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Letters June 18: Cruise-ship garbage should be banned; reducing waste begins with manufacturers

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An employee works at the Tymac facility at Ogden Point, where cruise ship garbage and materials are collected before going to the landfill. A letter-writer says we should stop accepting waste from cruise ships. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Stop the cruise ships from dumping any waste

Data show that the Hartland Landfill is having to contend with increased waste from Greater Victoria for a variety of reasons. Statistics for 2020 and 2021 do not include cruise ship waste, as there were no cruise ships during the past two years.

Cruise ships have historically added 2,100 tonnes to our landfill each year, and as they are now back in full force after a hiatus, we can expect dumping to resume.

Now the Capital Regional District wishes to charge the cruise ships higher dumping fees — perhaps as a deterrent or a money-maker, I do not know.

Surely part of the solution to preserving precious landfill space would be to ban the cruise ships from dumping anything, no matter what the cost.

Money does not make space.

Barbara Knight
Saanich

Reducing garbage starts with retailers

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins says “people have to start looking at their ­garbage.”

Well, I did look at my garbage, and it is full of unnecessary plastic wrap from producers and manufacturers. They sell their product, take their money and look the other way; meanwhile the consumer gets blamed for the waste.

Much of this waste cannot be avoided by the consumer. For example, my cucumbers are individually wrapped in plastic, then wrapped again as a package of three. My peppers are packaged in bags of six, my broccoli, cauliflower, apples, and nearly all produce is unnecessarily surrounded in plastic.

One large warehouse sells all of its produce in plastic packaging with barcodes because it does not have scales at the checkout.

On Jan. 1, France banned most plastic packaging on produce, shifting the responsibility of waste to the producer.

Desjardins claims the consumer needs to be educated about waste. I agree, but the producer of the waste needs to be regulated before it gets to us.

Don’t get me started on the waste of delivery packaging created by online shopping and restaurant takeout.

Kelly Nixon
Lantzville

Retroactive changes? Beware senior power

I see 23-year-old Saanich Coun. Zac de Vries wants the provincial government to retroactively force stratas to allow rental units to solve the housing crisis.

This is a novel approach, but he is missing a big part of this picture. I got married, bought a house and worked for 40 years while raising a family.

When I retired, I sold the house and bought a condo for a less challenging lifestyle with no yardwork or major upkeep projects. My building is mostly seniors who love the quiet we have to go about our lives.

While I love children (a child’s laughter is heaven and a child’s crying and screaming can be hell) I am not comfortable having someone tell me I could end up with young families above, below or beside me so my quiet life is gone.

I think a large number of stratas are mostly senior-occupied, and our chosen way of life is important to us. I have no issues with all-new strata construction allowing rentals, as knowing this allows a person to at least make an informed choice to live there.

If de Vries and other like-minded councillors push for retroactive changes, they should identify their stance on this issue so the “senior power” can show our displeasure at the ballot box in November.

Wayne Messer
Saanich

Economic benefits as we go renewable

Re: “Electric vehicles in Canada: Facts versus fantasy,” commentary, June 8.

Climate change is real. The march towards renewable/sustainable has begun globally. Sure, there will be bumps along the road, but the economic benefits will far outweigh the costs of mitigation.

The sun’s energy is free and ­infinite. Forward thinkers will be richly rewarded. Progress can’t be started in reverse, and the planet is not going to start spinning in the opposite direction just to satisfy someone’s outdated beliefs/ego.

Phil Smith
View Royal

To deal with guns, take aim at drug gangs

Re: “We must give this to get that,” letter, June 16.

By and large I agree, but I would like to point out a couple of things. Dogs can be trained and usually respond to their ­owner’s attitude. I have known pit bulls that are friendly and gentle. I have also known golden Labs which have become vicious.

It depends on their owners, who tend to buy dogs with the reputation they want and train them to be what they want them to be.

No legitimate hunter would ever use an AR-15 or need a high-capacity magazine. Drug gangs, however, love them. No legitimate gun owner would run around in public with a pistol. Drug gangs regularly use them. If you want to get guns off the street, aim at the people using them and also cut off their supply route.

I understand Iceland has the highest per-capita gun ownership in the world. It also has the lowest gun involved crime rate in the world.

What is the difference between them and us? No drug gangs allowed, they are stopped at the border.

Kerry Butler
Salt Spring Island

Ban other things, but leave guns alone

Why do people think if society takes ­firearms away from the law-abiding federally licensed gun owners, this is the solution to save lives and reduce crime?

Licensed gun owners have spent ­hundreds of dollars in training and ­undergone police background checks and foregone long waits to become licensed. They are not any problem concerning firearms and the safe storage of such.

Criminals who steal and smuggle firearms into Canada and use firearms in the commission of crimes are the problem.

In the United States they are trying to figure out how to stop mass shootings by introducing gun laws, when they should be asking why are we raising so many young men to become killers.

Why is our society so violent? Gun laws will never cure those problems.

If Canadians really want to reduce deaths in Canada by banning an object, ban cigarettes. An estimated 48,000 Canadians die each year as a result of smoking. Ban automobiles: 1,800 die each year in automobiles. Thousands more are injured.

Ban alcohol … 18,000 die per year due to alcohol.

Leave the law-abiding, fully licensed Canadians and their guns alone.

Dennis Sorensen
Brentwood Bay

Think electric and big with urban rail plan

There are many who feel that the E&N rail corridor should be restored for train transport as it existed up to 2011, but the economic viability of such a railway versus the cost of restoration has been a sticking point.

With societal aims to reduce road transport for efficiency and environmental reasons, we should be thinking about a larger plan to have an electric railway integrated with an urban surface rail system from Victoria to the western municipalities of Colwood, Langford, View Royal and Metchosin and perhaps later linked to Saanich, Central and North Saanich.

This plan may make it more economically feasible and would take advantage of the E&N land right of way, which, if given up, would be far too expensive to replace for future transportation needs.

Light-rail surface transport is commonly used in hundreds of cities around the world and cuts road congestion with a lower carbon footprint.

David Kinloch
Shawnigan Lake

New, densified visions for Cadboro Bay

I am a 31-year Cadboro Bay resident. I attended the Saanich planning department’s recent Cadboro Bay Local Area Plan (LAP) workshop. We were shown four visions of the future of the village, all providing for four- to eight-storey developments in a much expanded area, far beyond the village core.

Attendants were divided into 10 round-table groups and asked to “workshop” the four visions and offer comments. At no time was the existing draft LAP, completed last October following extensive consultation, offered as an option.

Saanich has chosen to ignore the wishes of the folks who live here. Those wishes were expressed in the October 2021 draft LAP, which called for densification that is gentle and low-rise, focussing on garden suites and in-house suites.

Saanich is willing to try to ram this new, radical and ill-thought out plan down our throats.

Saanich is kowtowing to developers who will leap at the chance to build four-, five- or six-storey structures to be sold to well-do-do folks coming here from other parts of Canada. None of the resulting ­living units will be low cost.

If Saanich moves forward with any version of the four choices presented to us, it will face a firestorm of opposition.

The cynic in me urges me to believe that this exercise is to be able to say steps have be taken to address the present (and in my opinion temporary) housing crisis, before the election this fall.

Cadboro Bay is just the first neighbourhood on the list. I urge all Saanich residents to realize that this sort of radical planning is coming soon to your neighbourhood. Press for answers. And remember all of this when you vote this fall.

Jerry Donaldson
Saanich

Forget the flyover, and the museum as well

Spending $77 million for the Keating flyover in times like we’re in is ludicrous. What about our failing medical system, loss of doctors, roads that are like cow trails and other more serious problems?

A simple stoplight that triggers after six or eight vehicles are waiting to turn left would be far more logical, at least for the distant future, and free up millions for more important things.

I wonder who comes up with these expensive ideas — oh, right, probably the same people that came up with the museum idea.

Larry Zilinsky
Saanich

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