Letters Oct. 9: Bridge closure, elections, ICBC and more

Apologies needed after bridge closure

Re: “Climate activists take over Johnson Street Bridge,” Oct. 8.

The Victoria mayor and council should be ashamed of themselves in all of their enviromental smugness. How dare they? The closure of the Johnson Street Bridge for more than three hours amounts to enviromental and civic terrorism.

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To shut down one of the main routes into and out of Victoria from Victoria, Esquimalt and Vic West is a blatant disregard of the rule of law. It is irresponsible on their part.

The illegal actions of these extinction protesters, without so much as a whimper from Victoria mayor and council, makes them culpable of civic disobedience and unrest.

I do not have a problem with protesters until such time as they disrupt our ability to move around this city in a safe and orderly manner.

An apology to the citizens of Victoria, Esquimalt and Vic West and to those of us who visit Victoria on a regular basis for work is in order.

John Morrison

Mill Bay

Bridge was not closed, it was finally opened

Re: “Climate activists take over Johnson Street Bridge,” Oct. 8.

Funny, I was at the same Extinction Rebellion event, but didn’t see a bridge “shut down.” It was — for once — opened up to cyclists, bus riders, walkers, dancers, musicians, speakers, elders and youth.

Most people don’t want to be spending their time occupying bridges. There are classes to attend, gardening to be done, meals to make, jobs, children to raise, dogs to walk, books to read, and hobbies to pursue.

However, expect these protests to become regular occurrences. It is time for governments to tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, and to work with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

Governments must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, and they must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

The billions of taxpayer dollars gifted to the wealthiest corporations in the world must stop immediately. Think of the renewable-energy possibilities with those funds, or the clean drinking-water systems and health-care services that we sadly owe First Nations.

If Justin Trudeau “agrees with” Greta Thunberg — as he says he does — he would begin by scrapping the Trans-Mountain fossil fuel project.

Anne Hansen

Hey, ICBC, show us the evidence

Re: “Big insurance-price jump for out-of-province drivers,” Oct. 8.

It would be really nice to see evidence that ICBC uses actuaries in setting its rates, and that actuaries can prove that an out-of-province driver who is only in the province for three months is a much greater risk than local drivers who are there the whole year.

Stephen Decarie

Elected office should be for everyone

Re: “Victoria councillor should have resigned,” letter, Oct. 8.

The Elections Canada website notes that “if a potential candidate is an employee of an employer to whom Part III of the Canada Labour Code applies, and the employee applies for leave of absence to be a candidate, the employer must grant the employee leave of absence, with or without pay, to seek nomination as a candidate and to be a candidate for the time during the election period that he or she requested.”

“Must grant” is very clear. Although this piece of the Labour Code applies to only a portion of all employees, the principle is very important.

If only people who could afford to resign from their job in order to run for office were allowed to stand for election, guess who would get elected? People of independent wealth only.

Who would take the risk of running for office if they had to risk unemployment the day after the vote?

Andrew Gow

We don’t need the Royal Family

Re: “A royal kerfuffle in Sidney: Queen’s portrait will go back on wall,” Oct. 5.

I appreciate the Royal Family for their work on literacy and other causes. But they represent a bygone era, one grounded in white-colonialist views advanced by governors upholding destructive policies that trouble our nation to this day.

Relations in our country are still poor and Indigenous peoples continue to suffer miserably. We’ve been living in a state of denial about our history, and the continued presence of the Queen’s image only serves to romanticize our past and distort our ability to see our real world.

The truth is our path to reconciliation, but portraits of English monarchs do not speak to that truth, nor do they represent my interests in modern statehood. I say take them down, forever.

Peter J. Smith

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, B.C. V8T 4M2.

Letters should be no longer than 250 words and may be edited for length, legality or clarity. Include your full name, address and telephone number. in print, electronic and other forms.

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