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Letters March 22: Profiting from war; anti-everything group; our flag has been tarnished

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Pipe for the Trans Mountain pipeline is unloaded in Edson, Alta. In a letter, Green MP Elizabeth May suggests that the oilpatch's advocacy for more pipeline capacity to aid Ukraine is a self-serving argument. JASON FRANSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Trying to profit from the disaster of war

There has been an unsubstantiated assertion that building new oil and gas pipelines in Canada will help Ukraine. Indeed, Parliament had a whole day’s debate and vote on a Conservative Party motion to that effect.

The notion is bizarre. How long a war do the Conservatives want?

It will take a minimum of several years to complete the TMX pipeline, and it has been under construction since 2019. The idea of the Keystone pipeline (again rejected by the U.S. government after the Russian invasion of Ukraine), the Northern Gateway pipeline threatening B.C.’s northern coast, or the Energy East pipeline, surely to be blocked by Quebec, is an odd response to a current war.

No one in Europe, and certainly not Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, has asked Canada for pipelines.

The European Union is working to link Ukraine to the EU electricity grid. Since the invasion, the German government has accelerated its switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity from 2040 to 2035.

Meanwhile, the world’s pre-eminent energy institution — the International Energy Agency — has called on western governments to help Ukraine’s energy needs through a 10-point plan: cut speed limits by 10 km/h, promote public transit and consider making it free, improve rail service, car-free Sundays in cities, more tele-working and continued use of remote Zoom links instead of flying to business meetings.

These and other simple steps will save 2.7 million barrels of oil a day.

The only people suggesting pipelines are the answer have asked a different question: How can the oilpatch turn this crisis to their advantage? They should be ashamed for attempting to profit from disaster.

Elizabeth May, MP
Saanich-Gulf Islands

Comical, ridiculous anti-everything group

As I drove up the Island Highway on Saturday morning, I noticed a few vehicles with their flags waving as they presumably headed to Victoria to drive around in circles, honking their horns.

Previous weekends witnessing this had left me feeling anger towards these misguided anti-everything people, but this time I felt only embarrassment and pity on their behalf.

Even as their numbers have dwindled considerably, these remaining few have been unable to perceive how comical and ridiculous they appear to everyone else, especially considering the death, destruction and real loss of freedom happening now in Ukraine.

For one of the very few times in my life, I find myself agreeing with an NDP premier: “Get a life.”

Ken McKenzie
Nanaimo

A flag tarnished by misguided stupidity

I watched in horror along with other Canadians as truckers took over downtown Ottawa and held the city hostage for nearly a month.

Now some of those people are intending to disrupt Victoria with their travelling roadshow to make noise, wave flags, shriek insults and otherwise agitate downtown and the legislature area — supposedly in the name of freedom.

Freedom for who? Certainly not for the peaceful citizens and downtown businesses trying to carry on as best they can in light of the pandemic.

It’s time to label these disruptors for what they are — selfish, cultish anarchists who declare that they hate governments of any kind. They detest laws and prefer to live by their own rules.

They would apparently rather die from an infectious disease than vaccinate themselves against it.

What irks me even more than the unbearable noise and overwhelming ignorance of their so-called movement is them displaying the Canadian flag as a symbol of their protest. I resent them tarnishing our sacred flag with their misguided stupidity.

I commend Police Chief Del Manak for finally dispatching officers to control vehicular traffic to James Bay. It only took several weeks, but his underfunded force is managing to do what they can with the resources they have.

Peter Anders
James Bay

Forces of darkness hitting our streets

A so-called freedom convoy occupied Ottawa and another one is now allegedly threatening Vancouver and Victoria.

It is striking how well-funded, organized and supplied these demonstrations are. One sees plenty of cans of gasoline, one sees barbecues, and one sees food; where did the funding for all that come from?

I am inclined to think this is an organized conspiracy to weaken the Canadian state so that it will be afraid to take the measures necessary to defend us from future epidemics as well as from future uprisings.

What we have seen is a bitter debate on the imposition of the Emergencies Act, and then its sudden revocation.

It appears to me our governments may be losing the will and perhaps the capacity to defend us from anarchism. According to recent reports, these activists are planning to harass store employees who still wear masks.

The looks and behaviour of anti- vaccine-passport protesters in Victoria made them seem to me like the forces of darkness, the armies of the night.

The so-called freedom convoy was against masking, vaccine passports and other measures that have so helped us reduce the impact of the recent, and not yet over, plague.

Sadly, some members of the so-called loyal opposition even supported the uprising.

I am not surprised that a prime minister who abjectly apologized for the colour he painted his face more than 20 years ago revoked the Emergencies Act prematurely.

These conspiracists are out there and they won’t stop. They are dedicated to their cause.

David Pearce
Victoria

Support reconciliation, but not this request

With inflation driving up prices while people are trying to recover from the pandemic, Victoria council thought this was a good time to ask residents if they wanted to donate five or 10 per cent (or another amount) of their tax assessment to First Nations?

I haven’t heard that any other municipality is making a similar proposal, so why should Victoria residents be the sole contributors?

I fully support reconciliation; however, I believe grant and donation funding is the responsibility of more senior levels of government who hopefully have more expertise, and contributions to that funding should then be more equitably levied.

Pat Jackson
Victoria

Great idea, but what about a tax receipt?

I fully support Victoria’s voluntary reconciliation proposal. Why not mandate all donations go to those First Nations organizations that are a registered charity?

This would allow donors to get a receipt for tax purposes. Under these conditions perhaps other municipalities will consider the same route.

Mike Wilmut
Oak Bay

Taxpayers already dealing with many costs

Victoria’s mayor and council should focus on issues that relate to running city business and stop using resources paid for by the taxpayer to support personal or other unrelated interests.

While their hearts might be in the right place, their heads aren’t.

Taxpayers are dealing with the financial impact of record inflation, including gas prices that are crippling many hard-working families.

To incur the cost of engaging human capital to oversee a voluntary donation program to support the First Nations, after already committing a $200,000 donation on the taxpayers’ behalf, is unacceptable.

Times, they are a changing, and hopefully the Oct. 15 election results will reflect this.

Mark Appleton
Victoria

A chance for seniors to get off the couch

I am disappointed that I will no longer be able to play pickleball at Todd Park effective April 1.

I feel the lack of consultation, short notice and unsuitable accommodation at alternate courts is unacceptable.

Having been inactive for most of my adult life, I have finally found a sport that is easy to learn, great for fitness and relatively painless on my joints all while being super fun.

The drop-in group using Todd Park is a family that welcomes new members and socializes off and on the court, often visiting local establishments most nights after the games.

Quite often while we have been playing at Todd, many people have wandered by to ask about the game and have come out to try. Non-sports-minded and often-sedentary seniors as well as those lonely or new to Victoria have picked up a racquet and now spend time outdoors getting exercise and socializing rather than at home on the couch.

In a city where doctors are impossible to find, shouldn’t the city be applauding and encouraging those who are trying to improve their fitness and mental health rather than penalizing them?

I hope the city reconsiders its position and continues to allow the use of Todd Park for pickleball until additional courts in the neighbourhood are acquired.

Tracey Edwards
Fairfield

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