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Letters Sept. 14: New Tory leader's platform is chilling; can't municipalities talk to each other?

Pierre Poilievre holds a campaign rally in Toronto during the Conservative leadership contest. A letter-writer suggests Poilievre's policies could bring unwanted change to Canada's social policies. CHRIS YOUNG, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Pierre Poilievre fills me with chills

What can I expect if the Conservative Party wins the next election now that Pierre Poilievre is the leader?

I will expect that the government will not step up and take care of the population when another pandemic hits. (He is against vaccine mandates.)

I will expect that he will be completely accepting of violent coercion if a group of folks want to change anything. (He supported the truckers convoy.)

He will also accept foreign participation in such protests. (As we witnessed with the preponderance of U.S. Confederate flags at the convoy protests.)

I will expect our strict gun laws to soften. (He screams out the word “freedom” every chance he gets.)

I will expect that our work toward reconciliation with the Indigenous population will be slowed or halted.

I expect the rights to abortion and same sex marriage to come up for debate.

I expect taxes to be lowered and less money to become available for social programs.

I expect to no longer be able to listen to our beloved CBC Radio, one of Canada’s unifying institutions.

And finally, his stated campaign strategy, that outreach to the disconnected and disaffected is the path to power, fills me with chills. This is straight out of Trump’s playbook.

I expect this to create deep divisions in the Canadian population.

Annie Weeks

Municipalities, please talk to each other

As always, Jack Knox is right — we live in Dysfunction-by-the-Sea.

The Crystal Pool is closed for their annual maintenance, so I visited the Esquimalt Rec Centre, to take part in an aquafit class.

I had been the week before, and all was well, but when I arrived I was told that Esquimalt, too, was now closed for their annual maintenance. When I expressed my dismay, I was told that they were two different municipalities.

Well, I knew that, but what I had forgotten was that they also don’t talk to each other.

Apparently they have adopted a rather warped philosophy based on an old adage: If it’s broke, don’t fix it.

Phil Rogers

Mulroney had two majority governments

Re: “Poilievre still faces the big test,” editorial, Sept. 13.

The editorial argues: “There have only been two occasions in the past 60 years when the Conservatives formed majority governments. Brian Mulroney accomplished that feat in 1984, and Stephen Harper in 2011. Yet both times the preceding Liberal administrations had overstayed their welcome, and the country wanted change. These are rare events.”

That is inaccurate.

In fact, Conservatives formed majority governments three times, not two. You seem to have forgotten that Mulroney’s Conservatives also won a majority in 1988, making him the first prime minister of any political party to win back-to-back majorities in 35 years and the only Conservative leader to have done so in 100 years.

I note also that both of Mulroney’s governments were national governments with substantial representation in every province.

Michael O’Shea
Donnacona, Que.

A living memorial to Queen Elizabeth

If Victoria wants to provide a lasting gift to honour the memory of the Queen, may I suggest restoring the waterfront park from Menzies Avenue to Clover Point along Dallas Road by bulldozing the impenetrable tangle of the copses into oblivion leaving behind the trees, putting in an irrigation system in the open spaces to keep the lawn green and building many gardens using wild flowers and ringed with sweet peas, the Queens’ favourite.

The park would enhance James Bay and Fairfield communities as well as Beacon Hill Park.

The park would be a living honour named Queen Elizabeth II Park.

Steve Hoffman

Peter Pollen Park is a barren stretch

About three years ago, owners of the Laurel Point Condominiums met with representatives from the City of Victoria to discuss the removal of poisoned soil in Peter Pollen Park, situated adjacent to our building and positioned on the Inner Harbour.

The contaminated soil was the result of the presence of the Bapco paint factory, removed decades ago. All trees and other greenery must be felled and destroyed, the city’s representatives said.

The city promised us that all the flora in this once verdant beautiful park would be replanted after a year’s hiatus.

This has not happened.

What has happened, over the past interminable two years, is a wasted barren stretch of dead brown and yellowing grass, laid to waste because of the lack of precipitation and proper care over the summer months.

Awful to behold and a lousy, shabby, mean welcome to all tourists arriving via Ship Point.

No more squirrels gambolling amongst the tree limbs, no green grass waving in the winds, no more warbling of the songbirds to gently wake us up in the mornings nor to sing us to sleep as night falls.

Total silence and death of any flora and fauna in Peter Pollen Park.

Why has the City of Victoria stalled on their promise to replant and to restore this once so beautiful park?

Shame on City Hall.

Margot Todd

More thoughts on air travel

Re: “Want blue skies again? Well, stop travelling,” letter online, Sept. 12.

The sky did not become a brighter blue during the height of the pandemic, as the letter-writer claims. I sit in my backyard “study” on a daily basis, when weather permits, and I’ve seen dozens of jets and their contrails over the years.

And almost none over the past two-and-a-half years. There’s been no change in the colour of the sky.

Yes, I agree that many people conducted business from home and found trips for that purpose to be unnecessary, but not in the main. And less pollution? Undoubtedly.

But, there’s a deeper issue. The letter-writer’s claim that “people have the urge to get away, and the airline business is barely coping” is a no-brainer.

Try being stuck in Canada, attempting to get a passport renewal. After 13 weeks, I’m still waiting. And desperate to visit friends in Ukraine. I’ll bet the letter-writer doesn’t give a damn about that. I’m a frequent (and lucky) international traveller. And since I got home from a month in Cuba in February 2020, I have missed the funeral of a friend in Japan and the birth of a new baby for whom I was selected as godfather.

To imply that I, or any other international traveller who must use airlines to get where they must go, could be greenhouse gas emission supporters is not only specious but blindly selfish.

If the letter-writer wants me to “reduce [my] travel footprint,” perhaps s/he could invent a Star Trek transporter and help me out?

And when it comes to “spend[ing} money at home instead to support local businesses,” obviously they know nothing about the exorbitant cost of travel within Canada. It costs me less to fly to Japan than it does to fly to Haida Gwaii, or Newfoundland. Go figure.

T.L. Pedneault-Peasland

Day off for business can be any day of the week

Re: “If they have to close shop anyway, why not Sunday,” column, Sept 11.

I think that Jack Knox omitted one crucial point. Was the Sunday closure law not known as the “Lord’s Day Act”? In essence, it was a state-mandated imposition of religion on general society.

Of course the elder Bennett endorsed it: along with other, similar, religiously based restrictions (remember when drinking establishments could not be viewed, from the street, by the public?)

Until Expo, B.C. (notably Vancouver and Victoria) was a provincial backwater, still governed by people steeped in the 1930s’ Protestant, evangelical, prohibition ethos.

A day off could have been any day of the week. It still could be, but to claim that Sunday should be unique for this purpose is, really, to re-affirm a religious basis rather than, simply, to provide workers a day’s respite.

B. Warren Simmons


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