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Letters Sept. 29: Bringing a little cheer through song; dogs and a loud minority; problems spawned by legalizing drugs

Tents on the 900 block of Pandora Avenue in front of Alex Goolden Performance Hall in Victoria. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Offering a bit of cheer to those who need it

It truly is a sorry sight to see the increase in the homeless in downtown Victoria in doorways, stretched out on the sidewalks and just staggering around incoherently.

Soon the downtown will resemble many of the cities of the world but I am not here to call them names or bash.

I am just glad to belong to the small choir who gathers at such places as Our Place and various churches and sing for 50 minutes each week, and hope it brings a bit of cheer to someone needing it.

Valerie Bellefleur


Greater confusion about dogs in Saanich

The amendments to the proposed off-leash bylaw in Saanich is the opposite of democracy in action and an example of the worst way to develop civic policy.

This is an example of how the loudest dissenting voices influence policy decisions in the worst way possible. Because of pressure from a vocal minority, council members have chosen to ignore the studies and professional recommendations that were developed from years-long community consultation.

The amendments made by council will only serve to cause greater confusion and conflict with animal owners and park users.

Council has failed in their responsibility to represent all community members by conceding to a special interest group. Some things never change.

Alex McCumber


Unleashed dogs cause trauma and injury

I appreciate the attention Saanich council is giving to the important matter of requiring all dogs to be leashed unless in specified off-leash areas.

As a woman who rescues dogs, I don’t always end up with the most well-balanced four-legged loved ones and my current dog does not want to be approached by an off-leash dog while we are on our walks.

I have to dodge everyone with an off-leash dog because mine is reactive, and I can’t risk the off-leash dog approaching us, for fear my body will be pulled and injured if my dog feels the need to defend herself.

This dynamic is typical between two dogs where one is leashed and the other is not.

Please know that the level of stress for me walking my dog in our parks is severely heightened by off-leash dogs. They are a danger to me and my leashed dog by simply being off leash.

Luckily my dog avoids other dogs quite naturally, but when we turn a corner and an unleashed dog appears, approaches or lunges at us, injury and trauma always result.

I am not sure who we are protecting by allowing animals to be unleashed. Owners of unleashed dogs are usually not attentive enough to prevent unwanted interactions — especially the owners of unleashed dogs.

They figure that because their dog is well-adjusted, that’s all that matters.

It is by choosing to unleash, let fly and disregard others that they currently relinquish responsibility for their animals and dominate the parks they absent-mindedly roam.

Knowing that municipal authorities are not in my neighbourhood parks helping to monitor this situation, we need a law that will help to maintain safety, respect and a clear line for everyone and their dog.

Jennifer Harvey


Legalizing drugs has led to many problems

I am a retired police officer and to say I am incensed would be an understatement. Another senseless death of a peace officer. What can our government not understand?

World leaders in other countries have services and programs that seem to work when dealing with the mentally ill and drug addicted. Portugal is a leading example with these programs.

Legalizing drugs and advocating for safe supply is a danger to everyone — and especially our youth.

Please, please, please. We must set our focus on real change. Placating the vocal minority isn’t working.

Michael Drescher


Galloping Goose toll would also raise money

Re: “Parking fees at more regional parks back on CRD agenda,” Sept. 26.

Charging a parking fee for regional park users is a counterproductive idea. The purpose of the parks is to encourage healthy outside activity.

Charging this fee will result in park visitors parking vehicles on residential streets to avoid the fee.

Without fees there is already a problem with the Tower Point parking lot for Witty’s Lagoon park; fees will make it worse.

Perhaps a more appropriate action is to impose a toll or require a pass for users of the Galloping Goose Trail as the concept was to use the parking revenue to upgrade that trail.

Gary Smirfitt


Protect our sunlight so our solar panels work

Re: “Solar panels needed on all new homes,” Sept. 26.

We have people recommending solar panels, and at the same time B.C. zoning rules are being changed to allow six-unit multiplexes everywhere.

What happens to the efficiency of your solar panels when a new multiplex building casts a large shadow on them? Solar panels are only a safe investment when there are laws protecting your access to sunlight.

Many countries have such rights protected in law, but Canada and the United States do not. If neighbours are allowed to build higher, or plant trees that block your access to sunlight, jumping on the solar panel bandwagon can be a very risky business.

Before homeowners are forced to install solar panels, Canada needs “right to sunlight” laws so investments in solar energy are protected.

S.I. Petersen



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