Letters to the Editor

High hopes for harbour CEO from James Bay

Re: New CEO eyes reduction of harbour terminals (News, Aug. 3)

I hope the new Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO will promptly address the problem of toxic emissions from cruise ships at Ogden Point.

These emissions affect many James Bay residents – not just people, but also our pets and urban wildlife.

James Bay used to be noted for fresh sea breezes. However, now, when the winds are wrong, it is transformed into an industrial emissions zone, with foul-smelling fumes that leave our eyes stinging and can cause coughing for hours. Some people suffer skin irritation.

Environmentally conscious harbours in California, but not Victoria, have regulations barring vessels that burn high sulphur-content fuels.

Your article points out that the cruise ship industry is the harbour authority’s biggest source of revenue. However, studies by the James Bay Neighbourhood Association indicate that the benefit for the rest of Victoria is not notable, and that the tourists from the ships do not do much shopping.

JBNA volunteers have done a lot of work on this issue, even financing studies themselves, which are posted on their website (www.jbna.org).

It is to be hoped that with a change in leadership we will see new initiative and a concern for the environment and the residents of James Bay, and that our elected representatives will also contribute their efforts on our behalf.

R. Magnusson

Victoria

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