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Letters Sept. 15: It should just be a crosswalk; there needs to be more enforcement of traffic laws; Adrian Dix has made progress

The fading rainbow crosswalk at the University of Victoria was painted in 2015. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

It’s a crosswalk, not a political statement

Re: “The rainbow conundrum at UVic,” Sept. 13.

Really? Two years and $24,000 in consultation fees to discuss the paint colours of a crosswalk?

This is just the very tip of the iceberg of expenditures on this “investment.” It does not even consider countless staff hours, university resources and intangible mental and emotional strain, and there’s a lot more to follow.

The university is nowhere near to making a decision. Compensation of $55 is being offered to the participants of a two-hour focus group meeting, and other special interest groups are wading in to the deliberations.

Oh, and then there’s the awaited artwork to consider …

Perhaps it’s time to stop making everything a political statement. What if a crosswalk is just a crosswalk?

Susan De Stephanis

View Royal

Combine all the colours with a white crosswalk

Re: “The rainbow conundrum at UVic,” Sept. 13.

A rainbow results from refraction of white light. White light is often said to be the combination of all colours. So save your money, UVic, by painting the crosswalk white. Apply the savings to something which more directly benefits diversity on campus.

If you must have one, skip the consultants. There are dozens of LGBTQ+ flags. So a basic six-colour rainbow works just fine. Please don’t impose “progress” flags, labels, and acronyms imported from the United States.

Alanne Gibson


Lots of money wasted on a way to cross street

Re: “The rainbow conundrum at UVic,” Sept. 13.

I find it absolutely astonishing that UVic is going to spend $24,000 to hire a “skilled external consultative group” to look into the repainting of a rainbow crosswalk.

What a colossal waste of money. A focus group held to talk about the subject was cancelled due to low student registration — so now they’re going to offer a $55 gift card if you attend another focus group.

What a laugh! Did it not occur to anyone that they may participate in the group not because they are overly interested, but because they actually need the money?

I have absolutely no problem with the crosswalk, but I do have a problem with spending that amount of money for something that could be a simple repaint of what’s already there.

And after reading the article, I’ve also come to the conclusion that a huge amount of paid staff time has been spent on this, which is even more money spent. One more reason why university is so expensive.

Darlene McDonald


Look both ways, help humanitarian relief

Re: “The rainbow conundrum at UVic,” Sept. 13.

The humanitarian disaster in Libya is relegated to page 8 while the “rainbow conundrum” at UVic is front page news.

This so-called conundrum is a shameful absurdity given what is happening in Morocco and Libya and Hawaii and other places in the world.

That staff and students at UVic who should be dedicating themselves to higher learning are instead spending their time and UVic’s money ­dumbing down the institution catering to the loud minority is ludicrous in the extreme.

Look both ways when crossing the street and send the money to humanitarian relief agencies.

P.G. (Phil) Leith


Great place where this is front-page news

Re: “The rainbow conundrum at UVic,” Sept. 13.

I just thank my lucky stars that I live in a place where crosswalk refresh issues and off-leash dogs in parks with consideration to their mental health are front page news.

Keith Laxton


More patrols to make drivers obey the law

Re: “More restrictions needed on right turns on red,” letter, Sept. 13.

If drivers already disobey one law, for what reason should they obey another?

Traffic laws are metaphorical guardrails we erect to contain unsafe behaviour on our roads. But without meaningful enforcememt, these guardrails are nothing more than weakly drawn chalk lines which drivers may casually cross without a second thought.

Amending — then expecting drivers to suddenly obey — traffic laws which people already comfortably ignore is manifestly ridiculous.

People break the law when they believe they will get away with it. If drivers (and cyclists, and pedestrians) believe they have even the slightest (but real) probability of suffering a consequence for their negligence, then they will obey traffic laws far more often.

If every driver who would otherwise regularly break the law could reasonably expect to be pulled over, charged and fined at least once every year, then driver behaviour would drastically improve.

Police departments used to deploy dedicated traffic units on every shift. This practice ceased long ago.

Aside from occasional speed traps and token “enforcement blitzes,” no meaningful traffic enforcement exists on our roads, a fact upon which the worst of Greater Victoria’s drivers long ago learned they can reliably depend.

Anyone who really cares about road safety (looking at you, John Ducker) and who is fed up about sharing the road with chronically discourteous, disobedient and unsafe drivers should shout from the hilltops for everyone to hear: Deploy more traffic police … permanently!

Doug Stacey


Adrian Dix has made great progress

Re: “Enough health excuses, please give us results,” letter, Sept. 12.

The writer decries the performance of Health Minister Adrian Dix, ­saying that six years is enough time to resolve all of the health-care issues in this province and that he is just making excuses. Balderdash!

This tired line of thinking has little to do with simple facts and everything to do with driving a politically biased narrative.

The simple fact is that the previous B.C. Liberal government ran the health system down to the point of crisis and invested little in ensuring the training of health-care professionals or building new hospitals to meet needs of an expanding population.

On the other hand, the current government has greatly enhanced salaries for doctors in order to attract more of them to B.C., opened hundreds of new, university training spaces for nurses and doctors and moved forward with an aggressive build program for hospitals, MRI and other health care facilities — all of this during and coming out of a pandemic.

Perfection? No, but these are facts, not just crass political spin. Any reasonable person can see that it would take more than six or seven years to get B.C.’s health care issues resolved.

Some balance is required in the course of this discussion.

Dan Rowe


Put someone else in charge of health care

Health Minister Adrian Dix’s recent declaration of the “new normal” state of our health-care system is akin to saying “I don’t know what to do.”

Perhaps he realized that marching out tired, irrelevant, unhelpful statistics as the answer to any question posed to him was wearing thin and a new message was needed.

In any case, I believe that Dix is right. Under his watch, we have indeed reached a new normal level of healthcare in our province, with no real solutions in sight.

I do understand what a tremendous task it is to untangle the dangerous mess that our system finds itself in, but I imagine that it is possible, with the right leadership and approach, to begin making some real headway.

Dix should step aside and let someone with more skill, imagination and determination fill his shoes. Someone with real hands-on experience in the field of health care who also has a facility for truly listening and bringing people together in a nonpartisan approach to find the real solutions that are so desperately required.

A whole new model of health care is needed for our province and there is no more time to waste.

Ann Wilson


Municipal politicians, recognize limitations

It is most important that all attendees at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting, remember a vital fact: Municipal spending is at an all time high.

The taxpayer only has one pocket and the provincial and federal governments are also demanding a share.

Please remember your duty is to serve your constituents.

It will be important for them to realize the limitations of that resource.

We can only hope for once, that the delegates strive to reach a goal of prudence and careful consideration.

John Logan


A simple, safer way to cross our streets

Re: “It’s too dangerous to crossing local streets,” letter, Sept. 12.

I have learned that the proper and least dangerous way to cross any street (marked crosswalk or not) is to put one foot off the curb on to the road with one arm extended pointing to the road.

Make eye contact with the drivers. This signifies that you want to cross and when the cars stop, the arm out turns into a thank you gesture.

Tom Beattie



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