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Letters Nov. 25: Cook Street preferable for bike lanes; province forcing strata changes down our throats

Cyclists ride on the bike lanes on Vancouver Street at McClure Street. A letter-writer suggests Vancouver Street should be reopened to motor traffic and proper bike lanes constructed on Cook Street. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Bike lanes would be better on Cook Street

A recent letter said that cyclists should be redirected to Vancouver Street, and not use Cook Street.

I walk and cycle in the ­neighbourhood regularly. Rarely do I see cyclists on Cook. They are using Vancouver.

That said, the fact that Vancouver was closed was a poor planning decision by the former council.

There was a huge fire at Vancouver and McClure about two months ago. The five fire trucks had to circle around and enter off Cook to reach the location.

This is just one example of where the former, incompetent and unqualified members of city council made a poor planning decision to totally close off Vancouver Street to traffic.

The solution: open up Vancouver to motor traffic again and put bike lanes on Cook. Proper bike lanes (not mere symbols painted on the road, like the ridiculousness of Richmond and Humboldt).

Separated lanes, elevated, painted and protected for cyclists are what real bike lanes are.

Carol Auld


Forcing strata rentals cannot move forward

We have lived in strata communities for 24 years and experienced firsthand the effect rentals, as well as some renters and their landlords, can have on those communities. We were also landlords for more than 40 years, so we understand the issues from many different perspectives.

Owners of the strata corporation in which we have lived for the past 21 years have twice voted down removing rental restrictions. In both cases, supporters of no rental restrictions either had their strata units on the market or were planning on selling within the next two years.

Owners intending to remain in our strata chose not to remove rental restrictions, not once but twice.

The absurdity of an act that provides owners the right and ability to create and manage their strata corporations by deciding on issues via majority vote, then legislating all stratas must allow rentals, is blindingly apparent.

The bill to force stratas to allow rentals must not move forward. If it does, we will not vote NDP in the next provincial election.

Barbara and Fred Wuhrer


After a sudden fall, strangers to the rescue

My most sincere thanks to those wonderful people who came to my aid when I found myself on the tarmac at Save-on-Foods in Sidney the other night.

Unfortunately I don’t know all of you by name, although you all introduced yourselves, I just don’t recall them all.

I would especially like to thank the nurse who came to my rescue, the gentleman who used baby wipes to clean my face, the ambulance personnel who transported me to the hospital, and the people at Saanich Peninsula Hospital who patched me up.

There were many of them and they all worked as a team. We are fortunate to have them so close by. They all deserve more than gold stars!

A special thank you to Jenna who drove my car home and put groceries in the fridge.

Stella Moffatt


Yes, deer can cause harm on our streets

I read with constant amusement the comments about deer problems in the various areas of Victoria. One letter-writer noted that people had “invaded” land on which the deer were there first.

I think a more accurate term would be that we have “expanded” onto the land, as another writer noted the planet has hit the eight billion population mark.

And why would the deer want to be anywhere else? Lots of free food, flowers, apple trees, no predators, so who is causing the problem here? Yet if there were cougars, wolves, bears or even rats roaming around the neighbourhoods there would be an army of conservation officers and exterminators hunting them down or, preferably, relocating them (maybe not the rats).

Then others write to say “leave the deer in peace, they cause no harm.” I beg to differ. Last Saturday night my 35-year-son (Fairfield homeowner, married, father of one, taxpayer) was riding home on his bicycle down St. Charles.

A deer stepped out from between two parked cars and he hit it broadside, at speed. He suffered major road rash to his arms, knees, back and a dislocated shoulder.

Thankfully he was wearing a helmet; however, if not for his superior athletic condition the result could have been much worse. The expensive bike was mangled. The deer, of course, jumped up and ran away unscathed. They are very tough ­animals.

Had this been a wolf or a cougar or a bear the hunt would be on to bring the animal to terms. But a deer? Where would you start? Do we need to have someone die before any effective measures are taken? Oh wait, that’s happened already, hasn’t it?

Steve Lyne


Heads of cauliflower and basic economics

At dinner, I discovered today’s price for cauliflower is $10 — per head.

Who pays $10 for cauliflower?

Consequently, where do unsold $10 heads of cauliflower go?

Doug Stacey


Bunches of bananas and basic economics

The costs of transportation are accounting for the large increase in food prices, according to the grocery chains.

It is very strange that the price of bananas has never really gone up. When I started grocery shopping about six years ago they sold for about 76 cents per pound. Today they sell for a few cents higher.

Bananas are not grown here, yet the price of locally grown fruit and vegetables has increased substantially. Not imported bananas.

William Jesse


Rooftop solar panels needed at Vic High

Re: “Completion of Vic High delayed four months of January 2024,” Nov. 23.

In 2016, I made a presentation to the Vic High PAC and wrote numerous letters to the school board and the Minister of Education, suggesting that the new school should have solar panels on the roof.

All to no avail.

Solar energy is now the cheapest form of new electrical generation and can be more easily installed in a new building than retrofitting.

Now in 2022 after climate-change-related heatwaves, droughts, forest fires and floods costing billions, surely CleanBC can find a few tens of thousands of dollars to put solar panels on the oldest school in B.C.

With CleanBC’s mandate to lower climate changing emissions by 40 per cent by 2030, this is low-hanging fruit.

Jim Pine


Let’s make sacrifices so rats can survive

Re: “Rats running amok: Plug holes, eliminate food sources,” Nov. 22.

I’m just wondering if the recommended killing of urban rats amounts to a “cull”? I’m quite sure the rats “were here before us” and that we “invaded” their territory and are now trying to get rid of them.

However, as the “invaders,” it’s only fair that we should make sacrifices to let them live among us as if they were in the wild.

Sound familiar?

I’m waiting for the outrage.

Elizabeth Causton


Got a rat problem? Get a mature cat

Re: “Rats running amok: Plug holes, eliminate food sources,” Nov. 22.

For many years, I have had a good relationship with an outstanding pest control expert, Sir Humphrey ­Tribble. Of course, being a cat, he considers me to be the employee. But I am well paid in dead rats.

Get a mature cat rather than an inexperienced kitten.

Alanne Gibson


Homelessness doesn’t always spark criminality

I reported a few weeks ago on the absence of public disorder amongst the homeless population in Portugal. Another reader wrote in explaining that this was because that country finds housing for their unhoused ­people.

However, this is not accurate; my subsequent visits to Porto and Lisbon revealed that there are indeed many homeless in those cities.

However, the extreme civic disorder caused by that group in Victoria is not to be found there.

This is not because Portugal spends so much on housing; indeed, their national budget has nowhere near the money Canada spends to unsuccessfully address the situation.

What they do have is the will to say “no” to the idea that homelessness justifies or entitles antisocial behaviour. Poverty has not been allowed to become an excuse for criminality.

This constitutes a type of social discipline that we have forsaken in Canada, and it helps explain why what is a small problem in Portugal has become such a complicated crisis here.

The homeless crisis is monumental enough without exacerbating its worst expressions, violence and criminality, for dubious reasons.

Michel Murray


(Recently back from Portugal)

Canada is close to the bottom among world’s emitters

Re: “Canada’s ranking depends on the list,” letter, Nov. 22.

If one is interested in published information, it appears natural that one would try to really understand what has been stated and dig further if the information is not clear.

The Facts Institute is ranking air pollution from countries in annual deaths per 100,000 people, and they do not provide details on how they are doing the calculation.

In any case and assuming that the information is correct, that would be an indication of the number of people dying from pollution and not a measurement of the total pollution emitted.

In their website they also show a ranking of CO2 emissions by different countries, which is also air pollution, and Canada is listed as the 12th worst emitter among 200 countries.

According to the table provided, Canada emits 15.16 metric tons per capita, only surpassed by seven Arab countries, the U.S., Australia and a couple of others. The rest of the countries considered, all 188 of them, emit less than Canada.

We really are at the bottom.

J.G. Miranda



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