For the last two years, we have all experienced global supply chain disruptions in nearly everything.
However, while a family can wait six months for a Toyota plug-in Prius, parents can’t wait six months to put a meal on the table. Food security is a huge issue in our country. According to Food Banks Canada, nearly one in four Canadians went hungry at some point between March 2020 and March 2022.
When a crop failure occurs somewhere in the world, odds are the country’s government stops exporting food. At some point, like rolling the dice, enough droughts and extreme weather events will cause sufficient crop failures to create global food shortages.
California, which produces half of the U.S.’s fruits and vegetables, is experiencing a millennial drought with no end in sight. Perhaps in a year or two the vegetable sections of our grocery stores may start resembling the toilet paper shelves during COVID.
Domestic food production is a national security issue. Our food supply, besides affordability, is more fragile and vulnerable to disruption than we’d like to think. Paving over productive agricultural land to build warehouses is as short- sighted as outsourcing the manufacture of personal productive equipment (PPE).
John Shepherd, Richmond
We need to help our neighbours
With rising costs, many people are struggling. What’s disheartening is the backlash one receives when they express their needs or worries. Many state that we should not complain, as others are in worse circumstances. The war in Ukraine is devastating, and we should be helping them, but do not forget about your neighbour. Your neighbour might be struggling and on the brink of disaster — or is already there. If you have the means, help support your fellow Canadians; whether or not they live on the same street, in the same town, or even the same province or territory as you. Helping does not always mean money; consider giving your time, or a listening ear. Let us leave the “someone has it worse than you” notion behind.
Naomi Hajian, Whitehorse
Are towers really necessary for densification ?
Vancouver needs increased densification, but does it need towers to achieve that? Douglas Todd effectively raised the sustainability myth about towers. Our region has dark winters due to climate and latitude. Tower shadows and routine use of elevators instead of stairs are not conducive to supporting mental and physical health. Much of our city remains underdeveloped with low-quality and unattractive buildings along our arteries.
We can and should broaden and encourage healthy low-rise housing of up to five or six floors along and beyond these arteries. We should incentive — with increased square footage allowances — developers to build these buildings with welcoming staircases to encourage fitness among other benefits, and revisit civic fee structures to support such housing and affordability. Many cities achieve density with welcoming human scale and attractive buildings. We have examples here, such as Westbrook Village and what’s evolving on the Cambie Corridor. Let’s do the same for Broadway.
Michael Bentley, Vancouver
Urban Meadows an excuse to cut costs
This latest nonsense is nothing more than a cheap excuse by the city to cut costs. On a roadway centre strip it is merely unsightly. But on the lawn at English Bay, between the bath house and the entrance to Stanley Park, and along Beach Avenue it is a disgusting field of goose dung and overgrown weeds. This is normally a popular place that accommodates many people sunning themselves, socializing, picnicking, watching the view or the sunset, and generally getting out of their apartments. Right now, weather notwithstanding, it’s empty. Who wants to sit in that? Once again the local brain trust has triumphed in fixing something that wasn’t busted.
Jobst Bode, Vancouver
If you opened up stratas so owners can rent, you’d invite more speculators into the market that would drive the price of condos higher. They don’t want to buy a unit they can’t rent while they wait for prices to rise.
Bob Garnett, Richmond
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