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'Fear-mongering' drives Greenest City criticism

To the editor: Re: "Mayor's wild green plan will cripple city, citizens," July 20.

To the editor:

Re: "Mayor's wild green plan will cripple city, citizens," July 20.

While I have no illusions that a letter will change Mark Hasiuk's mind, I would like to clear the record regarding his diatribe on Vancouver's Greenest City Action Plan for the consideration of your readers who are less prone to fear-mongering than Hasiuk himself. Case in point: in the very first paragraph of his column, Hasiuk states that there will be a $500,000 annual increase for water meters. This is entirely false. The money referred to is for public conservation efforts precisely because we don't have meters in Vancouver and thus we all have to pay for the excesses of a relative few. As meters are installed on new homes, this inequity will be corrected and those using water responsibly will pay less than they do now. Not even false evidence is provided to back his claim that "environmentalism will trump all other city priorities." The Greenest City Action Plan is about using resources--whether they be water, energy, roads or land--more efficiently, which benefits all Vancouver taxpayers.

Andrea Reimer,

city councillor,

Vision Vancouver

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To the editor:

Encouraging higher energy efficiency in new buildings is a no-brainer since slightly higher initial costs can be paid back in a few years resulting in huge savings over the life of the project. This should reduce rental costs and costs for operating a business in Vancouver. Similarly, properly pricing energy usage by such measures as an increased carbon levy will be good for me and most taxpayers since we can get financial payback from reduced energy use. Ditto for pay-as-you-go automobile insurance and congestion pricing.

Arno Schortinghuis,

Vancouver

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To the editor:

It may be interesting to note that council (NPA majority) in the '90s was also considering water meters, but not because of the "green" initiatives but because water consumption is part of general property taxes and the thought was that it should be charged for separately, as a new tax revenue stream (pardon the pun).

Nancy A. Chiavario,

Vancouver

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To the editor:

Thank goodness our city council is intent on changing the direction of our city. Mark tells us that the primary target of the changes is "ordinary people. You and me." Well, you and I are going to have to make drastic changes in the way in which we live if our grandchildren are going to have a decent world in which to live.

Rev. Marianna Harris,

Vancouver

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To the editor:

Mark Hasiuk completely missed the point. Throughout his column, he complains about trivial matters such as parking shortages and the rising price of gas yet fails to mention the benefits of the mayor's "wild green dreams," like a reduction in our city's greenhouse gas emissions and a more livable city for future generations.

Megan Bowers,

Vancouver