Letters – March 2, 2011

Graffiti successes could be short lived 

Re: Langford graffiti lawsuit settled in groundbreaking case, www.goldstreamgazette.com, Feb. 24, 2011.

The terms of the recent settlement between the City of Langford and the parents of a local graffiti vandal is indeed a victory, but unfortunately it is a hollow one that will not be the deterrent hoped for.

 This is because the two community safety officers (I was one of them) that catalogued graffiti within the city and brought justice to bear with this youth, and many others across the region, were unceremoniously laid off last year in a controversial move which left the public and members of local law enforcement scratching their heads.

We had worked hard to educate ourselves about the graffiti subculture. We also implemented some new innovative methods to catch offenders which made us valuable participants in the regional graffiti task force and the TAGS anti-graffiti symposiums.

 In the absence of community safety officers, it is doubtful Langford bylaw enforcement will be able to repeat its past success. 

Would-be wrongdoers in Langford and the surrounding area know this and before long it will likely be business as usual. Just take at look at the condition of the Langford skatepark as of late.

 Phil Williams

Colwood

 

Lose gambling,       tax marijuana

Our world is fraught with problems and has to deal with too many disasters in too many countries. 

We in Canada are blessed with living in the best country. Here on the West Coast, watching unrest and disasters elsewhere, makes our problems seem almost trivial. 

That said, we do have gambling, an addiction destructive to families who need the money lost to sustain daily life. 

A significant source of funds for provincial coffers, gambling is tolerated, even embraced. Wouldn’t confining gambling and legalizing marijuana (not other drugs) be less destructive to society? 

The tax revenue from marijuana would likely replace lost government income from gambling. I’ve not tried marijuana (worse than tobacco?) but I’ve heard that B.C. Bud is rather popular beyond B.C. borders and could find markets in other provinces.

 Don Wilkes

Langford

 

Esquimalt-JDF riding well served by Martin

Many years ago I started reading Dr. Keith Martin’s column in the daily newspaper. As I have always been an issue person, I became increasingly interested in his views which covered every aspect of society.

Education, medicine, increasing costs, criminal behaviour and government intervention, and now a recent article on a rarely discussed economic issue of a decreasing workforce supporting an increasing number of baby boomer pensioners. He has put great thought into his solutions and is willingly open to questions and answers by his constituents in his open forums.

The riding of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca has been very well represented by Martin in Ottawa and although I do not live in his riding and cannot vote for him, he has always responded to my queries and personal letters. 

He is a rare politician amongst politicians and I hope his constituents appreciate him. He is now off to help mothers and babies across the world and I wish him well.

Ginny Gareau

Saanich

 

Tough math of federal voting

Re: Langford councillor wins federal Liberal nod, News, Feb. 25, 2011.

    Delightful person plus despicable party equals a dilemma voting.

Joe Hronek

Colwood

 

Hold a referendum on amalgamation

Now that we are committed to holding a province-wide referendum on the HST, this might give us a one-time chance to hold a simultaneous mini-referendum on whether or not the residents of the Capital Region are in favour of amalgamation to form a functional regional government with shared administrative powers it would have.

Such a regional government would provide the means to solve such vexing problems as: financing the replacement of the Blue Bridge, the Colwood crawl and light rail transit to the West Shore, among other issues.

It is self-evident the provincial government and numerous individual municipal governments do not have the moral courage to bite the bullet. It is possible that holding a local referendum would give an accurate reading of the public’s mind on the matter.

David Buchanan

Saanich

 

Campbell’s legacy includes debt

Re: Campbell exits, his legacy uncertain, B.C. Views, Feb. 23, 2011.

I am dismayed about such a simple, misinformed and inaccurate column. There is no mention about our debt which has risen 16 per cent to a total of $48 billion which consumes 24.3 per cent of our provincial GDP.

The interest on this debt is consuming $8 million dollars a day — down the drain for what? Adding the provincial debt to the federal at $650 billion and it paints a picture of a house of cards that will collapse. Responsible reporting and government would have put this front and centre.

I wonder if any of you look at what has happened in the U.S. states that threw tax monies down the drain satisfying vote buying and a bloated inefficient bureaucracy. 

The time has come to address these issues and we need educated people with courage to do it. I can’t see any here or for that matter in any party right now.

Ken Cosgrove

Victoria

 

Health care dollars should go to citizens

I am very angry concerning Bill C-49, which attempts to stop illegal immigrants and human smuggling. 

The federal Liberals and NDP in Ottawa have signalled that they will not support the Conservative’s efforts to curb the abuse of our immigration laws.  Please see the following quote from the Toronto Sun.

“When the next boatload of illegals washes up on our shores, Canadians won’t forgive the (Michael) Ignatieff Liberals for letting human smugglers treat our great country as their doormat,” said Alykhan Velshi a spokesman for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

“The Ignatieff Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois should support our tough legislation to combat human smuggling, not the special interests and noisy activists to whom they are typically beholden.”

The Vancouver Island Health Authority had to absorb the cost of the last 492 illegal immigrants by opening several units at Victoria General Hospital to accommodate them. These units were originally closed as VIHA had no money in its budget. This caused the tax-paying patients that were waiting for beds and for medical care to be bumped further down the list as a result.

As a practising nurse, I do not feel this is fair to our community and to those who are on long wait lists.  While I feel compassion for those trying to escape tyrannical regimes, I do not feel that our taxpayer dollars should be prioritized to exempt our own citizens from the health care that we should be committed to providing.

It is time that someone spoke out for our own community. It seems the Conservatives are the only ones willing to speak out on this.

I would  be very interested to know the positions of our local candidates on this issue. I do not want to hear rhetoric. I feel our community needs to know where our politicians are on this and if they are willing to support our local residents.  It’s time for this conversation.

Jan Webb

Metchosin

 

Government workers shouldn’t complain

It astounds me how many public sector employees complain about the harmonized sales tax and any other tax. 

I don’t care if they are provincial or federal, where do they think their high wages, benefits and pensions come from? 

I have never worked in the public sector. I have a right to complain. You don’t.

Mike Elbourne

View Royal

 

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