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Letters Oct. 3: Shelbourne trees, stratas and kids, gas prices

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Gas prices in Greater Victoria soared to their highest mark yet last week. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Trees are being taken down while election signs thrive

All homeowners in Saanich are painfully aware that they can’t even think of touching one of the trees on their property without consulting the eco-police at Municipal Hall.

Inevitably, the result is protective orange plastic mesh fencing around everything “sensitive.” Therefore, it was interesting to drive down Shelbourne Street and witness municipal employees happily chopping down and chipping all the magnificent trees lining the road.

All to insert bike lanes.

Luckily, standing majestically in their stead was a forest of election signs — all proclaiming “continued momentum,” “innovation,” and “protection of our future.”

Thomas Maxwell

Saanich

Tillicum Road changes are dangerous

I was almost involved in a car accident turning left from Maddock Avenue onto Tillicum Road. There is a huge problem driving on Tillicum Road after all the new traffic direction.

Arena Road formerly had an extended green light turning left onto Tillicum and two lanes, one going straight/turning left and one turning right.

It is now down to one lane and just a big guessing game of who is going where, which in my opinion is an accident waiting to happen.

Friday rush-hour traffic is a nightmare. There is now a bus lane on Tillicum that disappears around Kerr Avenue, leaving the bus to try to merge into bumper-to-bumper traffic of irate drivers all sharing one lane.

At this time I was trying to turn right onto Tillicum from Vincent Avenue. There was not a single person using the bike lane, which I was thankful to see because I fear for people’s lives using this stretch.

I honestly feel with all the traffic direction changes that have been made someone is going to lose their life. I sincerely hope it is not mine.

Linda Pierson

Saanich

Many strata units are not meant for children

While the David Eby proposal to remove rental restrictions is bad for older/smaller strata complexes, the proposal to remove the 19 years of age or older bylaw ability would be a disaster for many.

We live in a 30-year-old two-storey wood-frame complex. Each two-storey building has a six lower units under six upper units.

There is absolutely zero sound proofing between the floor of the upper unit and the ceiling of the lower unit other than the original carpet and underlay.

Worse, over the years many upper units swapped carpet out for laminate flooring. The noise of children’s normal activities upstairs would be significant.

Many stratas were just not build adequately for child residents.

Ken Campbell

Langley

We need solutions to the doctor shortage

Re: “We need to value primary health care,” letter, Oct. 1.

What we need is a solution to address the issue that many people, young and old, do not have family doctors. There have been advanced countries facing the same problem in the past and Canada can learn from their experience.

I still remember when I spent a year associated with a U.K. hospital some 40 years ago that in the local hospitals, a significant number of out-patient physicians were trained and came from India (I am sure many Canadians who were in the U.K. remember that).

I do not think that is the solution for us but somehow at that time the British hospitals decided to use foreign doctors.

What we need is someone or groups of people to come up with a workable solution quickly and implement it.

Harry Kwok

Victoria

Time to take action against the marijuana stench

When I moved to the Victoria area, it was promoted as the City of Gardens.

Flowers, green lawns and fresh air abounded. Since the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, the flowers and fresh air have been replaced with the green skunky stench of second-hand marijuana smoke and plants.

Victoria and other municipalities have nuisance bylaws to address the odour problem but have chosen not to enforce them.

There are no Charter of Rights and Freedoms issues for municipalities to restrict or prohibit the production of non-medical marijuana. Victoria, and surrounding municipalities, have chosen to pass the burden of compliance on to individuals to pursue the issue in civil court.

Many, like myself, do not have the financial resources to pursue civil litigation against neighbours who choose to violate our right to fresh air for their selfish recreation.

In the municipal elections, ask candidates if they will support the right to fresh air and enforce bylaws to address the issue. We would all like to breathe fresh air again.

Dave Hill

Victoria

Oak Bay’s survey results are open to question

Oak Bay council has passed a motion approving infill planning, based partly on a flawed online survey for which there was no validation of participants.

Any person or group, anywhere, would have been able to submit the questionnaire, even multiple times and skew the results in any desired fashion.

The survey questions themselves were nonsensical. Participants were effectively asked to indicate which neighbourhoods they would target for infilling.

Obviously, this question is self-answering according to the NIMBY principle. A better question would have been, do we even need an infill strategy?

A simple update of the zoning regulations would ensure that Oak Bay is developed in an orderly fashion and this would save a whole lot of taxpayers’ money.

However, one thing in life is certain, Oak Bay municipality should never be accused of adopting simple solutions.

Paul Worsley

Oak Bay

Elite governments pushing prices higher

A few letters recently have commented on the high price of gasoline in this part of the country, and there is good reason to believe that the refineries in Washington state (where we get our gas from) are sticking it to us.

However, there has been little or no mention of the almost 75 cents a litre we pay in taxes, and the fact that because oil is priced in U.S. dollars, a 73-cent dollar adds about 35 cents to the commodity cost per litre.

Together, those two account for roughly half of the price we pay at the pump.

Last Wednesday, the federal Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois defeated a Conservative motion to drop the federal carbon tax, paving the way for a planned tripling of it in upcoming years.

And just a few weeks ago, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland had the quasi-demonic gall to suggest that the high gasoline prices we pay in Canada are actually a good thing, because it reminds us how severe the climate crisis is every time we fill up our tanks.

That might be somewhat palatable, unless, like a growing number of Canadians, you’re living on the edge of your economic capability and the fact that you can’t afford to fill up your tank puts you closer to unemployment and food deprivation.

So when you hear these globalist utopians talk about the necessity for higher energy costs, remember that it comes directly at a price to average people, who, for crazy reasons unknown to our politicians, have other priorities.

As the world continues to experience energy supply constraints, it is predicted that the price of hydrocarbons is expected to rise significantly over the next few years.

Coupled with planned increases to carbon taxes, for not only gas but also for necessities like home heating, I wonder how average Canadians will feel about that as they continue to be asked to increasingly “play their part” by out-of-touch, elitist governments.

G.K. Schick

Victoria

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• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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