Letters Sept. 18: The agreement Horgan signed; paying for illicit drugs; where candidates live

Horgan and his MLAs signed that agreement

Rumours of a snap election left me gobsmacked. First thing I did was read the Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA), the document without which John Horgan’s government could not even exist.

Here are some relevant lines from the “Foundation of Relationship” of the CASA:

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“This agreement is effective … for four years or until the next fixed election date as set by the B.C. constitution act.”

This agreement is “ founded on the principle of good faith and no surprises.”

“The leader of the New Democrats will not request a dissolution of the legislature during the term of this agreement.”

“This agreement will continue until the next scheduled election.”

These are the terms, in plain English, which John Horgan and all his MLAs signed. Maybe they don’t understand the words “surprises,” “good faith,” and “principles.” Or maybe they can’t count to four.

I must say I cannot admire or support a premier who won’t honour his signed agreement. To call a snap election now besmirches the entire NDP caucus. The NDP might do better to seek a new leader before seeking a new term.

Martin Hykin
Victoria

Please, Mr. Premier, do not call an election

I urge the premier to delay calling an election in the fall. He has been able to govern with full support of the Opposition through the pandemic. He was able to pass the fall budget.

He will lose my support for sure with an early election call.

Patricia Beck
Parksville

Who deserves all of that praise?

Premier John Horgan believes this is an opportunity to call an election, glowing in the high approval rating, related to a recent across-Canada survey on premiers.

Was that high approval rating by Canadians actually for B.C.’s premier? Or B.C.’s two highly regarded, well-known, seen and often heard Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry?

Linda Gionet
Victoria

Cash flow for illicit drugs

Like everyone else, I’m saddened by the large numbers of overdose deaths in our province. But we know that drug dealers don’t give their product away. They make big money. So it begs the question: Where are the users getting their money from? Except for a small few, I suspect that many of them get this money in the form of a monthly “welfare” cheque. Our tax dollars at work.

I think it’s time that we stepped out of the box and examined this problem with fresh eyes. Perhaps it’s time that, instead of giving them a cheque, that we provided them with accommodation and meals. No cash. If there’s no money to be made, the supply would soon dry up.

This sounds simplistic, and it is. But things have to change, the current situation is untenable. Does anyone else have a workable solution? We should look at ways that we can help these poor people without enabling them.

Angie Harriott
Qualicum Beach

People who used emergency shelters

In 1991, as a graduate student of nursing, I assisted in a research study called: “Emergency shelter uses in Vancouver: Characteristics and health status.”

Conclusion: Most participants experienced incapacitating mental illness, uncontrollable drug addiction, degrading homelessness but not too much sloth and criminality that the participants admitted to. “Plus ca change, plus c”est la meme chose.”

Ellen Roberts (Retired R.N.)
Oak Bay

We must adapt to survive

I am very pleased to have just read A New Future for Old Forests, the strategic review of old-growth forestry in B.C. The authors, two professional foresters, state: “Many of the recommendations in this report are shaped by our recognition that society is undergoing a paradigm shift and public policy related to forest management will need to adapt accordingly.”

Some of the specific recommendations related to this are:

• Incorporating Indigenous communities as key players.

• Managing for ecosystem health rather than for maximum timber production.

• Understanding that intact forests have intrinsic value for all living things.

In my view, the new paradigm which the authors reference is awareness of the biosphere of which we are interdependent parts along with all life on Earth. This leads to a recognition of planetary limits to pollution and exploitation and an understanding of how human well-being depends on societal well-being which depends on ecosystem well-being.

This understanding was innate in all indigenous cultures, as they adapted to particular places, but was lost in the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago. It was then that humanity started cutting down forests and affecting the climate. Now, with forests everywhere under threat and a looming climate emergency, adapting accordingly is about survival.

Edward Butterworth
Victoria

Our parks are the wrong place

It is sad to see Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps explicitly admitting she places higher priority on the rights of homeless people (many from away) than on the rights of the taxpaying, park-loving citizens of Victoria.

This does not have to be a zero-sum game (the we win, you lose kind), but she has approached it in that way.

The solution to the chaos in our parks is to have a strictly controlled area (like the lightly used northern part of downtown) where washrooms and showers could be provided, drugs and criminal activity controlled or eliminated, safe distancing achieved, and appropriate mental health and addiction services provided.

Not only would this allow provision of critical support services (essentially impossible with homeless folks all over the city), but it could also be easily designed to meet all of the government’s COVID-19 safety measures.

Would this cost? Of course.

But it would be money spent wisely and probably not much more than what taxpayers will fork out for cleaning up after the mayhem currently being condoned in city parks.

Allowing our parks to be filled with seriously troubled homeless people (as well as those who have just fallen on hard times) is a dereliction of the mayor and council’s responsibility to citizens of this city.

Blaming this failure to lead on Bonny Henry’s COVID guidelines is disingenuous at best, Trumpian at worst.

The final straw (for me) was Helps’ recent attempt to ban homeless folks from her doorstep at city hall while imposing more chaos on our parks. “Do as I say, not as I do” is a rather poor mantra for our mayor and council to be using.

Jame Kyles
Victoria

Candidates should run where they live

It’s more than ironic that Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday, who doesn’t live in Victoria, acknowledges that people are moving from neighbouring municipalities to access services that he actively promotes, but are unavailable to them where they live.

I would suggest that he and the other three councillors who live outside of Victoria run for office where they live, and leave decisions about Victoria public policy to people who live in Victoria, pay rent or taxes here, and ultimately live with the consequences of their decisions.

I question why a non-resident who is ineligible to vote in Victoria municipal elections can actually run for office. And I am further mystified that business owners who pay substantial taxes and are significantly affected by municipal public policy are disenfranchised.

I hope a common question of candidates in the next election is: “Do you live in Victoria? And if not: “Why don’t you offer your leadership skills to your own community and run for office there?”

John Amon
Victoria

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