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Letters Dec. 9: Death of a child; we still need short-term rentals; making better use of Malahat highway

Dontay Patrick Lucas with his father, Patrick Lucas. VIA PATRICK LUCAS

Before Dontay died, nobody was listening

Re: “He was thriving here: Ex-foster mom of murdered boy calls for ­accountability,” Dec. 5.

A child reached out and no one was there.

I woke thinking of Dontay Lucas, not because I’m a relative, neighbour, school counsellor, social worker, paramedic or teacher, but because I’m haunted by the death of a young innocent six-year-old child from my community.

A Nov. 28 article contained horrifying details of the last few months of Dontay’s short life.

It’s sad to read that Dontay’s mother said she wasn’t ready to receive her son back into her care — why wasn’t anyone listening?

It’s sad to read that Dontay and his sister reached out to a school counsellor that they were being hit and abused at home — why wasn’t anyone listening?

It appears that the agencies assigned to Dontay failed to support and protect as outlined in the 2019 audit of USMA which concluded that the overall compliance with child service standards was 56 per cent. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement for children in care.

Today, I would like to thank Karen ­Ruttan, DonTay’s foster mummy, along with another foster parent and another woman no longer working in child services for speaking up and calling for accountability for all that Dontay endured and for the future of all children in care in our community.

Leslie Walerius

Port Alberni

Commentary revealed real housing crisis

Re: “It’s a miserable life,” commentary, Dec. 7.

I read with deep sadness the description of one person’s experience living in supportive housing in Victoria.

Despite the targeted efforts of non‑profit organizations, local groups, local governments, staff and tireless ­volunteers, to address the despair and suffering on our streets, that our ­society continues to tolerate such humiliating ­living conditions is unacceptable to me.

This is where the real housing crisis is, especially for victims of a cruel economy and poverty.

Cairine Green


Short-term rentals will still be needed

There is a market for short-term rentals. There are many people who come to Victoria and are here for a short period of time.

Military personnel, construction workers on short term contracts, family members coming to visit their aging parents and young people who want to visit Victoria but can’t afford to stay in expensive hotels.

I really don’t believe that trying to enforce legislation designed to increase the amount of long-term rental housing inventory will work. It might help a little bit for a while but it will not solve the problem long-term.

The only solution is to build more affordable living accommodations for those who want to work hard and get ahead. And then reopen mental health facilities for those people who are too far gone.

Give them a comfortable place to live and get them off the streets.

Paul Arnold


Let’s make better use of Malahat Highway

Re: “Replace Malahat Highway with wider road,” letter, Dec. 7.

The letter proposes a new six-lane highway linking Langford and the Nanaimo Parkway. Virtually everyone agrees the Malahat is less than ideal, but the alternatives are politically and economically not viable.

A new highway using a different route would inevitably encroach on the Sooke Reservoir, compromising the water supply to the Capital Regional District.

Expanding the Malahat would require extensive blasting and compromise Goldstream Provincial Park and the river.

The solution? Continue common sense safety improvements to the current route. More policing to catch speeders and distracted drivers.

Invest in transit to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles used by daily commuters.

Increase capacity of the Mill Bay ferry run with another vessel and consider moving the berths to shorten travel times.

Sean Gimbel

regular Malahat commuter

Mill Bay

Four cyclists on Wharf every three minutes

Re: “Near empty bike lanes? 74,000 trips a day!” letter, Dec. 5.

If all numbers in the letter are trust­worthy, Wharf Street scored 1,600 a day on average. How many minutes are in a day?

Let’s say for only 10 hours a day, that’s 600 minutes. Wharf Street has two-way cycle lanes, that’s 1.333 cyclists a minute either direction.

In three minutes, you will see four cyclists! In that same time, how many cars are going through or are jammed there and wait to go through the street?

Simple math.

Ted Deng


Canada, COP28 and climate change

COP28 is becoming a circus and Canada is shirking its duties to the world.

Consider one minor point. We now consider allowing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector to be reduced from current levels by 30% by 2030.

Previously we promised to reduce methane by 45% from 2012 levels by 2025. There is a minor quirk that all of the estimates of methane emissions from Canada are unreliable.

Should we also promise to reduce our 2030 emissions by 95% by 2100?

Talk is cheap. The world suffers.

Charles Krebs

North Saanich

Humans, heed the warning of science

A commentary showed that B.C. continues to expand LNG production at a rate that is inconsistent with provincial climate goals. Although disappointing, this situation is the norm in fossil producing states globally.

The strategy is to state that increasing fossil fuel production is consistent with climate policies because emissions, not production, is the problem and that carbon capture and storage can decrease production emissions below climate commitments.

The final step is to deny that fossil fuel production needs to stop growing, let alone consider it should decrease, at least not for generations to come.

Dr. Al Jaber, the COP president and director of the UAE national oil company, extended this argument, stating that there is “no scientific evidence” that fossil fuels production must be phased out to reach the Paris 1.5 degrees target.

Jim Skea, chair of the IPCC, the UN climate science group, updated the president that the production of all fossil fuels must decrease dramatically by 2050 if the Paris 1.5° C target is to be reached.

Science shows natural gas, oil and coal must decrease by 45 per cent, 60 per cent and 100 per cent respectively.

Avoiding public disclosure of the urgent requirement to decrease the production of all fossil fuels has been a major objective of fossil fuel producers, governments and banks for decades.

Canada voted against a phase-down last year, encouraging increased domestic production. Science has guided humanity from building pyramids to AI and we would be wise to heed its warning now.

Aidan Byrne



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