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Letters Nov. 3: CRD’s budget increase, a not-funny comic

What would Grumpies do differently? Re: “Watchdog hits ‘poverty by a thousand tax hikes,’ ” Nov. 1.

What would Grumpies do differently?

Re: “Watchdog hits ‘poverty by a thousand tax hikes,’ ” Nov. 1.

I challenge John Treleaven and the Grumpy Taxpayer$ to provide solutions, rather than simply criticize the Capital Regional District in regards to the proposed budget. What would they do differently to not see an increase?

Would they not hire the necessary staff to run the region’s sewage-treatment plant starting next year? Would they not hire the necessary staff to operate and run the new affordable and rental housing buildings? Would they not provide the necessary resources to ensure that thousands of hectares of parkland are looked after? Would they not invest in a capital asset management program to ensure assets are maintained? Would they not honour negotiated contracts with staff?

I have sat around the CRD table for many years and have witnessed the work of both staff and directors to maintain modest increases.

But the reality is that our region is growing in leaps and bounds along with increased demands for service. We have a responsibility to ensure that proper and prudent investment in those services is maintained, and we also have a responsibility to ensure that the large infrastructure deficit is addressed, rather than simply kicking it down the road, as has been done in the past.

David Screech

Mayor of View Royal and Capital Regional District director

Tax hike proposal shows disconnect

Re: “Brace yourself for tax hikes in region; CRD approves provisional budget calling for 6.2% boost in spending, hiring of 50,” Oct. 31.

Surely even the thickest of our politicians can see the disconnect when one level of government demands that wage hikes be held to two per cent per year in order to balance the budget, while at the same time the CRD suggests that a six per cent increase in property taxes for their budget is totally reasonable.

Just who do they think pays for property taxes?

Bruce Cline


CRD needs a reality check

Comments from CRD chairman Colin Plant about the tax increase were arrogant. (“Everything makes life less affordable, but the services we’re providing give us the quality of life that make us want to live here.”) This is about ineptitude and inability to control costs. For many years, the CRD has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars with no accountability and is now over a billion in debt, with future generations saddled with massive interest payments.

Their chair has three taxpayer-funded jobs as a teacher, a councillor and a CRD board member. No small wonder he considers these increases affordable, despite many on fixed incomes and minimum wage and struggling to stay afloat.

Cartoon trivializes women’s suffering

Re: “The Pajama Diaries — sexy Halloween costumes for you, moms,” comics, Oct. 27.

After gleefully picking up my Times Colonist for my much-anticipated Sunday-morning read, I was soon reduced to tears with an angry knot in my stomach.

I found it incomprehensible that the creator of these mean-spirited and degenerate depictions of female suffering could even think they were funny. It is unspeakably cruel to make fun of people’s distress at the hardest times of their lives. This cartoon should never have seen the light of day.

For me, menopause was a tortuous time, with roller-coaster emotions and body-temperature fluctuations that drove me out of my mind. Depicting that harrowing stage of life in a silly caricature of a woman in stiletto-heeled boots having a meltdown is an affront to every woman who has survived menopause.

By far, the most inexorable image in this so-called “comic” was the author’s depiction of postpartum depression. There is nothing “sexy” about this illness in real life. A friend suffered from postpartum depression with three of her four children, requiring her to be hospitalized each time.

During her last bout, her tormented mind drove her to barricade herself in the bathroom and police had to break into her home and take her to emergency.

Depression, in all its forms, is grossly misunderstood. We need educational articles in the Times Colonist, not lowbrow humour making fun of real problems in people’s lives.

Doreen Marion Gee


Photo placement creates illusion

Great work on hiding the witch riding through the flames on page 2 of your Oct. 31 edition.

Hold page A2 up to the light and see the witch from the water on page A1 fly through the fire.

We all enjoyed the illusion.

Steve Bishop


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