Letters May 19: High-density living; clearing the table; worthy advice

High-density living and the pandemic

With the pandemic the whole world is now going through I sincerely hope that the mayor and city council will rethink wanting more living spaces in the centre of Victoria. Or for that matter any city. It’s all very nice to live in close proximity to work and shopping but with all the high density it does not bode well for the residents who live there.

All one has to do is look at the very densified cities in Europe,Asia the U.S. and yes here in Canada to see where the pandemic has hit the hardest.

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Stop trying to have everyone live in the city centre, it’s not worth all the sickness and death that comes with a pandemic.

Grace Shepherd
North Saanich

Leave table-clearing to restaurant staff

I have never been a fan of cleaning up my table tray and waste after eating at a fast food restaurant. It is the job of the restaurant staff to not only clean each table, but to ensure it is properly sanitized for the next user. I encourage other customers to do the same.

It’s time we stop doing the job on behalf of these restaurants; let’s face it, the restaurants love it when we do the job for them.

But we are doing a poor job as most table-tops are never properly cleaned. A cleared table gives the appearance as cleaned, yet it is potentially germ infested, definitely un-sanitized.

Now more than ever, this “act of customer kindness” must stop. Our safety literally depends on it. Germs can cause serious illness and it is up to the restaurants to properly clean and disinfect after each use, not the customer.

Collin Holstein
Mill Bay

A steep price for comfort

Re: “Province buys Victoria hotel to shelter people at homeless camps,” May 15.

Governments long ago gave up the institutional model of housing and caring for those who could not manage their own affairs. How ironic that the provincial government is now housing and managing some of those same people in a new type of “institution.”

Let’s see — $18.5 million for 65 people. That’s about $285,000 each just for accommodation and let’s not talk about the ongoing support and maintenance costs. No wonder it’s called the “Comfort Inn.”

Dennis Dale

A staycation camping opportunity

Tired of sheltering at home? Want a cheap change of scene? Pile the kids and pets in the car along with some camping gear and head on down to park on the perimeter of Beacon Hill Park. Pitch your tent at the top of Daffodil Hill or even in a sensitive Garry oak meadow.

The City of Victoria isn’t removing tents from the park and it is as much your park as anyone else’s. Cook burgers and dogs and drink some “lemonade” (consider it harm reduction). It’s all good.

Geoffrey Robards

A regional approach to housing the homeless

Though it is impressive and admirable that Victoria has obtained accommodations for the homeless and is providing food and support services, this only solves the very immediate problem of the proliferation of tents in our boulevards and parks.

Victoria is not a large city and already certain neighbourhoods have an inordinate share of this housing. Not to tarnish the homeless, but the reality is that some of them have mental health and drug issues. Yet, the city keeps reducing the budget for policing.

The City of Victoria and the province need to have a longer term view. They need a concrete plan to deal with homelessness and mental health and drug issues in local areas on a regional basis. Otherwise, over time, those from outside Victoria will gravitate to the city because it provides them with accommodation, food and support.

The city will need to increase its policing budget and the province will need to step in with additional financial support.

Now that accommodations have been arranged for all those living in tents, it is time to prevent any more tents from being set up in our parks and on our boulevards.

Louise Manga

Her advice is worth following

Re: “Consider the full impact of the shutdown,” letter, May 15.

The writer suggests it is long past time that Dr. Bonnie Henry looked at all sides of the equation and not just focused on one. Dr. Henry’s responsibility is not the economy but rather to guide us in ways that will keep us safe during this pandemic.

She is doing her job well and we should be very grateful for her common sense guidance and her hard work on behalf of us all. The writer is free to take his or her chances as long as those choices don’t involve putting anyone else at risk by not paying attention to Dr. Henry’s well-thought-out rules and suggestions.

We have plenty of other people whose job it will be to re-build the economy.

Judy Westhaver

Danger in restarting too early

I wonder if the writer will feel the same when we see the results of Quebec’s early restart. Look at the resurgence of COVID-19 in Wuhan and other jurisdictions that went too early.

I sometimes wonder if some folks understand how dangerous this virus is.

For me, I am 87 and on Bonnie’s team.

Don Ross

Global health and economic impact

I am thrilled with the announcement by the federal government of support for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. If there is something that we have learned from the COVID-19 crisis, it is the need to come up with global solutions to challenges such as pandemics.

Let’s face it, global health and economic impact are clearly connected. Now, more than ever, it is important to strengthen the organizations with existing infrastructure and concrete game-plans to reach the most remote and difficult places on our shrinking planet.

I am proud to hail from a country with a world vision. Perhaps while we wait with bated breath for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, we can develop a sense of empathy for people who still await vaccines for tuberculosis and polio. Anything is possible with political will. Let us leave no one behind.

Connie Lebeau

Next time, use logic or fact

Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May once again takes aim at fossil fuels, in particular at Alberta’s oil sands.

As she so often does, May sets up straw men in order to attack them. For example, she speaks of the “wild hope that demand for fossil fuels will come roaring back.” I don’t think that anyone believes that the global economy will come roaring back, but it will recover, as will the demand for fossil fuels.

May quotes the CFO of Shell, but fails to note that that same person also spoke of restoring Shell’s dividend, something that could not happen without a recovery in oil demand.

She also describes bitumen as being the most expensive and carbon intensive form of oil. While green field investment in bitumen recovery, particularly surface mined, may well be uneconomical, the existing facilities are highly competitive, and the expansion of these operations is also economical.

In addition, the industry is actually making great strides in lowering its footprint.

Her comment that bitumen may have a future in petrochemicals only serves to illustrate that May has absolutely no understanding of the dynamics of the petrochemical industry.

While Elizabeth May is undoubtedly sincere in her desire to obliterate the fossil fuel industry, her remarks demonstrate that she is driven by aspirations rather than by logic or fact.


John Sutherland

Some advice for COVID-19 deniers

To all those COVID-19 deniers, travel cheats and those who do not listen to the suggested guideline regarding staying home, no unnecessary travel and proper hand washing I have only 3 words: pick your plot

Mike Wilkinson

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