Letters June 24: E&N corridor; biosolids at Hartland; View Royal project makes sense

The right approach for E&N corridor

Re: “What should we do with the E&N Island rail corridor,” Guy Dauncey, June 21.

Guy Dauncey sums up what most people know; that a multi-use walking and cycling trail is the best use of the E&N Island rail corridor.

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He adds that transportation economist Todd Litman concluded that frequent and affordable bus service with transportation demand management incentives is the most cost effective and beneficial option to reduce Malahat traffic problems.

Let’s get on with the Dauncy-Litman Solution.

Steve New
Retired public transit executive and consultant

Multi-use trail fits with ‘new normal’

For a long time I have hoped that the E&N rail line could be restored for train travel but I no longer feel this way.

The idea to pave the rail line and make it available for biking and walking is a fantastic one.

Given the “new normal” of reduced travel (which will probably continue for a long time), this is a golden opportunity.

We can transform one kind of resource that formally served the community into another resource that better fits with the current needs and desires.

I would love to be able to take a safe, uninterrupted bike vacation up the Island — it’s healthy, supports local businesses and reduces emissions that contribute to global warming. Let’s do it.

Sally Murphy

Biosolids at landfill contradicts CRD policy

Re: “No risk of landfill biosolids spreading COVID-19, ministry says,” June 19.

The Capital Regional District banned spreading biosolids on land in 2011 over concerns about contaminating farmland and food production.

They stand behind this policy: it’s not safe to spread biosolids, with one exception. It’s OK to spread biosolids at the Hartland Landfill.

The CRD has taken on this risk without any consultation with the people it directly affects. Either it is safe to spread biosolids, and the CRD should rescind its policy. Or, it is not safe and the CRD should find a method of storing the biosolids during short periods when cement kilns are shut down for maintenance. How difficult is that?

Make up your mind CRD. You can’t have it both ways!

Debbie Howell

Use biosolids on remote forest land

Biosolids have been used on forest land in Sweden and the U.S. since the 1970s and research has found that these biosolids, once treated with heat and dehydration, fertilize the soils and do not pollute the surrounding environment.

The unfounded fears of residents at Willis Point are understandable as newer technology is always viewed with suspicion.

Such concerns could be alleviated if the biosolids were to be used on more remote forested lands up-Island for reforestation of cutblocks and forest areas burnt by wildfires.

The technology used to create biosolids from biodigestors is a way to capture methane from sewage to produce truly “natural gas” and not the “fracked” gas that Fortis B.C. is now using to heat our homes.

Biosolids should be used to provide a better environment in the regrowth of our forests if we wish to have a better economy with secure forestry jobs.

Rafe Sunshine
Oak Bay

A reminder that good things happen

Re: “ ‘Twins with a twist’,” June 23.

So glad to see the feel good story about the Sheldons and their new babies on the front page Tuesday.

It reminds us that even in bad times, good things can happen.

Thanks to the incredible love and support from Meena Buckham, the Sheldons were able to achieve their “happy ending and new beginning.”

Thanks also to the staff at the Victoria General Hospital, who provided medical support in this rare situation.

As for the parents, stay calm and carry on and have a safe journey home.

Dorothy Mullen

Allow vulnerable people designated visitors

It’s time to look at what is happening here in B.C. as we battle COVID-19.

Unless all folks with disabilities, including dementia, are permitted a designated essential visitor to be with them in hospital, they will continue to lose their lives to this pandemic.

My father was admitted to hospital in mid-May. After 11 days of constant requests to be designated as a medically necessary visitor, a wise doctor wrote an order for me to be allowed in.

By that time, his deterioration was irreversible. I have no doubt that had I been with him, I could have helped orient him to a shocking new environment, kept him mobile and encouraged him to get well and come home.

At the very least, this veteran of the Second World War would not have felt abandoned and alone in the final weeks of his life. He should be counted as a COVID-19 related death, and “heartfelt condolences” from Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry (both of whom I think are doing a good job) are due.

In our efforts to protect our vulnerable from the pandemic, we are also sacrificing them. We can do better.

Janet Laxton

Development is just what View Royal needs

Re: “Clash of ideas on View Royal gateway,” June 20.

I was one of about six or so residents of View Royal who attended a conference call last week on the proposed Eagle’s Nest development at Helmcken Road and Burnside Road West.

What shocked me the most about the naysayers, predominantly from a small townhouse complex next door, was the NIMBYism espoused.

So many of the comments were familiar: “It’s too high” or “It’s got too many people.” And one person even asked: “Would you want 200 to 300 people living next door?”

With View Royal facing significant losses from casino revenue, the only option I can see, if we want to maintain the service levels we have, is to permit this development.

This is a good development. It’s got one-, two- and three-bedroom units, it’s got electric car and bike charging stations and a repair station, it will subsidize transit riders with passes for the first six months, it is offering a rebate for ebikes, and giving nearly $3 million in development contributions to the town.

The developer has consulted broadly with the community, and withdrew the initial application and went back to the drawing board because of feedback.

Two weeks ago I spent four days knocking on doors in every neighbourhood in View Royal and of the 40 to 50 people I spoke to, only one or two were opposed.

They understood what benefits this development would bring to the View Royal north gateway.

This development is what View Royal needs.

It provides housing options, climate change mitigation benefits, and a solid source of ongoing revenue for a municipality with a small tax base and a hurting casino.

Ryan Painter
View Royal

Wise words from a young person

Re: “Equality a daunting struggle that must be won,” Faith Forum, June 20.

What wise words Qaeeza Ramji wrote in the Faith Forum column on Saturday.

Such a young person can teach us that every single human being on this planet deserves to be loved. And we can never stop fighting and believing that it can be so. Never lose the dream or faith.

Margaret Taylor

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