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Letters June 6: Saanich's approach to secondary housing; price of strawberries

A bus travels along a dedicated bus lane near Uptown in Saanich. Via B.C. Transit

Saanich’s bylaw on secondary housing

Re: “Trailer set up for Saanich senior after home ransacked,” June 4.

It’s with great pleasure to hear that Saanich has finally allowed secondary housing on properties outside the urban containment boundary.

The article showing Coun. Natalie Chambers setting up a trailer for a displaced neighbour to move in and live on the property, clearly shows the bylaw restricting the personal use of a trailer on your property has been changed.

I am a little confused though. If Saanich is allowing trailers to be used as secondary housing on properties outside the urban containment boundary, why did the mayor and the majority of council vote on Monday, May 13, to have Mayor Dean Murdoch write a letter to Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon requesting an exemption to allow Saanich to prohibit secondary and garden suites on rural property?

Arthur Rampon


Better transit strategy would help Sooke traffic

The extreme traffic congestion that occurred Friday on Sooke Road emphasizes the need for reliable and fast transit from downtown Victoria to Sooke.

The rapid bus lanes being created along Douglas Street by Victoria and Saanich to the planned provincial bus lanes on the Trans-Canada Highway are a good start.

However, we need a continuation of bus lanes and bus queue jumpers through View Royal, Colwood, Langford and into Sooke. This will help facilitate a shorter more comfortable commute for transit riders.

It would also reduce our carbon footprint and the number of vehicles on the road leading to less congestion. It’s a relatively inexpensive action that can happen quickly.

Michael Strong


Strawberry crops are labour intensive

Re: “Local strawberries come at a high cost,” letter, June 4.

Yes they are expensive and rightly so. I would say it is a bargain: your 34.5 cents per berry contributes to:

The fact that the farmers are prepared to farm a crop that ties up the land that prevents them from producing multiple crops of different kinds throughout the year, plus they invest in the time and labour for the mulching etc. nurturing that land.

Then to finally pick the crop, which has to be done by hand, they have to hire people from abroad and to go through all the administration to see that they are legally documented, housed and fed all because people here do not want to do such backbreaking work.

Remember also that the picked strawberries have a very short shelf life so many would have to be discarded. All adding to the cost over all.

Savour your berries and thank the farmers who are prepared to risk losing everything if the crop fails or if there is a disease or they can no longer find people to do the work.

I am a senior now. I was a farmer’s daughter.

Wendy Wardle

Cadboro Bay

What are priorities? My bet is on pensions

Just a thought about these MLAs deserting BC United and switching to Conservatives as their ship seems to be sinking. Where are their loyalties?

I would bet the farm they are thinking more about protecting their Golden Egg Pensions more than party priorities/­policies.

Paul Baldwin


Politicians jumping ship have no principles

If I were a Liberal supporter who had voted for these BC United MLAs in the last election, I would be upset at so many of them jumping ship. Especially since while both are right-wing parties, with one a whole lot further to the right than the other.

These are people who swore to uphold the principles of the party they joined, and agreed with the ideology the party espoused, and called themselves loyal to the BC United.

The B.C. Conservative party is enjoying a surge in support from folks who looked at the mess and chaos in the United States created by their right-wing party and said, “that looks great, let’s do that.”

The extreme right in B.C. is looking to make substantial gains in seats. So what do these loyal and principled members of B.C. United do?

Do they double down and work harder for their party? No. Do they get out on the stump and start railing about how extreme the Conservatives actually are? No.

Instead these folks who believed in COVID, masking and vaccines, that LBGTQ+ folks should be allowed to live their lives as they want, the rule of law, etc., have tossed it all so they can gain a seat in the legislature under a banner that apparently none of them believe in.

Those without principles, without ­ideals, without loyalty, and without a care about their constituents are interested in nothing but money and power.

This is the calibre of the people who left BC United to join the Conservatives.

They are not decent, hardworking politicians who care about their constituents, want to make life better for all, and believe the principles of the party they joined! Nope.

These people believe in nothing but themselves, money and power, and will do or say anything to attain it!

Alexis Thuillier


Overpopulation leads to climate problems

Re: “To fit more people, we need to think small,” letter, June 4.

The notion that we can downsize humans through CRISPR is currently not possible. The detection of the proper DNA and mRNA takes research and might take many decades.

The overpopulation of the world is well illustrated by the calculation that if everyone alive lived like north Americans, we would 4.5 to 5 earths to meet the needs.

The overpopulation is one big ­reason we are in such climate ­trouble. Our greenhouse emissions ­happened so quickly that we did not adjust in time.

The idea that we can continue using fossil fuel is simply ignorance. If we do not have enough charging stations, then build enough rather than subsidizing oil and gas producers.

The world is fine but the current crop of creatures on it are not.

Daniel Lordahl


Humans are busy destroying the Earth

Re: “Efforts in place to restore southern resident killer whale population,” June 1.

It’s very good to hear this latest news to protect the whales, albeit all a little too late, while their numbers continue to dwindle because no meaningful action has been taken to protect them in so long. Such a shame.

When I take walks along certain beaches around Victoria my “peace and quiet” is often disrupted by very loud whale touring boats screeching and roaring across the ocean.

Not sure how any marine life survives with all the noise and trash in the oceans. To top off the disrespect and ill-fated behaviour by humans towards these gentle giants of the deep, Japan is showing off their new whaling boats and getting ready to begin killing whales again.

Such beautiful, intelligent sentient beings. It’s all so maddening and all so sad!

We are not stewards of the Earth — we are destroyers. So disappointing.

Anne Forbes


Induction cooktops will offer many benefits

Re: “Converting from natural gas too pricey for B.C. restaurants, says report,” May 30.

Well that was a good incendiary, dog whistle article to get people agitated. Fortunately, as is typical with these types of articles, they don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Restaurants are excluded from the B.C. zero carbon requirement that more than two dozen local governments have adopted ahead of the provincial ­schedule, so erroneously conflating their ­proactiveness with a threat to the ­industry is absurd.

Existing commercial gas-fired kitchens are free to continue as is.

But they, and especially anyone considering creating a new restaurant, should consider the benefits of using induction cooktops. They:

• Boil water quicker than gas.

• Heat the pan directly, so are much more efficient than gas which mostly heats the kitchen.

• Don’t emit poisons into the kitchen like gas, which pollutes even when turned off.

• Are very responsive and are easier to set accurately.

• Are way easier to clean.

More and more restaurants, like Aura in Victoria, have realized the benefits of electric induction cooktops that allow them to thrive and their staff to work in a healthy and safe environment.

Finally, B.C. Hydro will be adding more renewable energy capacity to our grid to handle future demand.

As for possible rate increases, this is much more likely to result from the colossal electricity demands of planned fracked-gas LNG projects rather than the additional demand from people living in more efficient houses that generate much lower emissions.

Graham Tarling


Pretend this is Quebec so we can get more help

I am appalled at the games the federal government is playing with the requests for assistance, from three B.C. municipalities, to help avoid more catastrophic flooding like they suffered in November 2021.

Anyone want to guess what would have happened, or how long it would have taken, if this had been Quebec instead?

Bob Wheaton



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