Letters Jan. 15: Harry and Meghan; pedestrian safety; homeowners’ grant

Harry, Meghan should consider Oak Bay

Re: “Premier, PM ‘giddy’ about prospect of royals in B.C.,” Jan. 14.

What a great idea. Harry and Meghan should consider Oak Bay as their preferred residence, since we are “more British than Britain” and we know how to turn a blind eye.

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Alan Gregory
Oak Bay

No taxpayer support for royals

I may be the only person on Vancouver Island who could not give a damn about the prospect of the royal couple moving here. I hope they have enough money to buy into the Victoria housing market and that they do not expect taxpayers to provide security for them or pay for their travel plans.

I cannot believe in this day and age that someone is given such status simply by virtue of their birth parents who have been supporting him.

I am not sure how much taxpayer money in Britain goes to support the Royal Family. But let’s hope none of ours goes there.

I am sure that they are in and of themselves a lovely young couple raising a family.

Glenn White
Shawnigan Lake

PM’s comments about royals not giddy

Re: “Premier, PM ‘giddy’ about prospect of royals in B.C.,” Jan. 14.

You may have quoted Premier John Horgan correctly, but why is he allowed to speak for the prime minister? This is what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Global News:

“There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the Royal Family, by the Sussexes themselves, as to what level of engagement they choose to have and these are things that we are obviously supportive of their reflections, but have responsibilities in that as well. That is part of the reflection that needs to be had and there are discussions going on.”

Does that sound “giddy”?

First-year journalism students are taught: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” I think that’s good advice for your professional journalists and your headline writer.

As for the remainder of the article, it sounds like the writers themselves are a bit giddy. Reads a bit like People magazine, not a sober and well-sourced newspaper.

Virginia Watson-Rouslin
North Saanich

Royal couple’s attitude is selfish

I have been a guest of the Queen and Prince Philip and am an admirer of the hard-working members of the Royal Family, especially for the numerous charitable institutions they support.

However, I am appalled at the selfish attitude of Harry and Meghan, who want to trade financially on their “RoyalSussex” status, but not give 100 per cent support to the rest of the family.

Their U.K. mansion was renovated especially for them to the tune of $5 million, paid by the British taxpayers. If they want an “independent” life, fine, but I will take very strong exception if they expect B.C. taxpayers to fund their already glamorous life by paying for security, for example.

They will be keeping their Royal Protection Officers (again paid for by U.K. taxpayers). They both personally have millions of dollars, and will make even more money by attending events, sponsorships, etc.

If the Sussexes do live on the Island, I hope we will not continue to see pages of idolatry in the Times Colonist and photos of people who “ooh and aah” because they have caught a glimpse of them and stories of “they looked straight at me and smiled.”

And what do you want to bet that Harry will be nominated to be a future governor general?

Pauline Langley

Show class, give royals their privacy

Please have the decency to not fall into the trap of the British press.

Coverage of Harry and Meghan’s visit has been excessive and obtrusive. Let’s show some class and protect their right to privacy.

Rhonda Todrick

Deflecting attention from Andrew scandal

The relentless, intense media coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle effectively deflects attention from the ugly scandal involving Prince Andrew.

Good job, royals!

Cheera J. Crow,

Onus for safety lies with the individual

Re: “Pedestrian safety is being ignored,” letter, Jan. 14.

It’s not that our streets may be becoming less safe — but about where the real onus for safety lies.

The truth is that my safety, whether I’m walking or driving, be it car, truck or bicycle, lies with myself — with each individual.

I’m the person who has the ultimate, absolute interest in my safety out there. If I won’t exercise that (and it’s still not too difficult for most of us, from about age five on, to master), there is precious little anyone else can do — short of putting me on a leash (and who will hold the other end?) to protect me.

If I do exercise it, I’m as safe as it’s possible to be, despite what other fools may do.

It’s high time we took back our responsibility.

John A. Laidlaw

Grant helps owners to stay in their homes

Re: “Homeowner grant benefits those who have least need for it,” editorial, Jan. 12.

I read, with interest, your editorial regarding the homeowners grant for property owners in B.C.

You did not take into consideration the fact that many of us, including those who own homes valued above $1 million — which, incidentally, is not considered to be the mark of a “wealthy person” anymore — purchased our homes many years ago, when values were affordable and so were taxes.

Today, simply because of the soaring costs of real estate, driven by a variety of factors such as construction costs, costs of raw land, municipal regulations, etc., our homes have indeed gone up in value, but our earnings have not, and so we’re stuck with finding some way to pay our taxes, despite the fact that we’re living on fixed incomes such as pensions or low-paying jobs.

Without the benefit of the homeowners grant, especially for seniors, we’d have to give up our homes, and then where would we go and how would we live? It seems that we’d have to join the ranks of the homeless populating Victoria’s streets.

Stephen Young

Business as usual vs. environment

Re: “Gas pipeline will be built despite protests, Horgan says,” Jan. 14.

The term liquified natural gas sounds benign, but it’s still a fossil fuel and the “process of extraction has long-lasting negative impacts on the surrounding environment. Air pollution and water contamination due to the toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are the greatest concerns within fracking sites, while the need for wastewater disposal and shrinking water supplies are also pressing issues directly related to the procedure.”

With this information available, the premier is still willing to dismiss the concerns of First Nation chiefs whose goal is to protect the environment for future generations.

At the time of their election, I mistakenly thought this government would put environmental issues ahead of business as usual.

Sadly, the attitude of many heads of state is the macho: “Damn the environment; full speed ahead.”

Lynda Unterthiner
Quathiaski Cove, Quadra Island

Pipeline will help younger generation

The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en are filling a profoundly important historical role. When the First Nations people were hunter-gatherers, they were completely dependent on their environment for water, food, fuel, clothing, building materials, tools and weapons. It was critical to retain knowledge about how to find and use those resources. It is no wonder that the knowledge keepers were treated with the utmost respect.

However, it is unlikely that today’s younger generations of First Nations people want to return to a hunter-gatherer economy. There is evidence that the youth now aspire to be equipment operators or concert pianists or astronauts in the modern economy. Their elected leaders are supporting the pipeline to help the younger people pursue those dreams.

It is good to see the elected premier of our province now supporting the decisions of the elected leaders of the Wet’suwet’en.

David Stocks

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