LETTER: Keep planes out of Inner Harbour

In the July 30 edition of the Victoria News, I read about the adverse effects the missing cruise ships are having on Fisherman’s Wharf. True enough, but I would like to add that our beautiful inner and outer harbours are an incredible resource for local businesses and for residents, and should be thriving and robust with activities along both shores.

Small boating activities are ripe with opportunities in a time such as COVID-19, since they are automatically socially distanced, and can be watched from both shores without causing crowds. Even the stupid, empty wharves at the west end of the Esquimalt side of the outer harbour could be put to use by kayak clubs, Aboriginal and Asian water activities, etc.

Sadly, our mayor and council don’t care about this city or its citizens. If they did, they would send Harbour Air and Helijet International back to the airport where they belong. Instead, they have turned the heart of the city into a runway, making the outer harbour useless for recreational activities and associated businesses, and choking people in the inner harbour, already the most polluted body of water in B.C., while also squeezing the historically important area of James Bay between two airlines that primarily serve the politicians themselves.

The noise and pollution from these planes destroy the ability to enjoy our homes anywhere along the outer and inner harbours or in most of James Bay. Do any of the local politicians live in the downtown core?

If you want to help Fisherman’s Wharf, next election make sure you vote in a mayor and council that are encouraging local industries, as are progressive cities around the world in response to the likely ongoing mutations and quarantines of COVID-19, and are cutting air, water and noise pollution knowing that we only have 9.5 years left to stop the increase in climate change. They should start with cleaning the toxic airlines out of the city.

Virginia Smith

Victoria

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