Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Letters May 20: Pandora Avenue encampment; hammering through legislation; Centennial Square's fountain

The Pandora Avenue encampment on May 7, 2024, before last week’s clearing. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Complex problems can be solved

Re: “Pandora encampment cleared by city bylaw officers,” May 17.

The sweep of the homeless encampment on Pandora Avenue was nothing less than humanitarian negligence.

Our Place has been working hard to understand the needs of folks there and was trying to find an appropriate solution for them. For the city to come in like this shows complete disregard for their good efforts.

Our municipal and provincial leaders don’t seem to be able to come up with a viable solution that caters to the many needs of the homeless. Clearly, it is a challenging situation, but if our government can’t sort this out, I don’t hold out much hope for bigger issues.

I spent 31 years as a military police officer in the Canadian Forces and was a part of many operations that were much more challenging.

These may not be totally valid comparisons, but they show what can be done.

During UN Operations in Cyprus, we moved thousands of refugees through contested areas and got the job done safely. During extended exercises in Wainwright, we housed, fed, and moved 10,000 soldiers almost every day, and it went smoothly.

Granted, the soldiers were reasonably willing and healthy, but we had lots of problems, including fatal accidents, illness, crime, and natural calamities and we managed all of that.

In Germany, I was on an exercise with 100,000 soldiers, so you can imagine the problems, but we got the job done. It just proves that complex problems can be solved, but our community leaders are failing.

Very discouraging for all the staff at Our Place.

Paul Jenkins


Landlord class and the Pandora sweep

Re: “Pandora encampment cleared by city bylaw officers,” May 17.

The cruelty of the landlord class is beyond appalling. They create homeless people by hoarding all the money, then they criminalize and torture them. That greedy monsters dominate our society is unbearable.

Bill Appledorf


Eby is going to get an even bigger hammer

Re: “Tired of arguing, NDP cuts off debate on bill that reduces power of lawyers,” column, May 16.

Les Leyne highlights yet another example of the NDP government forcing through a piece of questionable legislation, apparently in the name of expedience or as Leyne describes it “better to slam it through and move on.”

One has to wonder if the approach of the NDP leadership isn’t a manifestation of Newton’s Second Law of Motion, which states that force equals mass times acceleration.

A parody on that law is the euphemism “Don’t force it, simply get a bigger hammer.” That might better summarize what we see with this current government.

If polls are to be believed, a majority of British Columbians would be happy to be shed of this government but we have two alternative political parties vying to lead the province.

Both parties would do far better to put their slight differences aside and form a meaningful alternative. Perhaps it is ego or wishful thinking on the part of the respective leaderships but the end result is going to be a divided alternative and in an electoral system where the winner is the first one past the post, there is, in my view, the real possibility of handing the NDP a “super” majority.

Apparently memories are too short to remember the debacles of the 1970s and again in the 1990s but history tends to repeat itself.

To date, this current government has rewarded us with massive increases in debt and a medical system in disarray. It is dictating how we should live and what rights we have as to the use of our personal property. All part of their utopian socialist agenda, no doubt.

Unless the two squabbling centre-right parties get their act together quickly and present a unified alternative to the NDP, we will be handing Premier David Eby an even bigger hammer than one he now wields.

Given that, if you don’t like what you see now, it has been said many times before: “Brother, you ain’t seen nothin’, yet!!”

James P. Crowley

North Saanich

If Centennial Fountain was a red cedar tree?

Maybe … if Premier David Eby, the NDP, Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto, and Victoria City Hall appreciated historic Centennial Fountain like a 1,000-year-old western red cedar, Cheewhat Lake cedar, Thuja plicata, they would not remove the public-art fountain for a “proto Disney” water splash playground they can put anywhere.

Considering that Alto’s missing middle plan, and Eby’s new community plan, bills 46 and 47, will probably remove most of Victoria’s historic tree canopy of tall and older trees in every neighbourhood en masse, for thin 15-foot seedling tree sticks planted in a perfectly groomed mathematical copy of an architectural model … maybe not.

K.C.S. Drager


When prioritization falls by the wayside

Re: “Sayward would be first to miss deadline since charter enacted,” May 16.

There are obviously a number of very important issues that need immediate attention from the Sayward village council including the submission of the municipal financial plan, tax rate, and fees.

Dealing with the impending deadline for the financial plan was, or should have been, the original reason for calling the meeting in the first place.

One council member said that he had introduced two items to the agenda calling for a vote on who the deputy mayor would be because no one has been appointed.

The council member concerned also wanted to review committee appointments.

Since there are only two members plus the mayor left on council at this time, if the mayor was absent, there would be no quorum. So deputy or no deputy, no motions could be passed anyway.

Therefore, at this stage, the member’s statement re the voting on a deputy mayor strikes me as a moot point and an utter waste of time, especially since a byelection is already scheduled for July of this year.

When prioritization falls by the wayside, chaos usually ensues.

Bill Harrison


Langford post-secondary should teach finance

I applaud the education community on the Langford post-secondary initiative. It has many benefits. One of those benefits, an economic boon to local restaurants and shops, is being highly touted by Langford-Juan de Fuca MLA Ravi Parmar.

He points out that up to 2,000 students and faculty will be frequenting the businesses in the neighbourhood for their coffee breaks and lunches, as there will be no cafeteria on campus. As a Thermos and ham sandwich bag lunch went out of vogue many years ago, I can only presume many of these folks will be making their purchases with credit card-backed mobile apps.

Such a routine could be a significant detriment to a young person learning how to manage their finances, including saving for a home of their own. On the other hand there may not be a concern here, as this NDP government will build them a home and possibly provide a forgivable downpayment; all with my tax dollars.

John Charlton


Reasoned debate needed in politics

It is distressing and tiresome to see the rancour and division that exists in our political discourse these days. Whatever one side of the political community suggests the other side is absolutely opposed to, predictably stating it is a bad idea that simply will not work.

Witness the experimental safe supply (of drugs) program. Drug use became an issue in public places, including hospitals.

Those opposed extolled this as proof positive that the entire program is an absolute failure, not that it is simply doing as intended by a program that is experimental. It is identifying issues that need to be fixed.

And so it is with many, or most, ideas that are proposed. Instead of being held up to the light of day and examined for their worthiness they are summarily dismissed as unworkable.

Whatever happened to reasoned debate and putting our heads together to construct workable solutions to the great questions that confront us?

As I watch the coliseum of conflict unfold I am reminded of the man who, shipwrecked, washes up on a foreign beach. Upon encountering a local resident he inquires “is there a guv’mint on this island, ’cause if there is, I’m agin’ it”.

Rick Kallstrom


Compassion for elephant seal but none for wolves

It’s heartwarming to see the lengths to which people will go to protect a young elephant seal, who prefers to do his moulting in public, and a young whale trapped in a lagoon, whose mother tragically died. These life-saving efforts tug at our heart strings because they tell the story of individual animals whose plight is visible and we can relate to.

Yet for the past 10 years, the B.C. provincial government has killed thousands of wolves, presumably as a short-term measure to save woodland caribou numbers. If we saw all those broken wolf bodies, those torn-apart families, bleeding to death in plain sight, we would be heartbroken.

Caribou numbers are dwindling due to logging, resource extraction, all-terrain vehicle incursions and human-built roads that aid wolves in gaining access to caribou habitat — all human responsibilities. In response to this human-caused destruction of woodland caribou habitat, wolves are brutally shot, poisoned and trapped. Their families are mercilessly targeted using the Judas wolf technique of fixing radio collars on one wolf to guide shooters to exterminate his/her family, in some cases repeatedly.

Nature is not inherently cruel. Slaughtering wolves rather than placing responsibility where it properly belongs is cruel and clearly a real issue.

Val Murray

Cordova Bay


• 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.