Letters Dec. 5: Cycling plan doesn’t make sense; pay hike for council

Building cycling lane on Kimta makes no sense

Re: “Victoria to hold open houses for four cycling corridors, Nov. 30.

I live on Kimta Road, one of the proposed four cycling corridors. Kimta Road is a fairly quiet residential street where motorists, cyclists and pedestrians have co-existed for years without any issues.

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Now the city wants to expand its cycling network by putting in a protected bike lane. Given that there is an existing bike lane on Esquimalt Road, which runs parallel to Kimta Road, spending money on a protected bike lane seems unnecessary.

At the open house on Nov. 30, city representatives explained the protected bike lane is needed because some cyclists don’t feel safe and/or have trouble climbing the hill on the busier Esquimalt Road. I responded that Kimta Road has already been used and is being used by these cyclists, without spending a dime.

The city representatives also stated that the E&N rail corridor, which runs beside Kimta Road, would become a cycling corridor in the future.

So, the city is going to the expense of putting in a protected bike lane now, and then down the road, is going to the further expense of making the E&N rail line suitable for cyclists.

At that point, the E&N and Kimta cycling corridors will be running parallel within yards of each other and we will unfortunately be left with a very narrow roadway.

I don’t understand the need to spend the money now, when the E&N corridor would be totally separate and protected from the road, making it a much safer alternative than Esquimalt Road or Kimta Road are or will be. Why not just wait?

Victoria Jekabsons

Council pay hike could have an up side

Re: “Council pay hike panned by public in online survey,” Dec. 3.

The usual excuse for inflating salaries is to attract a “better and brighter” candidate. Perhaps it’s worth a try.

M. H. Ward

Isitt should resign, make room for someone else

Re: “Let’s discuss council-job expectations, Isitt says,” Dec. 4.

Such arrogance has rarely been seen since Brother XII declared: “I am not a person, but a Power.”

Given Coun. Ben Isitt is in his third term, you’d think he would have figured out the workload earlier and not kept running for council.

Now that he is going to ignore the public and issues, maybe he should consider going after that full-time job he so craves and resign now to give someone with a desire to serve their community an opportunity to show how it is done.

Patrick Murphy

Full-time pay for full-time work

It seems that council started out as parttime work for part-time pay but the positions have evolved into full-time jobs at part-time pay.

Personally we would prefer our council to be full-time employees at full-time pay. Victoria is growing rapidly and requires full-time attention by properly compensated professionals.

Perhaps this question should be be discussed in depth with voters and added to the next civic election.

Denis and Yolanda Corbett

To Ben Isitt: OK, we’ll take it

Ben Isitt threatens to work less as Victoria constituents overwhelmingly give his proposal for a 50 per cent salary increase for councillors a thumbs down.

I say “great” — less time for him to keep suggesting his unpopular ideas.

Elizabeth Kozak

A taste of life for her countrymen in China

Re: “Meng ‘no longer fears unknown’ despite ‘torment, struggle’ of past year,” Dec. 3.

It appears for the past year, Meng Wanzhou has experienced feelings of helplessness, torment and struggle as she sits in one of her million-dollar homes in Canada. My heart goes out to her.

Maybe now she can relate at least slightly to her countrymen who experience all of the above feelings their whole lives, while living in somewhat less-expensive housing.

Will she use that experience to help her countrymen? I kind of doubt she would raise that issue, as she is a direct beneficiary of the ruling party.

Glenn White
Shawnigan Lake

The two Michaels not so lucky as Meng

My heart bleeds for the torment and struggle Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer for tech giant Huawei, has had to endure this past year: living in palatial digs while shopping along tony Robson Street and dining at sophisticated eateries during her detention in Canada.

Her counterparts, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, imprisoned in China in retaliation for Wanzhou’s arrest, haven’t been so lucky. The two Canadians are confined to dank jail cells, cut off from legal representation and their Canadian families, systematically tortured and, in one instance, had a pair of reading glasses removed.

These men are entering their second year of imprisonment while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his representative seeking the two men’s release have been prattling empty platitudes to an adamant enemy while trying to maintain an economic smiley face with China.

A year is too long in any prison for trumped-up allegations. Release Wanzhou now, trade her for the two Canadians and to heck with U.S. demands for extradition.

Steve Hoffman

Compare Meng’s situation with Canadians’

Re: “Meng ‘no longer fears unknown’ despite ‘torment, struggle’ of past year,” Dec. 3.

If I have this right, the daughter of a Chinese billionaire, who is likely a millionaire herself several times over, struggles while on bail under house arrest in her several-million-dollar mansion in Vancouver, while two Canadians, arrested in what appears to be retaliation for the arrest of Wanzhou, are living in poor conditions and, at last report, are held in isolation with no access to the outdoors and even stripped of their reading glasses.

While I am not suggesting Meng be given the same treatment, surely the disparate arrest conditions should give Canada some leverage in negotiating more humane treatment of the two Canadians.

Ted Daly

Siblings generous despite how they were treated

Re: “Consider removing these names also,” letter, Dec. 3.

The Murikami family of Salt Spring Island was removed from their property and had it sold with no compensation to them.

Fifty years later, I was amazed to read that two of the Murikami children, now in their 60s, donated a valuable piece of property to enable the building of affordable housing.

How many of us would be that forgiving as well as generous and supportive of a community that took everything away?

Betty Young

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