Letters June 22: Lawlessness in downtown Victoria; don’t book until you have a passport

Increasing lawlessness in Victoria’s downtown

Harm to persons and property caused by “undesirables” habituating the downtown core of Victoria makes attendance to the area less and less attractive.

Who wants a machete-wielding, mentally ill, drug-dependent stranger threatening them?

Who wants to own a business where “street people” feel they are entitled to shoplift with impunity?

Who wants to be an arresting police officer writing reports and spending court time only to see persons “known to them” with hundreds of prior arrests walk out the door only to cause yet more crimes against the community?

Who wants to give up stewardship of our once safe and beautiful city centre?

It seems to me that the only way to take back the streets is to remove the bad actors from mix. How can we accomplish that without denying them their constitutional rights?

What is so cruel and unusual about moving those that cause 80 per cent of the problems to a place where they would be housed and fed and, hopefully, rehabilitated?

The habitual criminals clearly deny ordinary people of their constitutional rights, so what’s so bad about denying them the opportunity to cause more harm?

It seems to me that constitutional rights should be coupled with constitutional responsibilities. If one deprives another of his rights then his own rights will equally be forfeit.

If that were the case our police and law-abiding citizens could see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Until some basic constitutional changes are made about responsible conduct, the situation will only get worse.

Don Boult

Saanich

Who will pay for salvaging from homes?

Re: “Bylaw will make builders pay for not salvaging material,” June 19.

I’m pretty sure it was worded this way to protect Victoria city council from the public’s wrath upon their souls for further increasing the ever-skyrocketing cost of new-home construction to owners.

Obviously, “builders” won’t reach into their own bank accounts to pay for this, they’ll justifiably pass any cost increases to the home buyers.

Mark Henry

Victoria

A special thanks to Point Hope Shipyards

What a truly enjoyable Father’s Day for the entire family.

Point Hope Shipyards and associated heavy industrial companies welcomed the entire community with open arms. They should be commended: they are extremely generous and good [corporate] citizens!

Dick Rennie

Esquimalt

Plan ahead to get your new passport

I hope this doesn’t sound cold-hearted, but it bespeaks reality.

In March, with five months left on my passport, I visited Mexico (they didn’t demand the more common six months remaining on my passport, like many other countries).

When I got home I went online to Service Canada, filled out and printed the form for a new passport — my fifth — got a certified cheque from my financial institution, got a haircut, new passport photo and sent off the works because I want to travel this fall.

A “want” is not a “need.” Nonetheless, 10 days ago I revisited the Service Canada site and went through the process of trying to trace the status of my renewal.

The site said I could expect a reply within three business days. Oops! No such reply.

To all the people who camp out overnight to be in line for what they consider a “need,” I have to ask what’s wrong with planning in advance and not buying travel options until you have your passport? That’s just nuts.

And before anyone complains about my attitude, I will only say that a good friend of mine was recently killed in Ukraine; they found her grave and I want to go to put flowers on it. But, as much as it hurts, that can wait. And so can the impatience of anyone lining up at Service Canada’s office in Victoria.

T.L. Pedneault-Peasland

Saanich

Delay the digging, save the farm’s crop

Re: “Drain push leaves Vic High learning farm, and costly crops, in limbo,” June 18.

There are many problems in the world that seem insurmountable.

Postponing the digging of a drain trench through the middle of a food garden for 75 days is an easily solvable problem. As a local farmer, I feel their pain and frustration.

The school district should do the right thing for the students and for food security.

Jim Pine

Victoria

Nobody is a bum, so stop the nastiness

Recently in letters to this paper, references to “dysfunctional welfare cases” and “bums” have been used to describe youth and adults in our community who are homeless, struggling with mental-health issues, addictions and isolation.

Harm reduction has been reviled, dismissed and tainted by misinformation.

Our fellow human beings, even the weakest and most troubled, deserve our care, support and understanding. By offering the safety provided by harm-reduction facilities, we protect them. Harm reduction is complex and extends to comfort, care and opportunity for change.

“How a society treats its most vulnerable is the measure of its humanity” … oft quoted, let’s remember.

Helen Smith

Victoria

Forget senior power, open housing to all

In response to the writer threatening “senior power” over his idyllic retired lifestyle: Perhaps a reality check is in order for both he and the baby-boomer generation.

Young families, young people, students and everyday workers have little hope of finding affordable rentals in B.C. cities and towns. Retirees have poured into B.C. over the past few years, playing a large factor in driving the housing market, without a second thought to anyone but themselves in a lot of cases.

Quite frankly, housing complexes and housing estates that allow over-65s only should become a thing of the past and open up to people of all ages.

With selfish remarks such as senior power, it makes the saying “respect your elders” an outdated statement these days.

David Findlay

Chemainus

It’s our turn for a major investment

In 2006, the B.C. Liberal government of Gordon Campbell (of which Kevin Falcon was a minister) set in motion the purely political (some would say vindictive) order for a new wastewater-treatment plant for the capital region.

The ultimate cost to build this unnecessary carbon-spewing boondoggle? $775 million, plus ongoing operational costs that will needlessly burden Capital Regional District taxpayers for decades.

By comparison, so far in the 21st century, the Lower Mainland has received massive tax benefits such as $883 million for a new convention centre, about $7 billion for the 2010 Olympics (includes infrastructure), $2.83 billion for the new Broadway Skytrain and $4.15 billion for the Massey Tunnel replacement.

There will never be a “right time” for this kind of investment, so why shouldn’t Victoria, as the capital, receive the benefit and fair share of taxpayer funds that will positively contribute to our tourism industry for years to come (unlike the sewage treatment forced upon us by the B.C. Liberals)?

By equating the preservation of our rich provincial history as a “vanity project,” Falcon has provided an early indication (or continuance, to those that already know him) of the kind of crass political opportunism we can expect from him in the future.

Dave Nonen

Victoria

Premier Horgan, listen to the majority

Re: “69% oppose $789M museum replacement, new poll says,” June 17.

I have been under the impression that our government in B.C. is a democracy. If 69 per cent oppose closing down the wonderful museum in our town and only 18 per cent agree with building a new one, how is that a democratic decision?

The commentaries that are being published in support of the new museum appear to be mostly written by those who are in some way associated with the museum, seemingly to attempt to change the minds of those of us who disapprove.

The reopening of this proposed museum will be many years in the future, and one that I and many of my friends will probably not be able to see. Surely it is obvious that our museum, and the much-loved Imax, can be kept open and let everyone who loves it be able to keep on enjoying it. Some of the areas can be temporarily shut down and changed as deemed necessary.

I have enjoyed the museum since it opened, especially Old Town, and with so many of the attractions in Victoria now shut down, this is one of the few left for tourists to enjoy. We have so many other areas of need in B.C. that replacing this wonderful facility should be at the bottom of the list.

Just how many people in opposition to his deeply unpopular plan would make Premier John Horgan and the rest of the government reconsider?

Yvonne Andre

Campbell River

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