Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Letters May 10: FIFA World Cup costs; source of drug problem

Readers’ letters, Victoria Times Colonist, May 10, 2024
Canada’s Tajon Buchanan (11) and Mexico’s Hector Miguel Herrera Lopez (16) vie for the ball during a match in Edmonton on Nov. 16, 2021. Letter writers question the cost and climate impact of hosting FIFA events in B.C. Jason Franson, The Canadian Press

Protesting Saanich’s development plans

Saanich council’s recent move on development is incomprehensible. Their recent decision puts the future face of Saanich in the hands of a small group of bureaucrats who have no accountability to the residents and have as a guideline only the vague maxima of a new Official Community Plan, which has not been approved by the residents.

The new OCP overrides the detailed recommendations of local community plans, established and approved by the residents.

Whatever was the thinking that brought about this imposition? The primary function of a local council is good government in the interests of the residents. With this move, we have been told that developers rule; our interests are not relevant.

“Planning” will simply be a case of checking that developments follow the building codes and bylaws. No account will be taken of the impact on the area livability or soft infrastructure as was the case detailed in the locally developed plans.

No feedback from the residents affected will be allowed.

It is a disturbing comment on our collective priorities that problems in the Middle East can produce riots in the streets but a draconian rule like this one, which profoundly affects where we live, passes without a whimper of protest.

Alec Mitchell


If games are good deal, put up own money

There was understandable outrage in the letters on May 7 concerning the escalating costs of the FIFA events scheduled in Vancouver in 2026.

I share that outrage and dismay that the costs have soared in the manner they have and all levels of government — federal, provincial and local — seem willing to blithely carry on, oblivious to or unwilling to acknowledge the additional financial burden this places on taxpayers.

Many excellent points were raised about purported “economic benefits,” which I share.

I was drawn to an observation made some years ago by Thomas Sowell: “It is hard to image a more stupid or dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” Are those politicians who have committed Canadians to this future extravaganza willing to put their personal assets up first to cover the shortfalls which are almost a certainty?

If so, I would be a little less cynical but that isn’t going to happen. No, we the taxpayers who are dealing with escalating costs on every front and diminishing services — health, education, housing, you name it — will be the ones who pay the full price.

No one would be happier to see those games go elsewhere than I.

We are indeed governed by village idiots and, sadly, we put them there!

James P. Crowley

North Saanich

World Cup’s footprint will hurt the climate

I agree with the letters in the Times Colonist recently that question the ballooning costs and the weak justification models used by all organizations ­promoting the FIFA World Cup games.

I think the environmental issue is just as important as costs, but seems to be a minor issue that few talk about.

Think about the carbon generated by the construction of the necessary facilities, the carbon generated by the travel of fans and players from all over the globe to British Columbia and to many other host countries that should have been taken into the equation.

There is no way to justify this large carbon footprint, as there is no offset benefit to Vancouver, our province or the planet.

I think it is time to push back against mass sporting events like this and for fans to think about their unnecessary travel for this and similar events and for far-off vacations.

If we don’t try to think about how to change the bigger picture, we will all lose the necessities of life due to climate change and it’s no game.

Mike Wilkinson


Tackle the drug problem at the source

So very much time, effort and money to help those who have fallen victim to drug use. All very necessary and understandable.

We have not heard much in the way of an action plan to stop the flow of illegal drugs in the first place.

Stopping the access to and availability of illegal substances will lead to a giant leap toward ending the health emergency. A simple idea, but a massive undertaking to be sure.

What’s the plan?

Caroline Clarke


Finding money to help the unhoused

Moving unhoused people off Pandora Avenue by the end of the year is a really good goal and they should get all the help they need.

I think a major number of those unhoused come from other provinces — their details are being gathered and I think B.C should request funding from those provinces to assist in their ­rehabilitation and ongoing housing subsidies.

As Victoria is the warmest area in Canada, unhoused people will continue to move here from colder provinces where it’s much harsher living on the street.

Lara Martell


A moral question from the Middle East

Thank you for your coverage of Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Victoria Jewish Cemetery.

I was particularly drawn to the closing remarks by Richard Kool, a former colleague of mine on the original Victoria Shoah Remembrance Committee.

Kool displayed considerable commendable courage when he stated: “We seem to have learned not to be victims again, but have we learned not to victimize others?”

The question that arises in the Middle East is not a political but rather a moral one.

Doug Beardsley


The Runner would be a great production

Our play club just read Christopher ­Morris’s The Runner. What a superb play!

What a pity that The Belfry, because of a bunch of fanatics, cancelled it. They thereby deprived Victorians of a real treat.

I do hope that some professional company puts it on, and thereby gives theatre lovers the opportunity to see a work of rare insight and complexity

Francis Landy


Don’t give my money to e-bike buyers

Has Saanich council gone stark raving bonkers? What do they think gives them to right to take my hard earned money and give it away as e-bike subsidies?

Coun. Karen Harper refers to Saanich achieving its climate goal. Nothing Saanich or Canada does will make the slightest difference to the climate.

Then we have Mayor Dean Murdock make reference to investment in infrastructure that allows people to get around safely.

As a start the mayor and council should do something about the atrocious state of many Saanich roads.

E-bike subsidies? If people can’t afford one then buy a regular bike. If they can’t afford a regular bike then take a bus. And as a fallback, walk.

But don’t give my money to people who want to buy an e-bike.

Brian Summers


Theatre production on war wins support

As a Ukrainian and a professional theatre director, I am humbled by the support we have received for A Dictionary of Emotions in War Time.

It is my privilege to be able to share these stories with our community.

I got to speak with people who said they read about the Metro Studio show in the Times Colonist, and that they were incredibly thankful that they came.

I was so happy that people learned of our show and took the time to see it. I am so proud of the professionalism of our team and the incredible production they have created.

Unfortunately, Ukrainians continue to die every day because of this senseless war. But Victoria has shown that they stand with us.

Diana Budiachenko


Help school students get  to know police

The school boards are prohibiting police liaison officers in schools because “some children see police as enemies.”

It seems obvious to me that the way to remove that misconception is to give those children the chance to meet police and find out that they are not enemies.

Could it be that the members of the school boards are so stupid that they fail to recognize something as obvious as this?

Chas Low


Make local transit free for every user

Why stop at free passes for children? Bus passes for everyone, a taxable benefit for income in excess of X; exemptions for postal codes not serviced well by transit.

If passes are not needed, tourists might rave about free transit during their visit. Won’t this reduce the number of cars?

Bill Carere



• Email: [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.