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Letters May 24: Responsibility for climate change; rental rules made things worse; what the heck happened to Douglas Street?

Victoria City Hall on Douglas Street, as seen from a double-decker bus. TIMES COLONIST

Combat climate change, take some responsibility

Re: “Try different tactics to combat climate change,” letter, May 17.

It’s somewhat simple. It’s personal. Take responsibility and do as much as you can. Every decision, every day. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Bill Yearwood


Grandma’s wise words seem appropriate now

I am sad and embarrassed to drive visitors down Douglas Street into Victoria. The gateway to the city has been given over to tents, shopping carts, people lying anywhere they please, shooting-up and smoking weed.

There was a time when visitors said “so beautiful, so pretty, so clean, so safe.”

Now we hear “what the heck happened? So dirty, so ugly, so unsafe.”

City Hall can throw dollars at beautification, flags and flowers, but it will not work if they don’t clean out and restore the downtown core of the city.

There are a lot of sayings my grandma used to quote about lipstick, ears and more, but I probably can’t use them and I don’t want to insult the lovely animals.

Joanne Rogers


Government rental rules have made things worse

What did they think was going to happen?

In 2018, without any consultation, the NDP government abruptly changed the rules for rent increases. No more top-up on top of the rate of inflation, which was very low at that time.

In 2020, despite the fact most people were still getting paid or had rent subsidies or income subsidies, the government eliminated even those meagre rent increases for more than a year.

In 2021, despite the fact inflation had started to increase rapidly, including the runaway cost of housing, the government decided that landlords should be required to continue subsidizing the fortunate people who had rental accommodation and limit rent increases to 1.5 per cent.

In 2022, with inflation approaching 10 per cent and people getting raises to keep up and insurance costs through the roof as well as all other costs, landlords were limited to a two per cent increase.

So the result is record-high rents to replace the few tenants that do move out, or the sale of a large number of the strata units that were previously occupied by tenants because most landlords couldn’t absorb the dramatic increase in monthly strata fees that have no controls.

The attraction of getting out was just too strong.

Yes people on fixed income need help, but to treat all tenants the same is not productive and leads to these major problems.

There is no tax incentive for investors to build rental accommodation, and the laws are stacked against them if they do. So it is left to the government to keep up, and they have always shown they cannot.

And as we have recently seen the more money you throw at the problem the more opportunity there is for mismanagement.

Fair rules lead to fair outcomes. Manage the problems, not the politics.

Paul Hartigan

North Saanich

We are paying lots of tax, so cut spending

Tax the rich more? First question: What makes someone rich these days? I question how much tax the government is taking now and how it is wasted with little true results.

A good Red Seal person can make a $100,000 a year, so after federal tax, GST, PST, property taxes, carbon taxes, gas taxes, luxury taxes and so on, how much do you think that person should be able to keep as his own?

Canada has become a welfare state where the only thing the government(s) care about is digging every dime it can out of us. The money wasted overseas and on “pet projects” are killing the working person this days.

It isn’t the taxpayers’ responsibility to shell out for $10 a day daycare – my children paid for theirs, I paid for mine, as my parents and grandparents did.

We must scale back what and why we are sending money overseas.

Enough already.

B.W. Lowe


Indigenous invitation comes with risks

Re: “Those with good intentions can unintentionally tokenize,” column, May 21.

I have a simple yes-no question for Charla Huber: Do you want organizations to hire those with an Indigenous background? Because based on your column, organizations are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

Stephen Decarie


Constitutional monarchy helps prevent chaos

Re: “Coronation Oath offers many ­benefits,” letter, May 19.

I’ve long thought that our constitutional monarchy gives us a good system of government and a distinct protection from abuses of it. I’ve proudly repeated the Citizenship Oath on several occasions.

Gerry Pash’s explanation of the oath and its meaning was clear and eloquent and very powerful, and one all Canadians should hear.

I recently returned from London where I enjoyed the celebrations of the Coronation of King Charles III; as I staked out a position on The Mall from which to watch the procession on Coronation Day, I met two young women from Kelowna and a man from New Zealand who had, as I had, travelled to London specifically for this event.

We “made a jolly party,” as they say in England, and talked about many things, including how fortunate we all are to enjoy a constitutional monarchy

Our system isn’t perfect. I try to be an informed citizen and I vote in elections at all levels of government; I’m no political scientist by any stretch of the imagination but I can see what works and what doesn’t, where chaos is or has a chance to be and when leaders or would-be leaders crave and strive for the power of an autocracy (or worse) in republics espousing to be bastions of democracy and freedom and with checks and balances that turn out to be useless.

No thanks.

Lynda Witham


Cane lost at Hillside; could we have it back?

Would the person who found the ladies cane left at the Hillside food court last week please return it to lost and found?

The cane has a family history having been used by two grandmothers.

Jerry Justesen


Policy on hard drugs is failing families

After decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of hard drugs on Jan. 31, B.C. set a record in March for the most overdose calls in one day.

The idea is a failure. Time for someone to speak up and say B.C. is setting records for drug overdoses and poisoning.

Bureaucrats apparently have no connection with drug users or their families who are suffering the consequences of this draconian idea.

Listen to the mothers who are crying out for treatment centres, not more drugs enabling users.

Ann Nelms



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