Letters June 20: Pipeline, debate or parade, green energy and kudos to Victoria

Pipeline cynicism from government

Re: “Pipeline expansion OK’d again,” June 19.

Our federal government is cynical beyond belief. There was a vote in the Commons, introduced by the minister of the environment, to declare a climate-change emergency. It passed by a significant majority. Within 24 hours, the government indicates that the expanded Trans Mountain pipeline will go ahead. Unbelievable!

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Expansion will increase climate change by selling bitumen to Asia and expand the oilsands which are already a major polluter. It is an affront to our elected representatives and a classic example of money coming before the health of the nation and the world.

Charles Simpson


Canada’s economy resource-based

Re: “Pipeline expansion OK’d again,” June 19.

Predictably, media is fanning the flames erupting over the federal government’s decision to allow the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion to proceed.

These are the same people who support Green protesters who scream at the top of their lungs that the oil and gas industries are killing our planet, all the while demanding increased spending and superior quality in our health-care and education systems.

It is like talking to a brick wall to get through to these people that a tax base of 33 million citizens is not even going to produce 10 per cent of the funds required to sustain Canada’s quality of life.

Resource industries are the cornerstone of Canada’s economy. They always have been and they will continue to be for generations to come.

Paul Arnold


Pipeline decision has consequences

Re: “Pipeline expansion OK’d again,” June 19.

History will judge us for this moment in time. It will either capture the instant we continued down the path of not only sending our southern resident killer whales to their extinction but also continuing down the path of climate destruction.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can turn things around, we can put the needs of the planet ahead of our short-term greed. We can step up to be counted and look to a cleaner, brighter future.

Don’t sit on the couch and do nothing. This pipeline is a dinosaur from the past. The crude it carries is the dirtiest in the world. Canadians should be ashamed for digging it up.

Ottawa is out of control. It spent $4.5 billion on this pipeline. Canada subsidizes the fossil-fuel industry to the tune of $3.3 billion a year.

Help save our coast. If you don’t do it for you, do it for your children and grandchildren.

One big spill could be the end for our southern resident killer whales and our coast as we know it.

Maureen Fitzmaurice


Here’s an export to consider

Re: “Pipeline expansion OK’d again,” June 19.

I look forward to the day when one of B.C.’s biggest exports is protesters.

Chris Foord

Oak Bay

Tanker traffic will be controlled

Re: “Planning ahead for the worst; Canada-U.S. oil-spill drills practise response to major tanker accident,” May 26.

In the oil-spill response exercises in our area, a Western Canadian Marine Response Corp. spokesman reminded us that Washington state already had much more marine traffic off its shores than would ensue here with the extended pipeline.

A past Times Colonist article, written by David Smiley, a former pilot of large crude carriers in the Middle East dealt with the issue of tanker traffic in an informative manner.

He outlined the many busier maritime areas in the world where potentially dangerous marine traffic was monitored and guided down specific marine lanes, avoiding collisions.

Marine tanker traffic on the West Coast of British Columbia will be similarly controlled.


Malcolm Oakes


Debate or parade, where are priorities?

I am sure the parade celebrating the Toronto Raptors’ NBA championship was an exciting event.

But, I have to question the priorities of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

All three attended the victory parade in Toronto while an important debate and vote was taking place in Parliament.

The House of Commons passed a motion declaring climate change a national emergency, and Elizabeth May was the only federal leader present during the debate.

Climate breakdown and issues surrounding it is the most serious threat humankind has faced, and the subject deserves the immediate attention of all our leaders.

This is reminiscent of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

Shelagh Levey


Green energy rebates for all

Have you wondered why, in B.C., you can receive a $5,000 grant to subsidize the purchase or lease of a “new battery electric vehicle.”

One would think that the same government might offer similar financial incentive to people who heat their homes, fuel their hot water tanks and run appliances using the same clean, green, renewable energy.

Instead, the government has chosen to penalize us with a two-tier electricity billing system.

Bruce Cline


Positive experience with Victoria

My father is in the cancer care ward of the Royal Jubilee Hospital. I’ve been with him for just over a week, helping with his palliative care, keeping him company and hanging out with my mom.

Both my mother and I have slept on couches or stretchers just to be close to him at this time.

The accommodation for our presence is overwhelming. I have had much time to converse with the staff of all varieties within this facility.

These are some of the finest, friendliest and most dedicated individuals I’ve seen in any industry. The nurses and support staff are fabulous.

I would extend that feeling to the rest of the city. When I go out for a meal, every person that has served me has been so happy and positive, it is unbelievable.

I would also like to offer a big shout-out to Carl, the man who plays the grand piano on Sundays in the Pavilion. I want to thank Victoria for being so awesome to me when I needed it the most. I feel so strongly about this I’m tempted to move back from the Interior.

To anyone who has a loved one or friend that is going to the Royal Jubilee Hospital, rest easy. They will be taken care of.

Jeff Hopewell


Local government is doing fine

Re: “Province’s local-government systems need an overhaul,” June 16.

The argument for reform of B.C.’s local government system and for municipal amalgamations suffers from three fatal omissions and a focus on irrelevant facts.

First, there is no mention that for more than 50 years, B.C.’s 27 regional districts have been providing services on a region-wide, basis such as parks and 911, and inter-municipal such as sewer, water and recycling.

Regional districts are composed of the various municipalities and rural areas in their region. The focus on the number of municipalities in the Capital Regional District is irrelevant. As the second most populous region in B.C., we have 13 municipalities.

The Lower Mainland, as the most populous region, has 21 municipalities in the Metro Vancouver regional district.

Second, the article avoids analysis of the history of amalgamations in Canada. They usually resulted in increased costs, higher taxes, poorer service delivery, a larger bureaucracy and a larger elected council. They often are not familiar with the local neighbourhoods their decisions affect.

Our system of local municipalities within a regional district provides us with both knowledgeable local decision-making and effective regional services at a reasonable cost.

Finally, town-hall meeting issues mentioned, including local environmental issues, are within the current authority of local and regional government to address without the need for restructuring the whole system.

Guy McDannold


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