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Letters Nov. 9: Betting on sports; trees in museums; future for electric vehicles

Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto is seen during an NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, April 2, 2023. Pinto has been suspended 41 games for violating the NHL’s gambling policy. The 22-year-old is the first modern-day NHL player to be suspended for sports wagering. The league announced the half-season ban for “activities relating to sports wagering,” on Oct, 26, 2023, saying Pinto did not bet on NHL games. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

Plenty of hypocrisy with sports betting

Let me see if I have this straight.

Shane Pinto, a young player with NHL’s Ottawa Senators, gets a 41-game suspension for sports betting. Meanwhile, NHL players are playing the game with the Bet365 logo on their helmets…but that’s OK.

During intermission breaks, we get live odds updates on sports betting for the game. But that’s OK, because they also have commercials urging us to “know your limit, play within it.”

Hypocrisy at its finest.

Ted Daly


EV policy has problems, but so does rhetoric

Re: “Accelerating push for EVs makes no sense in the North,” Nov. 7.

Peace River North MLA Dan Davies is quoted as saying, “I cannot even fathom an electric farm vehicle operating in minus-30 conditions outside the Lower Mainland. It’s going to be catastrophic for the resource sectors, farmers. It’s going to be catastrophic for the average British Columbian.”

Since Davies presumably attends sessions of the Legislature in Victoria, one would think he knows that the Lower Mainland is not the only part of B.C. where electric vehicles are practical.

And he’s wrong in terms of “the average British Columbian” as well.

The target is that 90 per cent of cars and light truck sold in B.C. will be electric in 2030. Seventy-six per cent of B.C.’s population live on Vancouver Island or the Lower Mainland, so “the average” B.C. resident can use an electric vehicle quite handily.

But of course you can’t talk about an average when you’re looking at such diversity of conditions, as Davies points out elsewhere in the column: “We need to be looking at the province as the diverse province that it is.”

He’s right in pointing out the problems with the policy, but needs to be more careful with his rhetoric.

Ian Cameron

Brentwood Bay

Elected representatives giving false information

In Question Period on Nov. 7, Environment Minister George Heyman said that his NDP government saved employers and citizens a lot of money in the ­elimination of the B.C. Medical Services billings.

Not true. Why? Use the City of Vancouver as a example.

Under the old system, Vancouver paid $4 million to B.C. Medical per year. These amounts were then added to the employees’ gross revenue as a taxable benefit on their paycheques.

As the NDP government were now at a mega loss of revenue, they created the Employer Health Care tax to recover the loss of revenue from the elimination of B.C. Medical Services.

This new tax is 1.95 per cent of the total yearly payroll. Now Vancouver must pay the NDP government $9.5 million. That is a 137 per cent increase. Typical NDP math.

So Vancouver has no choice except to raise property taxes to cover this added expense.

There was no need for this outrageous tax. They should have left the Medical Services billing as is, and just lowered the income tax rates.

Heyman also accused the former B.C. Liberal government of lowering the tax rates to the highest wage earners by two per cent. Not true. The B.C. Liberal government raised the tax rate from 14.7 per cent to 16.8 per cent for the highest wage earners.

Also in Question Period, Conservative leader John Rustad mentioned the flip-flop on the carbon tax decision of the former B.C. Liberal government. Rustad was a B.C. Liberal MLA in that government and voted for the tax.

This is serious business. False information from our elected offcials.

Heyman is paid $172,567 per year and Rustad is paid $143,806 per year. If they were employed in the private sector, they would be reprimanded for giving out false information.

Joe Sawchuk


Remembering veterans is possible year-round

A friend and I walk together a few times a week. Some months ago our walk took us through Ross Bay Cemetery where we saw new headstones and went to investigate.

We found a group of veterans, we read each name and thought about their contribution to our country.

You don’t have to wait until Remembrance Day to honour our veterans; take a walk through a cemetery and view some of the graves any time of the year.

This is a great way to think about the freedoms these veterans have given us and our families.

Eileen Cannon


The rising shame of Remembrance Day

What a screwed-up place Canada has become.

If you’re white, you are likely a racist, according to the extreme left and pandering politicians. If you don’t acknowledge that you are racist, that’s because you’ve unknowingly benefited from it, and are oblivious to it. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Paradoxically, we are about to honour our war veterans on Remembrance Day. Presumably, they will be the next to be castigated for fighting to preserve this racist country and culture in the past.

Nov. 11 might eventually be re-branded as a day of shame for veterans … just a bunch of old (mostly) white guys and gals who were misguided in their beliefs that this country was something to be proud of and defended.

I think it has already started with the movement to remove Christian prayers and references to God from the ceremony. Despite the fact that an overwhelming number of these men and women, and the country, were Christian, in accordance with the times, demographics and woke culture are now working against them.

That’s the cruellest irony, isn’t it? That these few surviving warriors saw their comrades die to defend a country that has morphed into something they no longer recognize … a country that can’t see fit to let them mourn as they choose.

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

Michael Laplante


Trees in a museum? That’s not a new idea

Come on, Adrian Raeside, let’s give credit where credit is due.

The brilliant concept of trees in museums (as shown in your Tuesday cartoon) was the brainchild of Joni Mitchell as sung in her Big Yellow Taxi, one of her classic folk songs composed more than 50 years ago.

“They took all the trees and put ‘em in a tree museum

“and charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em.”

I doubt if there’s anyone over 40 who would not have been reminded of that gem on seeing your cartoon. For that, I thank you.

Betty Wurtz

Shawnigan Lake

And charge the people to see the tree museum

I love the coincidence (or was it?) of Adrian Raeside’s Nov. 7 cartoon ending with a quip about a tree museum on the exact date of Joni Mitchell’s 80th birthday.

Big Yellow Taxi indeed.

Greg Marchand


Park acquisition fund has a specific purpose

Re: “Turns out, the CRD has plenty of money,” letter, Nov. 7.

The Capital Regional District, like most governments, has several pots of money for funding the various functions it performs. Some of these pots of money can only be used for specific purposes.

One of these functions is acquiring parkland, and the CRD’s Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund was created in 2000 for the sole purpose of doing exactly that.

The discussion over parking fees came about as the district tried to find “non-tax revenue” sources to help pay for regional trail and trestle improvements.

Otherwise, that’s another $54 million of wealth that we, the taxpayers, would need to cough up. Or, put another way, $54 million worth of other things that would need to drop off the budget in order to make the math work.

The world is quickly getting more expensive. The longer governments wait to reflect this reality through updated user fees, the more difficult it will be to balance future budgets and provide those functions and services to the public.

J.M. Hylden



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