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Letters Nov. 27: Another use for cruise ships; missing photo radar; the problem with heat pumps

The cruise ship Carnival Panorama was docked at Ogden Point in Victoria for repairs on Nov. 22, 2023. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Use the cruise ship to provide housing

Well looky here!! A cruise ship is here, out of commission on an out-of-season port-of-call. Wow, has providence set in or what?

When I saw this ship on the front page this vision reflects back to a previous letter I wrote suggesting cruise ships could be used for housing offshore, albeit temporarily.

People are looking for a place to live here while the building boom takes hold and are still waiting for a place to call home, but now, not two years from now. This could be an opportunity if our eyes are wide open.

What we know is this: the ship needs repair, we are helping them out with height, then they leave for Oregon to get the repairs done and they are coming back to get their funnel reattached. They will get that done, then they are gone.

But do they have to leave? Can we make a proposal to them? Is there time?

They have room for 4,000 passengers to live comfortably. Could the government make an offer to rent their boat for a short time to house people to live on board temporarily.

We need their space. Those who can pay for a compartment on board would pay amounts equal to rent anyway and that would defray some of the costs while places are found for them on shore.

Sound outrageous or a solution? We’ve got the shore space, they have the rooms. The “Life of Riley” while they wait. And on a beautiful cruise ship.

Their commitments to sail rich passengers to points south are probably taken up by other liners while their ship is out of commission for repairs so could this work?

They won’t lose money if it’s paid for and they would actually save money while docked and not using fuel for sailing!

Less pollution saves the sea for a little while. Like I said when I saw that photo, opportunity knocks!

E.C. Jewsbury


Deer have to go, but not this way

I agree that the removal of invasive deer on Sidney Island is essential and justified ecologically but I am exceptionally opposed to the methodology.

The shooting of these deer by professional “sharpshooters’’ might dispatch some or many of these deer immediately, but most will not be killed quickly but rather will bleed out behind a tree and after hours or days of panic and stress, gradually die.

This type of killing is unethical and wrong. These animals suffer, as we do.

Such an action explicitly contravenes the Criminal Code of Canada on Animal Cruelty (see below) as there are alternatives. The critical issue for this part of the Code is the word “unnecessary.”

The method of killing is unnecessary as there are alternatives such as reproductive blockers or darting with anaesthetics and subsequent euthanization.

I think the Criminal Code is very progressive on this topic (although rarely enforced) and I believe that it in an ethical society, it is essential that we attempt to meet this minimal bar related to our treatment of other animals.

T.E. Reimchen


With so many problems, we’ll cull the deer

This week the assault and slaughter of the deer on Sidney Island will begin. The animals will be terrorized by sharpshooters firing semi-automatic assault style weapons from helicopters, as well as hunters and dogs on the ground.

The plan has been presented as “humane and ethical.” Furthermore, the taxpayer will pay $6 million for the cull, as this is a Parks Canada undertaking.

In the meantime, the number of food bank users continues to increase, the homeless continue to shelter under tarps and the number of tainted drug related deaths continues to rise….

A cull may well be warranted, but surely there is a more economical and humane way to accomplish the same end. At times like this it is difficult to comprehend how government priorities are established.

Mariann Malvet


After the deer cull, will we harpoon whales?

Please help me get this straight: The proposed slaughter of hundreds of wild deer on one isolated island is to be carried out in the most unsportsmanlike manner from aircraft so the animals have no chance of escape, all this is supposedly for the benefit of some plants that seem to have been surviving OK so far anyway ?

This obscene project wasting huge sums of money, is opposed by about half of Sidney Island’s residents! So is it really necessary ?

If it is carried out, B.C.’s ecological reputation will be in tatters.

What’s next, back to clubbing seal pups for their skins and harpooning whales?

Tony Keble


Empty promises from opposition leaders

I am so tired of listening to Pierre Poilieve and Kevin Falcon and their empty promises and baseless criticism concerning what the federal and provincial governments are doing wrong or not doing anything right.

It’s always easy to criticize the party in power when as the opposition you’re not responsible for anything.

Remember those empty promises next election.

Mike Wilkinson


Please, government, bring back photo radar

A past statement from the public safety minister: “People expect government to use cameras and modern technology to improve our lives, including public and road safety.”

I believe this statement was made to justify the use of intersection safety cameras. There are 140 cameras in 26 B.C. communities to deter drivers from running a red light.

Thirty-five of the existing cameras are activated to enforce drivers travelling at unsafe speeds at these intersections on a red, yellow or green light. The B.C. government transfers 100 per cent of net revenue from traffic violations to the municipalities directly responsible for paying for policing.

West Vancouver, West Kelowna and other municipalities have lobbied the provincial government for years to allow their communities to install photo radar at problem areas where the electorate believe cameras can increase levels of road safety. The municipalities have been turned down.

Qualicum Beach has locations that could benefit from photo radar, however locally elected and municipal leadership say speed enforcement is not their mandate, placing sole responsibility with the RCMP.

As shown above, we already have red light and photo radar intersection cameras. How can our provincial government deny our municipal governments and continue to burden the RCMP?

Photo radar is not a cash grab if all the monies collected are coming back to our communities where it can be used for safety initiatives and or donated to local charities.

Steve Hertling

Qualicum Beach

Best heat pumps use green refrigerants

There is one big problem with heat pumps, ignored by both federal and provincial efforts to boost heat pump use.

The refrigerants used in most Canadian heat pumps are potent greenhouse gases, with global warming potential thousands of times more than CO2.

When refrigerant leaks, or is disposed of, it has a significant cumulative warming effect over many years.

Government subsidies should only apply to heat pumps using green refrigerants, which are available in parts of the U.S. and Europe.

Until these are widely available in Canada, subsidies to heat pumps could be counterproductive for the climate.

Blaise Salmon

Shawnigan Lake


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