It’s up to the PM to stop the time changes

It’s time to elect a prime minister with enough political will to stop daylight saving time changes.

We are fine with different time zones across the country, so we would adapt to Washington and California not following suit.

The majority of B.C. residents have said they want to abolish it, so let’s vote someone in who will make it happen.

Lyle Lacharity

Saanichton

Standardize time with this province

Why do we not wish to standardize our clocks to the hour forward without the approval of three states in a foreign country, when a big portion of our own province is constant time the whole year?

The whole province is in the same time zone for the first time since last fall. Surely accommodating our own population with a standard time zone should be more important than accommodating those in a foreign country.

I know Canadian winters seem to unify our people, but why not be unified in summer also?

Barry De Silva

Cowichan Bay

Tax on used cars an unfair slippery slope

Re: “Government will tell you what your car is worth,” March 11.

A car that is sold new, the buyer pays the sales taxes, fair enough. Why does the government believe they can tax every subsequent sale?

Do we pay these taxes on furniture from a private sale? No we don’t, so why should we pay taxes more than once? A good-quality vehicle may trade owners many times.

This seems to me to be a tax grab, and a tax grab from mostly lower-income people as they are the ones buying most used vehicles.

Suppose my old car is traded for another article I need, such as a table saw. No money changes hands. Why should the government tell me how much my car is worth? If I want to trade it for something I need, then so be it.

This arbitrary valuation of used vehicles is a slippery slope and needs to stop before it starts.

Norman Slater

Sooke

With help, you get what you pay for

My ex and I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1991 and opened a small hotel.

We did everything involved with this business: designing and supervising construction; making reservations; greeting guests; preparing and serving breakfast and room cleaning. I would often wash out a bathtub and the portable phone would ring with a future guest.

After taking the reservation, I would turn around and wash the tub again. We realized we needed help and hired a housekeeper.

Our first candidate did not work out, but our second one did. Miranda worked for us from 1993 until we sold just before the millennium. She did an excellent job and we paid accordingly.

We were paying her $15 per hour when we left the hospitality industry in late 1999. If she could not come to work, she ordered either her daughter or husband to call in sick at their jobs and come and clean our rooms first.

Although I spoke fairly fluent Spanish, my ex did not. He learned quite a bit from Miranda. We helped in the process through which she obtained her green card, a sign of her legal status and the first step in her pursuit of U.S. citizenship.

When we had dinner with fellow hoteliers, the conversation was often about their problems with housekeepers: finding them, training them and retaining them. We keep quiet just as I do here when friends in Toronto ask me about our Victoria weather on mid-winter telephone calls.

The cliché “you get what you pay for” comes to mind when I think of that $15 per hour. Santa Fe is a progressive community. Today the minimum wage there is $12.95 US ($16.55 Cdn).

The reviews we received in the media were very positive and kept our rooms 100 per cent occupied. The cleanliness of our guest accommodations was always remarked upon, positively.

Credit for the coconut pound cake our guests loved always went to John, my ex-partner. The credit for the cleanliness of our rooms always went to Miranda.

Andrew Beckerman

Victoria

Tourists, be warned about the MD shortage

I would hesitate to recommend Victoria as a tourist destination. If you have a medical issue, it is impossible to find a walk-in clinic.

The earliest appointment we could get was a phone call from a nurse who would decide whether we needed to see a doctor. That appointment was for late next week, after our planned departure.

We contacted our doctor in Winnipeg and were able to get a much-needed prescription.

The local pharmacy hands out a rapid COVID test to older citizens, but could not sell one to a tourist. Good luck trying to find one.

R.S. Peterson

Winnipeg

As we do nothing, evil forces prosper

Thus far the NATO response to the humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine has been ineffectual. It has been like applying a salve to a cancerous sore.

The apparent justification for doing so little has been to avoid the appearance of NATO entering into a war with Russia. How quickly we forget that appeasement did not work with Hitler at the beginning of the Second World War.

Steps are needed beyond monetary sanctions in order to stop the genocide of Ukrainian people. As horrible as a third world war could be, I think the collective abandonment of our values as loving, caring human beings is worse.

All it takes for evil to prosper is for a few good people to do nothing.

John Cook

Victoria

Story downplayed injustice in rental saga

The Times Colonist is to be commended updating readers on the story about the Langford rental tower that had to evict 86 families because the building had been constructed with serious engineering flaws, making it unsafe.

However, the headline and lead paragraph don’t reflect the most important aspect of the story, which is that now the building has been repaired by the owner, Centurion Asset Management Inc., these evicted tenants will not be invited to return.

Moreover, if they do apply they will not be given priority in line. To add insult to injury, they will also be charged new rental market rates rather than their former ones adjusted by any government permitted rental restrictions.

Meanwhile, if Centurion Asset Management Inc is successful in its lawsuits against former owners, structural engineers and Langford, they will fully recover their costs. Why should this company profit from this fiasco at the expense of the original tenants whose lives were so severely disrupted?

This is the real story, but is buried in the article in the final paragraph. Why didn’t the editor reflect on this before publication?

John Amon

Victoria

More protests? No, thank you

I am amazed hearing people say things like “I am done with COVID-19!”

Really. Well, COVID-19 and all its variants aren’t done with us, and the more people resist vaccinations, masks and social distancing, tragically, the longer we are all stuck in this dystopia. It will just continue on and on and all we can hope for is that this virus will not create another really deadly variant that will plunge us into mortal danger. It’s quite possible that that is what we are heading for — and then what?

A three- or four-month rolling protest in Victoria? Please no.

Sharon Wright

Brentwood Bay

Encouraging a transition to public transit

Current fuel prices might be jarring, but I still see busy roads and near-empty buses. If saving the planet isn’t a good enough reason to drive less, then I suppose skyrocketing fuel prices isn’t going to make any difference either.

The B.C. Utilities Commission determined in 2019 that there is an unexplained 13 cent per litre cost for gas in BC. It is dismaying that the provincial government has yet to take steps to address the issue, which itself is also unexplained. I was led to believe the study was done to address precisely what was identified.

The obvious and best way to help preserve the environment and keep personal transportation costs down is to use public transit wherever practical. We have an excellent yet dismayingly underutilized transit system in Greater Victoria and elsewhere, but changing long-entrenched modes of travel does not come easily.

What we seem to need at this point to spur a meaningful change in behaviour are more incentives to use public transit. Providing free or low-cost annual passes to low-income people and possibly seniors would go a long way toward encouraging responsible transportation decisions. They might also encourage shoppers to support local businesses. These passes would be a winner all around, including for the environment, which is in desperate need of all the help it can get these days.

Danny Foster

Saanich

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https://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/letters-march-17-enough-with-the-time-changes-used-car-tax-unfairly-targets-low-income-people-5169084