Calgary Herald Letters, May 16: Thanks for service is appreciated

I am appreciative of the acknowledgment of the military in your publication. It is unfortunate that it takes the killing, maiming and mental trauma of our young people in 20-plus years in Afghanistan to make the public really embrace the military.

I had a career in the navy/air force for 22 years, spanning the 1970s and ’80s, during which time I was definitely a second-class citizen. My own brother expressed that those in the military “paid no taxes, had clothing and housing paid for, and drank free booze all day.”

I was a Sea King mechanic and was on call 24/7. I put the military in front of my family, which cost me.

I have no regrets but you would not believe how much I appreciate young people saying, “Thank you for your service.”

Martin Miller, Calgary

Taxes won’t solve climate crisis

I’m frustrated with the Calgary city council climate crusade and its single-use plastic ban (which, after public uproar, it finally saw the impracticality of such a motion), along with the federal NDP-Liberal view on banning or taxing anything deemed as not eco-friendly.

In Ireland, they have a single-use plastic solution. It’s a 2GoCup, and for an extra two euros, you get a plastic cup that you can return at any time for a freshly washed new one, or return it and get your money back.

I think politicians should get out more and travel, not at taxpayers’ expense but their own, and see other regions of the world for solutions rather than slapping a tax or ban on the next “green solution.”

Robert Hawkes, Calgary

Neighbours have property rights, too

Chris Nelson’s column last week frames “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) as being “a cry of individual liberty against the relentless state.”

Zoning bylaws, ordinances and regulations are restrictions on individual property rights, intended to be used for a community benefit. A true advocate for individual property rights would stand up for their neighbours’ rights to do whatever they want with the property they own.

NIMBYs ask their municipal governments to restrict the property rights of others, to prevent them from using their property the way they want.

We may have valid concerns about adverse effects of new developments, and we should express those to our councils. But when we buy a home, we often feel that we are buying into a community and we don’t want anyone to change those things we value.

However, we didn’t buy the neighbourhood. Our “property rights” end at our property line, period.

Richard Zelinka, London, Ont.

City cherry-picking statistics on rezoning

The city’s recent and defensive “what we heard on rezoning report” to council uses a 2015 to 2023 statistic, which states that 75 per cent of demolished single-family homes were replaced with single-family homes. This is a misleading and irrelevant statistic.

Calgary was in a recession from 2015 to 2020, during which rents and houses were cheap. In the Montgomery community, from 2021 to 2023, 75 per cent of the teardowns were replaced with duplexes. This does not include the laneway homes or row houses that were built. Density has been increasing over the past three years.

As well, the city is using 2019 as the current community population in reports advocating for land-use amendments. Communities, including Montgomery, have seen significant increases in population since 2019, but this fact goes unrecognized by the city.

Could we please base city decisions on current and relevant facts?

Mark Klingbeil, Calgary

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