Letters: B.C.’s ‘petty interference’ irks Albertan

It is with dismay that we in Alberta see your premier inferring that his government will delay a pipeline which has cleared all regulatory hurdles. The Northern Gateway would also have been a boom for B.C. and your citizens but your previous representatives allowed special interest groups once again to hijack the agenda of a project of national interest.

This petty interference in delaying the Trans Mountain project for the sake of keeping a shaky minority government in power is wrong and not of benefit to the Canada.

I personally have indefinitely postponed my holiday to Victoria in March. As well, my annual summer vacation to Skaha beach at Penticton with my kids will be replaced by a trip south of the border this year to the Flathead lakes area, where our hard-earned oilfield dollars are welcome and appreciated.

Alan Pugh, Edmonton

Political expediency drives push for electoral reform

A referendum on proposed changes to our electoral system is a sop to individuals who are inflexible and want single-issue promoters to drone on endlessly in spite of the need for the kind of compromise first-past-the-post encourages as the path for representative political parties. Governments have to be melting pots for diverse political opinions in a viable party that can enact changes that would benefit the majority of taxpayers.

Rick Angus, Vancouver

Maintain free parking at Spanish Banks

Re: Spanish Banks parking fees spark petition, Feb. 9

Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is considering parking meters at Spanish Banks. I implore decision makers on this issue to keep parking free there. In summer, there are hundreds of people enjoying team sports, swimming, jogging, skim boarding on the tidal pools, dog walking, long walks on the paths, and more. It’s wonderful to see large groups enjoying the grassy field with the barbecue going and balloons waving to celebrate a special occasion. Why would we want to charge people to do what any health practitioner advocates — healthy living through sport, fresh air and family time? Vancouver residents already pay an exorbitant amount of money to live in this beautiful city. Can’t that include a trip to the beach without another money grab? Free parking at Spanish banks needs to stay.

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Roslynn Tarves, Vancouver

More evidence that B.C. assessments are unfair

Re: Coquitlam condo owner floored as assessment balloons by 100 per cent, Jan. 16

When we received our assessment this year, we noticed that while ours had gone up a small amount, neighbouring properties had been reduced significantly.

We appealed and were shocked to learn that this year, in Richmond, people with pie-shaped lots have had their land assessments automatically reduced 15 per cent while people with regular-shaped lots went up or stayed the same. This across-the-board reduction does not apply to any other municipality in B.C., according to the B.C. Assessment spokesperson we met with.

I find this extremely unfair. If a pie lot is considered to be of significantly lower value in Richmond, then why not also in Vancouver or Burnaby? The result is that a house across the street from us has an assessment hundreds of thousands of dollars less than ours, yet their lot is 25 per cent larger.

And more to the point, why should the shape of one’s property have anything at all to do with the amount of taxes one pays? One certainly does not receive an additional 15 per cent in city services.

Marilyn Baker, Richmond

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