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Letters April 24: Easing of mask rules, a visit to lively downtown Victoria

Pedestrians walk on Government Street near Fort Street in Victoria on March 11, 2022. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

A reluctant visit to a lively downtown

I was invited to a friend’s book launch party at a little coffee shop on lower Johnson Street on Friday night and was reluctant to go.

Like many senior friends, I am not crazy about driving at night anymore, didn’t think it would be safe to go downtown in the evening after most stores had closed, and to be honest, just preferred the idea of hunkering down at home-sweet-home at the end of the day.

But Gail Kirkpatrick had worked hard on her first novel, Sleepers and Ties, and I didn’t want to miss out on the celebration and an opportunity to show support.

I grudgingly drove downtown — and had a wonderful time celebrating an important milestone.

Downtown was not at all what I expected. The restaurants I passed were full of friends having fun over dinner; people were walking around the streets talking and laughing and obviously enjoying themselves.

There was a lively atmosphere and it reminded me of the fun feeling of downtown I have enjoyed in the past. I felt completely safe.

I am not suggesting hanging out downtown after midnight, but a Friday night downtown was an invigorating pleasure. I was glad I went and was able to shake off the fear-mongering residue we have all heard in the past few years.

We live in a beautiful, safe city compared to so many; and the vibrancy is returning. I was heartened to see and feel it.

Thelma Fayle


What is being done to help expectant mothers?

In B.C. you are very lucky if you have a family physician to care for you while you are pregnant. Many expectant mothers don’t have this privilege!

More and more physicians are opting out of maternity. Apparently we are in a crisis and it’s getting worse! What’s to be done? Who is responsible for this debacle?

Ross Ferguson


Victoria street network is Third World quality

I was recently doing some volunteer work in what is deemed by many to be a Third World country.

Sadly it is ravaged by hurricanes with a frequency that has the people in a constant state of repair and they are really having trouble keeping up. Some roads are almost impassable as they are filled with ruts, cracks and potholes big enough for dogs to sleep in.

When ever I found myself homesick for Victoria, I just focused on the roads and I was reminded of home.

C. Scott Stofer


More choices to be found outside of Victoria

I think it’s a great idea. Truly.

I’ve lived in Saanich all my life (69 years and counting) and I’ve seen Victoria change dramatically in those years.

Can anyone remember the X-crossing at Douglas and Yates? Or the good old roundabout at Gorge/Hillside/Douglas/Government? In spite of all those changes, some of which I still feel remorse, I have occasionally chosen to drive into Victoria to enjoy a restaurant or retailer’s offerings.

Now, thanks to Victoria council, I can stay home, leave my car parked in the driveway and save our carbon-choked environment. What a win-win!

Except, of course, for downtown businesses that will no longer benefit from my spending habits. On the upside, though, they can move to Saanich and be closer to my patronage.

Like I said, win-win. And I should be grateful for that.

T.L. Pedneault-Peasland


Huge carbon footprint from creating electricity

Re: “Heat pumps help the environment,” letter, April 20.

It’s the right idea, but it is far from the whole story. There is no argument that electrical consumption versus fossil fuels is more friendly to the environment but electricity generation is far from carbon free.

As most of B.C.’s electrical supply is generated by hydro (dams on river systems), the issues created by large dams like the Peace River Site C are numerous.

Issues such as the destruction of natural vegetation in the flooded valleys and resultant loss of carbon absorbing ecosystems and release of carbon from decaying vegetation, and the destruction of habitat for native species.

During the construction stage of the dams, which takes years, there is a very large contingent of construction equipment operating continuously, tens of thousands of tons of concrete are required for the critical components, thousands of pieces of equipment manufactured and transported to the site, upgrading or construction of new high voltage transmission systems, and the list goes on.

Electricity generation has a huge carbon footprint, even more so elsewhere in the world, so wipe the smug look of our faces and think about other ways to conserve as well as heat pumps.

Mike Wilkinson


Easing of mask rule good news for seniors

Re: “Mask rules in health-care facilities lifted,” April 8.

After three years, many seniors, their families and friends will once again be able to see and hear managers and staff of senior residences and care facilities.

Time to remove those masks, and get on with our remaining years. A most ­welcome decision.

Judith Hodgson



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