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Letters Feb. 1: Dutch Reach; Victoria council’s priorities; comforting response after a mishap

Drivers, Dutch Reach could save lives The sad memorial last weekend for a cyclist knocked off his bicycle by a car door opening might be avoided in future by following the Dutch way of opening a car door onto traffic, known as the Dutch Reach.

Drivers, Dutch Reach could save lives

The sad memorial last weekend for a cyclist knocked off his bicycle by a car door opening might be avoided in future by following the Dutch way of opening a car door onto traffic, known as the Dutch Reach.

The Dutch use the hand furthest from the door (not the hand near the door). By doing this, the body is turned to face the street and thus has a view of approaching traffic. This procedure is part of the Dutch driver's test.

Joan Smith

Fortis to the rescue, without being asked

In September last year, we completed a major renovation of our Rockland home, finishing with fresh exterior paint, a new roof, new fencing, fresh landscaping and new front steps and pathway done in Philadelphia blue stone.

Anyone who has done extensive renovations knows the joy experienced when a project like this is finally finished and you regain occupancy of your home.

Within days of completion, Fortis B.C. working across the street had a hydraulic arm on a backhoe loader burst, releasing a plume of synthetic oil into the atmosphere that the wind carefully applied to the front of our property.

Before we could squawk, Fortis responded with, “We’ve got this!” Not a word about fault or insurance, just a sincere “sorry” and “we will get it all fixed.”

Within a day, Fortis had contracted commercial cleaners, our landscapers, and our masonry company to do the repairs. Their operations supervisor took ownership of the repair ensuring completion to our satisfaction in a timely manner, and then presented us with a generous gift certificate to a local restaurant to offset the inconvenience we had been caused.

It is comforting to know we have a company like Fortis B.C. working in our neighbourhoods. As their website states, they employ very “talented people who bring their energy to their team and to our community!”

Mark Appleton

Spend on policing rather than homeless

Re: “Bike lane money should have gone to homeless,” letter, Jan. 30.

Maybe the letter-writer should look at what $15 million spent on bike lanes could have done for our depleted Victoria police force and enforcement of laws for ALL residents of the city.

Talk with any officer about why you don’t see much in the way of police presence in your part of the city, despite increased criminal activity, and they will tell you it’s because they spend so much time on Pandora Avenue and area.

So I ask the letter-writer, how has the $26 million spent on the tent city fiasco worked out so far? Why throw another $15 million at the same money pit just to watch it be squandered again?

Pat Mulrooney

Once again, council is overstepping its role

Re: “City council debated pipeline declaration,” letter, Jan. 31.

There has been no shortage of reports in the Times Colonist demonstrating why Victoria councillors are too busy to do the jobs they were elected to do.

The poor overworked souls are too busy protesting the decisions of other government bodies. It’s busy work indeed, sticking one’s nose into others’ jurisdictions. Perhaps even illegal.

If only the federal, provincial and regional governments would wake up and realize that Victoria council’s capabilities far exceed the menial tasks expected of them.

Though their support, I imagine, being outside the box all the time, is a lot sexier than listening to groups of disparaging taxpayers in the region, who just don’t get it. What could they possibly understand about the Victoria council’s lofty political pursuits?

Today Victoria! Tomorrow the world!

Unfortunately, despite their universal wisdom, they might not have accounted for the negative backlash created by the sudden nakedness of one simple fact.

From now on, they will not only be exposed to what Coun. Ben Isitt conceives as unfair public criticism, they might have to pedal back on any suggested pay raise as the base rate of $45,384 councillors receive for their protesting efforts surely exceeds the average going rate of other professional protesters.

I wish them luck in their endeavours, these poor overworked souls.

Barrie Moen
Oak Bay

Democracy is key to pipeline dispute

The democratically elected provincial and federal governments have negotiated and agreed with the democratically elected First Nations councils over the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

The hereditary chiefs trying to prevent this would be rather like Prince Harry saying no to bike lanes.

Martin Hill

Victoria council should think local

Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt has said that stepping into the Coastal GasLink dispute “was the right thing for council to do.”

On what authority does Isitt become the determiner of the “right thing” for the people of this city? Victoria’s council needs to sit down at one of those free lunches to examine the Province of British Columbia Community Charter.

The powers of local governance are “to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality and its community, and to contribute to the development and evaluation of municipal policies and programs.”

Our council has taken upon itself to create its own framework for the best interests of Victoria and the Capital Regional District, despite missing essential information, such as in the pipeline motion, and even if the actions are illegitimate, such as the plastic bag bylaw.

Small wonder Victoria is earning the title of “Loopyville.”

Victoria has a host of problems well fit for local governance. If our council spent less time discussing and researching issues beyond the scope of its responsibility, councillors would find their work would not be so onerous as to require increased remuneration.

Victoria electors did not give them leeway to recreate their own jobs.

Marlene Lavallee

Petroleum industry is vital to our future

Re: “City council debated pipeline declaration,” letter, Jan. 31.

Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt continues to show his uneducated bias toward the fossil fuel industry.

His use of the term “big petroleum” shows his ignorance and unwillingness to understand how all non-renewable energy sources from Canada are a better option for the world than where and how they are presently produced.

LNG produced from natural gas from the Coastal Gaslink pipeline will provide the most populous country in the world an option to use much cleaner fuel than coal.

The “big” petroleum companies are also responsible for Alberta being a Canadian leader of investments in renewables such as wind and solar.

Those projects are funded by sales of petroleum products produced in a much more environmentally regulated way than anywhere else in the world to help get rid of the use of coal in countries like China.

Isitt is a populist. His knowledge is all icing and no cake. I expect higher standards and more focus from council in regards to infrastructure, homelessness and policing, for starters.

Ron Vermeulen

Doctors make less than mediocre athletes

My wife and I are lucky and very grateful that we have regular family doctors, but we know many people who cannot find a family practice willing to care for them.

I feel that this situation would not exist if general practitioners could make more money. These doctors spend a great deal of money and time on their education.

They work long, hard hours, they follow up on their patients, some even make house calls, and yet they make much less money than specialists.

Even mediocre pro athletes with much less education make more money than these good doctors. Let’s show our doctors that we appreciate them and pay them what they are worth.

B.C. is not a poor province. We can afford it.

John Rempel

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