Vancouver Sun letters to the editor for Thursday, March 28, 2019.
I noted the story in Saturday’s newspaper regarding church redevelopment projects in Vancouver and was a little disappointed that in two full pages our project at Thurlow and Pendrell streets got one insignificant sentence buried in the middle at the bottom of the first page.
In the first, new, purpose-built church in Downtown Vancouver in almost 100 years, we have provided not only spectacular modern worship facilities, but also 45 apartments (all of which rent at below market), a state-of-the-art daycare, meeting resources for community groups, 162 market rental units for our building partner, Bosa Properties, and a significant contribution to city art. All of this without any government funding.
All are welcome to visit and tour at 1155 Thurlow St.
Rev. Jim Smith, Central Presbyterian Church
Taxpayers help ‘holy’ developments
One item left out of Saturday’s Houses of the Holy article was the charitable status of churches. Donors contributed to these organization for them to buy the lands now assessed at substantial premiums. Donors received charitable donation receipts for those donations because the lands were to be used for holy purposes.
Redevelopment is not holy but, at least, commercial developers give tax-deductible donations to these churches to acquire development rights or a share of the profits under contract, effectively getting the lands at a cost reduced by their tax deduction payable by the people of Canada.
Walter Maughan, Vancouver
Humboldt sentence too high
I was saddened and disappointed by the severity of the eight-year sentence that Jaskirat Singh Sidhu received for causing the Humboldt Broncos accident. Criminal-law sentencing is supposed to be based on deterrence and rehabilitation — not retribution and vindictiveness.
I can’t see how sending Sidhu to jail — especially for such a long term — will achieve anything. I can’t imagine it deterring him or anyone else from committing such an offence in the future and as he pleaded guilty and expressed his extreme sorrow and regret, I don’t think he’s in need of rehabilitation.
I assume the judge was swayed by the extreme consequences of his action and likely also a belief that the community wouldn’t accept a non-jail sentence. However, she is just wrong and I hope the defence will appeal the sentence and we will find out if the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal agrees with her.
What has been achieved by this sentence? Sidhu’s life has been ruined, but it already was. Taxpayers will have to pay to support him for an extended period of time in jail. He will be deported back to India when he completes his sentence. Sending him to jail won’t bring back the dead or restore the injured.
Garth Evans, QC, Vancouver
TransLink stuck in the past
One must be very cautious with TransLink’s McElhanney report, as it seems it was done without much knowledge of modern light rail.
The report states that Broadway light-rail transit would have a practical capacity of 6,120 persons per hour per direction (pphpd) yet ignores that Toronto, before opening its first subway in the 1950s, had trams carrying 12,000-12,500 pphpd on key routes.
LRT can offer capacities in excess of 20,000 pphpd on simple reserved rights-of-ways and is why modern LRT has made light metros like SkyTrain obsolete. Well, not in Vancouver that is, where TransLink, the Mayors Council on transit, and the City of Vancouver are desperately planning very expensive 1950s transit solutions in 2019!
Malcolm Johnston, Rail for the Valley, Delta
Profits over people?
Since when is airline safety an option? Surely the maximum safety features should be included in all airplanes since human lives are at stake.
Perhaps this is yet another result of the commodification of all things, putting profits first and people a distant second?
Laura Groos, West Vancouver
Canada should join gun ban
If New Zealand can ban semi-automatic weapons after the recent massacre, all like-minded countries should join the movement for greater sanity, including Canada. Enough people have been killed to warrant a ban of military-style, semi-automatic weapons. Assault weapons have no place in civilian hands.
John de Couto, Burnaby
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