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Letters Sept. 7: Get rid of free street parking; getting killed when crossing a street; tax EVs to pay for roads

A crosswalk on Government Street at Fisgard Street in Victoria’s Chinatown. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Get rid of free parking for all those vehicles

Re: “Death of pedestrian in Saanich renews calls for improved road safety,” Sept. 5.

What planet are we on, where our cities and streets have been arranged such that pedestrians, cyclists, and those waiting for buses are entirely dependent on the goodwill of motorists not to kill us?

We need lower speed limits everywhere, safe crosswalks, wide sidewalks, car-free bike lanes, and traffic rules that are actually enforced.

And when did we decide that residential streets where almost everyone already has a driveway should be littered with free on-street parking? This subtracts from sidewalk space and endangers everyone.

According to Henry Grabar, author of Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World, street parking is a “clear example of wasted, underused space, set aside for the free storage of private property.”

The climate catastrophe is coming for all of us. Get rid of all the free parking and outdated perks for cars.

Liberate that ugly public space for trees, street vendors, community gardens, playgrounds, outdoor dining, and solar panels.

Anne Hansen


Why crosswalks in Saanich can be deadly

On Aug. 8, I stopped at a crosswalk on Cordova Bay Road, to allow a jogger to use the crosswalk, when another driver rear-ended my vehicle. Her car was totaled, mine is driveable and the jogger ended up waiting to use the walk, while watching the bumper car action.

No good deed goes unpunished!!

The point is this: If a motorist can’t see or stop for a parked vehicle in the middle of the road, what chance does a person in the crosswalk going to have?

The issue is not our crosswalks and what to do to improve them, it’s the hammerheads who are allowed to drive vehicles with no respect for the damage that they can do behind the wheel, including killing people!

That driver should have their licence suspended.

It has nothing to do with speed limits, lighted crosswalks with bells and gongs, it’s that dope behind the wheel that will get you every time – and it’s nothing you can prevent!

Jim Laing


We share responsibility for safety on roads

Any road accident involving a motor vehicle and either a pedestrian or a cyclist is tragic. Commentary as schools reopen suggests that distracted drivers are largely to blame. Maybe not.

Many cyclists whiz around corners without stopping or even seemingly looking at oncoming traffic. Many pedestrians start to cross a road even without looking up from their phones to see if it is safe to cross.

Some assume all motorists can stop on a dime once they put their foot into the road.

Surely motorists and pedestrians share an equal responsibility to ensure that all can be safe on our roadways?

David Collins


EVs should also be taxed to pay for our roads

Regarding our road taxes for maintaining and new construction, our gasoline and diesel taxes help to maintain and construct news roads etc.

Will electric vehicles also pay road taxes? To be fair to all that use B.C. roads, we should have an annual vehicle weight tax, the heavier the vehicle, the higher the tax.

This would not just put the onus on one sort of vehicle. We will face the tax shortfall when we all drive EVs.

Should we not get used to this right away? Many European countries have weight taxes since a heavy vehicle wears the road more than a light one.

J.I. Hansen

North Saanich

Nursing shortage worse due to high training cost

Re: “Royal Jubilee shuts an operating room amid staff crunch,” Sept. 1.

We’ve heard these stories over and over again – burnout and staff shortages at our hospitals. Meanwhile, how are we taking care of students in health care?

I know a young person going into second year Bachelor of Science in Nursing, in the hopes of becoming a nurse practitioner.

Tuition comes to between $22,000 and $24,000 for the four-year program. They work two eight-hour shifts a week and when the school term ends they work three eight-hour shifts a week during the summer.

All of this is unpaid. Throughout this time they are responsible not only for housing and transportation but also must pay for any equipment they may need. Over the four years they put in 1,520 work hours.

As it stands, they come out of the program with a debt of roughly $23,000, possibly with additional amounts for housing and interest. This is a barrier to entry in the program for many.

Debt relief is an absolute must for these compassionate young people; at least pay them for the hours they work. They are our future.

Peter Woodward


Bridge disaster stories? Here’s who to contact

I am writing a book on the Point Ellice bridge tragedy of 1896, in which an overloaded tramcar transporting passengers to the Queen’s birthday celebration crashed through the bridge and into the Gorge.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone with a family connection to the disaster who might have stories, letters, photographs, etc. they would be willing to share. Contact me at ­

Robert Clark

Qualicum Beach

Don’t forget squadron housed in that hangar

Re: “YYJ historic hangar coming down,” Sept. 3.

I enjoyed the article on the long history of this special hangar, except for one glaring omission. There was no mention of VU 33 Squadron, which occupied the hangar during the 1970s.

I was posted to this unit in 1971.

VU 33 was a utility squadron for the navy flying Gruman CS2F Tracker and T-33 aircraft in support of the fleet at Esquimalt. Missions included sonobuoy testing and target towing for fleet gunnery exercises.

With increasing awareness of sovereignty issues during that period the role of coastal patrols was given to the trackers, involving regular flights from Victoria to the Alaska border, monitoring and reporting on vessel traffic near our coast.

They also performed search duties, when required, in support of 442 Search and Rescue Squadron in Comox. During busier seasons additional Trackers and crews were deployed from VS880 Squadron in Halifax.

One Halifax aircraft and crew were lost in one such search in the Castlegar area.

The unit was an integral part of the local community, with well-known ­artist Sebastian Cabot a regular attendee at the Officer’s Mess.

An elderly lady lived off the end of one of the runways and loved to watch the aircraft taking off and landing. She would frequently call the squadron to complement, or critique, various pilots on their technique.

While the squadron and the hangar are mere memories, example of the aircraft can still be seen at the B.C. Aviation Museum.

Larry Biccum

retired major


The wage problem is found overseas

Re: “No Canadian shipyards bid on the ferry work,” letter, Sept. 5.

The writer suggests the wages of shipbuilders in B.C. are too high and that’s why B.C. Ferries are being built in foreign shipyards.

I suggest the wages in the foreign shipyards are too low.

Joy Adams Bauer


The main event waits in our future

Re: “Are there optimists about our future?”, letter, Sept. 5.

Had the writer been listening to the CBC show Morningside in 1982, when a representative from an intelligence organization revealed a few of the coming events for the next 50 years, they would have been optimistically able to say, “it is an established fact that I know what the future will bring.”

Hint: the COVID-19 pandemic was merely just a rehearsal for the main event that is soon to come.

Steve Hoffman


It’s the best answer to the honorific question

Re: “Which honorific? Why do we need any of them?” letter, Sept. 5.

Can someone please tell me what purpose gender serves – other than to create diversiveness (certainly not diversity!)?

Roger Love (it)


Accept our shared past, find ways to move ahead

Colonialists. Settlers. Indigenous. This has to be a mind-killing squabble that is wasting useful study, thought and planning.

Peoples have moved around the world since time immemorial, of course often causing pogroms, war, and also often increasing public amenities and technological advances.

Do complainers regarding this topic read any history? Do they know of the Roman empire, its decline and the southwestern movements of the Nordic tribes from Scandinavia? The Danes added to the legal framework of early Britain. Western Europe, in Spain, experienced an Islamic invasion which brought much art, architecture and learning, but the population was forced out by Christian nations’ warfare in the early 17th century.

Now we have North (and South) America, peopled by both the tribes who were here first, and the many newcomers of the 17th and 18th centuries, continuing into the present.

The anthropologists, archaeologists and geneticists tell us the first people in the Americas migrated from Asia, via Alaska, and are really not “indigenous” according to a technical reading of the word, and that the very first people on earth developed indigenous to Africa, then moved into Asia. Sub-theories for this period are academic and diverse.

Now Canada is welcoming Ukrainians, whose origins are yet more Eastern and Nordic, including Tatars from Mongolia…

Can we not recognize the residential schools were a bad idea, put in place by a hurried concept of government leaders from an era when child-centred care and family life were considered less important than military and economic growth … colonials were sending their own children back to Britain for residential (private) school education, rife with bullies. They still exist.

A transformative plan needs to happen, including First Nations and the rest of us, but this mindless squabble over Colonials and Indigenous should be subject to some historical acceptance, study, and progressive planning from everyone.

Lots to attend to, for our future.

Janet Doyle


Future will bring an electricity crunch

In regards to outlawing natural gas home furnaces, I understand the need to reduce the amount of carbon into the atmosphere but is any thought given to the ability to meet the growing electric demand?

The B.C. government released a paper recently stating that demand will outstrip supply by 2030 by 15 per cent even with the completion of the site C dam.

There are no planned increases in supply for B.C. today other than a few small dams and an increase in solar and wind installations which will have a minimal impact on the electric deficit.

B.C.’s current plan is to buy additional wattage from out of province meaning electricity derived from either natural gas, oil or nuclear power stations.

Would it not be wiser to delay the outlawing of natural gas furnaces until thee is a way to avoid a deficit in generating clean power, or do we willy nilly dive down the rabbit hole and depend upon other provinces/countries sell us the wattage we will require?

Christopher Marchant


Moritz the terrier is grateful to be rescued

I have to share a story with you, a story with a happy ending.

My name is Moritz. I am an Airedale Terrier, 11 years old and a bit stiff in my hind legs.

I went on my daily walk around the Panama Flats. It was hot. I looked for water and found some under the bridge over the Colquitz Creek. What a relief! In I went.

After some splashing, wading and drinking , I realized, that I could not make it back up the steep embankment.

Mom was calling and wringing her hands. Since she, too, is stiff in the hind legs with a sore knee and past the “best before date,” she could not come to the rescue.

A very kind and very sympathetic gentleman with a bike and dog stopped, assessed the situation and realized, he could not help due to a sore back, stiff in the hind legs and being a senior himself.

Next came two ladies. Without hesitation, one offered to lower herself down the bank, hanging on to roots and branches.

With an heroic effort, she managed to pull me out and up back to safe ground.

I am forever grateful to my rescue team, especially the lady, who did the hard work, and to everybody who stopped.

They did not even accept a dog cookie as a “thank you”!

Moritz (and Heidi Roemer)



• Email letters to:

• 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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