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Letters May 20: Free summer-transit idea made sense; holding it in at a B.C. Ferries parking lot

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Environment Minister George Heyman says the province, with the federal government, has given $820 million to B.C. Transit and TransLink to keep fares down and ensure services are available, and ridership is up to close to pre-pandemic levels as a result. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Bus pass idea should have been accepted

I’m very sorry to see that the B.C. government has instantly rejected the Green Party’s sane and helpful proposal to offer free passes on public transit for the summer to offset the burden of high gasoline prices.

This same government had no problem giving $110 each to drivers to buy gas. At today’s prices, that might amount to one fillup.

That wee gift goes to all car owners whether they need the money or not, whether they drive gas or electric vehicles.

The Greens’ free public transit passes would have reduced the number of gas-guzzlers on the road, thus reducing climate-changing emissions. Day after day I see near-empty buses travelling our streets. Their empty seats are a fixed cost, which would not be increased if more people were allowed to ride for free.

But reducing the GHG-belching cars on the road would be unacceptable to oil companies, whose record high profits might suffer. The B.C. NDP is apparently committed to keep greenhouse emissions as high as oil company profits.

Ironically, the Greens’ helpful proposal was rejected by the minister of environment. Really.

Martin Hykin
Victoria

Looking for relief from B.C. Ferries

On Wednesday afternoon, my wife and I arrived at Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island a few minutes after the 2 p.m. sailing had left. We had to wait for two hours. As we waited, we saw a sign that said “Washrooms.”

I was not desperate, but appreciated what I thought would be an opportunity. I went to the waiting room, which had two washrooms. One had a sign that said “Out of Order.” The other had a sign that said “Closed.”

For almost two hours, we watched as people headed to the washrooms and returned unrelieved. A few spoke to an employee, who shrugged his shoulders. Those misled by the signs included senior citizens, middle-aged people and even parents with a baby.

If B.C. Ferries cannot arrange functional toilets, it should at least remove the sign.

Graeme Mount
Victoria

Long overdue wait for crosswalks on Dallas

From Montreal to Fisherman’s Park, a near half-kilometre stretch of Dallas Road that has three bus stops all public transit users must cross to reach, a daily stream of recreating residents and cruise-ship visitors crossing each day, a strip of road that invites everyone with a lead foot to wind out their vehicle, a favourite speedway for Tour de France-minded cyclists who never slow for any pedestrian, and two blind turns: Yet not one solitary marked pedestrian crossing.

Does someone need to die first? Compare that with the elite east side of James Bay on Douglas along Beacon Hill Park with its multiple marked crosswalks and flashing lights.

John Fry
Victoria

Downtown violence followed an example

So, large numbers of people gathering in a city core, harassing and assaulting people not in their group, damaging others’ property, filming these acts proudly and generally disobeying the law while expecting no consequences. Sound familiar? It should. This is the profile of the so-called “freedom convoys” on a smaller scale.

Throwing rocks at ambulances, hurling racial insults, desecrating national monuments, chasing and threatening health-care workers and the police etc. were all part of the so-called “freedom convoys.”

We should not be surprised or shocked at the behaviour of the teenage miscreants in downtown Victoria.

They are simply following the example set by the adults in the so-called “freedom convoys.” Fortunately for our society, the large majority of today’s teenagers seem to understand the difference between right and wrong.

The Victoria police have discovered that a number of the teens involved in the downtown violence had been supplied with alcohol and bear spray by their parents. Any wagers on how many of those irresponsible parents were participants in a so-called “freedom convoy?”

Terry McTeer
Central Saanich

Downtown problems? Support the police

I’m a retired police officer with 34 years’ experience with the RCMP and Central Saanich Police Service. I have been following the articles concerning the problems that are plaguing the Victoria downtown; seniors being assaulted, swarms of youth who seem to be taking over the streets at will, police being swarmed who are trying desperately to help and solve this growing problem.

And having these young people, as Victoria Const. Cam MacIntyre reports, who feel nothing will come of any penalty to their actions? Now, really, what is going on here?

From my view it’s a lack of police enforcement and the knowledge that those who are comfortable committing these offences, with, to them, no seeming repercussions, they can keep on going with these actions. So why is that?

The front-line police officer is challenged with a multitude of jobs to do during his/her shift. So don’t blame them.

Some of those jobs require a physical confrontation that can injure them or the offender and comes under considerable scrutiny by the public, and, especially, senior police management and their respective police boards.

So do these officers second-guess the situation, knowing that the future support for those needed actions may not be there? You can’t blame them if they feel that way.

Now do these front-line officers have that support? A serious question to ask. They need to know that actions speak louder than words and that they have that much-needed support.

Len Nolan
Cobble Hill

> Read more letters from the May 20 paper here.

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