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LETTER: Harbour authority must shore up environmental protection

Ah yes, lovely Victoria, where the soft carcinogenic-laced ocean breezes wafting from the multi-daily cruise ships have been sorely missed.

But the CEO of our not-for-profit public harbour authority tells his nearest neighbours that pollution-reducing power plug-ins for visiting ships will have to wait until the polluters return to provide the revenues for the job. Ah, the crazy logic of it all.

And now his neighbours are informed that consideration is being given to a 24/7 helicopter operation to ferry pilots of those and other shipping to and from their assignments from Ogden Point helicopter pad, that was initially billed as ‘temporary.’ As the CEO pined on CBC regarding temporary changes to U.S. law rescinding the need for Alaska-bound cruise ships to stop at a Canadian port before their return: “You always have to worry about a temporary measure becoming permanent.” You know, like the helicopter pad.

If the description of the GVHA in Wikipedia in any way resembles reality: “That it promotes sustainable environmental practices on water and foreshore … and represents the interests” of surrounding local political jurisdictions, First Nations and business organizations – one would expect a somewhat more democratic rationale guiding their perspective and corporate behaviour, a logic rooted in a priority given to the health and environmental well-being of their nearest city neighbours.

If GVHA is tired of criticism and complaint from those neighbours, one solution seems obvious – let us breathe.

Ulla Ressner and John Fry


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