Letters May 21: Clover Point; wearing masks; affordable housing

Clover Point just fine the way it is

Re: “Clover Point has no clover and that’s a problem,” comment, May 20.

There is no problem with Clover Point. I have lived within a block of Clover Point for more than 47 years and walk there almost every day.

article continues below

Because of the construction there are no vehicles right now but even when there were they were not a problem. People can easily walk on the grass all around the point and even when you walk on the roadway cars are travelling very slowly and people are safe.

Those with mobility problems can still enjoy the beautiful view as they sit in their car on the point.

The problem is with the city council that likes to spend taxpayers’ money to fix “problems” that don’t exist.

Another example is the sidewalk along the north side of May Street. When the original council put the sidewalk in they ended it where the houses ended. Made sense.

Now this council is spending a fortune to extend the sidewalk to Memorial Crescent. There is a perfectly good sidewalk across the street where the houses are, which is very lightly used.

Why don’t they use some of this surplus money they seem to have to fix the numerous potholes around town?

David Jack

Return Clover Point to natural state

I’m writing to support the recommendation to close Clover Point to vehicle traffic and return the area to its natural state.

While some may worry it would limit access for those with mobility issues, that could be addressed by creating angled parking at the start of the loop, reserved specifically for those with wheelchairs or strollers.

In addition, a wheelchair-friendly path encircling the loop could be established, replacing the car lot atmosphere and continual exhaust from idling vehicles.

For years the loop has been little more than a glorified parking lot, detracting from what could be a pristine point attracting birds and marine life.

Since it’s been closed to public vehicle traffic during the sewage project, there have been numerous close-up sightings of eagles, herons, otters and other wildlife.

There are already several car-friendly stretches along Victoria’s seafront. Let’s take back Clover Point and create a natural legacy for everyone, not just those in vehicles.

Brian Lepine

Park access, Clover Point are distractions

Re: “Clover Point has no clover and that’s a problem,” May 20; “Partial car ban at Beacon Hill; restrictions inside park, but more parking,” May 15.

I watch the local news to get updates on the status of our city during the pandemic and uncertain times. I continue to see an out-of-touch city council wasting time on so many sideline issues such as Beacon Hill Park access and now Clover Point.

Our city is a ghost town. The homeless situation has exploded to the point where we are buying hotels to house the homeless.

Businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy, and Coun. Ben Isitt wants to increase green space because it would be a “nice” idea? Please, put your efforts into focusing on what you should be doing.

Show some leadership in supporting the majority of residents of Victoria and focus on the important issues.

B.C. Cade

Time to try another restaurant

Re: “Leave table clearing to restaurant staff,” letter, May 19.

I don’t know where the letter-writer has been eating, and I assume he’s never worked in a restaurant, but just for the record, we always clear and sanitize our tables so the customer is never responsible for that.

I suggest the letter-writer try another restaurant (maybe Christie’s?). We will show you how it’s done.

Brock Carbery
Christie’s Pub

Wear mask to protect service workers

Re: “Stores, salons, cafés cautiously reopen as restrictions ease,” May 20.

Picking up the newspaper this morning I was confronted with a picture of someone getting a haircut wearing no mask. Every stylist was wearing a mask.

Let’s try harder to protect our service workers who are giving us back our services. It is not much to ask. Wear those masks in public and help protect each other.

Gail Cresswell

COVID-19 limits input on variance decisions

During the necessary safety precautions required by COVID-19, I believe that municipal councils must make extra effort to accommodate citizen input.

At the Zoom video call meeting of Qualicum Beach council on May 13, the process did not allow public participation.

Documents related to the variance decision objected to by more than 20 citizens were not available to view and required attendance at the town offices and comments on the decision within less that 24 hours, although record of the decisions were not available.

Many objectors are in the vulnerable senior category and these requirements do not allow for fair citizen participation and input.

COVID-19 must not be an opportunity to expedite controversial decisions while public input is limited.

Patricia Byers
Qualicum Beach

Caledonia project not affordable enough

Re: “Affordable-housing project behind Vic High going to public hearing,” May 8.

Recently, city council voted to send the Caledonia project to public hearing on the basis of its provision of affordable housing. Unfortunately, this project is nowhere near affordable enough. Only 18% of the proposed units are truly affordable. The rest will be middle-income suites in five- storey buildings.

This proposal is not supported by Fernwood’s current neighbourhood plan and the city’s official community plan. Vic High’s green space, already less that what is required by the Ministry of Education, will be further reduced.

Other schools in the school district have a great deal more green space proportionately.

Let’s keep the existing 18 units on the site and approve a smaller project with more low-income suites than the current 154-unit proposal provides.

Then let the Capital Regional Housing Corp. build the middle-class housing that makes up the bulk of the current Caledonia proposal on the extensive lands of these other schools.

Vic High is our inner-city high school. This project is a Trojan horse, touting its “affordability” while ushering in a whack of middle-income housing. We need housing at all levels but it is patently unfair to dump this project on Vic High’s scant land.

Let’s go for some equity here.

Dorothy Field

Let’s move B.C. forward, not go back to normal

Premier John Horgan has put together an advisory group to plan the economic recovery from COVID-19.

Good for him.

However the group does not include the minister for the environment nor any non-governmental environmentalists or anyone dedicated to dealing with the climate crisis.

Horgan has stated that the people want to get back to normal as soon as possible.

If “normal” means life like last fall and before, then they and he want to get back to relentlessly rising greenhouse gas emissions and increasing global heating.

This would be a plan to exchange one disaster for another, though the climate disaster is not killing many people yet and seems to be farther off.

You and we all need to demand that Horgan plan a recovery that reduces the problem of global heating and helps us escape this second, and greater, crisis.

This can be done by creating jobs in sustainable industries: manufacturing electric buses to replace the present diesels, creating large scale solar and wind generation projects, and rewriting the building code and enforcing it to make all new buildings independent of fossil fuel heating and parking equipped everywhere with charging for electric vehicles.

These are just three examples of many that advisers and planners with a deep concern about global heating would see were part of his plan.

Let’s not go back to old “normal.”

Ian Brown

Send us your letters

• Email: letters@timescolonist.com

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, B.C. V8T 4M2.

Letters should be no longer than 250 words and may be edited for length, legality or clarity. Include your full name, address and telephone number. Avoid sending letters as an email attachment. Copyright of letters or other material accepted for publication remains with the author, but the publisher and its licensees may freely reproduce them in print, electronic and other forms.

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist