Smart meters a ‘monumental expense’
Re: Smart meter deniers’ last stand (Opinion, Jan. 23)
According to Tom Fletcher anyone that is opposed to the smart meter is either a crook who is stealing power or a tinfoil hat radical. It is much easier to accept every scheme our taxpayer owned and funded corporations want to ram down our throats, but what’s happening in our Crown corporations makes even the most apathetic of us turn into activists.
Seems every move our corporations make is designed to extract more money from us rather than improve the product. This meter is a monumental expense at a time we can least afford it. It has been reported that the meters have half the lifespan of the existing meter. We have more pressing hydro issues to spend a billion dollars on.
I just wish BC Hydro would quit wasting money on mind-numbing ads instructing us how to phone them and how the smart meter will eliminate the job of phoning them.
Genetically modified crops meet standards
Re: Metchosin envisions GMO-free Island, (News Jan. 18)
A recent article in the Goldstream News Gazette failed to provide readers with all views concerning genetically modified crops and their cultivation, and so I’d like to provide more information.
GM crops are subject to Canada’s strict regulatory standards which ensure that Canadians have access to one of the safest food supplies in the world. Extensive safety reviews are completed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to ensure all products of plant biotechnology are safe for people, animals, plants and the environment.
GM crops enjoy a remarkable safety record, having been cultivated for well over a decade in Canada with no environmental safety concerns. Millions of meals containing ingredients from these crops have been consumed with no reports of allergenicity or other ill effects.
The reality is that humans have been altering the DNA of crops for hundreds of years using plant breeding methods to move genes from one species to another. Modern genetic modification has made it possible to speed up the process and do it more precisely.
When it comes to Canadian farmers, they overwhelmingly choose to grow genetically improved varieties of corn, canola, soybeans and other crops due to the numerous benefits they offer such as increased yields, improved pest control and environmental sustainability and the widespread cultivation of GM crops has not led to increased or excessive use of chemical weed controls, nor significant interference with farmers that choose to grow non-GM or organic crops.
GM crops are not a safety concern thanks to rigorous regulatory standards and therefore do not need to be banned.
President, CropLife Canada (Ottawa)
Visitor hopes for more crossing opportunities
As a frequent visitor to your lovely city, I enjoy walking your trails. Over the past years, I have noticed an increase in fast-moving traffic around Wishart and Latoria roads which makes it difficult for pedestrians to cross over to the entrance of Latoria Creek Park at Royal Bay.
A cross-walk near this intersection would make it a safer crossing for everyone and help reduce speed of the approaching vehicles.
While most trail walkers with dogs keep them on a leash, a reminder to do so and pick up after their pets would serve as a reminder that the trails should be enjoyed by everyone.
Speed and speeding are different beasts
Re: Lack of enforcement weakens speed zone idea (Letters, Jan. 25)
While I respect Keith Sketchley’s point of view and I do not disagree with his perspective, I think the idea of reducing speed limits needs clarification. “Speed” and “speeding” are two different definitions. When we talk about speed, we mean the regulatory speed or the speed that most people can or will travel at. “Speeding” is an illegal behavior that some drivers engage in and as Keith points out, should be dealt with through enforcement. It’s true that reducing speed limits will not eliminate speeding.
The problem is this: 50 km/h is a default speed limit applied almost universally in many municipalities. Let me use Saanich as an example. If you look at a street map of Saanich, you will see that the vast majority of the road surface consists of residential side streets – not arterial roads like McKenzie and Blanshard.
This is where the homes are, where the children play, where the pets and people spend time outside. People can legally drive at speeds that are unsafe for most of these streets. We need to establish an appropriate speed limit for residential areas so that the message is clear to us all.
Community Advocates for Reduced Speed