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Letters July 5: A tribute in Parliament that didn't make sense; dumb ideas for Centennial Square

The giant sequoia in Centennial Square next to Victoria City Hall. It could be cut down. DARREN STONE, TIME COLONIST

Disconnect from MPs makes one less proud

Maybe it’s just me but although it was nice to see so many people out waving the national flag and enjoying the local Canada Day festivities, it was disheartening to read the results of a recent Ipsos poll. It reported that 70% of those polled felt that Canada was “broken” (including almost 80% in the under 35 age cohort); as well, a concerning 35% felt less proud to be Canadian, which was a significant increase from five years ago when only about one in five felt less proud.

Curiously, before the summer recess, a moment of silence was held in the House of Commons for a Canadian Sikh activist who was assassinated on Canadian soil about a year ago.

The deceased was a Canadian citizen who had reportedly entered Canada using a forged passport under an assumed name and identity. The government of India accused him of being a terrorist.

The deceased was head of a Sikh temple which displayed portraits of Sikh “martyrs,” including one of the alleged masterminds (according to Canadian inquiries) of the June 1985 Air India Flight 182 bombing where more than 300 lives were lost, including 280 Canadians.

Shamefully, however, before their summer break, the same MPs did not honour the Air India victims with a moment of silence. I suggest something is irreparably “broken” in our House of Commons. Our MPs need to give their heads a vigorous shake!

Of course, the Ipsos poll results and the puzzling moment of silence in our Parliament are not directly related. Yet, I know that had I been polled, I too would be in the “less proud” cohort. And for good reason.

But maybe it’s just me.

Gordon Zawaski


Keep that sequoia, lose that city hall

The tree in Centennial Square must be saved at all costs!

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that City Hall” … but don’t you dare touch that sequoia.

The dilapidated city hall building is quite unattractive and has never had, truly, any architectural or historic merit. The tree has a positive history and is a beautiful, living thing.

Dick Rennie


Downtown splash pad is a dumb idea

Apparently, the people employed by the City of Victoria to present a plan for Centennial Square think that Victoria is a magical land with no bad weather and no homeless people.

I have lived here for 22 years. I am an avid fan of festivals and have attended scores of festivals at ­Centennial Square, Ship Point, and ­elsewhere in the city.

Centennial Square has worked just fine for festivals; it just needs more shade. That said, Centennial Square is not the place to put a splash pad.

It would be a wonderful addition to the long-promised Ship Point redevelopment or Pollen Park or maybe even the new park proposed for Blanshard Street.

It will be useful, at most, for a couple of months of the year.

What are the plans for the unhoused people who spend their days in the square, exactly? No mention. I guess they just vanish?

Parents will not drive downtown and pay to park so their kids can play in the very busy middle of the city when they can go to Beacon Hill Park or to Esquimalt’s excellent water play facility.

Council should reject this plan and get working on the Ship Point and Pollen Park redevelopment projects and on rehousing the unhomed visitors to the square. Maybe spend a few bucks on cleaning up so the city will stop looking like a slum?

Rather than continuing to come up more with fanciful plans, let’s see the city fulfil their past promises.

G.J. Robertson


Sequoia should be saved as our climate changes

As with many others who have had their opinion published on the plan for Centennial Square redesign I disagree with cutting down the beautiful sequoia and I totally disagree with the interactive water feature for the same reasons others have expressed and I’ll add one more: with climate change advancing and longer periods of drought to look forward to this is a waste of a precious non-renewable and life-sustaining resource.

Lorna Hillman


Creating a class divide in our province

Re: “Entitlement shown in Oak Bay letter,” letter, July 2.

The letter despising the thought that Oak Bay should retain its original character confirms to me that Premier David Eby is attempting to create a class war in this province.

And it is gaining traction.

John L. Krysa

Oak Bay

There will be enough electricity

Re: “We won’t have enough electricity for all those EVs,” commentary, June 30.

Yes, we will have enough electricity as EV adoption continues to ramp up.

Very disappointing to see how Gwyn Morgan is wasting his considerable intellect on continuing to shill for the oil and gas industry by repeatedly spewing simplistic misinformation against all efforts to implement climate change solutions.

Does he really think the rest of us are too dim to deal with the usual list of cherry-picked challenges he and others continue to insist are insurmountable?

There are many very bright minds working the problems while trying to keep Canada from continuing to sleepwalk into economic disaster while the traditional energy industries fall apart due to the rapidly growing renewables industry.

All of his negative points have multiple, credible and workable solutions.

The oil and gas crowd aren’t nearly as smart as they would like us to believe, and are certainly not our friends — as we try to find ways to prevent the taxpayers of the world from having to shoulder the unfunded clean-up costs they are already walking (soon to be running) away from.

Roy Collver

Qualicum Beach

Get out and explore what B.C. has to offer

A recent 2½ week circle trip through parts of B.C. reinforced how ­culturally and visually beautiful our province is.

Unfortunately, many British Columbians know little of their province beyond the South Island and Lower Mainland.

Our journey took us through the Fraser Canyon and then on to Logan Lake, Quesnel, Vanderhoof (geographic centre of B.C.), Smithers and Prince Rupert before venturing to Haida Gwaii for the first time.

The return was through the Inside Passage via B.C. Ferries, ending with a drive from Port Hardy to Victoria.

Along the way we visited amazing First Nations museums (Prince Rupert and Skidegate), a restored fish cannery (Port Edwards), a wonderful little logging museum (Port Clements) one of the largest open pit copper mines in B.C. (Logan Lake), strolled a magnificent riverside walkway (Quesnel) and walked sandy beaches near Masset and Port Hardy.

And everywhere there were kilometres-long freight trains — an unfamiliar sight for Island dwellers.

Aside from the different scenery, you would hardly know you were in B.C. most of the time. Difficult weather, long distances between towns, communities dependent on fragile rural industries and a struggling tax base, wildfire anxiety, feeling disconnected from the southern portion of the province with its “more important” problems, are possible factors for why people in the north may see themselves and the province differently.

Look at a map of the province and realize how large and diverse it is. Pick a location and promise yourself a visit there — Port Hardy would be a convenient start as it’s handy and has so much to offer.

Don’t begrudge rural areas appealing for a better share of the tax dollar and services which we perhaps, unknowingly, over-consume in our urban areas.

Arnie Campbell


LNG helps province pay for those services

The LNG project in Kitimat has 9,000 employees, all at union wages. When the gas plant begins operation, ­employees will still be needed to operate the plant. These jobs will also be union jobs.

Another LNG project is to begin in Woodfibre, and will employ more than 600 workers during construction, again at union wages.

Also when the plant begins operation, employees will be needed to operate the gas plant.

The B.C. government receives royalties from these LNG gas plants. Remember, in reality taxpayers are the government.

B.C. taxpayers received $684 million in royalties from LNG via government in 2023.

It is forecasted that the royalties received in 2027 will be $1.43 billion per year.

What LNG means is more money flowing to the province making funds available for public services, and facilities such as health care, hospitals, education, and schools.

Joe Sawchuk


Nature offers a limit on building height

As we humans attempt to find common ground in reconciling our differences with the natural environment, why not let nature have a say in determining the height of residential buildings?

No residential building should exceed the height of the adjacent tree-line. ­Generally speaking, this means four storeys.

An exception may be allowed for buildings below or on the side of a hill, assuming sufficient adjacent tree cover. This should never exceed six storeys. Problem solved.

Tom Masters



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