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Letters Jan. 12: Protests paving road to perdition; we need real leadership on coronavirus

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Save Old Growth protesters block the street on Monday on Douglas at Burnside in Victoria. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Extinction Rebellion ignores the contradiction

It is tempting to react with anger as a few Vancouver Islanders break the law to announce their objections to certain types of logging practices and fear of climate catastrophe.

And as with toddlers, the adults in the room must respond with patience and logic. Otherwise, as any parent knows, chaos ensues, the toddler rules, and never becomes a thinking, decent, moral adult.

Extinction Rebellion, a nihilistic group with worldwide branches following on the best of corporatist theory, are clearly driven by the immoral dictum that the ends justify the means; though they won’t say so directly. They are, in short, prepared to sacrifice civil society to achieve their goals.

OK, Extinction Rebellion saves nature, but humanity descends into that notorious Hobbesian existence that is “nasty, brutish, and short.” Maybe Extinction Rebellion members are OK with that, the rest of us not so much.

Lost on the immature and unthinking Extinction Rebellion lawbreakers, who counter that all other efforts to address the climate crisis have failed, is the contradiction that the action they demand can only happen as long as the rule of law is upheld.

If anything got us into this climate crisis, it is an unthinking and unbounded greed that departs from civilized behaviour. Interfering with the lawful enjoyment of the roadway is also a marked departure from civilized behaviour: The sophistry of Extinction Rebellion is the obverse of those who have mindlessly exploitated nature for profit.

One has led to the climate crisis, the other leads to a violent and disordered society. Lots of us are angry and afraid. Extinction Rebellion, as it exploits that anger and fear, is only paving the road to perdition it falsely claims to want to avoid.

Paul Walton
Nanaimo

We’re a laughing stock because of the protests

After visiting B.C., it is incredible the amount of protests that are allowed and disrupt the everyday travel of people. The police stand around and do nothing.

Do they realize they are breaking the law and causing more environmental damage by blocking traffic as hundreds of cars idle? Why doesn’t someone play hardball with these idiots?

At least here in Alberta the public doesn’t put up with this and has a law on the books to stop this insanity. Everyone I talk to just laughs at B.C. and their lack of law.

If B.C. continues this way, they might as well turn the province over to the protesters. No wonder businesses don’t want to invest in B.C.

Alan McGregor
Fort McMurray, Alta.

Waiting for leaders to lead on COVID

In October, it was reported the provincial government and Dr. Bonnie Henry were urging public and private employers to mandate vaccinations in the workplace.

Before Christmas, Henry said everyone was likely to get exposed to the Omicron variant. Last week, Henry ordered all B.C. businesses to have COVID-19 safety plans, employees to work at home where possible and practise physical distancing.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said he expects the country to reach a time in the COVID-19 pandemic when provinces should consider implementing a broader vaccine mandate to counter rising cases, saying: “The only way to get through COVID-19, this variant and any future variant, is through vaccination.” So what’s the holdup?

The Times Colonist reported Ecuador announced the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory except for medical justification, and Italy will fine anyone 50 years of age or older who remains unvaccinated after Feb 1.

Vaccinations are required for certain diseases to attend school or to travel to some countries. The United States military administers 17 different vaccines to service members, and the Canadian military also requires many vaccinations.

COVID-19 patients are filling our hospitals, bumping surgeries; and recent modelling by the B.C. Independent Modelling Group says under “the most likely scenario, more than 2,000 patients would land in B.C.’s ICUs over the coming weeks, approaching triple the capacity of the province’s hospitals.”

We know vaccination is required to defeat this disease. When will our leaders lead?

Wayne Cox
Saanichton

Return of classes at Camosun College

As a student at Camosun College, my experience has been incredible. The professors have been approachable, accommodating and helped me process the path forward.

However, I find that Camosun management is reactionary rather than proactive about the pandemic. I believe we should move classes online for at least a couple of weeks. Why?

Classroom sizes have not changed, and nobody is social distancing.

Classrooms allow people to have a mask of any type. People have ski masks, buffs, cloth masks, surgical masks and N95s.

The cafeteria is the only inside space where you can take off your mask, and they do not check vaccines.

Students have different levels of caution, and who knows who they live with and how that may impact them.

Students who are sick are expected to isolate. This can impact learning as professors have different ways of providing material for students to help promote learning. Students may be told to find notes from someone else in class.

Also, this can impact examinations depending on when you start isolating. It might change the schedule, pushing more exams together or forcing you to take the exam the following semester.

Starting classes online and moving examinations online would help. We can find ways to prevent cheating on online exams.

Some courses need to be hands-on, but most of the general arts and science courses do not.

Isaac Kool
Victoria

Immigration driving home prices higher

Following the recent reports of yet more huge increases in property prices, it’s long since time that Canadians started thinking about what could be done in the long term to deal with this issue.

One possibility is endless densification, where more and more tower blocks are put up, with them increasing relentlessly in height as well.

The problem is that although there seems to be a basic logic to this, where the more you build the lower the cost of property, the practical reality is that this just isn’t happening.

Take Vancouver for example, where there has been a huge amount of development in recent decades. Vancouver has some of the highest property prices in the world. In Victoria, with all of the new developments in recent years, why are property prices still so very high?

I suggest that for property prices to at least stabilize, the only measure that will make a significant difference is to greatly reduce immigration numbers.

The 2020 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration says that immigration accounts for over 80 per cent of Canada’s population growth. People have to live somewhere, so naturally property prices are pushed ever higher.

Before people write in and say that they are pro-immigration, if you are in favour of Canada accepting 400,000 immigrants each year, then how about 600,000? What about 800,000?

How do you decide what the numbers should be? I suggest that the numbers are already far too high and should be substantially reduced.

Matthew Cousins
Victoria

Reasons why another housing tax won’t work

Re: “Tax on $1M+ homes could make housing more affordable: report,” Jan. 7.

Having taken an introductory course in economics at university, this headline caught my eye as a new paradigm in economic thought. Imagine, making things more expensive actually makes things more affordable! Groundbreaking insight!

I don’t think so. In Victoria, if you own a home, you are a millionaire, on paper, anyway. You can’t spend it; it’s frozen within the walls and concrete. Have these “tax everything” people ever considered that it is the equity that is real, not the value of the property?

For most of us, there’s no way we can afford another property tax. The existing one is onerous enough, particularly in Victoria, where city council wants to give it away to people who don’t even live here.

Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Victoria, among others, have all reported record numbers of real estate sales, from which one could infer that record numbers of people do not find that prices exceed the values in these areas.

Canada invites more than 400,000 people to immigrate to this country every year, people who bring their life savings with them. They are presented with a situation where “This is what a house costs here,” and so go about finding a way to buy one.

When you have an ever-increasing number of people chasing an essentially static number of homes, the price goes up. That is the way the world works, and trying to force an artificial monkey wrench into the works will do nothing but exacerbate the problem.

That is Economics 101, and its truth is immutable.

David Hansen
Victoria

Make it costly to flip a house

Well, I see once again the “experts” have taken a swing at house prices and missed. The only way to stop rampant rises in prices is to take the profit out of flipping.

I have lived in my residence for 35 years. Now these “experts” think I should pay for that privilege.

A far better solution would be to institute a tax on the profit made from flipping, for example a house is bought and lived in for a short time, then resold at a profit.

I suggest that those profits made in less than one year be taxed at 90 per cent, 80 per cent in the second year and so on for a period of perhaps five years. Take the incentive of speculation out of the formula.

Here is another freebie for the Finance Department: Get rid of that irritating ****.9 at the pumps.

Clint L’Heureux
Nanaimo

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