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Letters Sept. 16: An unnecessary holiday; picking on landlords

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People wait in a queue on Thursday to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II during the lying-in-state in Westminster Hall in London. Letter-writers have concerns over the holiday declared by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the wake of the Queen's death. PETR DAVID JOSEK, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A day off for some, and we all pay for it

Waiting for a passport? Waiting to hear back from Veterans Affairs? Waiting for your employment insurance issue to be sorted out?

Wait a little longer. The feds are going to take another day off work at Canadian taxpayers’ expense. The Queen has died and the magnanimous Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is giving the bureaucrats a holiday.

What is this holiday going to cost taxpayers, Mr. Trudeau? What impact is it going to have on the services that your employees are supposed to provide?

John Watt
Sidney

A special holiday to honour two queens

Should we have a holiday for the passing of our monarch, Queen Elizabeth II? We already have one. We call it Victoria Day.

Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth are both Queens of Canada and both long-reigning monarchs.

Elizabeth surpassed Victoria by seven years, but they both shared a longstanding love from the people they served. So why don’t we team them up to share the same holiday together?

Change the name of Victoria Day to “Queens’ Day” or something appropriate. Then everyone will be happy without the added expense of two statutory holidays.

Same holiday, two Queens. A holiday to remember them both by with substantial histories in changing the world for the better. Just a thought.

E.C. Jewsbury
Saanich

Private sector will help the low-income people

So, the feds are about to help low-income earners with cost of living. Laudable.

But perhaps it’s time for truth in advertising. Let’s say what it really means: The taxpayers in the private sector (the source of all government funds) will actually be the ones doing the helping.

Mike Spence
Victoria

Housing supply and affordability

That building more homes automatically translates into lower home prices is a persistent fallacy in debates about housing and housing affordability. The fact is that the number of homes that are built is only one factor in an equation that includes the price of the homes built.

Historically, private developers seeking to maximize the return on their investment build luxury homes, expensive homes for which buyers, as real estate sales statistics verify, can always be found.

Building high-end homes, as opposed to building housing that is purpose-built to be affordable to the vast majority of working people, does increase the “supply” of housing, but it increases the supply of expensive housing, not affordable housing.

Real estate data demonstrate also that building expensive housing does not just increase the supply of expensive housing.

It increases competition among buyers and renters seeking less expensive housing, which emboldens holders of less expensive real estate to increase the prices of housing they control.

The solution to the affordable housing crisis is to build affordable housing. Building expensive housing increases the supply of expensive housing and drives the price of all housing higher, not lower.

Bill Appledorf
Victoria

Why pick on landlords in these tough times?

I’m curious as to why Premier John Horgan’s government has chosen to target only landlords in the feeble attempt to make life more affordable for a select (although very large) segment of the population.

Fortis prices are up roughly nine per cent and gas prices up roughly 20 per cent over the past 12 months (a large portion of which is provincial tax).

The Langford mayor and council are getting a 55 per cent pay raise, property taxes are up (Saanich up nearly seven per cent), food costs, construction materials and on and on and on.

Yet the provincial government targets only one “industry.” Why can’t we all be “protected” against rising costs?

My wife and I are retired homeowners. No rental properties. Yet, our cost of living has risen significantly over the past few years. Can we, our friends and neighbours, get a break also?

Perhaps, rather than arbitrarily targeting just one sector of the economy, the government could put a two per cent price cap on B.C.’s entire economy.

Heck, Horgan could be the solution to inflation.

David Kerr
Saanich

One crisis away from being homeless

August 2022 marked 40 years for me as a Victoria resident. Unfortunately, I can no longer live here.

I’m a senior on disability pension and live full-time in an RV. Typically, I have stayed in Victoria over the winter, and then moved away for the summer due to high pad rent. The Langford rental market has skyrocketed in price and RV pad rentals have followed.

The upcoming winter rate for the RV park where I stayed last year has risen to such a price that it would leave me with $33 after paying the month’s rent. I have literally been priced right out of my hometown where I have lived for the past 40 years.

When prices rise to this extent, people such as young families are left with no recourse but to move elsewhere. I’m not sure if people are aware that in order to apply for “low-cost” through the B.C. Housing Authority, you have to have a minimum income of $48,000. Anyone earning less goes to the “subsidized” housing list, which seems to have thousands waiting for help.

One further challenge for those on provincial disability or income assistance is that the shelter allowance is $375, which is about $40 more than it was 40 years ago.

Don’t always assume that those living in tents, cars and shelters are there due to addiction, etc. One more personal crisis will put me right there with the other homeless.

Debbie Wilkinson
Qualicum Beach

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