Vancouver Sun letters to the editor for Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.
Wow! Haisla National Council Chief Crystal Smith said it perfectly in her op-ed Monday: “The Haisla said yes to these projects because we have concluded they will be built responsibly for our environment and will allow our people to flourish. I am tired of managing poverty. I am tired of First Nations communities dealing with issues such as suicide, low employment or educational opportunities … we can’t lose this opportunity for our people and for our children.”
Thank you, Chief Smith. When will other like-minded First Nations leaders show the courage to stand up and be heard?
Tim Chizik, North Vancouver
What about building a habitable city
“Sustainability” is a current buzzword. Any politician who purports to endorse it has an advantage. But does Vancouver council ever think about sustaining the habitability of Vancouver? Or does it think, instead, of degrading the residential environment by cramming as many people as possible into it, through universal rezoning and laneway housing?
And does council’s road and transportation policy ensure the sustainability of habitability? On the one hand, council intends to amputate the crucial central lanes of the Granville Street Bridge, thus ensuring vehicular congestion and increased air pollution due to engine idling.
On the other hand, it intends to encourage the extension of rapid transit from Arbutus to the University of B.C., thus further degrading the neighbourhoods through which it will pass, while according only very minor benefit to prospective rapid-transit patrons who are already extremely well-served by punctual buses.
Eric Levy, Vancouver
Anti-corruption unit needed
It seems that B.C. is plagued with corruption and uncontrolled personal expenses from its employees and elected officials. It’s high time for politicians to take action to remedy this scourge.
Quebec faced a similar corruption problem years ago and created the Unité permanente anticorruption. The unit employs police investigators, accountants and information technology specialists. Anyone in Quebec may contact the unit and anonymously voice concerns regarding corruption.
As a result of the concerns submitted to the UPAC last year, there were 39 court convictions. The unit serves as a deterrent to public officials who might be tempted to cheat and embezzle and ensures that there is accountability with expenditures of public money.
Roger Cyr, Victoria
Appointing candidates not OK
It would be disingenuous of B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson to appoint candidates to ridings when one of his main attacks on proportional representation was his accusation that electoral reform would bring with it candidates picked by parties and not by locals.
The Liberals’ argument against pro-rep has already been proven hypocritical by former premier Christy Clark’s attempt to unseat a Lower Mainland candidate so she could run in that riding after losing in Point Grey.
Who knows how many other Liberal candidates were picked by the party instead of local riding associations.
Daryl Sturdy, Vancouver
SIN needed for speculation tax
They need your social insurance number because the speculation-tax calculation is dependant on whether you pay B.C. income tax. Hoping that speculators will voluntarily send in their remittance is unrealistic and naive.
Steen I. Petersen, Nanaimo
NDP made a mess of tax
I thought the government requiring our SIN to complete the speculation tax form was somewhat invading our privacy until I completed the form. I accidentally made an error while entering my SIN and immediately it bounced back with a red highlight letting me know my SIN was incorrect. Ah! They already knew my SIN since I file tax in B.C. Too bad the NDP couldn’t clarify that earlier.
Nothing against non-residents or speculators paying a tax, but without a doubt the NDP didn’t put their brains in gear when they rolled out this tax — 1.6 million envelopes, paper, postage, staff to handle phones, staff to handle online returns, and every year!
Jane Jamieson, Surrey
McCallum ‘stated the obvious’
What was so controversial about Ambassador John McCallum’s comments, concerning the Meng Wanzhou case? He stated the obvious — that there’s a procedure to follow under international law and that the Huawei executive’s extradition to the U.S. isn’t a foregone conclusion.
Charles Leduc, Vancouver
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