Letters June 28: Police budget, species on the brink, Trans Mountain, Trump support

Whose problem is police-staffing woes?

Re: “Police chief scuttles crime reduction unit, citing budget,” June 27.

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It seems that every other week I come across an article about how the Victoria Police Department is struggling under Chief Del Manak’s watch, with this week being about officers off on stress leave and the cutting of units.

But instead of having us consider whether this is the fault of Manak, we are led to believe that the real issue is a reduction in funding by our city council.

The VicPD budget was given a sizable increase in funding this year, despite Manak’s repeated claims that it was “cut” by city council, a handsome 3.2 per cent increase from $54 million.

Victoria’s 2018 consolidated financial plan projected only a 1.8 per cent increase to the police budget for 2019, so it seems that Manak was given more than his fair share for this fiscal year when compared with estimations by previous councils.

The original request by VicPD for a six per cent increase was never feasible.

As a member of this community, I’m concerned with how combative public discourse on this issue has become and how it continues to be framed in the media. What if Manak were an elected official or CEO of a company? Would we still permit the ongoing admissions of his failure to manage the budget or with losing staff due to stress-related injuries? Or, rather, would we start looking for a new chief?

Andrew Kerr

Victoria

Policing should be a priority

Re: “Police chief scuttles crime reduction unit, citing budget,” June 27.

Does Victoria city council have its priorities in order in terms of policing the region? How can 214 officers be expected to do the job with its budget?

We read the police chief must disband the Crime Reduction Unit and more cuts may be coming. The forward-thinking, positive decisions council makes on behalf of people in our growing region become almost pointless if we have inadequate police protection and response time.

It’s not comforting knowing a 911 call to police could necessitate joining a lineup of 46 other calls on hold in front of us or, that at certain hours, there is no one at the police department’s front desk.

This is an unacceptable situation to citizens who pay high taxes and should be able to expect a reasonable police response time. The costs of policing the region are not an area for council to make short-sighted savings. The $690,000 for the Employer Health Tax that the police department has been required to absorb feels almost punitive.

Police put their lives on the line for us. Let’s provide them with the resources they need. We are leftist progressive voters who value the services of our police.

Juliana and Jerry Joldersma

Victoria

City council or county circus

Re: “Police chief scuttles crime reduction unit, citing budget,” June 27.

Victoria city council operates more like a county circus.

It cut police funds to the point a vital part of police providing safety was lost, it severely hiked taxes on a veterans club, a group of people most of who have given a large part of their lives in the service of this country.

And members of the council are falling over themselves spending their way into the history books, taking down the statue of the father of our country.

This council even considered having the military pay to police Remembrance Day celebrations.

This council wastes an inordinate amount of time discussing moronic ideas, while it should be looking at ways to support our police and veterans.

David Hoffman

East Sooke

Reply from one of the familiar faces

Re: “Familiar look to protests,” letter, June 26.

I’m glad to see support for free speech and the right to protest.

It’s sad, however, that because the same faces popped up on TV, the conclusion was reached that the participants in marches are just doing it for the sake of protesting.

Please take the trouble, just once in a while, to go to a rally and listen to their heartfelt messages.

These are dedicated, serious, thoughtful people who have not been listened to by the government.

The drums stir up energy, have spiritual significance and help give weight to what they are trying to convey.

Most of the larger protests covered by the media are about protecting our environment so, yes, you will see the same faces.

I am one of them.

And we will keep up the protests until the government stops destroying our forests, endangering our whales and marine life, poisoning our soil and pandering to the oil companies.

Rosemary Garnet

Saanich

Species on the brink, who’s next?

We need to put our egos in our back pockets for a moment and recognize that we are not ruining the planet, we are ruining it for ourselves.

The planet does not care about us, and after we have wiped ourselves off this lovely spot, it will once again recover.

Who will the next overlords be? Maybe insects will start the ball rolling.

The dinosaurs were one group that did pretty well when they were running the place.

On that happy note, I’m off on a hike to my favourite forest, where I will say thanks and sorry, I’ll try to be a good guest.

John Badger

Victoria

Trans Mountain is the wrong way

There are many things wrong with expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline. This white elephant has cost Canadian taxpayers $4.5 billion. To complete the project could cost another $9.3 billion, at least, by Kinder Morgan’s own estimate.

And by the time it is completed, the bitumen it’s designed to carry would be worth even less than now. Economic signs, such as many oil refineries moving their investments out of bitumen, and investors voting to sell assets such as the pipeline in question, indicate the glory days of oil are over.

The future of the Trans Mountain pipeline is to become what economists call a stranded asset, an asset that has become obsolete.

It is time to cut our losses, admit that buying the pipeline was a mistake and move on to investing money in the technology of the future.

Alternative energy sources are more than just good for the planet. As prices of solar installations fall and demand increases, these energy sources will be the investments that bring solid returns. Ditching the pipeline and putting Canada’s money into solar power will be good for our economy.

It’s not too late to change our national focus from oil to green energy and prevent more tax dollars from being wasted.

Judith Rees-Thomas

Saturna Island

Many reasons to support Trump

Re: “New Normal: Dry, with a twist of Old Testament,” June 23.

Jack Knox writes: “A well-irrigated lawn used to be a sign of good citizenship, right up there with separated recycling and a shiny car, while a brown lawn meant you married close relatives, drank Lucky for breakfast and owned a MAGA hat.”

Of course, anyone wearing a MAGA hat has to be a beer-drinking redneck married to a relative. It’s not that Donald Trump voters might have studied the issues prior to voting. Sixty million Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Many were concerned about Hillary Clinton and her honesty.

What if you were concerned about national security and Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state? What if you are part of the Angel Parents and Families, like those of Robert Krantz, Brian Terry and Kate Steinle, all murdered by illegal aliens?

What if you lost your health insurance due to Obamacare? How would these people vote? Does this make them beer-drinking rednecks who marry relatives?

Knox’s perspective is one reason Trump won. Many Americans were tired of being treated as rubes by the media just because their concerns did not match those inside the media’s progressive echo chamber.

Grant Giles

Cranbrook

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