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Letters Nov. 16: This approach to housing is wrong; how a premier gets the job; grateful to be in Canada

The province’s approach to building more housing is all wrong, a letter-writer says. TIMES COLONIST

Province’s housing push wrong for many reasons

Yes, we have a housing crisis and yes, we need more density in urban areas so as not to pave more greenspace. But allowing up to sixplexes on all currently single‑family lots is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Wrong, because if successful it will result in a tsunami of demolition and new construction, which would be a climate catastrophe. The carbon emitted in ­creating a new building is greater than what will be emitted operating it for decades.

Wrong, because it will decrease, not increase affordability. New homes are more expensive than older ones, and demolishing existing buildings will add to costs and overflow our landfills.

Wrong, because diverting our scarce construction workforce to expensive small-scale buildings means they can’t build larger, climate-friendly projects – effectively preventing the creation of the affordable housing we desperately need.

Wrong, because municipalities spent decades consultatively developing community plans. This draconian measure sweeps that aside – and actually makes citizen input illegal!

Wrong, because water, sewer, electrical and transportation capacities have been built to serve current densities. Big increases will crash the systems.

Wrong, because it amounts to expropriation without compensation. Most detached homeowners have sacrificed to have the lifestyle of their choice: a yard for their kids or a garden for their vegetables. State seizure of property rights is communism, not democracy.

We need density where infrastructure can support it, and we need governments to collaborate to create more social housing, the only real route to affordability for those most in need.

John Thomson


Repaired Malahat still inadequate

The repaired section is now designed to stand up to heavy rains but the entire Malahat Highway is not designed for today’s traffic levels, or tomorrow’s.

Chris Foord

Oak Bay

Public does not vote to fill premier’s office

Re: “No voting, no vetting but Eby became premier,” letter, Nov. 14.

The letter suggested that David Eby did not undergo any vetting or voting by the public, however, in Canada and in B.C. the public does not vote for its prime minister or premier. The writer of the letter may have confused the Canadian parliamentary system with the U.S. constitutional federal republic and presidential system.

In B.C. we vote to elect our MLAs. Eby and 86 other MLAs were elected by their constituents in their specific ridings. Political party members in Canada and B.C. elect their leader and if that party garners the most seats then that party’s leader becomes PM or premier.

Canada’s form of democracy is called a parliamentary liberal democracy and its modern form originated in the United Kingdom in the late 17th century and early 18th century.

Yes, our system has its flaws, but given the way the U.S. system allows for gross gerrymandering, blatant voter suppression, racism and absurd juvenile antics I’m not sure we should embrace that system.

Most voters in B.C. have rejected a representative style of governance, proportional representation, more than once. Both the dominant political parties in B.C. have campaigned against this system because it gives more weight to each person’s vote rather than to either of those two political parties, who rarely receive more than 45 per cent of the popular vote.

Phil Le Good

Cobble Hill

A different perspective on society’s problems

Every time I read another (often repetitive) story or letter to the editor about homelessness and open drug use in our city, where I’m a third-generation resident, I either laugh or shake my head with the most profound chagrin.

A quote from Dickens comes to mind every time, and while I know this isn’t all that seasonal at this time of year, I can’t help it…

“Have they no refuge or resource? Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? If they would rather die they had better do it and decrease the surplus population.”

Like I said, not all that seasonal, and not exactly my sentiment, but all the bleeding hearts haven’t solved the problem.

T.L. Pedneault-Peasland


View Royal mayor is right to push back

Bravo to View Royal Mayor Sid Tobias for having the courage to push back on the province for their non-inclusive, developer embracing legislation.

The consequences of their poorly-thought-out and rushed “housing ­crisis” initiatives, without any input from citizens of B.C. spell long-term disaster for B.C.

We will all suffer from their lack of foresight, integrity and desire to have input from the citizens they pretend to serve.

Judy Estrin


Immigrants, be grateful to be in Canada

Re: “Immigrants should leave grievances behind,” letter, Nov. 14.

I have wanted to write a letter like this many times, but did not.

It expresses my opinion better than I could have.

I was a child when we immigrated, and my parents were thankful every day to be in Canada.

Ida Spada

View Royal

When will we have enough housing?

Regarding the rush to build enough housing: Build it and they will come.

When will enough be enough?

Gloria Preetzman


Let’s look at character, not just skin colour

Re: “A new challenge for Canadians of any colour: Remixed racism,” Nov. 4.

I agree with and embrace the challenge placed before us by the writer, Jamil Jivani. The sad fact is, many of us older whites were spoon-fed bigotry, discrimination and racial superiority by fathers who believed that some communities – notably Indigenous peoples and immigrants – were comprised of lesser humans; weaker, less intelligent, more dependent.

We learned to judge others, then to speak over them as if they’re incapable of speaking for themselves. I’ve seen this professionally as journalist and communicator. This “daddy-knows-best” attitude continues to cloak our sociocultural relations. Indigenous communities cope with the realities of boil-water advisories and missing and murdered women while the chattering elites prattle on with grand visions of new ways that just don’t seem to materialize.

An underlying problem is that we whites have struggled to see other people through two eyes. Until we do, we’ll remain purblind and unable to see past skin to the character of people.

In thanking the writer, I note that his point is captured — ironically — by the headline. Indeed, isn’t the challenge, simply put, for all Canadians?

P.J. Smith

Mayne Island

False allegation about Palestine protests

Re: “Bloodthirsty mobs on Canadian streets,” letter, Nov. 11.

I cannot understand why the editors allowed such a nasty, disengenuous letter to be printed.

The writer alleges that mobs have been marching on Canadian streets shouting, “Death to the Jews.”

Such an allegation has no basis in fact and has never happened. One can look through any of the major papers in Canada and will fail to find any reports of such reprehensible actions.

Could this be just another attempt by the extreme right wing to discredit the thousands of Canadians who are appalled at the murderous actions of the Israeli Defence Force and have peacefully assembled to show their support for the long-suffering Palestinians?

Shame on the writer for spewing such hatred and shame on the Times Colonist for printing it.

Lorne Finlayson


Horrifying chant has not been heard

Re: “Bloodthirsty mobs on Canadian streets,” letter, Nov. 11.

The writer tells us that the slogan “Death to the Jews” has been chanted on Canadian streets. Shocking, if it were true.

But I have seen nothing in the Times Colonist or other news outlets to suggest that such a thing has happened. I have been at many pro-Palestine demonstrations and I have never heard such a horrifying chant.

The writer tells us that demonstrators have been waving foreign flags. Given that there are 195 countries in the world, most flags are foreign.

If you see a U.S. flag, an Israeli flag, or a Ukrainian flag on a Canadian street, you are looking at a foreign flag.

Ken Hiebert



• Email:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd.,

Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Aim for no more than 250 words; ­ subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published.

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