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LETTER: Development an example of the new colonization

As the Royal BC Museum languishes and lists like the Titanic in the name of ‘decolonization’, enabled by a majority of Victoria council that refused to approve the motion to preserve the historical third floor, it is worth pointing out what colonization actually looks like and how its chief facilitator is actually the same municipal council.

The municipium was a Roman institution, which served as a means of consolidating and spreading the empire by absorbing conquered peoples and expanding Roman power over them, while guiding and propagating settlement in those territories. Now the inheritors of that colonial tradition ruling as the municipality of Victoria are continuing that process by the wild construction frenzy on unceded Lekwungen lands.

Case in point: the city’s recent unanimous approval of a new 16-storey building offered by a Vancouver developer, whose VP said: “The demographic will be people new to the City of Victoria.” The influx of new settlers to fill tight living conditions referred to as “co-living pods” is part of Lisa Helps’ plans for more densification paved with tons of carbon-intensive concrete on Lekwungen territory.

Helps suggests that densification will help during the pandemic, ignoring that densification/settlement is one of the main causes of the spread of disease. In the 19th century, smallpox was spread through global colonization. In the 21st century, COVID has spread along with the successors of those global networks, exacerbated heavily by over-densified city life.

Of course, Babylon was only a bad idea when the Babylonians tried it.

Sasha Izard