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Letters Nov. 20: Government to blame for crises; explaining B.C.'s 'major event' tax; unsafe illegal turns

A recreational boat travels on the harbour as Canada Place and the downtown Vancouver skyline are seen from North Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, March 12, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Along with the other costs, we pay a major event tax

On Nov. 3 I travelled to Vancouver for the B.C. Lions football game. Stayed for two nights.

Upon checkout I noticed a three-per-cent MRDT on my invoice.

What is MRDT, you ask? Municipal and Regional District Tax, introduced by the B.C. government in 2023.

The charge was $12.86 for “major event” MRDT, plus $15.43 for MRDT, total $28.29.

“The purpose of this tax is to help cover the cost of planning, staging and hosting eligible major international tourism events that generate significant international visitation and help bolster provincial tourism and the economy.”

Let me get this straight. Hotels raise the cost of a room for any major event, restaurants and any of the venues hosting the event make a ton of money, such as: $12 for a beer, plus taxis, Uber, etc, PST, GST revenue, but that’s not quite enough. Shell out more cash for another government tax.

Recent polls say less people will be travelling this Christmas. Duh.

Neil Gelinas


Newsom and Trudeau: Hollywood is calling

It was interesting to see the meeting between Gavin Newsom and Justin Trudeau, two leaders who each have destroyed their respective fiefdom, while in power.

I was not sure if it was a political meeting, or a dress rehearsal for the upcoming Dumb and Dumber III?

Either way, I am curious as to what they will come with. Maybe a carbon fart tax.

Lorenzo G. Oss-Cech


Illegal turns make our roads less safe

Re: “More restrictions needed on right turns on red,” letter, Nov. 13.

The intersection of Douglas and View streets needs to be addressed. Signs to indicate through traffic only for the Douglas Street drivers have been posted, and yet on many occasions I have almost been run over by cars turning from Douglas onto View.

I’ve been given the finger and sworn at by drivers ignorant to the signs or drivers who are arrogant. Bus operators have been unable to pull out of their own bus lane and make the green light, thus getting behind schedule, because a car is in their lane trying to turn illegally.

Pedestrians, of course, must be vigilant and abide by the rules; everyone needs to participate.

If the City of Victoria, to whom, regarding this issue, I have written and received no response, is genuinely interested in safety and improved traffic flow it must enforce its own directives.

Or would the City of Victoria prefer to use a human death as an impetus to supervise its own changes? What an unnecessary and tragic loss that would be.

Paul Austin


More emphasis needed on climate change

When it comes to provincial policy and legislation, Premier David Eby seems to be going too fast on housing and too slow on climate.

Bill 44 usurps the authority of municipalities to shape the future of their communities through deliberate, incremental, and intentional growth guided by public consultation. Local governments, “closest to the people,” are far more tuned in to local land-use decisions and infrastructure needs, including schools, health-care, public transit, and sewers.

On the other hand, the premier is “allowing” municipalities to individually accelerate aspects of theprovincial building energy step codeto reach net zero before mandated in 2032.

Topsy turvy. The West Shore is already in a building boom. Are we really going to add even more new housing stock that will require retrofitting in a few years’ time?

The climate crisis is a fossil fuel crisis, and that includes methane. Despite costly advertising to the contrary, LNG is not renewable, not affordable, not sustainable. The faster we “get off gas” the better off we will be.

Why make each municipality go through the hoops to accelerate good energy policy, when the premier could do it with the stroke of a pen?

Provincial regulation, in this case, seems not only warranted, but efficient, necessary, and prudent. And, it’s a multisolve — accelerating climate solutions by reducing GHGs, saving municipalities time and money, while improving the health of people and the planet. Win/win.

We love heat pumps! And good policy. More of both, please.

Karyn Woodland


Economy distorted by government actions

As a lifelong Saanich resident, I am increasingly concerned and angry about the direction our community is being pushed toward, and most of it is due to government decisions led by greed.

The crisis in housing, medical care, and homelessness are 100 per cent due to government policy. B.C.’s economy is now dependent on one industry, residential construction.

It is fueled by government policy to add ever-increasing numbers of new residents, with no concern to the existing residents for the long-term consequences.

Our economy has become so distorted by the government’s actions, that it is no longer possible for a growing number of B.C. residents who work in the local economy, to afford housing.

B.C. residents are fed up hearing from our politicians that the only way to fix our housing crisis is to continually increase supply. Never a comment from provincial politicians to Ottawa to consider monitoring our population growth to match our absorption ability.

Now that every second vehicle on our roads is either a dump truck or a cement truck, serving a construction industry dependent on the oil industry to fuel its growth, all we hear from polticiams is “Build more, build smaller, build higher, just build because we need more housing! NIMBY get out of my way, bulldoze more, just build more.”

Great for developers and government bureaucrats who only care about dollars and growth. Not so for everyone else.

Forget about quality of life and a future worth living. The government will have managed to take paradise and create hell.

We are waking up quickly to what is being destroyed and will be lost forever due to the government’s actions.

The NDP came into power due to voters’ anger at the previous Liberal government’s disdain for the interests of British Columbians. History will repeat itself at the next election if the NDP continues on its current course.

Doug Turner


Refer to First Nations in government records

Government records indicate thousands of First Nations people have served Canada in wartime. Recent federal governments have lauded their efforts.

In contrast is a statement on a federal website regarding Status Cards: “Many Indigenous people in Canada prefer not to describe themselves as ‘Indians’ and view this term as rooted in colonialism and racism. Under the Indian Act, the precise legal meaning of the term ‘Indian’ refers to First Nations persons who are entitled to registration.”

The sentences conflict. The first indicates inappropriate and undesired word usage, the second indicates that a legal definition allows this usage.

Any Government of Canada that is sincere about its appreciation of the heroic contributions made by its First Nations soldiers, more than 500 of whom lost their lives during war, ought to refer to First Nations respectfully.

Both the name of the Indian Act and the word Indian within the Act must be changed.

Paul Austin


Let’s all go to Gaza and dismantle the tunnels

The western world, supported by the Muslim world, Egypt, Jordan and others looking for peace for their peoples, should by the thousands, worldwide, descend on the minuscule land mass of Gaza, bring out the hostages, open the hospitals, allow the world to dismantle the miles of tunnels under schools, hospitals, etc.

Teach the Palestinians that they do not need Hamas, that they can live in peace with Israel, and, in doing so, their God will love them for it and they will prosper.

The leaders of Hamas, hiding, in luxury, in Qatar, and other places should be made to fear for their lives. Stay in your hole, trust no one because there is a bounty on you.

You are war criminals.

Whitney Moyer


Smashing the window doesn’t always help

The chief coroner was quite right to compare supplying illegal drugs to smashing the window of a burning building, but not in the way she intended.

If someone is by the window ready to crawl out smashing the window may do some good.

However if there isn’t someone ready to exit the burning building, all that’s been accomplished is to increase the flow of oxygen to the fire, increasing the intensity of said fire.

Without having options for treatment readily available safe supply is just blowing air on the fire. You may think you’re helping, but you’re most assuredly not.

Jeremy Osborne



• Email:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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