Thanks to Andrey Pavlov for his Feb. 2 column on the implementation of the vacancy tax. The idea of the vacancy tax is well-intentioned but badly implemented.
The questionnaire allows no appeal for special circumstances. For example, residents who planned ahead to downsize from their family’s principal residence are now trapped with two properties if they chose to move their assets to a condo in anticipation of the sale.
The B.C. government’s school tax caused home values to drop significantly and consequently few sales have occurred.
Why does the province impose yet another speculation tax on Vancouver residents already subject to the vacancy tax?
Canadians who have paid taxes throughout their careers are now being heavily taxed in their retirement years.
David Williams, Vancouver
Targeted cull of seals, sea lions needed
As identified in the Feb. 6 news story, the impact of seals and sea lions has become a prime factor in the potential expiration of chinook and steelhead stocks. The scenario is so dire for Thompson/Chilcotin steelhead that a Species at Risk Act listing is under consideration.
Resident killer-whale declines are attributed to severe declines in chinook stocks and other factors. The recreational community accepts our share of responsibility and is currently working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) authorities.
Pinniped predation increases while salmon stocks plunge. Despite potential public backlash, our fisheries managers must initiate immediate actions to reduce the number of sea lions and seals. Washington state has seen the wisdom of initiating reduction of predator numbers.
We suggest that as opposed to a widespread cull or harvest, that DFO investigate and implement a science-based harvest of problem harbour seals that eat salmon and steelhead smolt.
This is an extremely serious issue that must be addressed immediately.
Rod Clapton, president of the B.C Federation of Drift Fishers, Langley
Spending OK for federal government
Re: We can’t afford spendaholic PM, Feb. 2 guest editorial.
The anchor for federal spending should be low unemployment and the government should cease injecting money strategically into the economy only when everyone who wants to work can do so. Today, we tolerate a horrendous waste of human resources by keeping more than a million Canadians inactive through a lack of jobs.
While inflation is theoretically possible, countries with advanced economies and unused resources can absorb a huge quantity of targeted spending before prices start to rise. The most indebted country in the world today as measured by debt-to-GDP ratio is Japan, a country that still worries about deflation.
If politicians and pundits truly understood our fiat monetary system, we could have a full-production and full employment economy. A government that creates its own sovereign currency and that manages a national economy is quite unlike a spendaholic householder of limited means.
Larry Kazdan, Vancouver
Suing oil companies not fair
In his Jan. 21 column, West Vancouver Coun. Craig Cameron defended his council’s letter to fossil-fuel companies, targeting them to pay for their “fair share” of costs related to climate change.
All Canadians need to conserve energy, but we still need oil and gas for our vehicles and homes. In 2016 that industry accounted for 26 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions. The other 74 per cent comes from forestry, food production, transportation, heating our homes and buildings, etc. In other words, from all of us.
As we transition to a lower-carbon economy, we will still require petroleum and natural gas for decades. A healthy industry will be able to reduce emissions while maintaining supplies. Undermining and harming this industry would have the opposite effect, forcing us to increase our imports from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, creating more unemployment and harming Canada’s ability to adjust to a changing climate. All of us have a responsibility to bear the costs of climate change. Targeting only one sector is anything but fair.
Gareth Crandall, North Vancouver
What if derailed train carried oil?
Consideration must be given to just how much worse the recent tragic train derailment would have been had it involved multiple railcars of Alberta oil going into the Kicking Horse River.
Gerald Moores, Vancouver
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