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Letters Oct. 22: Victoria council must focus on real priorities; safety at school crosswalks

Furnace is broken — hey look, a shiny toy! Re: “Crystal Pool replacement decision delayed to at least 2023,” Oct. 20. So, the Crystal Pool is on hold again; at least a decision is on hold.
Cyclists ride on the bike lanes on Vancouver Street at McClure Street. A letter-writer suggests council should focus less on projects such as bike lanes and more on essential public infrastructure. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Furnace is broken — hey look, a shiny toy!

Re: “Crystal Pool replacement decision delayed to at least 2023,” Oct. 20.

So, the Crystal Pool is on hold again; at least a decision is on hold. Heaven forbid making a decision if it doesn’t cover shiny baubles or cuddly vote-getters.

Victoria councils, past and present, with the assistance of myopic staff, ignore the obvious. The home furnace has just broken down, the refrigerator and stove don’t work properly and the circuits are overloaded.

What to do, what to do? Why, buy new awnings and build a barbecue pit for summer parties.

Councils have spent hundreds of millions on bridges, bike lanes, hotels and lunches rather than deal with what they were elected to do.

Patrick Murphy

Flashing lights needed at Margaret Jenkins

While flashing lights have been installed at many crosswalks around the city, one crosswalk that needs urgent attention is on Fairfield in front of Margaret Jenkins School.

My daughter was walking her two children to school when a car came racing down Fairfield and nearly hit them.

It was 8:35 in the morning. There was no crossing guard.

Victoria city council has a lot on its plate, but public safety — especially children’s safety — needs to be a top priority.

Susan Greenwood

With bike lanes in place, cars take other streets

Re: “With proper bike routes, vehicle traffic evaporates,” letter, Oct. 19.

So “traffic evaporates” when road space is reallocated to bike routes. Seriously.

The letter-writer, and presumably also Victoria city council, think that cars will just disappear if enough bike lanes are built. And that this constitutes “effective climate action.” This idea is disingenuous at best and downright dangerous for the environment at worst.

When cars are not able to use one street, they do not disappear. They simply move to another street. The end result is not fewer cars and more bicycles. It is more cars on fewer streets.

This in turn slows traffic down to the point where cars are using far more gas to get where they are going than they ever did in the past.

I am quite sure that Victoria has reached the saturation point as far as getting more people out of their cars and onto bicycles.

Building more bike lanes in Victoria is no longer, and possibly never was, “effective climate action.” Cars will not go away.

They presumably will eventually be all electric. Now that is effective climate action.

Gwen Isaacs

Absentee councillor should resign

Comedian Woody Allen once said that “if 90 per cent of success in life is showing up, the other 10 per cent depends on what you’re showing up for,” something some local politicians still haven’t figured out.

It’s unknown how many council and committee meetings Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt has missed since he was elected in 2018. But it is known he’s missed 185 council votes or about 10 per cent since being elected, the highest number of any councillor, according to the city council meeting dashboard.

At a particularly important joint meeting of the Victoria-Esquimalt Police Board and councils on Oct. 19, Isitt showed up an hour-and-a-half into the meeting by dialling in and announcing: “I’m just downtown heading to another meeting.”

It’s our view that taxpayers expect elected officials to care about their community all the time, particularly at a time of crisis in the police department.

The budgets and services of municipal government are very important to everyone in the community and deserve the complete attention of those that sit on council.

Failure to show up at council meetings is a breach of public trust, disrespectful and demonstrates that maybe it’s time to resign.

Stan Bartlett, past chair
Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria

More than money is being laundered

During the past week, the public inquiry into money laundering has heard from two influential organizations that are clearly interested in anything other than fixing a broken oversight system.

First, the provincial government’s own lawyers argued that they have no interest in pointing fingers or ascribing blame to elected officials or administrators who oversaw what has been described as the largest money-laundering scheme in Canadian history.

Uncovering the actions (and inactions) of those officials is critical to fixing the problem, and why they are not being held to account is difficult to comprehend.

Then just a few days later, two influential legal organizations, the Canadian Bar and Criminal Defence Advocacy Society, argued that lawyers regularly work with money launderers and they need to continue to be protected from prosecution.

The end result is that if the politicians, administrators and lawyers who helped support money laundering get a free pass, the outcome of the inquiry will no doubt be diluted.

It appears that illegal money is not the only thing getting laundered in B.C.: those who helped cause the problem are all going to come out clean as as a whistle.

Howard Brunt
North Saanich

More resources needed, and less aggression

I have just spent 12 days at Victoria General Hospital.

Health-care workers are under incredible stress and strain due to COVID. The solution to that is a political one.

I firmly believe that Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have done their absolute best; these are unparalleled times. But we need more resources to prevent a breakdown, now.

Our health-care system has always been a source of pride to us all. But these front-liners can’t go on like this.

And one other thing: I saw so many instances of patients exhibiting aggression and rudeness towards their care givers.

Shameful. Who do you think you are — and who do you think you’re talking to?

And folks who made these workers run a gauntlet of intimidation by choosing hospitals as their locale? Shame on you.

Bob Costello

Please, Minister Dix, catch up on surgeries

Health Minister Adrian Dix was quoted as saying that Vancouver Island has taken the most COVID patients from Northern Health.

I hope the province will be concentrating on the Island in the near future, adding extra money to catch up on the postponed surgeries here.

I think we should be commended for obeying the rules and therefore suffering more cancelled surgeries than other regions of the province.

I also feel for all the patients that have had their surgeries delayed; there is nothing worse than having to wait longer in pain for a necessary surgery or procedure because other people feel their rights are more important.

Eileen Cannon

We need to plan for a future on this planet

A recent letter quoted Prince William as having said: “Great minds should focus on saving Earth, not space travel.” This is totally incorrect.

Prince William is right and here is his quote in full: “The idea the space race is on at the moment, we’ve seen everyone trying to get space tourism going — it’s the idea that we need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.”

As we have polluted and ruined our planet, it is not what we need now to pursue living elsewhere in space. Are we to expect the delivery of the morning milk on a passing comet as we sit in a pod on Mars or the moon?

Diane Wolf

Sunken boat cleanup is good; what about costs?

Re: “Eight sunken boats hauled out of Oak Bay,” Oct. 19.

This is a good-news story that deserves credit to the B.C. government for funding the salvage effort and the Songhees First Nation for organizing it. But it does make me wonder why it was necessary and who the owners were of the salvaged boats.

Surely the owners of the 45- and 50-foot sailboats carried insurance. Did they make claims when they sank?

If so, maybe that money should be used to compensate the B.C. government for its salvage costs. Transport Canada maintains both an owner registry for larger and commercial vessels and licenses smaller pleasure vessels. The owners should be identifiable.

Were these boats wrecked by exceptional winds, a navigation error, or was it simply negligence by the owners?

There are many neglected boats in just about every sheltered bay on the B.C. coast. Under the Wrecked, Abandoned and Hazardous Vessels Act, the Government of Canada has the power to take preventative action before they sink. We need to see some action from Transport Canada.

Lots to think about as the B.C. government pays $2 million to salvage 100 boats.

Michael Simmons
Brentwood Bay

Knowledge Network is a provincial treasure

Re: “Quality helps Knowledge to ascend TV network ratings,” Oct. 20.

I was delighted to read Kirk LaPointe’s column giving credit to our invaluable Knowledge Network and its far-sighted CEO Rudy Buttignol.

Knowledge Network is truly a provincial treasure and it is quite impressive what Rudy and his team are able to present on a daily basis to its audience of the young, the old and everyone in between. My heartfelt congratulations to Rudy and his team.

Tannis Wightman


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