March 2011 edition

Re: Sprawl momentum builds in Central Saanich, February 2011

The article states that, while Vantreight’s consultants suggest the development would require 2.5 litres of water per second from wells to be dug on the property in question, research from the provincial government indicates that the median supply from existing wells in the area is only .25 litres per second, or only one-tenth the requirement. It then goes on to say that, “If the province’s research is correct and the new subdivision does dry out the aquifer under the Vantreight subdivision, the municipal water main will have to be extended to service these houses....”

My question here is: why? In the ongoing debacle we call the leaky condo scandal, caveat emptor clearly applies as the condo owners have been forced to cough up an average of $50,000 for repairs that should never have had to be done in the first place. So why wouldn’t caveat emptor apply here as well? In addition, should the subdivision be approved, it would be approved at least in part from a faulty assessment of available water supply. That in itself should be enough to put someone in jail for fraud and misrepresentation.

But municipal water should not be held out as a convenient lifeline. 

Richard Weatherill


Re: Wham, BAM, thank you TAM, February 2011

The solution is obvious: who owns these corporations? Investors and pensioners—in other words, you!

So, let’s all cash in all our stocks and bonds, and instead, buy the land in your community.

That’s what I did. I might not have any retirement income, but I have fresh air, clean water, and I can grow almost all the food that I need. That’s worth all the stocks and bonds in the world.

Can’t afford to do that by selling your investments? Well, co-op together with others to do it, then. That’s all a company is, right? You might as well own stock in something closer to home, something you’ll still have if the market tanks...again.

Jan Steinman


Thanks to Briony Penn and Focus, it appears that foreign ownership and/or control are a forest policy issue of concern to British Columbians. 

What other BC forest companies does TAM have under its influence? Is it legal for a foreign, non-forest company effectively to control forest licences in BC, albeit one or more corporations removed from the forest company holding the forest licence? 

Certainly, foreign ownership and control is another forestry and environment issue among many that we must have the BC Liberal and New Democrat leadership hopefuls address. 

Anthony Britneff


Re: One-third of our garbage is food, February 2011

It was great to see this article pointing out the excess waste that both consumers and producers create. Our company, reFUSE was named and founded on this very principle, to push people to not create waste in the first place, instead of justifying their excess just because it can be recycled.

The CRD is in a tough predicament facing reduced tipping fee revenues at the landfill. Fortunately, our region’s progressive residents, businesses and institutions are not waiting until food waste is banned from Hartland before trying to beneficially-recycle it themselves, or with established local service providers. As in other jurisdictions, our elected officials and municipal staff should enact policy to reduce liability for businesses that have to trash a lot of perfectly good, edible food that could be redistributed to food banks and other agencies.

Jason Adams


We are Canadians: Where are our stories?

Last night, I was working on a collage—a collage that I would carry in a memorial march for missing and murdered indigenous women in Victoria. We realized that while indigenous women are regularly in newspapers and on the news, we are not in magazines. We looked in 50 magazines and we couldn’t find any photos to use on our collage. We are not in any magazines that celebrate life, that showcase fashion and describe our strengths and our abilities. We were not able to find any photos or articles about indigenous women to use for our collage.

We would like to be heard—we would like to be visual. People see us as heavy drinkers and drug addicts and people on welfare. People cross the street when they see us; they are either afraid or they don’t know what to say. People rarely say hello to me on the street. We are ignored by the crowds. People act like we don’t exist because they don’t know us, they don’t want to know us. In fact, we are parents, we are grandmothers and sisters. We love our families—we have strong relationships. We are beautiful.

We want to come forward as people who are equally strong, intelligent and worthy. Magazines have an opportunity to give us a voice. Magazines must represent us through articles and photos, the opinions and stories of indigenous women and their families. When our stories are told, people will not be afraid. When we are represented in Canadian magazines with women of many other cultures and backgrounds, Canadians will walk on the same side of the street as us.

Karen Brown


Regionalization—only good for Victoria

Regionalization is not what it is cracked up to be. In other jurisdictions of Canada, many see now that it really hasn’t worked well.

Here in the Capital Regional District we hear this concept bantered as a good thing. Not surprisingly the supporters are those whose jurisdictions are in trouble. Case-in-point is Victoria where cost overruns have created shortfalls, and bad planning and inflated expectations may just be a little too high to afford. Still that doesn’t prevent Council from “dreaming big,” nor prevent the Chief of Police to ask for a budget increase in excess of $2 million dollars.

For the local CRD municipalities, regionalization would not be a good move. Why? Because all but one of the municipalities are succeeding. In fact they are doing a pretty good job. Victoria is really the only municipality that would benefit by regionalization and the associated amalgamation of services. 

A relocation of governing would punish communities such as Saanich which has low taxes, and provides residents with access to quality services, especially policing. The risk is that the other CRD residents would then potentially be at the mercy of Victoria’s agenda—as we see with the ongoing melodrama which is the Johnson Street Bridge. 

William Perry