Letters Aug. 5: Gold Rush warehouses; a council that creates dissension

Most dissension with this council

Never have I seen, living in Victoria for some 40 years, such dissension created by our present mayor and council. It’s like “we know what’s best for you all.”

Mayor Lisa Helps went to Clover Point on Saturday afternoon on a holiday weekend when it was hot and no wind. Did she do a head count?

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One family was having a picnic, so three tables must have been empty. Every time I have been able to go there on nice weather days the place has been virtually vacant and certainly no kids playing, no wheelchairs rolling around, nobody picnicking and nobody in the grass area.

Clover Point was never “reserved exclusively for cars.” It has always been an easily accessible place for many users and has worked fine for years.

Canada’s contribution to greenhouse gases worldwide is about 1.5 per cent. That is rather small and I don’t think ­Victoria is contributing very much. Removing cars from Clover Point and other areas won’t make it much smaller.

The wildfires the mayor refers to are not because of Victoria’s cars, building emissions or waste. This is a worldwide problem that is causing fires, storms, high winds and floods everywhere on the planet.

Retrofitting Victoria’s homes and offices to combat climate change will be incredibly expensive and will have nearly no effect on the worldwide problem. Changing our transportation methods by reducing car use and going to Modo or Evo is a pipe dream.

Obviously we have a worldwide problem that is not only endangering us humans but all flora and fauna life.

Yes, I am concerned for our future generations. Yes, we need to fix it fast before it’s beyond reversing. The mayor and council’s efforts in Victoria will do very little towards that end, at great cost, and will only continue to antagonize our citizens.

Bill Day

Some of those activities did not involve vehicles

Re: “Clover Point 2.0: Confronting reality and the future we need,” commentary, Aug. 3.

Mayor Lisa Helps blatantly rewrites history by telling us that “Clover Point … was yet another place in the city reserved exclusively for cars.’’

I have lived near this peninsula for 50 years and witnessed multifarious activities there, many quite unrelated to vehicles.

No need to list them; everybody knows. Why so obvious an untruth?

Douglas Porteous

Helps does not have all the right answers

Re: “Clover Point redesign ‘fixes’ what wasn’t broken,” column, July 30.

The column highlighted an issue that has more significance than the specifics of the remake of Clover Point.

Dave Obee’s example of how change is made by Victoria council clearly offended Mayor Lisa Helps, but her Aug. 3 attempt at allaying voters’ concerns (assuming she has any interest in doing so) misses the point.

She defends, obfuscates and ­essentially says that only she has the knowledge and foresight on how to fight climate change, taxpayers be damned.

Just once, someone needs to coach the mayor on how to acknowledge that she does not have all the right answers.

Sometimes that is all that is necessary and folks who have different views may then acknowledge that they also do not have all the best answers.

But no, the mayor tells readers that keeping cars out of Clover Point is part of her vision to solve world problems. So bug off if you are offended with her righteousness.

D.L. Leskewitch

Atomic energy would fight climate change

Re: “Natural gas will help us reduce our emissions,” commentary, July 31.

Gwyn Morgan misses the point.

There is a demonstrated robust and safe alternative to natural gas and that is atomic energy which, until Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada had developed in a meaningful way.

The U.S. has more than 80 nuclear-powered warships, including submarines, whose crews work for months at a time in confined quarters adjacent to a reactor.

Their latest aircraft carrier is powered by a reactor which had fuel built into the ship during construction.

That spent fuel remains in the vessel until it is withdrawn from service at the end of its life cycle.

The U.S. navy has great confidence in the robustness of modern nuclear technology, as should the rest of the world.

Morgan appears to belong to a cadre of influential individuals who see Canada as no more than a country of resource extractors.

We used to and can do better. The overarching issue that our planet faces is global warming and the way to mitigate it is to produce energy without increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Natural gas does not accomplish this.

Allan Winks

Subsidies for LNG have dwarfed renewables

Re: “Natural gas will help us reduce our emissions,” commentary, July 31.

Gwyn Morgan tries to paint the picture that renewables such as wind and solar have received massive subsidies in B.C. Not true.

He conveniently omits the fact that LNG has received truly massive subsidies under both the Liberals and the NDP, subsidies that dwarf any received by wind and solar.

His phrase “despite hundreds of billions of dollars having been spent on them, wind and solar account for only 3.3 per cent of world energy supply” is misleading, since most of that is private investment money going where the future is.

Globally, most new energy generation projects coming onstream in the last few years are renewables, while coal and gas­fired electricity is being phased out.

Why? The cost of both wind and solar has dropped about 80 per cent or more since 2009 when Ontario brought in its Green Energy Act.

In 2020, wind and solar power generation became the cheapest forms of electricity production (says the International Energy Agency), and the problem of supplying demand when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow has been solved through large-scale energy storage systems.

We haven’t even scratched the surface of the potential solar energy that could be captured around the world.

Imagine if B.C. Hydro had spent $13 billion installing solar panels on every roof in B.C. instead of building the Site C dam.

To quote Elon Musk: “That free fusion reactor in the sky conveniently converts about 4 million tons of mass into energy every second. We just need to catch an extremely tiny amount of it to power all of civilization.”

Murray Gudmundson

Proposed development will undermine heritage

I hope that the proposal by Reliance Properties for the Gold Rush buildings will not be approved because it will undermine the heritage integrity of the downtown core.

I support the submission by Stuart Stark, the former chair of the City of Victoria’s Heritage Advisory Panel.

On March 13, he stated he was concerned about the height and monolithic design “absorbing” the heritage building, and noted it was “not consistent with the Official Community Plan (OCP), the Downtown Core Area Plan and the Design Guidelines.”

And he added, “block by block, Old Town is being converted from three to six storeys.”

In the 1960s I studied architecture in Rome, Seville and Paris. When I moved to Victoria, I was very concerned about the lack of respect for heritage architecture here.

Joan Russow


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