Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Letters April 18: Fearing for downtown safety; illicit drugs have no place in hospitals

Investigators with VicPD and the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit work at the scene of a fatal stabbing at the Douglas Centre on April 10. Letter-writers are expressing deep concern with the rise in violence downtown. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Go for a walk downtown, checking for safety

At 10:30 a.m. on Monday, downtown Victoria saw its fifth stabbing in 30 days. Some have been in broad daylight; some have been fatal.

I suspect that the mayor and council members never experience downtown as pedestrians, so I have a suggestion for them.

On any weekday on your lunch break, walk down Douglas Street from City Hall to the Bay Centre. Cross at Fort and walk back up Douglas on the other side.

Important: Do it singly, not as a group.

Watch out for the guy outside the Circle K who randomly punches people in the head; at the 7-Eleven at Johnson, don’t make eye contact with the drug users as you step over unconscious bodies on the sidewalk.

Cross at Pandora and walk (briskly, I would imagine) back to the safety of City Hall. Now tell us how safe you felt.

I really think that City Hall is oblivious.

P.J. Perdue


We need to make our streets safe again

There have been seven stabbings in Victoria since March 1. Police say don’t be concerned, that there have been 13 to 18 assaults involving a knife in the first quarter of the past four years.

I read that in a totally different light. I read that the chances of being stabbed in Victoria are pretty good.

I used to love going to town. Now it is very seldom, if at all. I am a busy woman; I can’t risk being stabbed and then the recuperation time, let alone being murdered.

I feel downtown Victoria is not safe. Is there nothing we as citizens can do to make the streets of town safe again?

In the meantime, we should warn the tourists and change the “Welcome” sign in the Inner Harbour to “Welcome to Gotham.”

Linda Murcheson Pierson


Victoria is becoming more dangerous

Walking along Douglas Street from Yates Street to View Street is scary and sad.

Every door cranny has multiple people who are high and threatening. Others “crashed” along the sidewalk.

How long will VanCity, Shoppers and Dollarama stay in their locations? It’s unsafe for their staff and customers.

There was a stabbing at McDonald’s a week or so ago. And recently on Pandora, with a hostel worker being stabbed. And another stabbing on Douglas on April 15.

I’m ashamed when I see tourists walking up Douglas shaking their heads in disbelief.

How long are we going to continue to allow our city to deteriorate?

Also, much has been written recently about the Pandora campers. Will there be a response to this tragic situation in our community?

Ian Munroe


Increased potential for violence in hospitals

I’m writing to add my name to the list of outraged and dumbfounded B.C. citizens regarding the sanctioning of patients and their visitors to bring in and use street drugs in the hospital setting and to carry weapons on their person.

This is wrong on so many levels. Illicit drugs consist of unknown and deadly substances. How can the medical staff properly treat patients when such unknowns are taken along with prescribed medications, and which are contraindicated to the betterment of good health and treatment?

Why should other patients and visitors have to deal with adverse drug reactions from people using street drugs or have to defend themselves in the likely event of increased violence?

Why does the safety and welfare of the majority — the larger numbers of patients, staff and other visitors who find themselves in a hospital — not trump the so-called concern for the feelings of the few?

As for weapons, who needs a weapon in a hospital setting? This allows for increased potential for violence, which staff do not need.

Having to hire further security staff is akin to trying to close the barn door after the animals have escaped.

The NDP’s decision to allow such moral decay to enter our hospitals is appalling.

I truly hope that sober consideration for a reversal of this inane “approach to health care” be taken.

Jan James, retired nurse


Don’t waste hospital space on drug users

The thought that a hospital patient can use illicit drugs is outrageous. You can’t smoke a cigarette, but you can smoke crack or shoot up heroin?

We may have decriminalized certain amounts of illegal drugs based on how Oregon has done it, but has anyone noticed that Oregon is repealing this plan because it isn’t working?

Our hospitals are having enough problems with finding space for patients — so now we’re going to be taking up some of this space to provide a separate area for patients to use illicit drugs?

Darlene McDonald


Looking for a Victoria punchline

A cougar, a wolf and an elephant seal walk into the Bard and Banker…

Hurray for Emerson!

Andy Lee and Beth Taggart


Build a structure with a second use

Re: “Landowner asks Central Saanich to reconsider expropriation,” April 13.

The people who own a piece of land in Central Saanich want to build a long-term care facility. However, the district desires to expropriate the land in order to redevelop municipal facilities.

What do we need more? In addition, with amalgamation (hopefully) happening some time in the future, why do we even need another municipal hall?

Why not let Park Place Seniors Living build a long-term care facility and then lease it to Central Saanich? The district could turn it into a temporary municipal hall — for example, turn the fitness centre into a council chamber.

Then when amalgamation happens, restore the building to its better use.

John Arduini


Our defence budget and differing numbers

A recent announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the defence budget would be increased seemed to be good news for the Canadian military.

Today I received an update report from Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier-General (Retired) R.R. Romses, which advised that:

“The world security situation since my last report has not become any less threatening. Despite this in March the Government of Canada announced reductions in spending over the next five years which will have a significant impact on the DND and CAF. They will see spending reductions in 2024-25 of over $800 million, in 2025-26 over $850 million and in 2026-27 and after of over $907 million.”

Who are we to believe?

I would put my faith in Romses.

Don Lovell

Captain (Retired) CD, PPCLI


Terry Fox was a hero — what about Steve Fonyo?

Re: “Museum takes on hero Fox’s collection,” April 11.

Steve Fonyo completed his cross-Canada fundraising run for cancer in 1985 with one artificial leg as well. Will the Royal B.C. Museum commemorate and display memorabilia from his run too?

Dave Nonen


Please, Victoria council, just do the job

Astounding! How else to describe Victoria council’s latest shenanigans? After possibly the greatest blunder in recent political memory — attempting to vote themselves a 25 per cent salary increase — they now ask Big Daddy David Eby to please do their job for them.

The vast majority of municipal jurisdictions in Canada manage, somehow, to accomplish this simple task that is apparently beyond the ken of this gang. It really isn’t rocket science.

There are countless precedents and methodologies for setting fair and reasonable compensation for councillors that have been used by politicians everywhere for decades, including the excellent Council and Board Remuneration Guide produced by the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

The public might be forgiven for thinking, given the recent history, that this is but another ploy to have someone else accomplish a goal that they could not themselves achieve — more money in their pockets, while avoiding the responsibility for doing so themselves.

Or is it yet another distraction, diverting attention from the Independent Task Force on Council Remuneration they have already voted to put in place? Are they worried they might not agree with the likely result?

Could they please, just this once, do the job that they were elected to do, and stop looking for ways to pass the buck?

Tom Braybrook


Vulnerable are suffering because of bylaw officers

I attended the Stop the Sweeps rally on April 11 and the Victoria council meeting that followed. It is shocking that such a protest was necessary.

As it stands, council has deputized its bylaw employees to thieve the meagre belongings of the most vulnerable and least resourced members of our community. We heard devastating stories of staff belittling unhoused people and stealing their necessities of life: sleeping bags, clothing, cellphones, family keepsakes and tents. Many among us are one paycheque, one car accident, one bike accident, one eviction, one workplace mishap, away from homelessness.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares: Everyone has the right to own property. Nobody shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and social services, and the right to security.

It has been reported that Victoria spends about $660,000 a year on encampment enforcement, and an additional $350,000 for two VicPD officers to accompany bylaw officers for nine months of the year. What a waste of money.

Lack of housing is not a policing matter. Why isn’t this million dollars going toward much-needed services, such as a supervised public washroom with showers? Or imagine: housing?

Anne Hansen



• Email: [email protected]

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

• Aim for 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.