Letters Feb. 26: Give city staff credit; conflating racism and criticism; access to parks

City planning staff know more than we do

Re: “Clover Point should be open to all,” editorial, Feb. 24.

Thank goodness I didn’t vote for the Times Colonist last municipal ­election.

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I cannot understand the TC’s ruthless defence of the status quo, through an editorial rife with inflammatory and unempirical statements.

It disrespects the professional planning staff at the city, who have spent far more time researching best practice in urban green space and infrastructure than the editors at the TC.

This includes accessibility concerns, the balance of which goes much further than simply vehicle access.

No city with Victoria’s coastal amenities would waste the ­opportunity to reimagine a site like Clover Point during a major ­transformation, as the pump station project presents.

I suggest the TC’s editorial board gain some perspective on forward-facing mixed-use planning before reactively disparaging everything that comes across this council’s table.

Kevin Ehman
Victoria

Base decisions on what’s right for society

Re: “Helps condemns racist ­comments made against councillor,” Feb. 24.

My father turns 97 in May. I have not seen him in two years. I may never see him again.

He lives in England and I have lived in Canada for 33 years. In the past we have visited every year, more since my mother, his wife of 61 years, passed away.

For over a year, I and numerous others have made a deliberate and conscious sacrifice not to travel internationally in order to protect our families and community.

Councillor Sharmarke Dubow made a different decision and lied about it.

I am immensely saddened that he has been subjected to racist attacks about this. I am white and arguably privileged; however, my personal decisions are not based on my colour or position, but what is right for our society. I suffer no more or no less than Dubow.

I have chosen what I believe to be the right action. Can Dubow say the same and can he live with that decision? If not, he needs to step down.

Alan Humphries
Victoria

Misguided ideas about criminalization

Re: “Law enforcement makes it worse,” letter, Feb. 24.

I read with incredulity the letter claiming that enforcing the law makes matters worse for the tenters in our public parks.

The misguided writer ­actually asserts that police and bylaw ­officers “criminalize” tenters. Check the status of many of the tenters, and follow the logic: Those tenters with solid criminal records have done their own part to ­“criminalize” themselves.

So don’t blame our public servants who put their health and safety at risk to protect her, and the public.

Suggestion: Perhaps the writer should invite some of the tenters onto her property so they can totally avoid the “continued criminalization” by police and bylaw officers.

B.C. Supreme Court Judge Carol Ross’s 2008 ruling basically ­established the right for tenters to homestead in our parks as per ­Canada’s Charter of Rights and ­Freedoms which states: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

However, it seems clear the ­ruling curiously ignores that the public, seeking only to enjoy the parks, are excluded from “everyone” having “the right to life, liberty, and the ­security of the person.”

Gordon Zawaski
Parksville

Don’t restrict access to our parks

Regarding parking fees proposed at nine Capital Regional District parks — simply put, we the ­taxpayers pay for our public parks and their ­maintenance.

If council chooses to waste our ­dollars, then claim to not have enough money to fund the maintenance of our public parks, then maybe they should reconsider how they are spending our tax dollars.

An example is the proposed Clover Point changes that no one wants — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Families are already stretched with a high cost of living, and many will find even a minimal fee cost ­prohibitive, limiting how often they are able to frequent public parks.

The parks belong to the people and should remain free to visit.

Enough is enough!

Leanne Bates
Victoria

Pulling the strings? It’s Vladimir Putin

Anyone who has not yet realized that the elusive “Q” of the QAnonsense tribe is none other than Vladimir Putin has not been affording the issue the attention it merits.

If I were intent upon sowing civil strife in a given country I didn’t like, what richer resource would I have to exploit than the monumental gullibility of 50 per cent of its ­inhabitants?

No money, no commitment of troops, no trade wars; just a few posts on the internet will suffice to propel the lemmings over the cliff and into the sea.

John C. Simpson
Victoria

Travelling councillors show a sharp contrast

Two local politicians travel ­internationally during COVID-19. Ones tries to hold their ground but ultimately takes a demotion. The other lies about it and continues business as usual.

One is self-employed, the other lives off the public purse. Seems “you get what you pay for” no longer applies.

Frank Buruma
Colwood

How we can get through these hard times

Humans were never built to be too soft or too ­comfortable. The extraordinary challenges we faced throughout history forced us to actively and creatively adapt to any circumstances.

In doing so, we learned, improved, grew and survived.

Today we face a most difficult health challenge. Understanding that we were built to climb mountains may make it easier to navigate our uncertain path through these dark hills.

Like our predecessors, we feel the most frightened when faced with the unknown, the most lost when faced with things beyond our control.

Here are some of the ways we can adapt to reduce these feelings:

1. Wake up each morning with gratitude for all that you have, rather than resentment for what you don’t have. Go to sleep grateful for the day that you got to live.

2. Stay informed and educated about the health crisis, but not immersed. What you focus on becomes bigger. So focus on the simple things that enrich your life.

3. Be like Pandora: Let the other stuff out of the box, but hang on to Hope. Spend some time imagining the joy we will feel when this crisis is over.

4. Keep love front and centre. Help others any way you can. Be kind to yourself. If you are busy loving and helping, there is less room for fear and uncertainty.

5. Find a small “mountain” to climb, to remind yourself that this is who we are: strong, ­resilient, conquering challenges. Then sit back and ­celebrate your accomplishment.

Rolfe McCooey
Victoria

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