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Letter: Public pay phones must be kept

Phones yanked without public consultation

Public pay phones must be kept

I pen this missive as a fortoken of my concern arising as a result of the corporate hubris of our electronic media magnates that have in their magnanimity yanked willy-nilly, without public consultation, the few pay box telephones out of the Cowichan Valley and virtually everywhere.

This includes, much to my surprise and to the bewilderment of B.C. Ferries staff who had no forewarning or notice of this change. I, a 70-year-old homeless person with multiple chemical sensitivities and chronic conditions am particularly concerned about this provocative, ill-conceived, unthought through, undemocratic move by what is evidently the penny-pinching corporatocracy, as I cannot use cellular phones, WiFi (Zoom) etc. microwave or be near live electrical currents, especially, high tension wiring or pulsed electric beams, radar etc. The amount of pain, fatigue, and disquiet this causes me, as with a third of the population, as well as everyone in health costs in due course cannot be overstated. Thus I no longer have any way to communicate with people and family short of the postal service, going in person to those that are close by or borrowing a land line when visiting.

I was happy that the government some years ago mandated the continuation of pay phone box services to be available in all parts of B.C. I have not heard of any curtailment of this law so I presume it is still in effect.

The increasing dilapidated condition, poor servicing, sham and shoddy assistance, uneven connections and frequent cut-offs when using phone cards, especially when one has to punch in 32 keys to regain service, make for an indifferent shambles of a slipshod company intent on cutting an important service.

I would further caution cellular phone users to not use their phones near others in public spaces as smokers are now cautioned. The pain and discomfort their use causes to those that are sensitive are highly disconcerting, exhausting and painfully penetrating.

The imperious saccharine voiced tele-prompt is an all too obvious relic of the insistent colonial odium of outworn and unworkable attitudes which serve only to condemn the perpetrators to a hell of their own entitled weltanschauung.

Breogan O’Moal Dougnaic

Cobble Hill

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