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Letters Feb. 5: More and more traffic; the Roundhouse decision; widen the highway, don't build a bridge

Traffic on Esquimalt Road at the Roundhouse site. TIMES COLONIST

All that construction will add more traffic

Just imagine what the already busy commuter connection Esquimalt Road will become when construction starts on the Roundhouse project.

I travel it daily and get stopped not only by ongoing construction but also by the four traffic lights within a quarter-mile stretch.

The Roundhouse construction will make Esquimalt Road the road from hell for a long time.

C. Scott Stofer


Thanks for voting against the Roundhouse

Thank you, Victoria councillors Marg Gardiner and Stephen Hammond, for voting against the massive Roundhouse development that is so inappropriate for the neighbourhood and the site, contrary to both official community and neighbourhood plans and that delivers a paltry 215 affordable units of a total 1,870 units.

As for the mayor and the rest of council, shame on you for approving your own legacy project at the expense of hundreds of working families who can never afford to live in luxury condo towers, a heritage site that will be dwarfed, along with permanent shade and altered wind patterns in Vic West.

The vote itself, seven to two, was no surprise. It was a done deal and any hesitancy shown during deliberations was simple window dressing.

This makes me want to take an extra shower.

Beverley Bowes

Vic West

Canadian politicians are shallow in substance

We are all familiar with that trendy maxim of the past few decades that says something like, “It’s not just what you do that counts but what you appear to be doing.”

Well, we made believers of our politicians to the point where most are deeply accomplished in appearance, more shallow in substance.

And while politicians have been polishing the chrome, the wheels are coming off the undercarriage. Of note, the immigration minister seemed quite surprised recently when it was pointed out to him that the number of foreign students in the country had ballooned; when asked how many there were, he had no idea.

And heaven forbid we might have to rally our armed forces: we’re reducing our fighter squadrons because we can’t keep the vintage F-18s in the air; the “new” CH148 Cyclone helicopters have a one of a kind weapons system which is already obsolete and has no available replacement; and of the four submarines we bought from Britain in the late 1990s, two haven’t sailed in more than four years, and the other two continue to be so plagued with problems they can’t leave the dock without an armada of maintenance vessels in tow.

Other levels of government have fallen for the camera lens as well. Who thought double digit property taxes would ever pass muster!

We need the elected to first take care of business. Don’t worry about the chrome, just roll up your sleeves and tighten those wheel nuts, please.

Iain Donaldson


Forget the inlet bridge, widen the highway

Fairly regularly there are letters suggesting that a bridge across Saanich Inlet is the solution for the highway congestion through Goldstream Provincial Park.

The suggestion, at best, is pure fantasy. The Patricia Bay Highway is already near capacity and will get even busier with increased traffic from Saanich Peninsula and Sidney development, the airport and B.C. Ferries.

There is no access or public interest to construct a highway across the peninsula to a bridge over the inlet. It just won’t happen.

With the Island population reaching one million, it is ludicrous that the highways ministry has no plans to build a four-lane highway through the park.

The two-lane narrow and winding road is not only a huge bottleneck that seriously inconveniences thousands of drivers and slows emergency vehicles on a daily basis, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

In a natural disaster, as we saw on Highway 4 last summer, the highway could be closed for weeks, if not months, cutting off the capital region from the rest of the Island. People must demand that the provincial government immediately designs and constructs a new highway, perhaps even through the watershed.

We are living on borrowed time.

Tim Hackett

Brentwood Bay

Ministry employees need more support

The reorganization of the Ministry of Children and Family Development in the wake of the tragic deaths of young children seems to be overlooking the most important part of the problem.

Being a social worker for the MCFD is hard. The lives of children and families are at stake, and yet the workers are overloaded, and not able to give each family the time they need.

The stress levels are high, and there is the constant awareness that they cannot do enough with the time and resources at hand. Consequently, they become burnt out, and there is a high turnover.

The result of that turnover is that new workers come on board, are given a caseload which is already behind due to understaffing, and their frustration builds as they also are not able to adequately support the families in spite of their best intentions.

The pressure becomes too much, and they quit, and the cycle repeats.

All of the increased oversight in the world is not going to help if workers are not given the resources of time and programs to meet the needs of their clients.

Connie Masson


Heading for the ditch with drug policy

As sincere as the coroner might be in her concern for the welfare of the addicted, her insistence on pursuing the failed strategies of “safe supply” and “harm reduction” must be a disappointment to anyone motivated by common sense or fiscal responsibility.

Her own numbers show that the programs are not making a dent in the problem, while throwing fuel on the tax-dollar bonfire. And that’s before referencing the social degradation suffered by our neighbourhoods.

That is perhaps the greatest damage inflicted by the woke ideologues who have colonized our civic councils and other public institutions in recent years: they are incapable of recognizing their disasters in spite of the clearest evidence.

Whether it’s bike lanes or single-use plastic or natural gas, the countervailing evidence and unanticipated consequences can pile up year upon year without the slightest admission from the “progressive” theologians.

This is why it is crucial to keep them away from the controls to start with; once they get behind the wheel, we’re all headed for the ditch.

Michel Murray


Same equality message, five years later

Regarding the province appealing the B.C. Supreme Court injunction that temporarily blocked the law that bans drug use in most public spaces pending a constitutional challenge, about five years ago the Times Colonist printed my letter concerning the Charter of Rights and Freedom.

I wrote then, and continue to say, “some people are more equal than others.”

Len Herman


It’s OK to use wood for heat, it really is

Re: “Heat pump disappoints, so bring back logs,” letter, Jan. 29.

The letter writer who reactivated their old fireplace after their new heat pump couldn’t quite keep up with the January cold snap shouldn’t fret.

The wood they burned is both renewable and carbon neutral, a reality which many who oppose wood fireplaces conveniently forget.

For this reason, even if wood isn’t the most efficient way to generate heat, no one should suffer judgement from their neighbours for tending a wood fire during a couple of frigid mid-winter weeks, especially when a heat pump warms/cools their house for the other 50 weeks out of the year.

The effectiveness of our future energy economy depends on people having the flexibility to select from renewable energy sources of varying capacity and efficiency as need demands and as circumstances permit.

Rather than stepping back from the future, the letter-writer merely stepped around a temporary problem, briefly, for good reason, with intent to return to using their heat pump once weather permits. If all of us responded to circumstances as the letter-writer has, we wouldn’t have an energy crisis.

Let’s not throw out our babies with their bathwater just because the latter was heated over a wood fire.

Doug Stacey


Developers, show us your tax returns

Every time a developer cries economic hardship and is excused from providing amenities or tree protection or needs to add a couple of extra storeys to a project that has already been given a development permit, the public should be allowed to see their personal tax returns and statements of business activities.

I understand that profit is hard to achieve, but that is true for all businesses.

This is supposed to be the free enterprise system. Why are we pandering to this.

Why aren’t we subsidizing restaurants or hair salons as well. Frankly, the “development community” has as much to do with the housing crisis as anyone and they seem to be doing just fine to me.

If it is so bad, why are they falling all over themselves to get permits. When the development lobby convinced the Socreds (Liberals, BCU) to abolish rent controls in the 1980s, they said it would encourage the building of rentals. That never materialized.

Then one concession after the next and things just get worse, but this new plan is going to work?

If councils are just going to be rubber stamps for major projects and the province has taken over basic municipal zoning, why do we even need councils?

James Nadeau


Sports betting is a waste of money

Everyone is so concerned with the price of food, escalating rents, general inflation and the shortage of money for the middle class.

Why then are the NHL players wearing betting advertising stickers on their helmets, and the CBC news and every sporting event advertising sports betting.

An online betting forum? Seems like big business is preying on those with no money to spare and those desperate for money.

Shameful to allow this to happen, especially during family-watching times. Gambling is a waste of money and time, especially for the few of us left in the middle class!

Where has common sense gone?

Norman Slater


Find the true cost of public transportation

As much as we would like to have a public transportation system that is self-sustaining, that ship has sailed.

All the lucky people who ride at current rates are only kidding themselves that what they pay is fair. Not even close.

The real and true cost of this luxury is outrageous and needs some serious analysis.

We should take a long, educated look at this service, and then tell the users it is time to pay for what they get for peanuts.

John Logan



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