows them I can only imagine what they have been going through. I can remember Trevor talking about needing to look into getting some respite time and our conversations about the importance of respite for the caregiver.

As a parent myself of an almost 40 year old daughter with special needs I know well of how respite has meant for us. I know other elderly couples whose partner requires them to become “caregivers” and the benefits respite can provide that can allow them to remain together longer.

It is frightening to know how heavy handed agencies like Island Health can be….making a situation far worse than it needs to be. I hope this story is picked up by other news media….what if Eileen and Trevor’s story is not the only one? Everyone who knows this couple just wants as they do, to see them back together with some additional supports if needed and back singing and enjoying life by the ocean. Here’s hoping that will happen very soon.

Joyce Mainland, Qualicum Beach

Dear Editor,

Thank you for keeping us all informed of the situation surrounding Eileen’s unwarranted confinement. The involvement on the part of their family members is truly horrendous and begs the question – “why?”

I hope you will continue to keep us informed.

V. Mitchell-Dorrington, Qualicum Beach

Dear Editor,

Just a few quick reflections on campaigning for human rights and putting advocacy into practice.

Health care, mental health care, social work, and education are the foremost professions producing and reproducing institutional bullying.

Examining the strategies of institutional bullying, of which this present circumstance is a classic illustration, the bully endeavours to take full advantage of the formal structures of the society (in this instance the court system) to silence, dismiss, minimize, and discredit its targets. (SEE: Tim Field, Bully Insight, for a very thorough and incisive elucidation of bully strategies and tactics.) The courts are placing themselves in jeopardy by providing a forum for said abusive state.

There is every democratic principle to take the matter directly to the Premier’s office and all and every public venue – whether it is the CBC, universities, churches, unions, or citizen action organizations because, while it is a private matter of individual sanctity, the government has unwittingly brought it into the light of public action.

Petitions are a most ineffective extra-parliamentary measure to address state institutional violence. Politicians, political structures, social order institutions – all – take one letter far more seriously than a raft of signatures.

Murray Black, Qualicum Beach

Aerial spraying to control moth larvae

Dear Editor,

In [an article in Second Opinion dated May 20th, 2022], there is a detailed description of the trees that will suffer from lymantria larvae, formerly known as Gypsy Moth caterpillars if not protected by aerial spraying of Foray 48B containing Btk. [According to the B.C. government] this will protect “trees such as Garry oak, arbutus, red alder, aspen, cottonwood, maple,… that the lymantria moth larvae can affect.”

BUT a notice posted at the edge of a [forestry company] MOSAIC monoculture of ‘economically important trees’ seen along a trail near Nanaimo lists “alder, arbutus, cottonwood, maple and willow” as “target species” for elimination of these trees.

So what’s the point of saving alder, arbutus, cottonwood, maple and willow from the ravages of lymantria larvae, only to have MOSAIC kill those same trees with liberal applications of Triclopyr#29334?

Does the left hand know what the right hand’s doing?

Rosemary & Terry Taylor, Qualicum Beach

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