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Letters Sept. 26: Ship Point needs an iconic development; dog bites are rare; pedestrians need to pay more attention

Artist’s rendering of the Ship Point concept plan. VIA CITY OF VICTORIA

We need a better plan for the renewed Ship Point

How disappointing that Victoria council’s vision for the Ship Point harbour development is so unimpressive when this development offers our Inner Harbour the opportunity for a world-class development that would attract and be recognized throughout the world as an iconic development with vision and extraordinary architectural significance (think Sydney Opera House).

Council’s suggestion for development for this area? A grass and concrete amphitheatre? Seriously?

An iconic area for development for the Royal B.C. Museum or Art Gallery of Greater Victoria would be a magnet for generations to come and would be recognizable as a destination that would attract tourism dollars and world-class attention with Victoria as its focus.

If they could think outside of their own boxes and have a vision for the future we may end up with something that our entire south Island could be immensely proud of and would pay for itself within a decade of completion if done correctly.

Ernie Kuemmel

Oak Bay

Don’t worry about dogs, there are other concerns

A recent letter expressed concern that dogs are a danger.

According to Statistics Canada, the incidence of dog bites is 1.24% in women and men, while suffering from a burn is 1.51%, eye injury (2.74%), fracture (25.22%), muscle/tendon injury (18.95%), and sprains/strains (10.43%).

Most dog bites occur in the dog owner’s home (34.2%) or another home (30.3%), followed by a road (9.1%) and finally a public park (3.1%).

Sixty-five percent of the dogs belong to the owner or a friend of family member, and 12% are unknown.

And I’m not including the dangers from traffic accidents or poisoning. So, considering the risks we all face in daily life, which are considerable, feel secure in knowing that the chances of a dog bite on a trail or public park are much slimmer than most other injuries.

Happy trails!

Shelagh Ross


Having to go elsewhere to play with a dog

I’m a Saanich resident, parent of school-aged children, and I have a golden retriever. Every day, I or my 12- or 14-year-old, walk our dog to the nearby park so he can run off-leash to play fetch. Not to play with other dogs, not to interact with humans, but to run freely to catch and retrieve a ball.

I believe in a walkable community for health and longevity, and having a dog has encouraged me to do just that. I live a busy life. Without a dog, I rarely walk outside, rarely use public parks, and I would suggest many Saanich residents are the same, judging by the average park use I witness all year.

However, my and my children’s use of Saanich parks and our “livable, walkable” life will change with the proposed amendments to the animal bylaw. Rather than walking to the neighbourhood park, I will have to drive to find a park that my dog can continue to play fetch in. This means expending fossil fuels, adding to congested streets, and reduced health and wellness for my ­family.

For my kids, whose daily routine is walking their dog after school to a park, they will lose this responsibility and enjoyment of an off-leash space.

They’ll have to wait for me to come home from work to drive them — most likely to a different municipality — to use the services we long for, but will be limited within our own municipality, where we pay taxes.

Chelsea Chalifour


Pedestrian safety starts with pedestrians

While it’s nice to have the rainbow crosswalk as a symbol of inclusivity and safety for all at the University of Victoria, maybe save the consulting fees and invest in either crossing guards or cross walk lights during regular school hours.

It will make it safer for all students as well as improve traffic flow on Ring Road between classes.

John Ducker could/should do an entire column on pedestrian safety, just watching the students at that crosswalk at 2:30 p.m. on a weekday.

Aaron Malmgren


Life imprisonment was the actual sentence

Re: “Parole board must be accountable to the public,” editorial, Sept. 22.

The Times Colonist asks how it happened that “a man [Kenneth MacKay] sentenced to 25 years without parole was given parole?” It later asserts that in 1976 a mandatory sentence of 25 years was substituted for the death penalty.

Both assertions are false. MacKay was sentenced to life imprisonment. Imprisonment for life was and remains the minimum punishment for murder.

Confusing the length of a sentence with eligibility for parole is a widespread nugget of misinformation, and ought not to find its way into the editorial opinions of a respected newspaper.

Murray Stone


EVs a bad deal? That’s not what Sparky says

Re: “Everything electrical? That will not be easy,” letter, Sept. 22.

I was surprised to read that “every day, I read stories about how difficult ordinary daily routines and emergencies become with an electric vehicle, due to range issues.”

This summer, we drove from Duncan to Calgary and back in our 2021 Hyundai Electric Kona and never went below half-charge. Fuel for the round trip cost us all of $44!

Granted, we took advantage of some free chargers along the way, including at a friend’s house. Without that, the trip would have cost almost twice as much!

On the trip, we would charge up when we stopped for lunch (at a town that had chargers) and then be on our way, no problem.

We have found that $10 of charge will gain us 400 km, when we charge at the 120V outlet in our carport. No need for a designated home charger.

And EVs are extremely efficient with the energy they consume.

But we have been driving electric for 10 years, with a 2013 Mitsubichi MiEV, affectionately known as Sparky. It’s a dumpy little hatchback, but feels so elegant to drive, like a ghost gliding down the road.

We use it for most of our local trips. It’s got almost 80,000 km on it but still has almost full battery strength, is in great shape and going strong as ever.

Sure, EVs cost more initially, but they are very cheap to own in the long run.

I believe time is telling us that EVs are superior vehicles that will last a long time with very little maintenance. Despite being 10 years old, we have paid less than $500 for Sparky’s maintenance in all that time, total.

Will it go another 10 years? Can’t wait to find out!

Cynthia Montgomery

Maple Bay

Never a problem with this electric vehicle

Re: “Everything electrical? That will not be easy,” letter, Sept. 22.

Having owned an electric vehicle for four years, not once have I had difficulty with daily routines or emergencies whatsoever!

Nor have I, to date, ever heard or read any comment from any other e-vehicle owners, concerning the “every day” allegations in the letter.

Yes, owning an e-vehicle requires some change from gas-vehicle routines; you need to remember to plug it in when it tells you to!

John Stevenson


Small electrical grids could provide power

If we keep thinking “big grid,” some have made good points. However, small grids and having all property owners contribute to local grids, will serve well to reduce the peaks with which the big grids have to deal.

I have two-thirds of my roof (average size) with solar panels, and it provides enough electricity to run my house and my car for the year (B.C. Hydro credits my over production in the summer to cover my under production during the winter).

Car batteries are now carrying excess energy for normal use, and that can be used for peak demand times (technology is available for easy sharing of stored electricity — even while one drives).

Imagine sharing power from your car to propel ferry boat crossings.

Bill Yearwood


Birds need protection from eager dogs

Re: “Owner fined $500 after off-leash dog chases heron at Cadboro Bay,” Sept. 16.

Yes, the dog did not directly hurt the bird, and yes, dogs cannot fly to catch the bird, but the point is being missed.

The point is that repeated chasing by dogs fatigues a bird which has to expend valuable energy in escaping dogs, repeatedly.

At the same time, the bird is prevented from restoring that valuable energy lost because it is being repeatedly disturbed in its hunting or foraging for its food.

Birds that migrate are also prevented from resting from a gruelling migration of thousands of kilometres. All this adds up to possible starvation or poor health of the adult bird and/or its chicks.

In the case of migration, a bird just might not be able to make it, and perish en route.

Just so that your dog can run free and play.

Claire Bouchard

North Saanich

Abyss of leadership at our university

Re: “A crosswalk should be just a crosswalk,” letter, Sept. 22.

I too have a five-decade association with UVic as professor, dean and lately, volunteer technician.

A huge abyss of executive leadership — unfortunately coupled with a truly amazing ignorance of public opinion — is certainly apparent.

I was privileged to know former president Howard Petch as a colleague and friend. I’m certain that there would be an impressive display of rage if (if only!) he could be with us again.

And the famous Petch Smile would be nowhere to be seen.

Eric G. Manning

Ph.D, F. IEEE, F.EIC, Honorary ­Professor (Nanjing), IBM Professor (Keio), P.Eng (Ret’d)

James Bay

Terrible stay in a hospital hallway

I just had my second health care experience at Victoria General Hospital in two months. The first one lasted eight days and the last one lasted six days.

I was so disappointed by the lack of care, organization and ethics that I experienced. In the previous visit, I had a room with four other ladies and a bathroom.

My last visit, I spent the night in an old recliner in the back of the ER room with other sick folks. I went for my procedure on Friday and then was brought up to the seventh floor women’s health unit and put in the hallway across from the nursing station.

Overhead there are large fluorescent lights that never go off, the tumbling of documents in tubes, people moving in and out of the station and a constant beeping that shows health care personnel who needs help.

I had an abdominal procedure and there was no privacy when it needed to be looked at. In the room beside me, were two men in a two-bed room. In the room across another two men in a two-bed room.

If this is a women’s health unit, why are there men there? If I needed to find a bathroom, I had to hunt for a free one.

If I needed to eat, I put a pillow on my tummy so that I could eat. A tray could not even be put beside my bed, because it exceeded the green lines on the floor.

My loved ones could not visit me as there no longer is a waiting room on that floor and nowhere to sit and visit by the nursing station.

The porters, housekeeping, health care assistants and nurses were all super, helpful and lovely.

I noticed one evening there were two nurses on for all of our 7A unit; that is untenable and dangerous work.

This is a resource and systems issues; it is not about the good people working in the system. It is about the administration and running of the hospital.

In the end, I asked for a health advocate and or a social worker. My family called up and actually came up the ward and expressed deep concern and wanted to know the plan of action — finally some movement.

What has happened to our health-care system? I am concerned now for anyone who has to go endure being in bed in a hallway.

This was a traumatic and harmful experience to me. My next letter is to Health Minister Adrian Dix about the state of affairs in hospitals.

Shanne McCaffrey


Solar panels needed on all new homes

Fifteen years ago, we took a bus tour through Turkey. One thing that amazed us was that every building had solar panels on their roof for hot water tanks.

Why aren’t we mandating solar on all new construction and subsidizing solar on other homes?

John Miller

James Bay

A return of Lend-Lease could help Ukraine

I’ve been unsuccessfully attempting for more than a year to initiate some interest in Canada’s sending some of our CF18 fighter jets to Ukraine.

We have some 95 of them essentially sitting rusting while we wait for their F35 replacements (will they do more?).

Why can’t we take a page from FDR’s Lend-Lease program and help the invaded save countless lives with some serious armament desperately needed.

A dozen or two from our unused fleet would go a long way to almost immediately turn the tide in the conflict.

And in order to avoid declaring war on Russia, we might consider furloughing our experienced crews, both flight and ground, allowing them to enlist in the Ukrainian forces — avoiding extensive training.

We’re all aware of our tarnished international image, and this gesture could move Canadians to the top of the humanitarian list.

Lend-Lease allowed the Russians to fend off the Nazis, so a reversal of the program might be in order.

Glenn Walsh

North Saanich


• 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.

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