Letters June 23: Jam stand, pipeline, school support, whining, amagamation and cyclists

A few people win, hundreds lose

Re: “Council jammed out,” editorial, June 20.

This editorial says the owner of the jam stand uses it as part of her therapy to recover from PTSD, a horrific condition she acquired in the service of her country while combatting terrorism.

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For that reason alone, council should let her have it, unless all the talk we hear nowadays about paying more attention to mental heath issues is just that, talk.

I’ve lived in a neighbourhood near Queensbury Avenue for more than 40 years. Drivers have been using it to avoid traffic on Blenkinsop and Cedar Hill Cross Road for at least that long. Her stand is not the cause of increased traffic on the road, merely a convenient scapegoat.

I thought we live in a democracy. Why do two people complaining get to override her hundreds of supporters?

There is no need to fear what might come if Saanich were to amalgamate with Victoria. We’re seeing an example of it now.

Lauren Lindsay


A way out of this jam

Re: “Jam out: Little stand must shut as Saanich takes look at bylaws; Vendor ‘extremely disappointed’ she was denied temporary operating permit,” June 19.

I can’t help but feel that Katherine Little, may still be able to operate her jam stand if she gave everything away by donation.

She may be pleasantly surprised by the donations of all her followers.Plus, not operating a business would eliminate licensing or permit requirements.

David Barker,


Pipeline expansion means risk ahead

Re: “Protests, legal challenges planned to block pipeline expansion,” June 20.

Building an oil pipeline from Alberta, through British Columbia, to the coast is subject to “execution risk.”

Construction difficulties are posed by the regulatory steps required before pipe is laid. These problems will be compounded by on-site construction stoppages by highly motivated anti-oil activists, of whom many are on the Lower Mainland.

Will Canadian oil exported from the West Coast finally gain access to still-growing overseas markets? Don’t bet on it.

Ron Johnson


Impressive support after tragedy

Re: “Winds likely toppled tree that killed Lansdowne student,” June 21.

Lansdowne Middle School and the community lost a shining light this week. A young boy’s life was cut short during a devastating accident on a school trip.

My heart aches with sadness for his family. At his school, classmates, friends, teachers, administrators and staff are grieving.

During a time of sadness and loss, I wish to commend the leadership and calm of principal Sean Powell, as well as the professionalism, love and care of all the educators and support staff. I know each one is hurting, too, and yet they continue to put our kids first.

As my son and his friends grapple with the trauma and tragedy of what happened on their camping trip, I have been nothing but impressed by the Critical Incident Response Team and amazing counselling supports of School District 61.

They jumped into action for teachers and students. Counsellors were there all evening while we waited for our children to come home after the tragedy, and were there again the next morning, ready to offer support to all who needed it, including myself.

While nothing can make up for the pain of such a tragic death, knowing how well the surviving children are being cared for at this difficult time has been comforting and, frankly, impressive. I raise my hands to the dedicated counsellors and the stellar staff of Lansdowne Middle School.

Heather del Villano


Water supply came a long way

As I was filling my vehicle with gas, I couldn’t help but read the sign in front of me, offering a seasonal special on bottled water.

The water is from Abitibi.

We are shipping water from Quebec to B.C. in plastic bottles to sell in gas stations.

R.A. Green


Enough whining, let’s move on

The whining in recent editions of the Times Colonist has become ridiculous so I offer some suggestions.

To the View Royal resident who believes Victoria taxpayers should fund free bus passes for his children: Feel free not to pay for Sunday parking in downtown Victoria.

You may also want to consider not attending civic events, such as Canada Day celebrations, Remembrance Day services, the Symphony Splash, etc. held in Victoria and whose associated costs are borne by Victoria.

To Victoria Police Chief Del Manak: Yes, we all know by now you believe your budget is grossly inadequate, despite receiving a budget increase.

But if it is your objective to gain public sympathy by constantly making your complaints public, all I can say is that I, for one, am not persuaded.

Taxpayers’ pockets are only so deep and there are three levels of government dipping into them. Not many of us want to pay more taxes.

To Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt, who thinks conceding to public backlash to his suggestion that the military help fund events such as Remembrance Day services will impede council’s ability to make hard decisions.

I applaud any effort by council to conserve taxpayers’ dollars, but there are some things that are just untouchable.

One of those untouchables is respecting our veterans and celebrating our wonderful country.

Pat Jackson


Amalgamation yes, Victoria no

Re: “United we pay, divided we argue,” letter, June 16.

The author of the letter is in favour of amalgamation, but the letter raises the issue of why so many of us are opposed.

Victoria City Council will be the poster children for the “No” campaign.

I am sure that many, if not most, of us would vote for amalgamation of all municipalities except Victoria.

Roger Love


Rules of road deserve respect

Having lived for almost three years in what is a wonderful year-round cycling city, I have heard the conversations regarding our bike-lane issues.

I am a casual rider but also a motorist.

I’m trying to understand what each side brings to the table.

I am also a pedestrian, and from that perspective, there is an issue I’d like to address.

It is cyclists who feel they are above the rules of the road. These are the same rules that motorists have to follow.

I live in the downtown core and am usually on foot every day.

Counting all the times I’ve used crosswalks at Douglas behind the Empress Hotel and at Douglas and Courtney Street, I’ve had only two cyclists actually stop to allow my crossing.

Even though virtually all vehicles stop, cyclists will buzz by, in front or behind me, without an attempt to stop.

If cyclists want respect, sensible riding and common sense would be a place to start.

Pat Mulrooney


Going deeper with comparison

Re: “Local government is doing fine,” letter, June 20.

One can agree with the letter writer who maintains their home is served well in the B.C. regional district model, specifically within the Juan de Fuca Electoral area, a rural, unincorporated part of the Capital Regional District.

But for those living within the 13 municipalities of the CRD, it doesn’t work as well.

Residents of Juan de Fuca are able to directly elect a regional district representative.

As for the rest of us, we have no electoral franchise.

Our directors are appointed by the municipalities.

That results in no direct accountability to the taxpayers who are billed for services and decisions they make.

Fortunately for the letter writer, they are unaffected by the cost of projects which affect the rest of us, such as the sewage treatment debacle.

We are also facing problems with urban planning and the inability of municipal, parochial politicians to work together to solve our regional problems such as transportation.

More examples abound.

There is fragmented policing and fire protection, lack of cohesive parks and recreation planning and starved performing arts centres which receive a pittance from anyone other than the City of Victoria.

Lesley Ewing

Oak Bay

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