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Letters Jan. 18: Clover Point compromise; North Island's rail needs

Clover Point, where much of the parking area was removed to make room for picnic tables and lounge chairs. A letter-writer would like to see more parking return to Clover Point and suggests a compromise to allow for that. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST Clover Point, where much of the parking area was removed to make room for picnic tables and lounge chairs. A letter-writer would like to see more parking return to Clover Point and suggests a compromise to allow for that. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Please, Victoria council, fix Clover Point

On a recent trip to Clover Point, on a stormy day, I was lucky enough to get a parking spot in the tiny area that has been allocated for cars.

Crammed in between other cars, I could enjoy the view directly in front of me, and that’s about it. A few years ago all of Clover Point was accessible for everyone to enjoy whenever they wanted to, in any weather conditions.

And then Victoria council decided to make things better. Now there are picnic tables and lounge chairs that, for the most part, only the birds make use of, no cars allowed there.

I get it, some people like the changes, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t having picnics or lounging around in January enjoying the view. Now that we have a mostly new council, maybe Clover Point can be fixed.

How about a compromise? Leave things the way they are for three months of the year, and put things back to the way they used to be for the other nine months.

Some picnic tables and lounge chairs might need to be moved, the birds won’t mind. It won’t cost much, I’ll help out for free.

Rob Schott


North Island needs that rail service

Re: “Comment: Rail corridor offers exciting possibilities,”commentary, Jan. 16.

The writer thinks that those of us north of the Malahat should have our railway turned into a tourist trail. A nice idea but neglects the need for rail service for half of the Island’s population.

Propane deliveries to the mid-island are brought by rail, removing this dangerous cargo from our roads; if the railway was brought up to 21st-century standards, a lot more could be displaced from the highways, tourist trains could be run, freighters parked in the Gulf Islands could disappear by using the Alberni deep sea port and the railway, and people could safely travel by rail from Courtenay to Victoria.

The writer’s “exciting possibilities” would have us north of the Malahat be stuck behind the wheel.

No thanks.

Ian Gartshore


LNG expansion is a test for Eby

FortisBC is hoping to massively expand its LNG facilities on a fragile part of the Fraser River in Delta, starting by building the Tilbury LNG jetty.

It’s critical that the B.C. government reject this project proposal. If this fracked gas project gets approved, it will threaten one of the most important salmon runs in the world, lead to more fracking in northeastern B.C., and emit as much pollution as the entire city of Vancouver.

The decision on Environment Minister George Heyman’s desk right now is about one specific aspect of the expansion project: the jetty where ships would dock on their journey to transport the fracked gas through the Salish Sea.

Increasing the tanker traffic around the mouth of the Fraser would require regular dredging, pile driving in fish habitat, and could push the southern resident killer whales into extinction.

One of the main purposes of the Tilbury expansion is to provide fuel for ships. However, research has shown that using LNG as a shipping fuel is actually a huge threat to the climate.

In the midst of a climate crisis when we need to rapidly wind down our emissions, expanding fossil fuel infrastructure like this is simply unacceptable. LNG is as bad for the climate as burning coal, and using more of it will lead to more droughts, floods and fires becoming the norm in B.C.

This is the first big climate test for David Eby’s new cabinet, and we’ll be watching to see what happens next.

Brian McCarthy


Great experience at Cowichan hospital

In early June 2022, my family physician referred me to an orthopedic surgeon to assess an ongoing problem with my right knee. A consultation with the surgeon was completed in October and we made the decision to replace my knee.

On Jan. 5, my knee replacement surgery was performed at Cowichan District Hospital. I was cared for by more than a dozen hospital personnel before, during and after my surgery.

And without fail, each and everyone demonstrated the utmost courtesy, knowledgeability, professionalism and good humour from the main entry admitting clerk (who had to deal with this writer’s somewhat surly reaction to a jammed main entrance door) to the personnel in the ambulatory area, operating room, recover room, patient care and physiotherapy areas, support services and laboratories.

The system is tuned to perfection. I was discharged on Jan. 6. I thank you wholeheartedly.

Each and everyone of these people at Cowichan District Hospital and their colleagues at other venues and in other disciplines comprise the nucleus of our much-maligned health-care system. They are indispensable assets.

Obviously, I experienced only a single stream of the health-care system — but please, Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon, do not play political Armageddon with the health-care system and its personnel.

The crew is exemplary, it is the ship that might need a retrofit.

K.L. Louis, P.Eng. (retired)


If you want something, work for it

Re: “Homeowner grant nears $1B, critics call for end,” Jan. 13.

Economist Marc Lee of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is correct, the party that proposes to eliminate the homeowner’s grant will be slaughtered at the ballot box.

Homeowners have worked hard and adjusted their lifestyles in order to buy and maintain a home.

I was 26 and my husband was 30 when we bought our first home. Yes, houses were cheaper back then, but wages were also much, much less than they are now.

We made the decision to save for a down payment, and two years after our son was born, with our saved down payment, we were able to buy a home with a yard for him to play in.

Times have changed, but some people’s priorities have not. Some people like to go out, eat out, go to Starbucks for their lattes, party, travel, have fashionable clothes and new cars, and also some families decide to have the mother stay at home and raise the children and/or single women who make a decision to have and raise their children on their own.

I have been told by some people that they preferred to rent as they did not have to make repairs to the house, pay property taxes, pay for house insurance and were not responsible for the upkeep of the property.

In our case, both my husband and I, like many others, opted to work for what we wanted. I would have loved to have stayed home with our son as many other working mothers would have.

It has been announced that $500 million was being set aside for the purchase of more properties to accommodate low-income people. When are all these handouts going to end?

There are signs all over town looking to hire workers. If you want something, go and work for it like the rest of us have had to do.

Liliane Morgan


Lineups for library books will only get longer

Re: “Overdue book fine is not an indignity,” letter, Jan. 11.

I agree. Since when does a small overdue fine produce “indignity and embarrassment”? If that’s all it takes, imagine the lineup of people waiting in line to pay parking fines. They must all be suffering the humiliation of their lives.

Seriously, the removal of these fines is a trend across the province and probably beyond, and this is no doubt a case of “keeping up with the Joneses.” The issue I have with it is that people might become unmotivated to return their books and materials within the requested three-week period whether they’re done with them or not.

And the problem with that is that the insanely long waits for the more popular requested books, which already go into the hundreds “in line,” will get even worse.

The overdue fines were minimal, but I believe were perhaps a small motivation for most people to follow the rules. And eliminating them has nothing to do with “prioritizing literature.”

Betty Wurtz

Shawnigan Lake

Make the Gorge more accessible

I think a good start toward using the Gorge Waterway to its full potential would be installing a dock at Curtis Point.

I use the Gorge Waterway frequently, and a big drawback has always been the barnacles. Many feet and hands, as well as inflatables, have been shredded getting in and out of the water. Let’s make it more accessible!

Gerald Riviere


Ask the geese about their problems

Ask farmers on Vancouver Island, and many will tell you geese are their biggest problem. “It’s just devastating,” said Terry Michell, owner of Michell’s Farm in Central Saanich.

Let’s rephrase that: Ask geese on Vancouver Island and many will tell you farmers are their biggest problem. “It’s just devastating.”

Let’s not be so quick to cull (read kill) our wildlife. Let’s at least find a humane way of relocating them.

I am no fan of geese, but destroying animals because they are inconvenient is not acceptable. Remember the sad story of the University of Victoria bunnies that were ultimately killed? Let’s be more careful with our geese.

Jan Johnston



• Email letters to:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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