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Letters July 10: Don't close McKinnon pool; absence from Pride Parade noted; don't parade on Sunday

The Victoria Pride Parade at Government Street and Belleville Streets in Victoria on Sunday. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Pool offers many benefits that would be lost

I am deeply saddened by the planned closure of the McKinnon pool at the University of Victoria, and I know many other people feel the same way.

Yes, I am a user of the pool — my kids and I swim there multiple times a week — however what saddens me the most, as a UVic alumni, is the university’s lack of commitment to a well-rounded athletics offering.

Not only is the pool beneficial to the swim team, triathletes and the general health and fitness of the students, faculty and the community, it is also highly beneficial for all Vikes athletes when rehabilitating from an injury.

Swimming and water exercises are a great way to maintain cardio and strength in a low-impact activity.

The university mutters about the possibility of a new pool in the future, but I find this hard to believe given the lack of commitment to the aquatics program.

If they cannot find $1.5 million in the budget to maintain the current pool, how will they find the money to build a new facility?

Come on, UVic. Every other major university in the country can prioritize aquatics. Why can’t you?

Julie Findlay


Not all parties appeared in the Pride Parade

In its wisdom, the Pride Parade organizers placed all the political groups one after the other. The Greens, the NDP and the federal Liberals were all enthusiastically represented.

However, there was a huge void of the other parties seeking to govern our province and our country.

Their absence spoke volumes and raises many concerns about future policies and lost gains should they obtain the power to govern.

Brian Shields


Saturdays would be better for parades

People love parades. I am one of them. However, not on Sundays when people are going to church and unable to do so.

On Sunday, I did not know there was a Pride Parade. Driving to the cathedral at View Street and Blanshard, from the time I turned right to Government Street, was slow and chaotic with people and cars.

Turning left from Government to any street was not possible because the streets were blocked. I left home at 10:15 a.m., and was trying to find the road that would lead me to the cathedral, but to no avail. I gave up by 11 a.m.

This is the second year that many people were not able to go to church because of the Sunday parade.

Can such parades be organized for Saturdays instead of Sundays?

It is an inconvenience to churchgoers that parades are held on Sundays, preventing parishioners from going to church and attending mass.

Annabella Morrell


Disrupting parade was a shameful thing to do

As an observer of my many gay friends’ struggles over the past 55 years, I was pleased witnessing the Pride Parade. It has been pointed out to me that the gay movement always had an element of protest, and what I witnessed was the evolution of the parade, to be a celebration and acceptance of being gay.

I was saddened by the disruption of the parade by a small group of supporters of Hamas/Gaza. They demonstrate weekends at the legislature and some tent in an encampment at the University of Victoria.

This group represents a region that has the most regressive policies towards gays. At a minimum they should have a deep level of shame for their actions.

Don Ferguson


Weekend protests have become absurd

The City of Victoria apparently has issued permits for a group of protesters to disrupt vehicle and pedestrian traffic every weekend for one or more hours ad infinitum.

While they are out there yelling about their perfect understanding of history, they are also allowed to impede another legally sanctioned parade!

For this, we taxpayers must pay for the 15 to 20 police on foot as well as the four or more police cars and the lead police van to escort these people through part of downtown. Absurd.

What do the tourists feel about this? How does all of this impact businesses downtown?

Mark Engels


Social revolution needed so we make do with less

Re: “The economy should serve well-being, planet health, not dominate them,” column, July 7.

While our dominating, planet-destroying, capitalist economy may be a “human ­construct,” changing to an economy that prioritizes the planet’s health, and not ‘“a set of values that prize money, wealth, greed, profit and “stuff,” will be very difficult.

The new economy will have to overcome a couple of real obstacles.

People are born with an innate desire to seek pleasure and avoid pain.

Also, our innate desires dictate that no one, with opportunities to add more value (pleasure) to their life, will willingly seek less.

This means getting those that believe they are entitled to a life of affluence and excess, rather than being satisfied with a just-sufficient lifestyle, will require the prescription of a more-than-just-sufficient dose of coercion.

Making the planet healthy again may need a social, rather than an economic revolution.

Ken Dwernychuk


Not at mob rule yet, but cause for concern

Recent calls for U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step down reflect an ominous trend.

The calls for both to leave office amount to little more than dislike of their character and behaviour. Neither country is in crisis and claims of scandal, incompetence, or corruption — easy to allege — have yet to be proven.

If there is a crisis it is not among our political leaders, it is in our increasingly unrealistic expectations of them.

Collective toddler-like entitlement and impatience, seen mainly on social media, would indicate a desire to be coddled by leaders who will make us feel good.

But sadly, many politicians who appear as the parent uttering that most dreaded word in the English language — no — are now subject to child-like tantrums but with adult-like threats.

If we don’t like our politicians, for whatever reason, we each have a vote.

We do not live in an ochlocracy — yet — but it would seem we are getting closer.

Paul Walton


Air India victims should not be forgotten

Re: “Discourse from MPs makes one less proud,” letter, July 5.

The writer makes a valid point about more and more Canadians being disenchanted by the actions of our MPs.

Why have 300 victims of the Air India crash, the biggest mass murder in our history, been forgotten?

Perhaps one should not expect consistent value-based response from elected leaders. They are guided by their advisers about how to behave to maximize their chances of getting votes.

Also, religious places like gurudwaras, mosques, temples and churches should be peaceful sanctuaries of reflection and meditation and should bring people together.

Such places should not be used for political agendas and fomenting hatred. I find state-sponsored religion equally reprehensible. I hope results of recent elections in India have been a lesson for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Surinder Kumar


Seniors are prepared to save the sequoia

A recent letter mentioned “grumpy letters from people opposing changes to Centennial Square.”

Those people have expressed legitimate, common sense objections.

The letter also said “this plan ticks all the checkboxes, addressing the needs of our current and future population while honouring the square’s history.”

What a vague statement! As if the writer can foresee the future!

Leave well enough alone. To cut down the sequoia tree is shameful!

If it comes to cutting that tree, I , at 77 years, will stand by its side. My senior friends will do the same.

John Vanden Heuvel



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