Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Letters July 25: Victoria could use a passenger-ferry service like Nanaimo's; accurate description of drug deaths; leashing dogs

Hullo? Come to Victoria as well as Nanaimo So jealous that it’s Nanaimo that will get Hullo passenger ferry service. We need a passenger ferry service as it’s getting clear that B.C.
Hullo’s new high-speed passenger ferries, Spuhéls and Sthuqi’ docked in Nanaimo. VANCOUVER ISLAND FERRY COMPANY

Hullo? Come to Victoria as well as Nanaimo

So jealous that it’s Nanaimo that will get Hullo passenger ferry service.

We need a passenger ferry service as it’s getting clear that B.C. Ferries is struggling with the volume of service for our unbelievable growth in ­travellers.

The chaos at the terminals on ­weekends is truly overwhelming staff.

And if the Inner Harbour in Victoria wants to keep out passenger ferries for some unknown reason, fine. Put it in ­Sidney or Swartz Bay.

All I can say is lucky, lucky Nanaimo residents — and brand new ferries, too!

Dorothy Pearson

Cordova Bay

Firefighters can’t just volunteer, need training

A recent letter asked how many ­protesters who participated in the Fairy Creek logging blockade are volunteering to fight the fires threatening our forests.

The letter writer of this succinct comment obviously has no idea what it takes to become a firefighter.

One can’t just “volunteer.” Years of specific training, requiring physical competence and being in a demanding dangerous work environment.

My son is one who has chosen this path. I respect his commitment to help our province in this season of worst fires ever! Honour them and the three who have lost their lives this season.

John Vanden Heuvel


An accurate description of the recent drug deaths

The B.C. Coroners Service has done us a favour by blaming the recent drug deaths on “the toxic, unregulated drug supply.” This is much more accurate than blaming the deaths on drug “overdoses.”

How would we feel if our beer and wine contained some poisonous chemicals?

We would be demanding that governments establish standards and testing for a safe supply of our drinks, including telling us the alcohol content of the products so we could avoid “overdosing.”

Even if we do overdose, the drinks themselves almost never kill us.

Why does the drug called “alcohol” get such careful support? Governments should establish similar standards and testing for a safe supply of other drugs. That should include indications of the drug potency so users can avoid overdosing,

David Stocks


We cut production, more Ukrainians die

Re: ‘Inconsequential’ theory is no longer valid,” letter, July 20.

The “tragedy of the commons,” cited in the letter is a favourite “old trope” of theorists seeking to direct public policy, particularly on energy/climate matters. Let’s examine how this theory works in the real world.

Canada is the fifth largest producer of natural gas. All of the larger four are engaged in maximizing their production.

One of those four is Russia, which uses its energy sales to finance its invasion of Ukraine. Any production that Canada foregoes will be happily made up by Vladimir Putin.

Therefore, Canada cutting back on production enables Putin to murder Ukrainian women and children, while doing absolutely zero to reduce carbon emissions.

Maybe the “tragedy of the commons” is the “old trope” that needs to be reconsidered.

As if that isn’t enough, natural gas production by Canada helps reduce emissions when it replaces fuels such as coal that emit more carbon per energy — a “scientific fact” that has escaped the geniuses that direct our national energy policy.

Michel Murray


Natural wildlife areas need dogs to be leashed

I live near Rithet’s Bog and walk there every day with my dogs.

For years I have mentioned to dog owners with off-leash dogs saying that there is signage at entrances that dogs must be on leash and on the trail. This is because this park is a natural area for birds and wildlife.

I have witnessed dogs chasing ducks many times. Most replies are “oh my dog is under my control” or one instance “it’s none of your business.”

As there have been cougar sightings in the bog over the years, that is one more reason to leash up your dog.

Vicki Berry


Drug users need compassionate help

Re: “A four-point plan to ease the suffering on our streets,” commentary, July 20.

We just came from a two-week boating trip all through the San Juans and Kitsap County as far down as Gig Harbour. What we noticed was so refreshing: Hardly any homelessness and no crime or unsafe feelings anywhere, not even Bremerton, nor Seattle, where we walked all about.

Our street-challenged folk don’t need any more free drugs at harm reduction sites and relaxed laws allowing freedom to carry more drugs.

They need to be properly cared for in friendly housing that provides food, compassionate daily assistance with 24-hour care, including medical.

If an individual is able to be in rehab or counselling, and substance free long enough, they can make clearer decisions about their future. They will likely learn to love and appreciate their new life and housing opportunities.

Aiding in continued street drug use is not the solution and is so very obvious here. There are way more available street drugs in the unmonitored government housing than in the streets. So very sad!

Drugs is not their initial problem, and I believe our province has created the greatest “enable” programs here along with so many other social problems.

Sherrie Boyte


We have a plan, so let’s make it work

Re: “A four-point plan to ease the suffering on our streets,” commentary, July 20.

Not only is this a call to action, this is a well-laid-out plan to execute that action. As former prime minister Jean Chrétien said, “we have the plan and we can make it work!”

Governments (local, provincial, federal) you have been given “the plan” —now make it work!

Dawn Devereaux


A positive proposal to fix the problem

Re: “A four-point plan to ease the suffering on our streets,” commentary, July 20.

I commend Julian Daly and Nathan Medd in collaborating and proposing a well-­considered plan based on their collective and long experience with the misery experienced on Pandora Avenue.

As president of Victoria Conservatory of Music from 2003-2008, I am aware of the efforts that have been made to resolve these miserable conditions for the past 20 years.

This plan needs to be taken seriously by Victoria council, the provincial government and federal government agencies to “come forward, bring the key players together … and provide the necessary resources and support, and give a deadline to make this plan happen.”

There is an opportunity to use this situation, engaging the various bureaucracies, as a pilot project to “cut through the barriers to action and get it done.”

As an architect who was involved in three panel discussions on housing the homeless, available on Shaw’s Spotlight series, I can assure everyone that we architects are distressed by our inability to relieve these unacceptable urban conditions.

The conservatory will celebrate 25 years of operating at Pandora this year.

That’s 25 years of providing music education. About 4,000 students are currently registered. In 2003 the registration was 2,100 students.

In 2024 VCM will celebrate 50 years of fostering music in this community.

Is it possible that, to celebrate this 50th anniversary, positive steps can be taken immediately to get something done?

Enough, is indeed, Enough. There is a will. There is a way. This plan makes a positive proposal to start the process.

It should be adopted and proceeded with ASAP.

Terence Williams


Mentally ill need help after they leave jail

Re: “A four-point plan to ease the suffering on our streets,” commentary, July 20.

My severely mentally ill son died, homeless, in May.

In addition to the four points:

Immediately, create a pathway to supported housing for the mentally ill exiting jail. Wilkinson Road jail’s medical unit represents the closest thing to a dedicated hospital for the mentally ill that we will see for some time.

It provides the structured treatment, shelter, support and safety required to stabilize the more extreme cases of illness.

To ensure continuity of care, allow/require that medical staff there communicate with those providing support to the person after they exit jail.

Also, stop the cycle. Enforce the orders that require the released to take all necessary steps to care for their mental health. Stop stabilizing people in jail, and then releasing them without support or housing, except for “curfews” that force them into the shadows where they are most vulnerable.

One of the pathways to housing should include providing their family members with sufficient support to keep the ill but loved one at home.

There are no words to express the heartbreak of having to decide between your child’s safety, and your own.

Chalcea Malec


A business-like plan that should be used

Re: “A four-point plan to ease the suffering on our streets,” commentary, July 20.

I am a retired businessman and like to approach problems in a businesslike manner, complete with timetable. I am impressed by the proposed plan to ease the suffering on our streets.

Even more so because it is written by people who know what they are talking about.

I hope the government will accept it and put it into motion. I know this will not be easy, as politicians are not noted for doing things in a businesslike manner, as shown in their efforts to provide affordable and subsidized housing.

Good luck to Julian Daly and Nathan Medd.

Vince Devries


Heartfelt thanks for the cycling network

As a regular user of Victoria’s 32-kilometre all ages and abilities cycling network, I offer a differing view of the value and worth of this service to citizens, which is contrary to what one letter writer calls “a one-sided approach where the needs of drivers and pedestrians take a back seat.”

I greatly appreciate the very minimal 12 per cent of roadways in Victoria’s 258-kilometre transportation network that are outfitted with measures that continue to accommodate automobile traffic but also make it safe for me to move around on my bicycle.

I do not consider the extra protection of a dedicated bike lane with a concrete buffer a “monstrosity.” To me it is a thing of beauty separating me from the two-ton vehicles whizzing by.

Roadways that provide equitable access and safety for cyclists are what got me on a bike. And I am a fitter citizen who is less burdensome on the health-care system, and I have reduced my greenhouse gas emissions from keeping my two tons parked more often.

Joanne Thibault


Language of the past in today’s bike debate

With sadness I read the language of the past being used by fellow Oak Bay residents about bike lanes. Their comments speak to a primitive time that our country and the world has left behind.

I am an Oak Bay cyclist who applauds the work done by other municipalities and encourages Oak Bay to make good on their council priority, which is stated on the council agenda.

Transportation is listed as a council priority: “Advance low and no carbon, accessible and active transportation.”

Yet, if one examines the budget, from 2016-2022, Oak Bay spent more than $350,000, which includes a 50 per cent grant, on deer management protection. That is 100 per cent more than the district spent on cycle/low carbon transportation.

I am proud to cycle once a month with a significant number of Oak Bay riders requesting that our local government support with dollars safe cycling for all ages and abilities.

Connie McCann

Oak Bay

Misplaced outrage over longshore pay

Re: “Longshore remuneration is already healthy,” letter, July 20.

The letter expressed resentment over longshore workers’ pay and demanded that “this greed has to stop.”

As evidence, the letter claimed that a longshore worker today earns “$157,600 in your first year and a six per cent increase in your next year!”

According to a May 17 City News report, “the latest numbers from ­ show there has been a year-over-year 14.7 per cent increase in prices. It says a one-bedroom suite in the city is going for $2,787 a month and a two-bedroom is going for $3,741 a month. Vancouver is the most expensive city for renters in all of Canada, according to these numbers.”

To be “affordable,” then, a two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver requires a monthly income of at least $8,361 (three times the monthly rent). Yearly, this amounts to $100,332.

This leaves the longshore worker in question $4,772 per month to pay his or her taxes, save for summer vacation, buy the kids clothes and necessities, put food on the table, go out to eat, and in general do all the things that individuals renting out apartments for $44,892 per year (12 times $3,741 per month) do with the loot they extract from the productive economy.

Bill Appledorf



• Email letters to: [email protected]

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.