HandyDART users and employees protest at a TransLink board of directors meeting on June 23. A class action suit about the levels of transit service for disabled passengers was launched in 2017.
Jennifer Saltman / PNG files
Re: B.C. Budget 2019: Discounted transit fares, HandyDART funding absent, Feb. 20. In 2017, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal agreed to hear a complaint alleging that the lack of HandyDART service in Metro Vancouver is a human-rights violation. That same year, John Horgan committed, if elected premier, to providing funding through a special grant to increase HandyDART service hours by 20 per cent over four years. More than 800 delegates from Metro Vancouver Alliance member organizations were there to hear Horgan’s words.Since then, the number of seniors and people with disabilities has continued to increase and the HandyDART crisis in Metro Vancouver drags on. There is still no line item for HandyDART in the provincial budget.Our 57 member organizations representing more than 700,000 people are still waiting for Horgan to follow through on his commitment.Maria Robinson, Metro Vancouver Alliance, New WestminsterHome construction outpaced growthA Fraser Institute op-ed Saturday said that the only reason housing is unaffordable is because there is a “crippling” shortage of homes. Meanwhile, a news article in the same edition describes how the population growth in Vancouver has been lagging while housing supply has “risen sharply.” The piece goes on to say that housing starts are at “near-record highs” — in fact, 48 per cent higher than predicted. On top of this, recent census data shows that new housing units in Vancouver outstripped the population growth by nearly two-to-one since 2011. The data does not appear to align with the Fraser Institute’s claim that the only reason behind the affordability crisis is a lack of supply.David Carman, VancouverRemoving cherry trees ‘lunacy’So, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, the councillors and others think it’s a good idea to rid Victoria of non-native species, including that city’s glorious cherry trees. I wonder if these people have stopped to consider the fact that they (and most of us who live here) are non-native species too?Hopefully, Vancouver will not follow this lunacy.Ann Hadaway, Mayne IslandOil pipeline needs to be builtI wonder how many times the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion has to be approved before it is “approved.” What’s going on is ridiculous and an abuse of process. There must be a means by which the interminable review process can be brought to an end and construction begun.I want to protect the environment, but we must, as a practical matter, export our resources if we want to maintain our living standards. I’m a conservationist, not an environmentalist. A conservationist is someone who wants to preserve as much of the environment as possible and exploit the remainder in the most efficient and least-invasive fashion.The economic benefits of the pipeline expansion are undeniable and national in scope. The construction process will have some impact on the environment, but it will be minor and localized. The only remaining concern is the effect on the marine environment caused by a five-fold increase in tanker traffic. Personally, that is a risk I am willing to take as I believe it to be miniscule. The strictest conditions will be placed on those tankers, and given the existing scale of maritime activity in the Salish Sea, the incremental effect will not be significant.Enough is enough! Let’s get on with this project.Garth Evans, Vancouver Many companies can build SkyTrainRe: Elizabeth Murphy Feb. 25 op-ed.I want to dispel the myth that SkyTrain technology is not proprietary. Automated train lines are popular around the world and that growth has brought more choice in the market.A key to the SkyTrain technology is that it is a driverless, automated system. In addition to reduced operating costs, the automated system also improves safety, as it removes the potential for human error. The technology also allows us to run trains more frequently.With more cities choosing automated systems, there are now more manufacturing options when it comes to procuring SkyTrain cars from several companies. While the vehicles and technology must be tailored to each agency’s system, the automated technology at the heart of our SkyTrain system is not unique or proprietary.Sany Zein, vice president, TransLinkLetters to the editor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The editorial pages editor is Gordon Clark, who can be reached at email@example.com.CLICK HERE to report a typo.Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.