Letters June 30: Liquor on ferries, nuclear power, cycling and welfare state

No liquor, please, on B.C. Ferries

Re: “Liquor licence approval for B.C. Ferries delayed,” June 22.

What on Earth is going on with B.C. Ferries?

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We encourage people not to drink and drive and here the ferries will be offering an opportunity to do that. What is the logic?

Thirst, casual conversation and guzzling beer or wine? We need to contact B.C. Ferries and our local political representatives to rethink this.

We do not need this just to put more money in the coffers. I am disappointed in levels of governments approving this.

Gabriele Osborne

Port Alberni

Nuclear power provides solution

Re: “Avoiding climate chaos means zeroing in on emissions,” comment, June 22.

It is correct to warn us about the need to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gas. Every person on Earth should be trying to achieve zero emissions.

However, some countries have a desperate need for power and have access to coal. They are building coal-fired power plants — dozens of them. This will increase climate chaos even if emissions from Canada fall to zero.

Violent weather will increase. Droughts will spread. Crops will fail. Forests will burn. Ocean levels will rise. Dozens of millions of people will be devastated or killed.

To stop the use of coal for generating power, we are promoting renewable sources. But that will not reduce the use of coal in time to prevent climate chaos. For the next few decades, we need to use nuclear fission power plants.

In Canada, we have all the necessary knowledge and skill to build nuclear power plants, including small ones that can easily be transported.

The best way that we can protect the world is to donate nuclear plants to countries that plan to use coal. That would be the best use of our budget for foreign aid.

We desperately need scientific leaders to tell us the truth about how climate chaos can be avoided. The actions of individual Canadians are ethically required but will not be sufficient to avoid disaster.

David Stocks

Colwood

Disappointing time had in Victoria

People will tell you and now I realize I should not have left my unlocked bike outside Munro’s Books on Government Street for 10 minutes last Sunday. It’s common sense.

Ferries, meals, hotel, gifts for family, I’m the tourist Victoria wants and counts on. And, I had been having such a wonderful biking and photo tour until the bike was gone.

The theft of my $1,500 bike aside, the real wake-up came with a walkabout on Pandora and adjacent streets to really see the depth of the crime, drugs and despair shown by those with mental illness.

I’m not surprised, but so disappointed.

B.K. Buchholz

Whistler

Ring a bell for safety while riding a bike

I regularly run and walk on the Galloping Goose Trail. I am usually startled several times by speeding cyclists who fail to alert me from behind and whom I cannot hear.

Once I was nearly hit. When I am surprised like that, I get an adrenalin rush that uses energy unnecessarily and negatively affects my workout. Much more importantly, I jump — sometimes lose balance momentarily and have to be very careful not to fall into other cyclists.

What is it that is so difficult for cyclists to understand the need for a bell, horn or shouted warning? When you add speeding electric scooters to the mix, the situation is becoming increasingly dangerous.

Someone is going to be killed unless we change our ways.

I have given up trying to remind cyclists to be responsible pathway users — mostly I just hear abuse. I suggest we enact a Capital Regional District bylaw that cyclists must use a bell or horn when passing pedestrians.

I also suggest we make cyclists obtain a licence before which they must pass a test of their safety knowledge and rules of the road.

If we charge a small fee for this process, we can pay for occasional policing of the pathways. We might even reduce injuries to cyclists.

Rhys Harrison

View Royal

Living life without a car

Re: “Why protected bicycle lanes are key to city transportation,” comment, June 16.

This piece resonated with me. I am a mother of three children under the age of five, gratefully using Victoria’s improved bike infrastructure on a regular basis.

It was the looming reality of climate change, climbing gas prices and the uncomfortably persistent check-engine light that finally drove us to a car-free lifestyle in 2017.

My husband was hit by a car on his morning commute, while in a painted bike lane, so I exercised great caution with my kids.

Heart pounding and knuckles white, I stuck to the same few destinations that were close to the Galloping Goose Trail. That minimized our time in car traffic.

I also carefully used sidewalks where the painted bike lanes felt too narrow to safely ride.

People often comment that I’m brave to ditch the car and bike everywhere, but bravery cannot and must not be a prerequisite for simply getting around.

I was especially disheartened seeing vehicles roar by with a single occupant while the three of us squeeze around a power pole as if we didn’t belong at all. We were irritating to confused pedestrians and annoying to impatient motorists.

That first Sunday we zipped from the Galloping Goose to the protected bike lane downtown, my hands relaxed and I took a deep breath.

We finally felt safe and I was overcome with emotion and felt tears of joy.

Charity Millar

Victoria

Our welfare state has its limits

The health-care system is already overburdened. That we have it so good in Canada compared with our neighbour to the south and the rest of the world spoils us into thinking that the nanny state can or should provide for all our needs.

It is simply impossible to cover the special needs of everyone. When the national health-care system was first conceived, it did not foresee the cost of advances in medicine, technology and various treatments. Our taxes are high enough as it is.

This government has outspent all its predecessors and created an astronomical deficit into the multibillions of dollars.

Yet some people blithely expect the government to spend even more taxpayers’ money. That is money the government doesn’t have, a government that is desperate for money to finance its existing programs.

The Fraser Institute conducted a study in 2017 that showed Canadians, who receive much more in social benefits than Americans, are embarrassingly stingy when it comes to making charitable donations compared to Americans. Even more striking is that the province most dependent on transfer payments and which gives out notoriously high government grants for all manner of things, is the lowest ranked when it comes to making charitable donations.

It seems that being given so much has made us less resilient, less charitable and more dependent on the welfare state.

Connor Whelan

Nanaimo

Canada opened its doors

In the mid-1970s and throughout the 1980s, Canada accepted more than 200,000 boat people. They were the southeast Asians seeking refuge from the aftermath of the Vietnam war.

Canada could have said they were sick and diseased war criminals who would overburden the immigration system and be a burden. Canada could have said it would just cost too much.

Instead, the Canadian government passed legislation whereby the government would sponsor one immigrant for each immigrant sponsored by groups and individuals.

The government converted military bases into reception centres and chartered 76 planes to transport people from refugee camps. Crime, murder and mayhem certainly did not explode across Canada. Perhaps it is time for the Canadian government to demonstrate what compassion and caring really means.

Ken Weatherill

North Saanich

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