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Letters June 5: Do something about congested Sooke Road; limit tax increases; dead zone for cellular

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Highway 14, also known as Sooke Road, approaching the Sooke townsite from the east, in 2023. CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRICT

Bigger Sooke is still a one-road town

When Sooke’s sewer system began operating in late 2005, local politicians boasted about how Sooke would grow.

Well it certainly has, from about 10,000 people in 2005 to almost 17,000 today, 70% growth.

Politicians 20 years ago should have known this growth was coming, not to a one-horse town, but a one-road town — Highway 14, also known as Sooke Road.

But did the town council then, and subsequent politicians, do anything to address a congested road? No. Fixing potholes or single streets has done nothing to address the Sooke Snafu.

On May 31, it took me 21/2 hours to travel about 25 kilometres. Not just me, but hundreds of vehicles with angry drivers behind the wheels.

Many thought there must have been a crash on Sooke Road, but no, this time it wasn’t bad driving, but bad planning. Just think of all the pollution generated by the idling vehicles.

An important side street, that siphons traffic off Sooke Road, will be closed from now until October, the closure being a major contributor to the slowdown.

Add the influx of tourists, many of them driving under the speed limit, and the driving hell will only continue.

It’s a provincial election year and this inexcusable lack of infrastructure ­planning should be an election issue.

As well, as all levels of government push for more housing, do they consider how more people impact a very limited road network in the Sooke area?

The new 1.5 kilometre four-lane stretch has done nothing notable to address the road-rage-inducing travel.

A pleasant drive from downtown ­Victoria to downtown Sooke that took about 60 minutes 15 years ago, now takes double that time on many days. Happy motoring!

Shannon Moneo

Sooke

Limit tax increases to rental limits

I note that my property taxes in Saanich for 2024 have increased about 25% since last year. This percentage is far greater than the rate of inflation.

Furthermore, it is seven times the rate permitted to increase rental rates in this province in 2024.

For those individuals who depend on rental income, increasing property taxes at the municipal level while the province imposes limits on rental income hardly seems fair to a homeowner.

The most equitable solution would be for the province to limit increases for municipal property taxes to either the rate of inflation or to the rate homeowners are permitted to raise rents.

Can we expect this inequity to be addressed in the upcoming election?

Michael Goodwin

Victoria

Maybe new tower will fix Saanich’s dead cell zone

We deal with the ongoing frustration of living in a cellular “dead zone” in Saanich, so I hope the new replacement cell tower on PKOLS will finally fix the service issues in this area.

It’s more than a nuisance, especially if we need to reach emergency services. I have filed complaints with the CRTC and my service provider.

Both told me that the more complaints that are logged, the better the chance of a solution.

I urge people in the same situation to call or start a virtual chat with their service provider’s technical support department. Ask that a ticket be filed about spotty or missing cellular service in your area.

We’re told our call is important. Prove it.

Linda Barnard

Saanich

Worry about CNG, not the bad hoses

Regarding the B.C. Transit service reduction after natural-gas buses were sidelined, a larger problem than hoses is the volatile nature of compressed gas itself.

Not only that, 80% of gas used in B.C. is derived from fracking. B.C. continues to try to digest more of that bitter pill of fracked gas, considering it a good for us all.

Conversely, methane has a greenhouse gas/climate impact 28 times greater than carbon dioxide, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. High time to spit that pill out.

Hilary Strang

Victoria

Let’s buy Pym Island for a rehabilitation centre

With Pym Island for sale for $7 million, how about the province (with help from the feds?) buying Pym Island and using it as a rehabilitation/detox centre?

There are a number of cabins plus the large main house ready to be used with enough room to sleep at least two dozen people. Participants are away from the temptation of illegal, harmful drugs or alcohol, do not have to worry about their belongings being stolen, or them being attacked.

It is also a lovely place to stay. As part of their journey to return to regular society, they would re-learn basic “life skills” such as gardening for food, cooking and cleaning, doing laundry, maintenance, interpersonal relations, etc. … along with any counselling required.

The province and municipalities have already spent likely much more than this, and with what outcomes?

Jennie Sutton

Oak Bay

The right to protest and our responsibilities

91ԭ citizens have the right to speak out, we also have a right to protest. Attached to these rights is the responsibility to fulfil the obligations that maintain these rights.

It has always been contrary to University of Victoria policy to erect tents on university property, yet for nearly a month, we have had multiple “protest” tents erected at the university.

What qualifications do these masked interlopers — who are flaunting university policy — have to demand how the university handles its investments? It is very difficult to take any concern seriously if it is too weak to be resolved through normal channels.

Have our “institutes of higher learning” morphed into “institutes of politics”? Surely we can rise above using Section 423 of the 91ԭ Criminal Code.

Lavonne Huneck

Cobble Hill

U.S. Senate right to lecture Trudeau

The letter castigating the U.S. Senate for “interfering in 91ԭ affairs” is beyond laughable.

A bipartisan group of 25 senators wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling on his government to raise Canada’s military budget to two per cent of our GDP.

The U.S. Senate is responsible for U.S. international treaties and Canada has agreed as part of its membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — a military alliance against Russia that includes the U.S. — to the two per cent line.

Obviously, our treaty partners have the right to call us out when we fail to fulfil our promises to them.

Steve Weatherbe

Victoria

Moral grandstanding a national embarrassment

In the final week of May, the City of Victoria received overwhelming backlash on social media for their announcement on so-called “menstrual equity and stigma” by raising a blood-coloured flag at City Hall.

The online posts garnered so much national attention and negative sentiment (many from were women), their social media manager had to limit new commentary after 48 hours.

This marks yet another occasion where Victoria councillors have attempted to confidently step out of their lane in an attempt to virtue-signal on matters they frankly have no business commenting on.

The level of embarrassment our city felt has, in my view, brought our reputation to breaking point when one considers the real challenges our municipality is faced with.

An FOI request has been submitted to obtain the names of those being paid by Victoria taxpayers to spend their time on humiliating, moral-grandstanding side quests.

Lukas Wolfhauz

Vic West

Save the planet for our grandchildren

Why are we supporting LNG?

The extraction, transport, and usage of LNG releases a lot of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, more potent than carbon dioxide and worse than coal in the short term.

This methane is released into the air during production by leaks, venting, and flaring. It can also poison our groundwater, pollute surface water, impair wild landscapes, and threaten wildlife.

Why are we continuing to support projects that continue to ruin our world? Why can’t we learn? Don’t we care about the future of the planet for our children and grandchildren?

Diane Scaletta

Langford

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