Victoria. The province’s capital city and named for the crusty old crone whose birthday is being marked this weekend by all monarchist loyalists and also the 99% of the population who are not.
I like Victoria – the town. Not so much the Queen who provided a watchword for moral restrictiveness, racism, White Man’s Burden, and gave spawn to a motley crew of seedy monarchs like the Tsar and Kaiser whose greed and ineptitude led to the greatest slaughter of young men in world history. Some legacy, lady.
But the town is nice. Wendy and I lived there part time a few years ago and loved it. Great eating town with a plethora of inviting restaurants. Nice cultural town with lots of theatre and music as well as a couple of the best bookstores anywhere. The Provincial Museum is sans pariel and so is the scenery along Dallas Road (where we lived) and Beacon Hill Park and so forth. No, it’s a good place in which to spend time, especially considering it’s actually a modest sized city as cities go.
It has also arguably been the most ineptly governed city in the province in recent years. They decided a few years ago to put in a new bridge, though it remained debatable that there was not much wrong with the one the ‘new’ bridge is replacing. But a stunningly inept council prevailed so it was off with the old. Or was it? The old remains the only bridge that is usable. And the new. Ah yes, the new. Well, the pricetag must be verging on a trillion dollars by now and it keeps going up and up as more shoddy Chinese steel arises in the mix.
And then there is the sewage treatment plant, or why nobody wants anybody’s poop in their front yard, And at one level, who can blame them? But Victoria seems to have been literally unable to make up its mind where the poop should flow. That is after fighting long and hard to reserve the right to keep befouling Juan de Fuca Strait.
But none of the foregoing is anything to do with what Victoria Day is about. What it is about is that it is a May holiday and we like holidays. And if you took a poll and asked people why we have Victoria Day I suspect the majority would not have a clue. And who could blame them. Why should they care about anything other than having a three day weekend just before summer.