Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Lee inquest and amalgamation

Aleck Trawick wrote to the Times Colonist a letter which included comments such as:

The testimony at the Lee inquest makes it clear that Sunny Park, attempting to save her life and that of her six-year-old son, was shuffled from West Shore RCMP to Victoria police to Oak Bay police to report her husband tried to kill her and would again. They didn't co-ordinate.

When he showed up, the call went to Victoria police, rather than Saanich, which provides 9-1-1 service for Oak Bay. Although the call was passed along, "the gravity of the communication was lost," along with their lives.

This ridiculous split of jurisdictions has probably killed someone, and not for the first time.

Saanich and Victoria officers had to decide which department should respond to a case at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

We are subjected to endless discussion about the Blue Bridge, but the real issue is that Victoria can't afford to support its infrastructure with its population.

The only sensible solution is the amalgamation of at least Esquimalt, Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich.

Why isn't that happening?

If the citizens don't take the initiative to force amalgamation, we will have more tragedies, more unsolved crime, crumbling infrastructure and a downward spiral that will ruin the wonderful lifestyle the region offers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

There is No Ability to Plan for the Future

The Chamber of Commerce has recently written that the greater Victoria area has done a good job of maintaining existing infrastructure but that their ability to plan for ten to fifty years in the future is inadequate. Clearly our city, with its divisions and lack of singular vision, will never, in the life times of anyone here, see light rapid transit, an Aquarium, Children’s Museum, open air concert facility, new concert hall, or regional facilities of any magnitude.

That is not to say that some smaller versions, less adequate, or subject to significant compromise, might not one day see the light of day. However, the Chamber has inferred that, without a vision that can be lead by a mayor and counsel looking at the good of the region for the future, we simply will not have any implemented plan for the future.

It is all well and good for different people, say the City of Victoria, to have a plan, but without the cooperation of the region which will benefit, it is unlikely to happen.

If a bridge needs to be built, it is for the benefit of all. Why are not all citizens involved in the debate? Why is it only those few that live in Victoria? Next time it might be an overpass on the highway. Why is it there and unfinished? Why do we have to drive by an unsightly area for years to come? Why have we no say in getting it cleaned up, unless we live in Langford?