Tuesday letters

A former sailor registers an objection

Re: “Alberta squandered its Heritage Fund,” letter, Dec. 1.

I take exception to the statement from the letter that said in part: “Alberta spent like a drunken sailor during the boom periods in the oil industry.” As a former drunken sailor, I quit when I ran out of money.

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Butch Boucher

Retired chief petty officer, RCN

Victoria

Environmentalists should be cheering

There was something missing last week. Where were the photos and interviews of the environmental groups celebrating the demise of Oshawa’s General Motors plant? Isn’t this the outcome they so passionately and fervently worked and fought for the past few decades?

Ending the demand for hydrocarbons will have to have collateral damage. There is no other option. As industries that are hydrocarbon-based lose their market(s), there can be no other outcome, and each shutdown is like another goal for the “E” team in a decades-long hockey match.

Why are the fans not cheering?

Jim Knock

Victoria

Cruise ships are a mixed blessing

Re: “Pier extensions to boost cruise sector,” Nov. 30.

Welcome the improvements to the cruise-ship docks and the longer stays. Running those plus-size diesel generators all day? Not so much.

Peter Foran

Songhees

Vote demonstrates democracy at work

Re: “House is looking shaky over Speaker’s role,” column, Nov. 27

Almost lost in last week’s news cycle dominated by the removal of the sergeant-at-arms and clerk from the B.C. legislature (which, to be sure, is a mess) was a shining example of the beauty of minority governments — the kind that would become the norm rather than the exception under a proportional-representation electoral system.

The B.C. Liberal Party introduced a bill on ride-hailing that the governing NDP opposed. The three Green MLAs are free to vote according to the interests of their constituents rather than mindlessly toe a party line. Two of the three supported the bill, so it passed despite the NDP’s opposition.

Here is democracy at work. Our elected representatives assemble and when a majority of them support something, it happens.

But somehow, Les Leyne managed to convolute this into further evidence that the current government is “shaky,” “precarious” and “destabilized.” Why? Just because the governing party lost a vote?

A “stable” government is not necessarily one in which a party that receives 40 per cent of the vote gets a mandate to pass or reject whatever legislation it wants (as in first-past-the-post). A stable government can also be one in which the views of the people are accurately represented (as in PR) and the wishes of the majority are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Tim Barss

Sooke

Don’t experiment with our government

Re: “Citizens’ assemblies chose PR,” letter, Dec. 2.

Are we really supposed to think that a bunch of citizens, chosen at random, studied for 10 months and came up with a better system to elect our government? If this group is to be the reason for selecting a new system of elections, then why are we not voting for the system they selected?

Reading all the news items and letters about the referendum is making me wonder what we are doing. We should not experiment with government or throw out a system of representation that has served us well for over a hundred years.

If we want to experiment with a different system of elections, let the high schools and universities try different election systems. Have the students report to the legislature about which ones worked the best.

Running an experiment on how to elect governments using my money in my province with no clear indication of how it will turn out is lunacy. Vote to keep the system we have until we are sure there is something better. And please be sure to vote.

Rick Fonger

Sooke

Crawl is political, not engineering, problem

Re: “Traffic woes long overdue for attention,” comment, Dec. 2.

Seeing more people finally expressing what should be common sense in the matter of traffic congestion on the West Shore-to-Victoria route, I hope this commentary helps focus more attention on such a crucial and expensive mess.

What does not get enough explaining is why the Royal Canadian Navy’s Esquimalt base, which owns land on both sides of the harbour, is not transporting its employees and enlisted personnel from the West Shore by boat, so many commuters could be removed from the long road around the harbour.

But the most painfully unreasonable lack of progress is seeing a perfect commuter right-of-way sitting unused. The E&N right of way is desperately needed as a bus lane, however that could be accomplished. It’s not an engineering problem, so it must be some sort of political problem. Let’s get on it.

Toni Blodgett

View Royal

Single drivers cause traffic woes

Re: “Traffic woes long overdue for attention,” comment, Dec. 2.

The biggest problem is not traffic lights, pinch points, construction or accidents.

The major problem is the expectation that we develop enough road capacity to accommodate everyone who wants to be alone in their car. If there were two people in each vehicle, there would be 40 per cent fewer cars on the road and the “Crawl” would not be an issue.

Perhaps the writer could stop at the Juan de Fuca park and ride and bus to town, becoming part of the solution instead of remaining part of the problem.

Douglas Anderson

Victoria

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