Letters June 12: Wetlands, self-entitled drivers, flower baskets, politics, seniors centre and more

Island wetlands need protection

Re: “Change needed to save Island’s wetlands,” comment, June 2.

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of wetlands to a healthy environment. The opinion piece clearly outlines the existing unsatisfactory situation regarding the failure to protect these areas vital to the health of our natural environment on south Vancouver Island.

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Farming and wildlife need not be mutually exclusive and the economic as well as the environmental value of those few remaining areas of wetland should be recognized, preserved, and celebrated.

Action must be taken now to protect and enhance the last few local wetland areas.

Kim Beardmore

Colwood

Drivers display self-entitlement

Re: “Our new bike network’s heavy toll: making so many people unhappy,” June 9.

I am once again astounded at the level of self-entitlement of some motorists.

We have spent the past 100 years catering almost exclusively to cars, at the great detriment to our urban environment. Now, we are finally beginning to create some balance in our transportation system by supporting other transportation options, such as cycling, and it is portrayed like a coming Armageddon.

According the Capital Regional District’s 2017 transportation survey, cycling accounts for nine per cent of all trips made within the City of Victoria, but the share of road space and our transportation budget allocated to cycling is still far below that level.

The headline on the article refers to bike lanes “making so many people unhappy.” In fact, according to the only scientific polling on this issue, done by Simon Fraser University researchers in 2017, 85 per cent of Victoria residents support the all ages and abilities bike network.

The other thing that always surprises me about bike lane critics is they often talk as if this is just a Victoria issue, driven by Mayor Helps’ “personal agenda.” Cities around the world are building protected bike-lane networks. This is because their citizens have told them a lack of safe cycling routes is the top barrier to cycling. Developing all ages and abilities cycling networks have a proven track record in other cities as the most effective means of increasing cycling use.

Rob Maxwell

Victoria

Where have our values gone?

Re: “Take a good look at Site C project,” letter, June 8.

The letter reminds us how the governments of B.C. and Canada stand shamed before the world.

In August 2017, under the United Nations Office of High Commission on Human Rights, Canada was recommended to “immediately suspend all permits and approvals for the construction of the Site C” and report within one year concerning Indigenous free prior and informed consent, treaty obligations and international human rights law. Instead, B.C. proceeded full speed with Site C. Canada did nothing about the UN report.

In December 2018, the UN issued “an urgent action” procedure asking Canada to list — by April 2019 — “steps taken to suspend Site C.” Canada’s reply: None.

What has happened to us? Did our grandparents once tell us how decent we were? Does oil and gas greed now trump such principles?

Greg Holloway

Saanich

Let Hussaini into Canada

Re: “No entry: Man who lost legs for Canada,” June 8.

Is there no one in the Department of Immigration who can think outside the box? Enough of this bureaucratic claptrap. Let Niaz Hussaini and his family into Canada.

What more does this man have to lose in the service of Canadian soldiers before you will let him in? It boggles my mind at times at some of the people we appoint in government who fail to recognize the need to perform a humanitarian act when it is staring them in the face.

John Jenkins

Victoria

Cast your ballot before complaining

Some Victoria residents are upset about the measures that the mayor and councillors have enacted or proposed, from taking down Sir John A.’s statue in the middle of the night to separated bike lanes to exploring the idea of charging the military for hosting events such as Remembrance Day.

But only 44.84 per cent of eligible voters bothered to cast ballots in the last civic election. If you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain.

Kenneth Mintz

Victoria

Nice flower baskets but mum’s the word

The Times Colonist had a beautiful photo of Victoria’s flowering baskets in Tuesday’s newspaper.

I am concerned that a certain attention-seeking politician will decide they are a frivolous expenditure and will want to eliminate or pass on the expense to someone else. Perhaps it would be best to not draw too much attention to them in the future!

Eleanor Randell

Victoria

Not a dull moment in world of politics

Good entertainment is hard to come by, but thank goodness for the politicians.

Imagine how dull this world would be today without the likes of Trump and Pelosi, the three “Andrews,", Scheer, Weaver and Wilkinson, the two “Mays," Elizabeth and Theresa, the six “J’s,” Justin, John, Jody, Jane, Jagmeet, Jong-un and, oh yes, almost forgot, Vladimir and bike-lane Lisa.

Graeme Roberts

Brentwood Bay

Weighing in on seniors centre

Re: “ ‘Risk’ fears cancel $52M Parksville seniors centre,” June 11.

Berwick Retirement Communities cites “risk to seniors and employees” in its decision to cancel a $52M Parksville project simply because the publicly funded, Orca Place is opening across the street. It will help 52 community members while Berwick’s 188 units would generate private profit for developers.

Berwick indicated it was willing to proceed, however, asking Parksville council for “breaks on development cost charges and property taxes.” This despite Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne stating: “We can’t arbitrarily just waive development-cost charges.” It appears that sufficient certainty of profit ranks ahead of safety concerns and the public good.

It is understandable a private developer would seek to maximize profits. It is disingenuous, though, to attribute its private profit motivation to altruistic concerns of risks to seniors, employees and children.

Ernie Gorrie

Cowichan Bay

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