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Letters May 6: Finding the source of addiction; a need for tough love; that fountain

Tents along the 900 block of Pandora Avenue in Victoria in April. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Target the source to fight addiction

Re: “We need new thinking to tackle the overdose crisis,” commentary, April 30.

We are losing more addicts per day from overdoses than ever, but when we are adding more addicts every day than we are losing, what does this tell us?

From an analytical viewpoint, the obvious course of action is to find the source of the addiction and deal with it.

The commentary said that in districts that actually measure this kind of information, which we do not, studies tell them that over 80 per cent of addicts in treatment start with connections to only two drug dealers. This is astonishing information.

This tells me that the bulk of our resources would be better directed to locating and stopping the source.

I know it sounds daunting, but doing everything possible to keep an addict alive who is intent on killing himself is not working, only extending a long, drawn-out agonizing existence, which makes me very sad. I have friends who have lost children to this destruction and I’m included in that count.

Target the source and stop the induction of the vulnerable before they become horribly addicted, brain-damaged and further entrenched in a dismal existence.

Karen Allan


Tough love needed to deal with drug issues

Re: “We need to thinking to tackle the overdose crisis,” commentary, April 30.

I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Donald Milliken’s approach to the overdose crisis. Of course the deceased addicts are replaced with new ones, and this will continue unless the new addicts are identified and helped right away!

Also, it’s imperative to focus on stopping the supply and cease giving out free drugs, which apparently are being sold on the street by some recipients. The research findings that drug abuse is contagious makes perfect sense to me.

I drove down Pandora Avenue recently, not having done so for some time. I was extremely shocked to see how expansive and disgusting the area has become due to the homeless encampment.

It’s amazing to me that the City of Victoria allows this unacceptable situation, made even worse by the blockage of important facilities like Conservatory of Music, to continue.

I believe that it’s beyond time for some tough love!

Carol Stanley

View Royal

Letter about fountain went much too far

Re: “Victoria council show disrespect for the city,” letter, May 3.

Is this a parody? Comparing Victoria’s cement fountain to the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps, yet by an architectural historian?

As Slow Joe would say: “Come on, man.”

Allan Fresco


Need to define affordable housing

How do the municipal, provincial and federal governments define “affordable housing” and the income(s) required to purchase it in Victoria?

It seems that politicians are out of touch with what is “affordable housing.” The young and old alike cannot save enough money for down payments given the exorbitant rents in Victoria.

For years, I have heard that more “affordable housing” will be provided, and it certainly is affordable for the wealthy who would like to move to Victoria, but not for local residents.

The problem is worsening and, since I live on Pandora Avenue, I know this first hand. The tent city has increased in size and there are many more homeless, it appears.

Until the city, province and federal government start building hundreds of inexpensive shipping container homes and little homes, the problem is not going away.

All new condos do is result in money that could be applied to mortgage payments having to be spent on condo fees.

They are also just putting increasing pressure on our medical system, need for doctors, and daycares that do not have enough spaces now. Where is the planning? We are told there is a water shortage but the building continues unabated.

Condos are clearly not the answer, yet for five years my area has been full of construction as condo after condo building is erected and streets are ripped up.

There are answers to this problem, but there is a lot of building and little change in what it means to be unable to afford any type of home in Victoria.

Until politicians grasp the reality of what “affordable housing” means for those who cannot afford housing, developers will continue to benefit and the city will receive building-related fees, but those without housing they can afford will see no change.

It seems there simply is not the political will.

Andy Sibbald


Expect to pay more tax with a secondary suite

Are the applications for the secondary suite loans going to include reminders that Canada Revenue Agency will be expecting annual declaration of rental income for taxation with the province receiving its proportional amount?

Municipal taxes may also increase due to increased assessment values of the residential properties.

Harold McCarthy


Don’t go after wolves, stop driving instead

Re: “Caribou herds in B.C. and Alberta bounce back as wolves are killed,” April 24.

It is good news that caribou populations in B.C. and Alberta are recovering somewhat, but bad news that it is being attributed to the slaughter of another species, namely wolves.

Instead of wolves, we should be sacrificing a good portion of our human greed: our gas-guzzling automobiles, of which there are far too many (bring on the bike lanes and more public transit), big houses for a modicum of dwellers, shopping, shopping, shopping, and even our phones which, contrary to appearances, guzzle a lot of energy.

Wolves and caribou co-existed with one another for eons (predation enhanced the DNA of caribou and other prey species), and even humans until the ascent of colonial capitalism.

And reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, after populations were decimated because they got in the way of agriculture, thereby engendering the big bad wolf syndrome, actually brought about an enhancement of all its species, from plants to birds to bison.

We need instead to be working on the drug of our consumptive habits!

“In the circle of life, if you take out one thing — destroy something out of that circle of life — that will affect everybody. … It will come back to us,” writes Chief Ernest Mason Jr. in The World’s First Indigenous Led Blue Park in The Narwhal, an online newsletter.

Too much of that is happening in our “speciesist” world.

Mary Andrews



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