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Letters June 10: Smashed car windows at parkades; a way to keep ferry buffet; building enough housing

A parkade in downtown Victoria. TIMES COLONIST

Be prepared for smashed car windows at parkades

Multiple car windows were smashed while parked at the city’s Broughton Street Parkade. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be atypical and parking in any parkade is at the driver’s own risk.

Here are a few things readers may not know and which they should be aware of:

1. Despite the increase in crime, especially vandalism, the city still has not installed security cameras on most levels of the parkade. Allegedly the ceilings are too low for cameras.

2. Despite this not being a rare event, parkade security has no access to basic things which may assist driver’s returning to their vehicle to discover this kind of vandalism.

They cannot even provide access to a broom to help remove broken glass from a vehicle. Drivers may want to keep things like a pair of work gloves or closed-toed shoes in their car in case they need to deal with this type of vandalism before trying to drive home.

For the rainy season, some strong plastic and tape may be useful. Just hope those things aren’t what gets stolen out of your vehicle.

3. If you have more than one window smashed, you can’t use ICBC’s speedy glass repair option.

4. If you ask about assistance, police will suggest you call BCAA, if you’re a member. (Police will not attend the scene, even when multiple cars are affected, given there is no camera in the parkade unless there is a witness.) BCAA’s only offered option was to tow the vehicle.

Christina Drake


Let private business run the ferries buffets

Rather than close down and abandon the Pacific Buffet on B.C. Ferries, which was one of the highlights of the trip, with excellent food and the best scenery in the world, I suggest it be put out for tender to a private restaurant to see if they could run it profitably before permanently shutting it down.

Definitely part of the tourist attraction that brings people to B.C.

Peter M. Clarke


What our ferries need: A handy corner store

In 2006, I sent a suggestion to then president David Hahn that a “B.C. Ferry Corner Store” might be a useful addition, saving home-bound travellers from ­having to grocery shop at the end of a long journey.

They could spend some of the time aboard the ferry picking up fresh milk, bread, eggs, etc.

Perhaps Thrifty Foods, Save-on or Fairway would like to participate.

Hahn graciously replied that “although the time was not right, many good marketing concepts are a matter of timing.”

Looks like there might now be space for one, where the Pacific Buffet used to be.

Liz Wharf


Respect the glorious Earth, or risk losing it

Forest fires and more forest fires, and hardly ever are the wildlife species who depend on them for their very survival mentioned in the news. Along with people losing their livelihoods, we must not forget about all the other species that are being severely impacted either by being burned up or displaced as well.

The horrific forest fires in Australia are a prime example, with many species lost there. As it is, humans are destroying so much of the Earth’s natural habitats.

And then when these beautiful species have nowhere else to go and encroach too close to suburbia looking for new homes or food to eat, they are many times shot for doing so.

Time to respect this glorious Earth before it’s too late and becomes a very stark and unhealthy place for anything to survive, including ourselves.

Anne Forbes


Many questions about North Saanich severance

On what basis was an estimated $300,000 severance given to the chief administrative officer of North Saanich? When will the taxpayer see the benefit of that extremely expensive decision?

What has to be cut in the current budget to pay for this unforeseen expense? Will a new CAO also be offered a salary of about $175,000?

How much is the new Official Community Plan expected to cost taxpayers in addition to the estimated $400,000 already spent on the first version? When will it be completed?

Is there an up-to-date bylaw that expressly delegates administrative authority to the CAO? Does council orientation emphasize and allow discussion of the governance responsibilities of council, delegated authority to the CAO, and the relationship between council and management in the council orientation materials?

When was the last time North Saanich conducted a third-party governance review of its operations?

There have been several staff changes, and resignation of a CAO and a councillor since the municipal election in October 2022.

Local taxpayers should ask questions of their mayor and council. All taxpayers in the region, particularly those who use the airport and ferry terminal, should also be asking questions.

Stan Bartlett


Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria

Key points overlooked in housing discussion

I’ve read many letters to the editor lately about the housing/development situation in Victoria but a few key points have been ignored.

Firstly, some have disparaged developers for only being interested in making a profit and will happily throw the baby out with the bathwater over this when the profit motive has been instrumental in the invention, innovation and development of almost everything we have today so there’s nothing odious about it because, without the profit motive, we would probably still be living in caves and hunting for food.

Secondly, some have claimed that high house prices in Victoria are all the proof they need that all the development we see doesn’t help lower the price of housing, but I’m pretty sure that, without all the development, the cost of housing would be even higher but unfortunately many people have limited perspectives and can’t see that.

All the development is a big part of the reason Victoria has a very low unemployment rate as well.

Finally, what are we to do with the 6,000 or so people that move here every year? Just tell them to go somewhere else because they’re not welcome here? Nobody mentions that.

Until we build an impenetrable ­fortress hostile to all outsiders, people will keep moving here.

Carew Martin


Why do we hold municipal elections?

The provincial government has played a card that trumps our municipal elected officials, taking power away from council and leaving the public in the dark and without any input.

During the pandemic, a lot of policies were changed without the knowledge of the public. We were too busy trying to stay alive, not focused on the changes being made to provincial and municipal policy.

I applaud the mayor of View Royal for taking a stand to protect the ­public’s interest. Finally, someone thinking ­outside of the box to address all the ­confusion and conflict of interest when our elected officials do not represent their constituents.

The process sees public hearings waived on just about every controversial development application that has created a conflict of interest and unrest in various communities/neighbourhoods in Saanich.

The confusion over the changes to Saanich’s 2008 OCP is also a tool being used to manipulate the process and the public.

How can planning staff repeatedly tell council the application complies with the OCP?

How is it possible for council to approve a development application, that is highly contentious, conclude that the application complies with the OCP?

Is Saanich council using the 2008 OCP, or the new draft OCP? Not much time for Saanich residents to research all the amendments initiated by staff starting in 2020, during the pandemic.

I hope the region can hit the pause button for the public to catch up to all the changes and revisions on policies changed during the pandemic.

Deborah Dickson


Well, now we know who tweaked the report

Apparently, the polling in “the local report” on police school liaisons, was ­gerrymandered by an inordinately ­petulant, contumacious and ­oppositional defiant group of Grade 1s who ­convinced kindergarteners, their naïve ­subordinates, to follow suit.

At least that’s what the decision would suggest.

Bill Carere



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