Letters Oct. 10: Tony Hoar, dual citizenship and more

Tony Hoar shared his skills for good of all

Re: “Indomitable spirit, inventor, Tour de France cult figure,” Oct. 9.

Many street people will mourn the loss of Tony Hoar. When he offered his expertise to the Committee to End Homelessness, we realized that he was a gem.

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He didn’t just invent or fix up bikes. He listened carefully to what every individual needed — just a ride or transport for all his or her possessions.

He devised ways to move folks with disabilities or created carriers that turned into beds at night.

Everything was a challenge to him, and he involved the client in the process so that both learned together. Together, they solved problems.

What a joy to know somebody who cared and shared his expertise for the good of all of us. He will be missed by hundreds.

Alison Acker
Victoria

Dual citizenship for politicians

Recent events have revealed Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s dual Canadian and American citizenship.

For a politician, this can be very problematic. Conflicting laws and policies between governments can affect allegiances and decisions.

U.S. laws, for example, require American companies to share whatever medical information the government demands, even though it might conflict with Canadian provincial and federal privacy laws.

In conflicting international situations, an American may, by law, be required to adhere to certain policies that may conflict with Canadian policies, for example in areas such as taxation, immigration, embargoes (ie. trade and travel with and to Cuba) and whistleblowing.

A Canadian parliamentarian, and especially a prime minister, must have unrestricted Canadian allegiance as a first priority.

Gil Roy
Parksville

Tree-planting cost closer to $2 each

Re. “The cost to plant 10 billion trees,” letter, Oct. 8.

As a retired tree-planting contractor I can tell you it costs nowhere near $106 per tree to plant a tree. Perhaps $2 per tree.

If I received $106 per tree, I would be living in the lap of luxury! Great idea, Elizabeth May!

David Vernon
Oak Bay

Cutting down on meat reduces methane

Re: “Blaming meat-eating for so many things,” letter Oct. 6.

The writer attacks Dr. David Jenkins’ recommendation for people to reduce their meat consumption to help confront our climate crisis as “propaganda” and not “actual science.”

But the reality is that scientists on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have called for “people in rich countries to consume less meat” — citing estimates that meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse-gas emissions. Indeed, cows emit methane, which is 23 times as destructive as carbon dioxide as a global-warming agent.

The fact that the government of Brazil is encouraging cattle producers to burn down the Amazon rainforest should be enough to get our attention. Enough, hopefully to spur citizens to take a meat-free day, on the road to further reductions in meat-eating.

Maybe it’s time to heed our parents’ advice to “eat our veggies” in the spirit of dietary diversity and as an important ingredient in helping to save the planet.

Ira Shorr
Victoria

$500,000 won’t fix downtown’s problems

You can spend $500,000 on Christmas decorations, but that’s still not going to get people downtown that are fed up with the bike lanes, the lack of parking, street people and druggies, filth and traffic.

Helps and her “council” circus have turned downtown into a nightmare and people have just found alternatives. Enjoy — we’ll stay in Saanich.

Bob Gracie
Saanich

Stop worshipping a figurehead

Re: “A royal kerfuffle in Sidney,” Oct. 5.

It sounds like Sidney has a crisis that rivals Victoria’s after the removal of the Sir John A. Macdonald statue.

Those tea-sipping, gin-swilling tweedheads have their knickers in a knot over a missing portrait of the Queen.

Maybe it’s being held in the same storage facility as the Sir John A. statue. Stranger things have happened.

Kudos to Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith and Coun. Peter Wainwright for not swearing allegiance to the Queen in the first place.

In the words of the late, great poet Al Purdy, a one-time citizen of Sidney:

“this place is where I stand, where all my mistakes were made,

when I grew awkwardly and

and I knew what I was, that is Canadian or Canadien …

but French no longer, nor are we any longer English.”

She is a figurehead. So stop worshipping her and the rest of the Royal Family.

Robert Dunn
Victoria

Fewer guns mean fewer deaths

Re: “ ‘Assault rifles’ cause very few deaths,” letter, Oct. 6.

The letter-writer questioned the Liberals’ promise to ban the AR15 assault rifle, and wrote: “The actual number of firearms deaths after taking out suicides is 30 per cent of overall deaths.”

It is unreasonable to “take out suicides.” In the past decade, there have been about 4,000 suicides a year, according to Statistics Canada. About 16 per cent were by firearm. Most of the firearms used were long guns, not handguns. The letter-writer did not mention injuries and deaths caused by accidental discharge of a firearm.

I am a medical doctor. Fortunately, I have not had to treat a gunshot victim.

In a social situation, I met a young man who had accidentally killed his brother. Their parents had an argument. The woman loaded a long gun.

Later, the two boys found the gun. One of them pointed the gun at the other, said “I’m going to shoot you” and pulled the trigger.

Guns kill. Limiting the availability of guns will reduce deaths.

Robert Shepherd, MD
Saanich

Single-use plastics must be regulated

Re: “Teens want province to tackle ‘throw-away plastic economy,’ ” Oct. 8.

Thanks to students Anastasia Castro and Charlotte Brady for the great work they are doing. Now it’s up to us “old folks” to follow their lead.

I will write to my MP to support regulation of single-use plastics. Let us not continue this “throw-away plastic economy” that is doing so much damage to our environment. It’s a small step, but we must insist our government regulate single-use plastics.

Grethe Floyd
Victoria

Bridge closures only served to antagonize

Across Canada, demonstrators closed many bridges in many cities, protesting the so-called climate emergency.

In the end, the demonstrators were denying access to those workers who were trying to get home after a day’s work.

It resulted in thousands of cars idling, burning gas and creating pollution. Nothing constructive was achieved by this eco-bullying except to antagonize honest people who were only trying to get home.

Roger Cyr
Victoria

Bringing peace to our neighbourhoods

Re: “Put down weapons that we have raised against our planet,” comment, Oct. 6

This article is warmly and sensibly engaging. Were Saanich to outlaw or restrict leaf blowers, especially their own, it would bring peace to many neighbourhoods and reduce stupidity and our carbon footprint. The call of the article was to activate us all.

Perhaps the Times Colonist could heed the call by dedicating comment pieces and letters to the editor on Saturdays to our planet.

Michael A. Ross
Saanich

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