Letters Jan. 28: Minimal-flower gardening; a tax that seems to work

No flowers, please, in the new Victoria

It appears the City of Victoria parks department is proceeding with council’s plans of eliminating the flowers from parks and greenways. They are being replaced with mostly native plants that boast no colour.

I think it will soon be safe to say that this was the City of Gardens.

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Raj Sundher
Victoria

Brian Small’s death: The loss of an icon

Our city has lost a “doer” with the passing of Brian Small. Victoria is so fortunate to have had him as a native son, and his presence will be sorely missed.

With his leadership of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce for about 25 years, he was a man who loved his city and took every opportunity to tout it and tirelessly support the business community.

I saw this first hand as, over the years, I had the pleasure to work with Brian through my involvement on the board of the chamber and on many other projects. He was an unstoppable force.

Rest in peace, Brian, our prayers are with your family through this loss to them and to our community.

Ron Grant
Victoria

Victoria city council is Loopyville indeed

Re: “A prediction for who will win Victoria’s byelection, and why,” comment, Jan. 18.

When I read Stephen Hammond’s recent comments, I chuckled at his reference to Victoria being “Loopyville” under this city council. I didn’t take it seriously … but that has changed.

First, council members justified their need for taxpayer-paid free lunches due to their “stressful” jobs. Want stress? I know a retail clerk whose stress involves putting food on his table. I know a single mom juggling daycare while working two jobs. That’s stressful, yet no free lunch.

Then the “turf war” debacle. It makes sense to debate the issue of grass versus artificial turf, but we found out this debate went on for two years amongst experts and those involved in the sports. The answer, while not perfect, was to go with artificial turf, especially due to Victoria’s climate.

Yet at the last minute, this know-it-all council suddenly wanted to overturn that decision. But for the public going into overdrive in shouting, this bunch would have stood their ground.

Then, when our tax dollars were used for a no-chance appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada about council’s plastic bag debacle, Mayor Lisa Helps said she was “not surprised” because the court takes very few appeals.

Helps has also said this didn’t cost taxpayers any money because the lawyers are on our payroll. I guess, without this make-work project, our high-priced city lawyers were spending their time playing gin rummy.

Loopyville indeed.

Debbie Kennell
Victoria

Do the people matter to our councillors?

In theory, elected officials are supposed to represent the will of the people.

The Topaz Park Improvement Plan had more than 3,600 people actively participate in public consultation for the project. The process included stakeholders, partners and community organizations including sport-permit holders, longtime users of various park facilities, the District of Saanich, the local neighbourhood association and specialists representing potential new park programming.

In addition, more than 230 people responded to the city before council’s vote in favour of replacing the turf field at Finlayson.

On June 22, 2018, Coun. Ben Isitt was quoted in the Times Colonist as saying “most of the comments I’m hearing from the public in Hillside/Quadra are strongly in favour of the plan and the process. They like the diversity of the amenities proposed.”

Isitt was the only councillor to vote against the turf field replacement as part of the park plan on Jan. 23. Apparently, his own agenda is more important than the will of the people.

John D’Agnolo
View Royal

Paparazzi not welcome on the Island

Paparazzi, you are not welcome on Vancouver Island. Please leave the Sussex family in peace and go stalk Trump or someone equally newsworthy instead.

Sheila Sanders
Duncan

Can Harry and Meghan find a family doctor?

With the family doctor crisis in this area, I was wondering if they have had any luck getting a family doctor.

Royal watchers, you never know — you might just spot them in a line at a drop-in clinic. I guess, being realistic, the chances of that are somewhere between slim and nil.

Paul Baldwin
Victoria

We hate that tax, but note what it has done

Re: “Here we go again: Speculation tax forms are in the mail,” Jan. 25.

After all the angst and hand-wringing over the speculation tax, I think we can sum things up — “It tastes awful. And it works.”

(Apologies to Buckley’s cough syrup.)

Dave Nonen
Victoria

Free contraception is a human right

The Access B.C. campaign for no-cost contraception in British Columbia has been gaining momentum, and it was wonderful to hear formal support from Victoria city council last week.

The decision if and when to have children is a human right, and being able to access to effective contraception is a key part of exercising that right.

However, in British Columbia, cost is a significant barrier to accessing contraception for many people, particularly those with low incomes, young people, and people from marginalized communities.

Although programs such as Fair PharmaCare offer some support for access to contraception, these programs often involve a complex and time-consuming application process, presenting additional barriers.

The benefits of providing universal, no-cost contraception outweigh the costs, and programs that offer free contraception are revenue-positive.

Residents of many other jurisdictions already have universal access to contraception; it is time for British Columbia to provide the same to its residents.

Karyn Fulcher
Victoria

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