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Letters May 27: Building a new parkade; no Messi in Vancouver; what's the Pandora encampment plan?

Fisgard Street entrance to the City of Victoria’s Centennial Square parkade. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

No to vehicle traffic, yes to a new garage

I found it ironic that two Victoria city councillors are suggesting a new parkade for the downtown core.

Firstly, building a new parking garage in the north end of downtown would only happen when the current Centennial parking facility is sold. Really?

Isn’t this parking facility already north of downtown?

Councillor Dave Thompson has stated evidently that he wants parking elsewhere, except in the downtown area. Where is this new parkade to be built?

If it is anywhere past Caledonia, it is no longer a viable option, except for perhaps the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Secondly, councillors Matt Dell and Thompson have openly expressed their dislike for automobiles in the downtown core, and this is the ironic part of this.

They want to tear down Centennial Square, sell the parkade, and build a parking lot where you would have to take transit, or bicycle into downtown Victoria.

Let’s tear down paradise and build a new parking lot anywhere but downtown.

Welcome to ironic Victoria!

Mur Meadows


Messi or no Messi, you should be grateful

The commotion around soccer star Lionel Messi as a no-show at a Vancouver Whitecaps game is definitely not a catastrophic event to those really struggling to afford or retain housing and feed their family.

As there is no guarantees in life, those who have enough disposable income to afford to take their family to a soccer game should be grateful for their situation and shrug off their disappointment and maybe next time donate the money to a charity instead.

Mike Wilkinson


What is the plan to move the tenters?

The Pandora Avenue sweep certainly got Victoria citizens’ attention, especially those encamped on 900 block and the NIMBYs who protested the cruelty at a safe distance away from the daily/nightly chaos on the 800, 900, and 1000 blocks of Pandora.

I live in this area and get a 24/7 eyeful/earful from my home. We do not know what the reason was for all the activity, but if it was precipitated by word of some criminal activity on the verge of happening, I understand the need for secrecy.

I don’t want a repeat of last summer’s 3 a.m. death by gunshot near our building.

The credibility of City Hall’s official statement was questionable. This was not a normal check.

Our Place would like to have notice so they could prepare the encampment. What does that mean? Move them one block for a few days?

Let’s hear more from Our Place about their plans to move 900-block tenters into accommodations — if there really is a credible plan.

Elaine Stewart


Fight problems with common-sense solutions

I propose that the Conservatives, BC United and the many disenchanted NDP members merge and call themselves the Solutionists Party.

As they say, of you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. That will just leave the fringe left and the fringe right twisting in the wind.

The majority of people are centrists, split philosophically over minor issues driven by party dogma. Most people are motivated by common sense and decency, something seemingly lacking in our current NDP government.

Their solution for drug addiction is to give people free drugs and make them more addicted. That’s not compassion.

Compassion would be getting them the help that they need to get off of drugs. Common sense would not allow drug-addicted tenters to destroy the fabric of downtown. Something that used to be referred to as tough love.

The Solutionists Party, bringing people together to find common ground on shared issues. Not the polarized fringe politics we have to endure in British Columbia.

Doug Coulson


Falcon, Rustad should learn to work together

Kevin Falcon and John Rustad are the only two friends the NDP need.

Swallow your silly pride, boys, and create the united right or it’s over!

Jim Laing


A chance for Rustad, Falcon to avoid being losers

History has established that when the right-wing vote is split between competing parties in B.C., the NDP will come up the middle, win the election and form the government.

This will occur again this October, unless Kevin Falcon and John Rustad can put their dislike for each other aside and come together.

I hope that Falcon was sincere when he stated that the interests of the public are more important than his or Rustad’s.

This is their opportunity to defeat the NDP and do the right thing for the people of B.C., who cannot afford another free spending and mismanaged NDP government. Put your egos aside and get on with it, or remain losers.

Tim Hackett

Brentwood Bay

Child protection workers need qualifications

The May 17 story on the call for more professional requirements for anyone using the job title of “social worker” struck a chord with me.

I graduated in 1984 with a bachelor of social work degree and worked for what is now called the Ministry of Children and Family Development in the late 1980s. At that time even some of my supervisors lacked a social work degree.

I am shocked that decades later the ministry still does not require a social work degree for child protection workers, whose job title is “social worker.”

The in-house training that the ministry provides for its child protection workers is narrow in its focus and lacks the in-depth knowledge and ethical base that the full-time four-year university degree provides.

I fully support the call for changes to the act, and for the ministry to implement social work degree requirements and registration with the B.C. College of Social Workers for their child protection workers.

I urge others to also voice their concern and publicly call for these changes. The fact that not all child protection workers have social work degrees is alarming.

Richard Konopasek


Victoria council should re-examine budget

I have just received my property tax notice and am dismayed at the cost. Eleven years ago, my taxes were $2,990. Today, they are well over $5,000. We have a tax increase of 8% to pay for the things that need to be done, but also for things that just sound good. Like traffic calming measures. Like multimodal corridor improvements (otherwise known as bicycle lanes and routes). And like the Reconciliation Grant and Contribution Fund.

As to the latter, which asks taxpayers to contribute voluntarily “in a tangible way” to a slush fund that makes a “meaningful contribution” to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, do the worthy folk at council not see that taxpayers are already being forced to contribute via the grant? And this on top of the million-dollar settlement the feds already gave them for the same reason?

Council has not examined their budget very carefully.

M.D. Hansen



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