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Letters Dec. 8: V2V ferry a West Shore transport option; empathy training a game-changer in educating youth

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The V2V Empress catamaran, docked near the CPR Steamship Terminal building at the Inner Harbour, is listed for sale at $4.8 million US. It has been nearly two years since Riverside Marine pulled the plug on its V2V Vacations passenger ferry service between Victoria and Vancouver. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Think Royal Bay, V2V for a commuting solution

Imagine moving up to 242 ferry passengers from Royal Bay to downtown Victoria at a time.

Three high-speed return trips daily could move more than 700 passengers each way, economically and efficiently.

What an amazing impact this could have on the daily one- or two-hour Colwood crawl.

For years, the Seabus has moved thousands of passengers across Burrard Inlet daily. It is more important than ever to those growing numbers of passengers.

Further, imagine if B.C. Ferries and the provincial government invested $4.8 million for the V2V Empress catamaran, and built a temporary walk-on dock at Royal Bay.

Coupled with a Colwood, Langford and Sooke shuttle bus service to Royal Bay, it would provide urgently needed mass transportation, conveniently and economically.

And imagine the positive impact this would have on our all-important carbon footprint!

The obvious positive impact of reducing motor vehicle congestion, making it possible for cyclists and pedestrians, to safely navigate Victoria streets would be immense.

It is, however, silly of me to think provincial and local politicians who spend hundreds of millions on making it easier to move more vehicles into the already overcrowded city, would see the benefits of such a simple, economical and readily available solution.

Stephen Nielsen
Victoria

Respect one another for a better society

Re: “Kids need empathy training in school so they don’t turn into ‘me first’ adults,” column, Dec. 5.

Geoff Johnson highlights the essential elements of how Roots of Empathy uses a neighbourhood baby to become a “tiny teacher” in a classroom and provide children a chance to become emotionally literate, experience self-control, express feelings and learn to appreciate the perspective of others.

It is research-based and demonstrates how children in a Roots of Empathy classroom show a marked decrease in aggressive behaviours like bullying and an increase in pro-social behaviours like sharing, taking turns and understanding the feelings of others.

In the Duncan School District, Roots of Empathy is providing a Recovery Program, especially tailored to COVID circumstances and distanced learning, in several local classrooms. Although the babies cannot be in the classrooms, they are virtually present and giving children the opportunity to articulate their feelings as they begin to understand how the babies are expressing theirs.

This is a program that deserves government funding, provided by the Liberal government, but cancelled by the NDP since they have been in power. It is indeed a true example of learning to respect one another’s feelings and creating a civil society.

Nancy Buan
Mill Bay

Return of cruise ships is not worth the cost

The so-called great news for Victoria, as proclaimed by the CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, is that 300-plus cruise ships will visit Ogden Point from April to November 2022.

This “good” news includes that within the timespan of six months about 750,000 travellers coming from all over the world will swarm our city. With these announcements also comes the “good” tiding that GVHA will rake in millions if not billions of dollars over these few months next year.

Are we that desperate for money? What about the cost of hospital care for COVID patients, who will be infected by all these travellers?

What about our nurses who already are overworked and exhausted? The federal government has mandated GVHA with the task of maintaining all of Victoria’s harbour areas.

I wonder how many of these millions or billions of dollars GVHA expects to make will actually drizzle into our coffers for maintenance of our harbour region and/or our city.

GVHA promises many local jobs when the cruise ships will dock here. Where will these workers come from? The workforce at this moment is in very great demand.

A wonderful side effect of this shortage is that hourly wages have shot up to $22 per hour. Stores are begging for clerks, restaurants are begging for servers, construction projects are delayed because of, you guessed it, not enough workers.

Cruise ships will only make the shortage of workers more severe.

I say no to cruise ships touching our crystal-clear waters until COVID is over and until more safety procedures such as shore power and pollution control have been put into place.

Ada Serson
James Bay

Time to increase our water storage capacity

A recent letter regarding Victoria’s reservoir in Sooke left me wondering about the possible need to increase the storage capacity and perhaps even the number of water reservoirs here on the Island and perhaps throughout British Columbia.

It appears to be a given that global climate change has resulted in an increased risk of summertime droughts and the extreme rainfall events that we all have just lived through.

It would seem to me that part of any climate change mitigation strategy should also include not just the ability to store more water for dry times, but to also have more space for the rain and snowfall runoff to collect for future use.

A reduction in the costly damage to infrastructure caused by extreme volumes of unchecked water might also negate the need for future disruptive and expensive repairs and rerouting of major transportation corridors.

I would suggest that this idea is a classic case of paying a bunch of money now for something versus paying a heck of a lot more later if we fail to act.

Len Dafoe
Nanoose Bay

Maybe it’s better to stay at home

Re: “Add your display to the 2021 Times Colonist Christmas Lights Map,” Dec. 6.

This sends the wrong message. We are supposed to be in the middle of a climate emergency. Is encouraging people to put up extravagant Christmas lights, and then encouraging other people to drive around viewing them, really the behaviour that is going to reduce our energy use?

Sure it’s easiest to continue in our old wasteful ways, but that will only make the climate emergency worse. If this is the behaviour the Times Colonist encourages, it seems you and society have failed to understand the problem.

S.I. Petersen
Nanaimo

Maybe Santa cares about climate change

In 1998, Victoria’s Santa Claus parade switched from a daytime event to a nighttime lighted parade. This past Saturday night’s energy-consumption extravaganza coincided with an atmospheric river thought to be associated with human-made climate change.

Maybe we should consider switching back to a non-illuminated daytime parade, so our children learn about conservation, along with all the Santa-fuelled consumerism.

Bruce Chambers
Victoria

Saanich Inlet gondola might be the solution

As a Malahat alternative solution, we could build a gondola across the Saanich Inlet with a constant rotation of pods transporting people across the arm efficiently.

This would require plenty of space for a base station and parking lot on either side of the inlet. On the peninsula side, there’s an empty lot directly east of the airport on either side of Willingdon Road.

On the Mill Bay side, there is a large vacant lot alongside the Malahat just south of Frayne Road.

A base station next to the airport would be massively beneficial; people could gondola directly to the airport or take a simple transfer to reach the ferries. Transportation network improvements would be relatively minor as both stations are already along hearty infrastructure.

Gondolas exist all over the world, spanning impressive distances (up to 7.4 kilometres). The longest cable-free span is in Whistler (2.8 km). The support towers could be few and far between, resulting in a relatively low impact to the affected communities and to the inlet itself.

A gondola provides an excellent tourist attraction that could actually provide income to recoup project costs. Think about all the gorgeous views to take in whilst suspended over the ocean, or even a misty sunrise over Mount Baker during an early morning commute.

This tourism aspect would complement the Malahat Skywalk nicely and open a network for walk-on ferry passengers to easily make their way to the lookout.

I’m a prime example of a Malahat commuter. Living in Cobble Hill, I commute it six days a week. A bridge is expensive and high impact, a train is neat but infrequent, so is the ferry.

Buses are not a solution in an emergency or highway shutdown. The only thing that would get me out of my car to commute would be a reliable, timely, high frequency solution.

A constant rotation of pods transporting commuters across the inlet quickly and reliably would be a convenient solution to the Malahat woes.

Dorian Redden
Cobble Hill

Not sure? Just call that person ‘it’

Enough already on the debate surrounding correct pronouns for the non-binary, gender-transitioning. Don’t we have bigger problems to solve then to commit huge resources to study this recently created crisis?

At the risk of identifying myself as being at the lower end of the intellectual spectrum, I will continue to refer to someone who looks male as “he” and someone who looks female as “‘she.” If I’m not sure, I could always use the word “it.”

Martin Whiteley
Ladysmith

Humanity can learn from nature

I believe that it is best for people to covet their own niche in the world, whether it be big or small. Humanity can learn a bit from nature. I doubt that animals get jealous of the roles that other animals have.

By developing a bit of soul sense and being a bit patient I believe we can all gravitate to our own ideal and helpful niche in society.

Sean Murray
Victoria

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