Letters March 6: Beacon Hill Park occupation; is bigamy OK now?; work-at home woes

Repressive tolerance of Beacon Hill Park

When a minority take rights they do not have, such as occupying our heritage park, beheading a statue of the Queen and scaring away a majority of Victoria citizens from using what is left of our once-beautiful Beacon Hill Park, and the mayor and council doing nothing about it, they are practising what is called “repressive tolerance.”

Homeless people should be supported in our society, but not by taking away something so important in a city as a big, beautiful green area that is very loved and used by most Victorians.

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Ulla Ressner

Beacon Hill Park is an embarrassment

I visited Victoria on some essential ­business on the weekend.

I am a senior who grew up in Victoria and moved to the mainland in the 1970s for work.

A visit to Beacon Hill Park has always been a reminder to me of how ­beautiful and welcoming Victoria can be, ­particularly in the spring. Sunday ­morning before driving back to the ferry, I decided to introduce my partner to the glories of spring in the park.

I was appalled and embarrassed! How can the city have allowed this beautiful oasis to fall so far? There were tents and rubbish as far as the eye could see. The gardens were ruined. Even the peacocks were displaced. We were afraid to get out of the car.

I am saddened by those happy to ­leverage their own political goals by destroying this park for everyone else. This is not the Victoria I remember.

Derek Andrews

Bigamy? Go for it, according to courts

Regarding the secret family and wife ­battling in court over a dead Hells Angels prospect’s assets:

So a judge has decided that a woman who married a man who was already married has a legal claim to half of his estate, since she was a legal spouse.

Given Canadian respect to legal precedent, I assume that means that bigamy is now legal in Canada.

Once upon a time I might have been tempted. Now, at my age (and given 40 years of marriage), not so much.

Younger readers take note.

Ian Cameron
Brentwood Bay

There is a lot of irony in work-at-home woes

A recent report outlined the problems that can occur from working at home. Eye strain from looking at a computer screen all day, physical aches and pains from sitting in one position at the ­computer and fatigue from too many Zoom conferences.

So, instead of online learning for ­children at home being seen as a ­stressful, anxiety-ridden burden, should it not be seen as the relief valve that breaks up the work day?

The irony is that most office workers spend their days in the office sitting in one place, staring at a computer screen conferencing with fellow workers around the country (world) with the addition of a one- or two-hour commute.

Ken Weatherill
North Saanich

We need electricity to power vehicles

I wonder how many Site C opponents are also proponents of electric vehicles.

We can’t have it both ways: The push for electric vehicles and the electricity required to power them will not come out of thin air.

Solar and wind sources will never meet the demand required for the proliferation of electric vehicles many people want to see happen.

Mike Wilkinson

Pick up after your pet, pick up after your pet

In this time of parcels being left at your door, it would appear that some happy wanderers are leaving parcels along our park paths.

As a pet owner myself, I have to tell them: “Carry your dog-poop bags to the trash receptacles, please!” A friend suggested that there must be someone whose job it is to pick up these bags left by the side of the path, otherwise ­people wouldn’t do it, but alas no. I phoned the Capital Regional District, and they have no pooper-scooper picker-upper employed.

As we all flock to our parks as therapy, we will soon make them less than uplifting with uncaring bags and refuse left along the trails, and flung in the trees. Please show everyone that ­owning a pet means you are the sort of caring person who cares about more than themselves.

Happy trails.

Randy Pawson

Island Pass would give park access

Visitors should pay to park and use our parks, trails, beaches and wilderness.

As Islanders, we are a very small group compared to the number of people who come here to play and enjoy our facilities and natural attractions.

All visitors should help us pay for the expansion, cleaning and maintenance required to keep our parks and other facilities in pristine condition.

It would be very simple to issue each local household a free pass or permit to enter or park at any facility local to them. Others would pay a small parking fee to help with the upkeep.

It’s simply not fair or affordable to have hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the island as tourists and not help to pay for the upkeep. When I go to Victoria, I have to pay to park anywhere near any attractions or downtown. If I go to Butchart Gardens, I certainly have to pay to park and enjoy the trails and flowers.

Why would anyone think it would be a poor idea to collect funds to help pay for the other areas where tourists enjoy facilities paid for by local governments?

An Island Pass would be an appropriate solution. Much like the parks pass issued by the government of Canada.

Rick Fonger

Vancouver Street maze creates problems

Bill Cleverley made some thoughtful comments regarding his move up-Island.

His reference to the moving van trying to negotiate the Vancouver Street maze strikes close to home. We live on the ­1000-block of Rockland and the access to our condo has been substantially reduced.

We now have access via Cook Street, soon to be renamed the Cook Street 500 race track.

The speed limit on Cook has been established from 80 km/h to about 110 km/h by the drivers. The Vancouver Street Bike Maze is seldom used by cyclists, so we taxpayers can kiss the few hundred thousand dollars goodbye.

The traffic volume from Caledonia to the Cook Street Village reminds one of the last lap to the checkered flag. This brings up another big issue if you live on Vancouver Street or on a side street.

I wonder if any of our traffic experts calculated the extended response time getting through the maze to a patient ­having a heart attack or a fire. I’ll bet not.

If you have a heart attack, seconds count, and the same thing with a fire, it only takes seconds to go from your stove to the wall and become a major incident.

I am sure the emergency services has planned out the new routes to their destinations, but blocked streets don’t provide quick access.

If you are living in the No/Go District along the Vancouver Street Maze, I wish you good luck with your medical problem or your fire.

Ron Drinkwater

Keep bugs away by learning from virus

Shoppers and all staff at grocery stores, masked and gloved, have given me a gift: the first winter season in 73 years ­without cold or flu.

This is a personal first in a lifetime of winter illnesses despite annual flu shots. Shopping was at the top of the list of transmission sources.

Purchasing food in winter flu season has always been risky for people with chronic health challenges. Grocery clerks and employees stocking shelves cannot afford to miss work for a low-impact cold, cough or flu.

Ditto for the customer who simply must restock the pantry. Fruit and veggies colourfully displayed, meats wrapped in plastic and household items coughed or sneezed on and handled by staff or shopper, or scanned and packed by an earnest employee who cannot afford time off, enabled the spread of flu season and colds.

Despite COVID-19, others confirm my 2020/2021 experience. Colds and flu appear at an all-time low. As we protect ourselves and each other from the COVID virus in all its forms, we dodge the classic flu season by eliminating the ability of all contagion to spread.

Mask, sanitize and if possible wear gloves in all stores, in all seasons, as a lasting positive inheritance of the COVID protocols.

They work. Minimal inconvenience for maximum gain. WorkSafe B.C., take note and implement these measures as essential.

Extending these safeguards permanently to all stores, schools and public interactions will reduce winter ills and benefit the health-care system financially so it can afford to deal with the major challenges.

Keep it simple. Masks, sanitizer and gloves must remain a positive legacy of COVID’s dark days. We will all be healthier for these basic measures continued into the COVID-free years to come.

Karen Harris


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