Letters Oct. 29: Next steps for B.C. Liberals; an irritation on 80th birthdays

No amalgamation, let’s build a wall

A letter writer urges the majority NDP government to force amalgamation on the capital region. That’s a choice for the affected citizens to make.

And this citizen says that as long as Victoria wants to elect Lisa Helps, Jeremy Loveday, Ben Isitt, et al, what we need is not amalgamation, but a wall to prevent their infection from spreading to our (relatively) safe locales.

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Michel Murray
Saanich

Let seniors enjoy their 80th birthdays

I support the letter about the unfairness of singling out seniors over 80 for extra testing before renewing their driving licence. Why can we not renew our licence based on our doctor’s assessment plus examination of our driving record?

B.C. is the only province that has such a policy, and friends who are facing this test are in a state of great trepidation and consternation over this hurdle, instead of enjoying and celebrating their 80th birthday.

Most seniors regard their car as a source of independence to get out in the world, buying groceries, going to appointments, driving to their volunteer jobs etc. Would B.C. be better served by keeping seniors at home with others having to shop and cater to them?

I think by far the most serious accidents of speeding, drinking and driving and reckless behaviours are caused by the 16-25 year olds, not the over 80s who are probably just driving less than 20 kilometres around town.

Susan Warren
Brentwood Bay

Show me the money, John

Quite a few decades ago, bars and liquor stores were forced to close on election day. The reasoning was that a candidate might liquor a few people up in return for their vote.

Those days are gone and now we see promises (bribes) on television ads. John Horgan and the NDP promised every British Columbian making less than $120,000 annually, $1,000.

Can I expect my windfall before Christmas, John?

Bob Beckwith
Victoria

Politicians should pay for byelections

While I respect Andrew Wilkinson taking responsibility for the Liberal defeat and stepping down as leader, I wonder what is going to happen next.

Will he go back on his campaign rhetoric where he claimed representing his constituents as his primary goal?

Will he quit politics and trigger an expensive byelection?

Is he letting his party select a better leader, or is he just taking his ball and leaving because he didn’t win the reins of power?

Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for the cost of a byelection just because a power-hungry politician can’t be bothered doing his job as a backbencher representing his riding.

MLAs who trigger needless byelections, or their party, should foot the bill for filling their selfishly abandoned position. Running for public office should include a commitment to serve till the next election unless death or poor health forces retirement.

We don’t need people running for public office who just want to serve until something better comes along.

S.I. Petersen
Nanaimo

A fine argument for pro representation

Re: “As we wait for the count, it’s time to get back to work,” editorial, Oct. 27.

The editorial includes the statement, “Basic math says you cannot form a government when 65 percent of the voters do not support you.”

Think again. It seems obvious but under first past the post, it isn’t true.

Using the federal elections as an example, in 2013, the Conservative Party had 39.6 per cent of the vote and formed a minority government with 166 of 338 seats.

In 2015, the Liberal Party, with 39.5 per cent of the vote, formed a majority government with 184 seats.

The editorial is a statement in favour of proportional representation. The aftermath of the provincial election highlights more of the problems with first past the post.

People are discussing how the parties’ platforms can attract more voters next time they go to the polls. Under proportional representation, MLAs would be able to concentrate on what is best for the whole province, not for certain populations who might vote for them if their interests were prioritized.

MLAs should learn to work together, not against each other.

Heather Phillips
Sooke

Dianne Watts: A missed opportunity

It was a joy watching Dianne Watts as an analyst on election night. She displayed political smarts, economical smarts and a pleasant manner.

It was very unfortunate that, in 2017, the B.C. Liberal membership did not vote her in as their new leader. Instead Watts lost on the fifth ballot to Andrew Wilkinson.

This was because, I believe, the “old guard “ Liberals treated her as being an outsider. Well, here we are, three years later — the B.C. Liberal Party is decimated, Wilkinson is resigning as leader, and the NDP have a very commanding majority for the next four years.

I believe this election result would have been quite different if Watts had been leader of the Liberals. Instead, a lot of work now must be done to modernize the party if it ever hopes to regain power in 2024, and if not, by 2028.

Brian Backler
Campbell River

Who would want to take over this mess?

With B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson stepping down, the main question is this: Who will step up onto the deck of the Liberal Titanic?

Who would possibly want the job if they know anything about the job?

The New Democrat government has accumulated the highest debt in the history of the province because of COVID-19 “care packages” to practically everyone who has a pulse, and from the millions they have spent just because they are NDP!

Any incoming party will be faced with this debt for decades – who would want to lead that party? And what else could the voters of B.C. ask for a government to provide for its citizenry – you can’t out-socialize a socialist.

John Horgan wanted a majority government and now he’s got a majority headache, getting this province out of suffocating debt.

That’s not the job any Liberal would want, and that will play a key role in who wants to lead the Liberals. Maybe just leave it on auto-pilot!

Jim Laing
Victoria

Nothing liberal about the Liberals

When the B.C. Liberal party re-examines its principles, perhaps one thing it could consider is changing the name. There is nothing liberal about the B.C. Liberal party.

Jim Koehler
Comox Valley

Sorry, Greens, you’re not relevant

Based on B.C. Green leader Sonia Furstenau’s remarks in conceding to the New Democrats, one would think the B.C. Greens are the moral arbiter of the province.

They are not. Nor are they, or will they be, particularly relevant for the next four years.

One has to wonder if the taxpayers of B.C. understand that this three-seat “political party” will cost taxpayers about $5 million over the next four years – and that we will be funding their retirement pensions for decades.

One also has to wonder when the ridings that elected them will clue in to the fact that they have no voice in Victoria for the next four years.

George Brown
Victoria

It is time to flourish, not perish

News of ongoing forestry protests and blockades sparked some reflections.

Killing a people is genocide. Forbidding their language and customs is cultural genocide. So, why would clearcutting more than 97 per cent of the large old growth trees in Vancouver Island’s valleys be considered “business as usual”?

Reconciliation with First Nations cannot fully succeed without reconciliation with our treatment of the natural environment. The two are inextricably linked.

Truly sustainable alternatives to clearcutting exist: community-based eco-forestry of second growth can employ more people than cutting down non-renewable ancient forests ever will.

Question your politicians and demand better. Question the investments of your pension funds, financial institutions, charities, post-secondary institutions, etc. If enough of us question them, they’ll start questioning themselves or become irrelevant.

It’s time for a transition … time for life to flourish, not perish, on the island we call home.

Angus Argyle
Saanich

Many health benefits in rail transportation

Re: “Re-establishing rail service would generate $470M: study,” Oct. 16.

After commuting to work in Victoria from Sooke or East Sooke for 25 years, I read with interest about the study, which would address economic benefits from construction and rehabilitation of the rail corridor.

However, there would also be significant health benefits, besides the economic benefits mentioned:

• Less stressful and fatiguing commutes and possible road rage reduction

• Safer travel during inclement weather

• Reduced traffic congestion

• Less pollution from fewer vehicles

• Fewer deaths and injuries

• The option of working while riding rail transit

• Greater travel accessibility for all residents, whether they drive or are unable to drive due to age, ability, or lack of a vehicle

• An option to live in condos or townhouses being built in Langford, Colwood and Sooke

More and more commuters are moving into our neighbourhoods and the roads have been over-taxed for years. It makes complete sense to re-establish Vancouver Island’s rail service, a green solution that would provide long-lasting benefits to Vancouver Island residents.

Suzanne Ives
East Sooke

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