Credit to Author: Carolyn Soltau| Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2020 02:00:08 +0000
Regrettably, I never met Christie Blatchford, but I read enough of her sharp and passionate reporting to have shed a few tears upon learning of her passing. By all accounts she was brilliant, brave, compassionate and relentless in her pursuit of justice. She held many a politician’s feet to the fire and deservedly so. Countless times she gave a voice to those who suffered, and wrote about it so eloquently and with such conviction that we had no choice but to care right along side her. It would have been so much easier for her to look away, but she didn’t.
Now more than ever we must all listen carefully for the truth, however painful or inconvenient. And now the truth is that this exceptional woman, who for so many years shone the light and pointed us in the right direction, is gone. Good bye Christie, I hope you knew what you meant to us and thank you for minding the store.
Lori Archibald, Vancouver
I’m very concerned about the pipeline protesters shutting down the CN Rail lines. As a regular rider of West Coast Express I agree with Mayor Brad West of Port Coquitlam that this action is an attack on the middle and working class. But more importantly, who is really benefiting from shutting down both passenger and freight rail services?
Each freight train moves dozens, if not hundreds, of truckloads of goods throughout this country. To replace these trains with trucks would greatly increase our fossil-fuel use, and our carbon emissions. Similarly, commuter rail services take thousands of cars off our streets each day, with the same reduction of carbon emissions.
The first of my European ancestors came to Canada over 350 years ago. My roots in this country run deep. I care about my environment. Adding trucks and cars adds pollution to my environment. So who does this rail shutdown benefit? The big oil companies. They get to sell more oil, diesel and gasoline to the people who have been blocked from using the railroad.
Protesters, please, stop this rail blockade to help our common home.
Suzanne Kennedy-Eng, Maple Ridge
I’m writing in response to Dan Fumano’s column: Empty storefront tax? Vancouver councillors, staff look at retail vacancies
The most important point is that the neighbourhoods are disappearing along with the businesses. I moved to Point Grey 20 years ago and was delighted with the area. Everything I needed was close at-hand and within walking distance. Now it’s practically a ghost town and Dunbar is going in the same direction.
What I miss most is the chance to chat with various friends and acquaintances on the street, and the personal connections to various owners and shop employees.
The business owners association can no longer afford to beautify the small plots around our magnificent flowering trees. There is an air of sadness along all three blocks. Yet apartments and most homes are full, lots of cars parked on the streets, but where are these people shopping and socializing?
Obviously, as Fumano pointed out, they’re driving to Stong’s Market, Safeway or other stores. It’s not easy to carry home groceries for a family on the bus even if you want to be “green.”
I think our city staff have lost sight of what should be their main priority, maintaining neighbourhoods for the people who live in them and ensuring the developers are consciously part of the process.
Margot Magee, Vancouver
Regardless of who owns the commercial properties, landlords don’t need a vacancy tax to be incentivized to fill storefronts. In this respect, landlords and the public’s interests are aligned in wanting a vibrant, thriving community served by local stores.
The suggestion of a vacancy tax is like adding insult to injury. The city councillors who broached this subject are ignorant of market dynamics and totally out of touch with reality.
Dr. Frederick Kwong, Vancouver
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