Letters June 15: Free rides, dog waste, Third World War, traffic and butts

Free bus rides not for everyone

Re: “Free transit for Victoria youth gets nod,” June 12.

My son announced that students would travel transit buses for free, starting in September, and I thought: Wonderful, I’ll save $900 a year for my two sons. They will learn the benefits of using the bus and become more independent. We might even save the planet, to boot.

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However, I soon realized it was not to be, for I am not one of the elite.

I need to travel into Victoria for work. I am a victim of traffic jams due to perennial road construction projects and ever-tightening vehicle lane widths. But, I do not live in Victoria. I live in View Royal. No free bus passes for my kids.

I have a suggestion for non Victorians whose Sunday parking fees will pay for “free” bus passes for City of Victoria youth. Don’t visit Victoria by car on Sundays.

If it is to be us against them (Victoria residents) as Mayor Lisa Helps and B.C. Transit would have it, take your business elsewhere. Make Victoria residents pay for their children’s bus passes, like everyone else.

By not driving into Victoria on Sunday, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. Of course, Helps will have to figure out another scheme to have everyone else pay for Victoria’s free bus passes.

As a final word of explanation: I live and work in View Royal, having moved my offices after parking, traffic and never-ending road, bridge and bike-lane construction drove myself and my clients from the downtown core.

Joe Newell

View Royal

What’s good for Rover is breaking the law

The City of Victoria has passed a bylaw that forbids businesses from providing customers with single-use plastic bags.

The intent of the bylaw is to reduce plastic-bag waste in landfills. It is a very noble gesture by the city to take action in reducing the number of plastic bags that end up in landfills.

However, why is the city still providing dog-waste plastic bags free of charge in parks? The city spends some $50,000 a year to look after the purchase and distribution of these plastic bags.

Does this not contravene the city bylaw on providing single-use plastic bags?


Roger Cyr


Lines are drawn in Third World War

Re: “D-Day, 75 years,” June 6.

It is right we celebrate and honour the brave people who fought for and saved our freedom, but we must honour them by fighting and winning the Third World War against global warming and ever more devastating climate change

Losing this war will destroy everything they suffered and died for and our commemoration of them is just hypocrisy.

Many people around the world are suffering sickness, destruction and death caused by global warming. Meanwhile, our enemy is amassing vast fortunes and oligarchic power from continuing and increasing the burning of fossil fuel.

Canadians are sensible, civilized, caring people who understand the enormous cost in continuing to burn fossil fuel.

They want to transition away from mining, fracking and pipelines to the free and natural energy of the sun, wind, oceans and geothermal sources. This will create millions of jobs across the country.

We want to enjoy life, protect our children and life on Earth. We must unite before the federal election and demand a “Canadian New Green Deal” to transition us as soon as possible to a renewable energy powered economy and honour our veterans.

Francis Blundell


Traffic chaos rampant in Victoria

The chaos caused by construction in downtown Victoria is so ridiculous, it makes me livid.

Lane closures affecting traffic flow must be better co-ordinated. For example: southbound on Blanshard at Johnson, the middle lane has been blocked off, then on Johnson, two major building projects forced the closure of more lanes.

A simple solution would have been to place signage warning drivers wishing to use Johnson to consider an alternate route, such as Fort Street. As it is now, once you’ve committed to turning left onto Johnson, there is no escape.

The economy is affected by those waiting in long traffic tie-ups.

Future building projects should be limited to avoid this annoying issue. It’s time for the city to hire a traffic/construction co-ordinator, since the building boom has no signs of slowing.

Bennett Guinn


Lit butts or not, we have a problem

Re: “Throw the book at cigarette tossers,” letter, June 13.


Every B.C. resident should take the risk of wildfires seriously. We have seen the stunning devastation by fires caused by “one little cigarette butt.”

But lit cigarette butts are not the only issue. Discarded butts, even put out, create an environmental issue.

The filters are made from plastic (cellulose acetate) and, like plastic bags, do not break down. Filters wash into roadside storm drains, eventually making it to the ocean. Even when filters are broken up, they don’t decompose. Fine fibres break into minute particles.

Countless butts are collected from our roadways and public spaces, but consider how many are not collected, and you realize the massive impact by inconsiderate smokers.

Sadly, an article dealing with a person fined for tossing a cigarette butt out of his vehicle, was relegated to Page A4 of Tuesday’s Times Colonist. The front page featured a pointless picture of a worker preparing hanging baskets for downtown Victoria.

The Times Colonist missed a wonderful opportunity to make a worthwhile environmental statement about burning cigarette butts.

Steen Rancher


Troubled pond, troubled response

Re: “On troubled pond,” June 9.

The 20 years of shoddy treatment given by the government toward the property owners of Pender Island’s Gardom Pond is, in itself, shocking enough. It is doubly so considering the lack of public consultation, support within the community to keep the much water supply and level 3 water restrictions.

The blunt instrument that is government is showing its limitations and, in the name of fair play, it is time for those higher up the administration to take immediate action.

Hugh Aitken


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