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Letters Sept. 26: Price of gasoline; defending the freedom movement; the efficiency of rail transit; how to pay tips

Gasoline prices at the pumps aren't acknowledging the drop in the price of oil, a letter-writer says. GRAHAM HUGHES, THE CANADIAN PRESS

What goes up and down at the same time

I remember going to school decades ago and in September we would be introduced to the “new math.”

Things haven’t changed as an adult. Oil drops $5 a barrel and gas goes up 15 cents a litre. Welcome to the new math.

Sheldon Reves

In defence of the freedom movement

Another reader, who like our prime minister, labels the truck convoy in the most belittling terms one can think of and shows he knows nothing at all what the whole freedom movement was and still is about. They (the freedom movement) are tackling the “hard issues!!”

There are veterans who stand shoulder to shoulder with those in the freedom movement, would you belittle their contributions for now being part of the freedom movement, after all they recognize what freedom should look like.

What about those from Communist countries who are also taking part and feel like they are back in the countries they left behind?

The fallout from the vaccines and the mandates continues, vaccine deaths and injuries continue to climb. Doctors are now joining forces and saying they will never be silenced again like they were in the last two plus years.

Lastly the brutal tactics of those that enforced the emergency measures act disgraced Canada worldwide. We looked like a war-torn country. Just think a dialogue on those cold February days would have seen a quiet resolution to all of this.

Now tell me again who has the positive values, someone who stands up for his fellow Canadians when it was not popular to do so, or someone who refused to listen and started the name calling before they even reached Ottawa?

Merle Somers

Two developments will make rail transit cheaper

Rail transit is the most efficient way to get people out of their cars and reduces congestion and pollution.

The anti-rail league, mostly made up of the cycling lobby, would have us believe that bike trails will get people out of their cars, which is wishful thinking at best.

In Europe and the United States, disused and long-abandoned rail routes are being brought back to life as both regional passenger railways or extensions of established city transit systems as the most cost-effective way of expanding passenger services.

Two international developments have made using established rail corridors even cheaper for rail, and they are the TramTrain and hydrogen-powered electric trains.

TramTrain is simply a modern tram or streetcar, designed to operate on the mainline railway and on "on-street" trackage, thus making TramTrain both streetcar and commuter rail. Some TramTrains built for longer distance travel have "Bistro" cars and a washroom.

In Europe, TramTrain costs about $10 million Cdn per kilometre to install.

Hydrogen-powered fuel cell trains are becoming mainstream and they bring all the benefits of electric operation, without the need of costly infrastructure, thus operating truly “green” transit.

Investing for passenger rail on the E&N is simply a no-brainer, but sadly our politicians are about 50 years out of date with transit planning as they only seem to support planning for the next four year election cycle and not 25 or 50 years into the future.

D. Malcolm Johnston
Rail for the Valley

A message to Putin: It’s over

When mothers protest, and young men flee the country, the war is over.

Richard Mackenzie

Step up, leaders, we are facing a war

Actual nuclear war is in the news. Vladmir Putin, the loser, isn’t bluffing about nuclear war. He might nuke Kyiv to kill vile enemy Volodymyr Zelenskyy, or maybe European cities to disrupt the weapons supply line, or maybe the American arms factories to stop production of weapons for Ukraine. Or maybe, just before he ‘falls’ out of the open window, he’ll press the Big Button.

Are me and my granddaughters supposed to just die in a nuclear war or a post-nuclear world with no food, clean water and medicine?

Can’t we imagine some actual solutions, can’t our leaders? How about we take the money America spends on weapons, and the wind fall profits of Middle East oil and offer $100,000 to each Russian man woman and child if they ship their de-commissioned nukes to, say, neutral Canada. Probably that’s too hard, probably easier for me and my granddaughters to just die.

There might be other solutions, you might think the Pope, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Trudeau could propose solutions.

Putin, proven stupid at best, psychopathic at worst, has a loaded nuke pointed right straight at me, my family, friends and strangers on the bus, and all we can say is I hope he doesn’t press the Button.

Please step up, world leaders.

Jim Shortreed

Pay tips in cash to avoid the machines

There’s much consternation about how the point-of-sale machines have raised the bar on how much we should be tipping. Why not just give good-old fashioned cash directly to the server and pay everything else by machine?

Lia Fraser

One-sided input does not help decisions

The government is doing everything it can to provide affordable housing — well, at least for those who rented a place at least five years ago, no problem, the government has your back.

No increase for you, subsidized by your friendly neighbourhood landlord.

A typical condo that is used for a rental already pays twice the annual property tax as the same condo that is occupied by the owner, thanks to government rebates only for owners.

Unfortunately not for residential renters, even though it is their home and in spite of a past promise by the premier to pay an annual $400 rebate to renters. But don’t worry, the landlord will provide.

Strata fees have increased at an alarming rate over the past few years due mainly to uncontrolled insurance rates. But don’t worry, the government will control landlords.

Reasonable rate increases promote reasonable rents. With nothing but strict controls, the only way to survive as a landlord is drastic increases when renters vacate, or to sell and end the control.

Or do as many have, do the Airbnb thing, no rules there and more properties out of the rental pool. When decisions are made with only one-sided input, the consequences are seldom beneficial except for a few.

I don’t see the government regulating the banks to stop higher interest rates.

Eight per cent inflation equals a two per cent increase. I bet the recent government employees’ contracts weren’t settled at two per cent, even though I am sure many are renters.

Maybe next year, but don’t bet on it.

Paul Hartigan
North Saanich

On Dallas, slow down and enjoy the view

Re: “Dallas Road slowpokes: Please step on it,” letter, Sept. 19.

I am infuriated at the letter that suggested that drivers on Dallas Road drive at 50 km/h.

With the odd angle parking, it is difficult for drivers to back out and there are kids and dogs exiting and entering parked cars. At 50 km/h a driver is begging for a collision to happen.

The speed limit on Dallas should be 30 km/h. Slow down and enjoy the view.

Larry May


• Email:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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