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Letters Aug. 7: $6M to kill fallow deer doesn't make sense; another view of residential schools; paying for new health services

Fallow deer on Sidney Island are thought to have been introduced for hunting. PARKS CANADA

Hunters on eight-hour shifts could deal with the deer

So the taxpayer is about to pay six million “bucks” to rid Sidney Island of fallow deer. Where are the governments’ brains?

You could make money with hunters paying $150 each (example) to take three deer with a lottery. I think five hunters every eight hours or so would keep each other from getting shot.

There are 300 deer on the island thus each costs the taxpayer $20,000 to cull with the government’s plan.

Hunters taking 300 deer would make the taxpayer $10,000 and take maybe 2-3 weeks to cull.

So who gets all that delicious meat?

Keith Taylor


Need to get rid of the deer? Some friends can help

To cull 600 deer on Sidney Island it will cost $10,000 a deer, and 900 deer would be $6,666.

At those prices I could scare up two friends who are avid hunters, one of them was licensed to hunt on James Island.

Meat would be given to Open Door or sold at chosen local meat sales outlets.

Supply us with a single wide trailer with pullouts, food, a truck and boat and we can start any time.

Colin Cameron


A cruel, inhumane way to eradicate the deer

I have been visiting Sidney Island for more than 50 years. It is a beautiful island and there have always been deer.

Truthfully, the deer should have been culled decades ago when it was first realized that their increasing numbers were negatively impacting the island’s ecosystems.

While culling the deer as humanly as possible is sadly required, turning the island in a war zone, with the use of helicopters, should not be even considered.

Hunters on the ground can quickly determine if their initial shot was fatal by approaching the animal, and if the animal is still alive they can quickly dispatch of it to avoid any further suffering.

Shooting from a helicopter will not only unnecessarily traumatize the deer but the shooter from the air will not be able to determine if his shot was fatal.

This would leave the deer to suffer a long and agonizing death. Killing from a helicopter needs to be rejected, as it is cruel and inhumane.

Tim Hackett

Brentwood Bay

There are better ways to deal with those deer

I was appalled to read that the residents of Sidney island have voted (with a very slight majority) in favour of shooting the deer on their island by helicopter and on the ground, over a period of 10 days.

This barbaric initiative is supposedly meant to preserve the flora of the island, and the traditional way of life of the Indigenous community living there.

Surely, there are more humane ways of dealing with this problem, including immuno-contraception.

As a resident of the Gulf Islands, I know it can be frustrating to compete with deer for berries, but surely, there are plenty of ways to protect areas with fencing and other ways to curb a population than shooting them from the sky, leaving them to bleed to death until eaten by ravens and vultures.

Lise Alain

Galiano Island

More ways to consider residential schools

Re: “Communities reeling from residential school revelations need support,” commentary, August 3.

The two authors primarily speak of burial sites. The six recommendations presented warrant a response.

1. Records: Churches and governments have already provided records. Vital statistics registries have been in existence for some time and can be accessed by the public.

2. More burial sites funding: There are quite a few articles in various media including the National Post questioning certain facts regarding the referenced 2021 Kamloops unmarked graves burial story. This funding request raises questions.

What about the billions of taxpayer dollars earmarked for various residential school related settlements? What about the taxpayer funding that continues to exist under the Indian Act and its bureaucracy?

Yet, we continue to hear about difficult conditions like lack of water on some reserves. In all this maze, can our governments and recipients demonstrate some public financial control, accountability and transparency?

3. Another vital statistics source: What about the existing record systems available? has managed to provide genealogical information for some time.

4. More funding for the National Truth and Reconciliation Centre. See comment 2 above.

5. Take steps to combat rising denialism: What is the meaning of “rising denialism”? Does it mean not having any discussion about opinions expressed by others about burial sites?

Who am I? I would like to think that I am a proud Canadian dedicated to reconciliation, but in a different manner than that suggested.

Bob Lisevich


Demand longer visits from those cruise ships

With many cruise ships limiting time spent in Victoria to just a few hours, Jeff Bray from the Downtown Victoria Business Association rightly says that “excursions are really limited. If people are here for eight or nine hours, they can go downtown, visit the museum … and go whale-watching.”

Meanwhile the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority says the annual benefits are $130 million. Who is really benefiting beyond the harbour authority itself?

It is time for the City of Victoria to insist that cruise ships spend at least six hours in port. That could yield fewer ship visits, a benefit to the long suffering residents of James Bay, and more benefits to the tourism industry.

Enough with the t-shirt tourism!

Ken Roueche


Tell us how to pay for new health services

Re: “Platitudes: the invisible enemy of health reform,” commentary, July 26.

Ken Fyke claims to have the solution to our health-care challenges. Interesting, as he is one of the architects of the system we currently enjoy.

According to Fyke, amending the Canada Health Act will magically provide the funding for the laundry list of new services he proposes. The reality is that we are spending 50 per cent more per capita adjusted for inflation than we did 20 years ago, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Despite this massive increase in spending, about one million British Columbians and about six million Canadians do not have a family physician.

Perhaps Fyke would be willing to cost out his proposal and tell us which government ministries and services would have their budgets reduced or perhaps eliminated to reconcile the mega billions required to fund his proposition.

Doug Branter


We must do more to protect our planet

It saddens me so to read about all the ocean pollution occurring worse than ever.

The most recent headlines on this subject, of which there are so many sadly, being the Nordstream pipeline blowing up in the Baltic Sea, radiation being released into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a large freighter carrying vehicles on fire in the North Sea, marijuana washing up on the Florida shores, endless ballistic weapons blasting off and ending up in oceans as well as the usual NASA blast offs and debris ending up in oceans from those.

Now we read about warming ocean temperatures destroying beautiful reefs and changing currents. The list goes on of humans destroying these vast oceans of glorious blue.

It reminds me of the words of Lord Byron who said “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll! Ten thousands fleets sweep over thee in vain; man marks the earth with ruin, his control stops with the shore.”

Alas Lord Byron, no more. Industrial society’s reach has extended deep into the sea. Sadly we forget the importance of the sea.

It supports us, balances our climate and provides a home for endless marine species. We must do better and we must be better than this for our very survival.

Anne Forbes


Police oversight must remain local

I am not a fan of Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. I wasn’t a fan of the anti-facts/anti-vax “freedom convoy,” but his comment of “just send your letters” was egregious and pompous.

However, Farnworth’s decision to force Surrey away from the RCMP is probably the right one.

First there aren’t enough Lower Mainland RCMP to poach officers from. Second, Ottawa has already indicated that they want to shift the RCMP to a FBI model, meaning they want to concentrate on terrorism, money laundering, contraband etc.

Finally, not that it will do much good given the sad record of both the Office of Police Complaint Commissioner and Independent Investigations Office, but oversight must remain local.

You might want to recall that if you ever get a regional police force around the capital.

Grant Maxwell



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