Letters Oct. 30: Beacon Hill tent fire; wearing face masks; no need for lower speed limits

Bending the curve the wrong way

I don’t understand.

Our wonderful Dr. Bonnie Henry is asking us to lay low, have no more than six people in our homes, and continue to self distance.

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Doctors are demanding masks in all public centres, like malls, banks and supermarkets.

Tourism B.C. is launching an ad campaign inviting all of Canada to visit us.

Snowbirds welcome! Bring your illness to us!

Why? What am I missing? Are we flattening the curve, or elevating it?

Andrea Hyciek
Victoria

Let’s not bring the disease to our Island

I’m watching the news and “Tourism Vancouver Island” is totting our Island as a destination for Snowbirds this winter. What are they thinking?

The numbers of cases of COVID-19 have been very low on our Island and the last thing we need is Snowbirds coming from eastern Canada where numbers are through the roof contaminating this area.

I asked this question during the summer when there were vehicles from all over the States on our Island. John Horgan and Dr. Bonnie Henry dropped the ball on this in the spring not locking down ferry traffic to essential travel only!

If they are on board with this winter travel plan they need to be called to task on this immediately!

If we must live under these lockdowns, no more then six visitors in your house, no parties and so on it is time to shut down ferry traffic to non-essential travel, and only allow local residents.

B.W. Lowe
Duncan

No need for ugly rhetoric

I’m disgusted by the letter about amalgamation that advises building a wall to stop the infectious spread.

Whether you agree with the point being made or not, it’s ugly rhetoric.

Likening elected officials to a spreading infection is not only offensive, but trivializes the serious and potentially deadly COVID-19 that threatens us all.

State your view, as is your right, but let’s keep a civil tone.

Lillian Szpak
Councillor
Langford

ACAB removal from mural just makes it worse

The process of negotiations and resolution is certainly a fine balancing act, and generally at the end of the day neither party has achieved everything that they wanted to.

However, in my opinion, the removal of the letters ACAB from the Bastion Square mural with the wording that replaces those letters, paints the Victoria Police Department in a worse light and causes more harm to the department and to the City of Victoria than the actual letters.

What was the city’s negotiating team thinking?

Ted Daly
Saanichton

Lower speed limits, but no real evidence

It is difficult to fathom whether Saanich council’s move to restrict speed limits is a gratuitous exercise in social control or a revenue grab.

There is no specific evidence offered as to the effectiveness of the measures, but, instead, some airily quoted assumptions of implied outcomes from presumably authoritative sources.

The two they do quote are the United Nations, where a recent exercise of intellectual rigor included the appointment of China, Russia and Cuba to its Human Rights Council, and the World Health Organization where, in this COVID era, the kindest critic might describe its efforts as being “uneven.”

The council failed to say how either of those two bodies identified correct speed limits in suburban Canada.

A councillor was quoted as saying, “our goal was to see how many municipalities we could get in the tent.” We can only hope that any other town, especially mine, which may be tempted to follow the example, submits the concept to a more rigorous examination.

This may even serve as a problem endemic to an under-worked municipal council and which would be best solved by amalgamation.

There seems a reasonable likelihood that, if that were to happen, representatives would find their time constrained by the need to address real problems.

John Appleby
Duncan

It was a tent, so call it a tent

The Times Colonist reported on a fire in Beacon Hill Park and said it was in a “temporary structure.”

It was actually a tent.

Although a fine distinction, as a tent can be described as a temporary structure, the distinction is important in that it highlights the concern of having a segment of society living in the park and putting at risk not only their lives, but also the natural beauty of the park that is enjoyed by so many.

A photograph of the situation clearly shows the tents involved in the incident.

Barry and Bev Horn
Victoria

Mandate masks, be done with it

Doctors and business owners are all but begging Dr. Bonnie Henry to initiate the mandatory wearing of masks in indoor facilities.

In doing she would take the responsibility off employees and becoming police people.

If someone saunters into a grocery store without a mask or shield, the managers would be able to say it is now law and not allow them in. Why is it taking B.C. so long to take this step?

Surely we all are aware that many people are not wearing them and are possibly spreading COVID-19 all over the place. Let’s just get this done already and lower the skyrocketing illnesses.

Lorine Saunders
Victoria

Municipalities failing to provide basic services

Municipalities are failing; whose fault is that?

The current governance model is in need of a root-and-branch change, a need evident to all elected officials in municipal and provincials governments.

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria have been asking for this during our five-plus years of questioning the effectiveness and cost of current delivery models — 15 fire departments for 415,000 residents? Really? Can anyone defend this?

Too many municipalities are failing to deliver basic services in an efficient manner. Negative impacts of this failure severely weaken ambitious COVID-19 economic recovery efforts by both senior levels of government.

Greater Victoria is a failed experiment in regional government — long on plans, woefully short on delivery. The second-largest urban area in the province has no means of delivering a coherent transportation system, but the CRD study written on this subject in 2017 would get a gold star for style and content — alas, most unfortunately an F for execution.

What are taxpayers to do? Editorials are useful. Questions from citizen groups can have some impact. In a system in which neither the NDP nor the B.C. Liberals see any political advantage to modernizing our towns and cities, do taxpayers simply get ready to pay well above the market for municipal services, or do we take to the streets?

Provincial leaders should long ago have recognized that the economy of B.C. functions almost exclusively within municipal boundaries.

(The provincial economy is a statistical expression of what transpires in municipalities.)

With the cascading impacts of COVID‑19 crisis on the economy multiplying daily, we cannot leave recovery in the hands of 162 sovereign municipalities, or just the 13 in the CRD.

As a former Canadian prime minster once said: “An election campaign is no time to discuss policy.” I disagree.

John Treleaven
Vice chair, Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria
Sidney

Hard to compete with mass marketing

Re: “Let children get a grasp of actual reality,” comment, Oct. 11.

What a great column by Geoff Johnson. Of note (and according to Wikipedia’s article on solipsism), “some developmental psychologists believe that infants are solipsistic, and that children eventually infer that others have experiences much like theirs and reject solipsism.” If this is true, then what led so many of us to bypass (or revert from) this important developmental milestone?

I cast my gaze directly at mass marketing, which for decades has promoted self-indulgence and self-gratification (often directly to toddlers and young children) at the expense of every other consideration.

How should parents, teachers, and community leaders expect to compete with a slick multibillion-dollar industry that employs psychological, social, economic, and data scientists to increase the effectiveness of its advertising, which is then crammed into every crevice of our media sphere? A civilization can bear only so many decades of such conspicuous messaging before its citizens relent and adopt abiding philosophical views, if only to reduce discomfort from the dissonance between what they experience, and what they are told.

Keep telling people that theirs are the only interests that matter, and eventually they will agree with you (and predictably, will purchase your products and services, without paying any mind as their communities crumble around them).

Doug Stacey
Victoria

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