Letters Nov. 5: E&N tracks in bad shape, loutish behaviour at ballet

E&N railway tracks beyond redemption

It is incredible how the Island Corridor Foundation continues to spin the fairy tale of a resurrected rail service along the E&N rail corridor.

The recent tactic of offering tours to mayors along selected stretches of track should be questioned. There are sections that can still support light and slow-moving vehicles as were used for the tours. A proper inspection of the complete corridor would provide a more realistic conclusion. Contrary to what the foundation’s CEO states, the tracks are falling apart.

article continues below

The increasing uncertainty around funding, along with First Nation legal challenges, make it quite unlikely that rail service will be restored. Perhaps that is as it should be.

Many of us fondly remember the whistle and clatter of the old Dayliner. A modern rail service might not be so benign. Faster trains would require substantial fencing and controlled crossings along much of the route. Those living near the tracks and drivers forced to wait at crossings would probably not welcome the necessary changes.

It is time to seriously challenge the Island Corridor Foundation about the reality of their vision. Many think the corridor should be publicly owned and used as a trail. This would provide a reasonably level path over the Malahat to Victoria (as opposed to the recently completed, but prohibitively steep, sections of the Great Trail.)

Perhaps in a few decades, if the south Island continues to densify, some sort of commuter service along the corridor could be justified. Maybe, by then, it might be a raised monorail above the trail.

Dave Hutchinson
Shawnigan Lake

Maybe, possibly, action on E&N

Re: “We’ll get a railway up and running on Island, says Corridor Foundation,” Oct. 30.

How terrific to see the province finally seem to take the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway corridor seriously. Until now, transportation policy in B.C. has reflected the wildly out-of-whack approach of people such as Robert Moses of New York City and Herbert Manzoni of Birmingham, England.

Moses and Manzoni either ripped out rail infrastructure entirely or allowed it to deteriorate to appalling condition. Then they invested all public funds in endless road expansion. This just doesn’t work.

The other problem is when rail projects become ensnared in ridiculous numbers of overpaid consultants. This problem has befallen the high-speed-rail project between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area in California.

It started off with such promise and is now a bleak stereotype of inefficient bureaucracy.

Louis Guilbault

Taxpayers subsidize true costs of EVs

Re: “Long-term savings, not costs, with EVs,” letter, Oct. 27.

No, electric vehicles are not cheaper to own than gas vehicles — the reality is that someone else is paying the true costs. To suggest owning a Honda Civic costs more long-term than a Tesla is completely ludicrous.

First and foremost, about a third of the cost of a litre of gas here in B.C. is taxes. These taxes are used to fund the myriad programs Canadians both enjoy and expect.

The supposedly free community chargers and their power are actually paid for by municipalities and businesses.

Moreover, the rather generous incentives that reduce the cost of purchasing electric vehicles are funded by taxpayers.

If electric-vehicle owners were to bear the true costs of ownership, the numbers of these vehicles would decrease significantly. Nothing is free; someone actually pays.

R.E. Coulter
North Saanich

Why did women need to crowd-source?

Re: “Men’s field hockey team on its way to Olympics,” Oct. 29.

Congratulations to the men’s field hockey team. Here is a question, however.

Did the Canadian men’s field hockey team have to use an online crowd-sourcing campaign in order to compete in their “last-chance Olympic qualifying set” or any of their qualifying matches, for that matter?

If the answer is no, why was there a need for the Canadian women’s field hockey team to crowd-source to participate in their first-round qualifier? It’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery.

Sandra Glass

Hold the shouts and drinking at ballet

Can we establish a standard of behaviour for theatre attendees in Victoria?

My enjoyment of the performance of Ballet Rocks at the McPherson Playhouse was ruined by the person sitting in the next seat. It started when she arrived, reeking of a particularly heavy scent, causing me to catch my breath and lean away.

So much has been said of the problems perfume causes people with allergies. Can we agree not to wear scent to the theatre where people sit in close proximity?

There were times during the first half of the Ballet Victoria program — the rock portion of the performance, upbeat, lively, fun numbers — when the audience shouted their appreciation. That was appropriate in that context.

The second half of the program opened with Belong, an intensely beautiful ballet performed exquisitely by Andrea Bayne and Luke Thompson.

They wove a magical web that riveted the audience. Our intense concentration on the performance was shattered, however, by a series of exclamations from the next seat: “Whoa! Amazing!” (three times). It was totally inappropriate in the context of the performance and almost provoked violence (from me).

A woman in a nearby seat arrived with a glass of white wine, and given her stumbling entry into her seat, it might not have been her first. Another glass of white wine was consumed during the second half.

Her lack of appreciation of the nuances of the dance were undoubtedly caused by her blood-alcohol level.

Is there any way of monitoring the amount of alcohol spectators consume in the theatre?

There was no point in addressing my complaints with the woman directly, because drunks are unable to hear what is being said.

Paula McGahon

Individuals can help buy parkland

Re: “Parks-acquisition fans aren’t out of the woods,” Oct. 31.

Anyone can make a charitable donation to the CRD, get a tax receipt and ask for it to be directed to parks or the Parks Acquisition Fund.

This year, we donated the extra seniors’ homeowner grant.

Bruce Mackenzie

One-year ferry ban is too much

Re: “Driver’s ferry ban extended to one year,” Nov. 1.

As egregious as the act of almost hitting a ferry worker is, banning someone from the highway system is heavy-handed and smacks of a dictatorship that has no place here in Canada.

A fine of double the ferry fare and a handwritten, not typed, letter of apology is sufficient.

Steve Hoffman

Oil mess result of Alberta ineptitude

Re: “So long, Alberta, and good luck,” letter, Oct. 30.

The oil mess we are in today is the result of 60 years of inept governments in Alberta, allowing U.S. corporations to own and develop most of our oil industry, build pipelines and refineries in the U.S. and export from their ports at world market prices.

The U.S. has been the beneficiary of discounted Canadian oil and the finished product sold to us at a premium. Oil is our richest resource and we have squandered Canada’s wealth.

Rickie Boothman

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.

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist