Letters Aug. 4: Andrew Scheer, recycling and more on bike lanes

Scheer drives home a weak point

Re: “Scheer vows to torch clean-fuel standards,” July 9.

The article quotes Andrew Scheer as saying that the new carbon standards will increase the price of gasoline 11 cents per litre, and then quotes him as saying, “for some families living paycheque to paycheque, an extra $100 a month matters.”

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If an increase of 11 cent per litre results in a $100 per month increase, that’s 900 litres per month. My car averages 10 kilometres per litre, city and highway, so that would be, ummm, 9,000 kilometres per month.

Who drives 9,000 kilometres per month? That would be 300 per day, every day.

Even cab drivers don’t drive that much.

I didn’t have much respect for Scheer before, but now I have none. Either he’s stupid, or he thinks all of us are.

Ian Cameron
Brentwood Bay

Recycling drivers deserve our thanks

I’d like to give a heartfelt shout out to the Emterra drivers who pick up our recycling.

Like many in this city we now recycle more than we throw away and I’m amazed how hard these guys work each and every day. Thank you!

As a new resident, though, I’m confused as to why we need four city employees to pick up our garbage but only one to pick up the recycling!

Paul Cunnington

War survivor sees similarities

It distresses me, as a Pacific War survivor, how we insist on repeating the mistakes of the past. The Pacific War was launched by the imposition of economic sanctions on Japan, effectively placing that country in a bind.

The objective of those sanctions was to alter Japan’s behaviour in China, where it was conducting a terrible war. The result of those sanctions was the launch on Dec. 7, 1941 of the Pacific War which ended after the death of millions and the use of the atomic weapon, while leaving China in a state of chaos.

In 1961, economic sanctions were applied to South Africa with the aim of stopping Apartheid policies. It resulted in a relentless drive for self sufficiency.

More recently, we have imposed sanctions on Iran to encourage that country to ditch its theocratic government, and now, thanks to U.S. President Donald Trump’s relentless drive to make the sanctions bite, we are again hearing the accelerating beat of the war drums.

Economic sanctions are a cheap and therefore politically attractive way of satisfying domestic outrage in democracies by applying pressure on foreign countries seen to be misbehaving, and without incurring the cost in blood of armed intervention.

They are always applied in the hope of fomenting an uprising, bringing about regime change, and never reflect the reality within those countries.

Foreign aggression of whatever nature, always brings about a call to protect home and hearth, and in escalating steps, that reaction leads to a war that nobody in their right mind wants.

Boudewyn van Oort

Have bike lanes improved crash rates?

I am a daily cyclist who remains unconvinced our bike lanes are necessary or improving accident and injury rates. Rather than bounding forward with more, we need to know impacts.

Can we please have the actual accident and injury rates from the police records (pre- and post-bike lanes) from a source independent of council.

One could go on at length about idling cars, additional concrete, CO2 and the possibility of this same council’s well-intended misread of reality.

I won’t mention design, which in fact makes it impossible to make a right turn off Fort without calling for bikes to turn into two lanes of cars to make the manoeuvre. Try turning left into the new bike lanes from Yates.

Meanwhile, cars and bikes are beat up by the state of the actual roads, with dangerous potholes, etc.

I genuinely hope to be wrong, but at least let us know the impacts of the current situation before anything more is spent.

Kim Bergh

Picture illustrates lack of fairness on road

The picture on the comment page July 30 shows a continuous flow of cars in one lane, while only one bicyclist rides in the bicycle lane.

Yes, bicyclists are kept safer with their own lane, but this picture is so telling. All those cars have the privilege of using the roads as long as they are licensed and insured. Not so for that biker. They have the same privileges, even getting a whole lane to themselves, yet are they licensed and insured the same way? I don’t think so.

If the biker were to have an accident with another non-insured person — say, another bike or pedestrian — what would happen? With a car, ICBC would kick in.

The driver can get ticketed if he impedes the biker in his lane, but the biker feels entitled to move in and out in of traffic at will, travelling in car lanes when there is a bike lane right beside them, which is what I witnessed yesterday.

Drivers must buckle up, but how many times have I seen a bicyclist without a helmet, which is against the law.

Where is the fairness?

E.C. Jewsbury

Why class size, composition matter

It is important to focus on why class size and composition is a key element of a successful public-school system.

Teachers, as advocates for students, are trained to encourage diverse learning styles in their classes.

Emotional needs of students can vary from moderate to critically urgent because society is complex.

Some children experience family or societal crisis and without intervention, their learning could be significantly impaired.

It’s a remarkable gift to teach classes where variable and creative learning styles can be synchronized to benefit all learners.

Students can acquire information in their own unique way when the diversity of learners is celebrated and accommodated.

However, most class sizes are seeing increases beyond the numbers that were deemed acceptable by a successful court case.

If the public-school system reverts back to larger classes with limited supports for children with learning or emotional challenges, than all students will be short-changed.

Class-size limits and composition are fundamental in allowing unique learners to flourish in a shared experience with capable teachers.

It’s about life-long learning, life skills and the evolution of critical thinking as our treasured youth navigate the vulnerable pathway to a productive adulthood.

The value of a healthy education system where myriad learning needs are enhanced is priceless.

Heather Tufts

Isitt not best choice for a seniors’ rep

Re: “Victoria forms seniors task force,” July 27.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the news regarding Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt and his plan to “listen to seniors.”

I am a senior, but when I disagreed with him about having the Department of National Defence and Department of Veterans Affairs pay for Remembrance Day ceremonies, he said I was a right-wing fascist, a supporter of the corporate world and out of touch with reality.

Is he the right person to listen to seniors’ concerns? I don’t think so.

I think I could get more empathy from a turnip than I could from this vote-seeking, self-serving individual.

He actually thinks seniors are not smart enough to know the real reason he is starting this task force. He needs our vote when he runs for mayor. He definitely won’t be getting ours.

Mark Carlow

Noise helps Saanich become a better place

Now is the summer of our discontent.

Our normally quiet Saanich side street is a torn-up war zone, with heavy equipment noise and dust everywhere from early mornings until late afternoons.

Admittedly, residents in our neighbourhood were given written notice well in advance of these major infrastructure improvements, which will take at least until the end of October to complete.

But now, in the midst of this digging and drilling cacophony, we remember that we all like to see “our tax dollars at work” — until that work inconveniences us personally.

Meanwhile, the Saanich work crews and flaggers have been efficient, courteous, professional and often sympathetic.

So we will meet them halfway, and stoically see this thing through. It will be worth it — eventually!

John Gawthrop

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