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Letters Aug. 8: Downtown Nanaimo is vibrant, friendly and worth visiting; don't spend $5.9M, give deer hunters a $100 bounty

Satellite image of downtown Nanaimo. Credit: Google Earth

I beg to differ: downtown Nanaimo is great

Re: “Councils, justice system could help fix downtown,” letter, Aug. 5.

A resident of Saanich states that Nanaimo’s downtown is becoming a ghost town with “closed stores, broken windows, filth.”

I beg to differ. I live in the old city and I walk downtown almost every day. I worship at a church in the heart of downtown.

Downtown Nanaimo is vibrant with many independent shops, restaurants and events. Sure there are some folks living on the street, but I have never had any problems with them.

I know many of them and always say hello to everyone and give them a smile and sometimes a hug. It costs nothing to be kind.

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I invite you to visit downtown Nanaimo and experience all the wonderful things it has to offer.

Joy Adams Bauer


Humans pose the greatest threat to planet

Once again humans have mismanaged a wonderful habitat and now want to sacrifice the Sidney Island deer for their ignorance. Unfortunately, these so called experts in charge are so alienated from nature that they are unable to make good decisions.

It is pitiful. As we blast away their habitats, cougars and bears are also moving closer to populated areas like Royal Bay and they too are being killed.

Because of humans playing with nature, the cost to the future will be catastrophic. The greatest threat to our planet is humans.

Elizabeth Everett


Give hunters 10 days and a $100 bounty

That $5.9 million to cull the deer on Sidney Island is a gross waste of taxpayer money. Simply close the island to the public for the 10 days, open it for hunting, pay each hunter $100 per deer killed, and let them keep the meat if they want.

Kim Christensen


Save the money and make use of the venison

Re: “Proposed deer cull is the wrong approach,” letter, Aug. 3.

I disagree with the letter only on the suggestion of sending in a cougar to reduce the deer population. Obviously the cougar would be well fed and wouldn’t mind that we could save the planned $5.9 million that’s been allotted for the company’s cruel torture tactics.

A better plan would be to gather a proven group of hunters to shoot the animals swiftly. No matter if these persons are paid a small fee or simply volunteer to do it for free, it’s a faster, more humane and money-saving idea.

The best part of that is the potential for the venison to be properly butchered, sensibly distributed and used as food for the needy.

Venison is one of the healthiest foods available, high in nutrients and low in cholesterol. As Bambi and kin will die anyway, humans can benefit.

I venture to add that the general public, myself included, would echo the added concern about the excessive amount of money the current plan would absolutely and unnecessarily gobble up without ensuing any human good.

Many issues are seriously stretched financially and that kind of money could be widely distributed among accountable outreach groups.

G.M. Jackson

View Royal

Some thought on the finances behind the cull

In all the discussion of a possible cull of Sidney Island fallow deer, we seem to have overlooked the fact that fallow deer are made of meat. I expect to hear assurances that the venison will go to First Nations people, but the public deserves to know if and how that will be done.

During the fall hunting season, when a hunter shoots a deer, they immediately cut it open to remove the entrails. This is essential as it allows the animal to cool properly to prevent spoilage.

From the entrails, they take the liver, heart and other edibles. These are put on ice for further processing. The remaining material is called a gut pile and is quickly consumed by wild animals and birds such as crows, ravens and bald eagles. Can this happen on Sidney Island?

If we accept the low estimate of 300 deer, what will happen to over 300 pounds of venison liver equal in quality to calves liver? Food or garbage?

Since the cull will take place in cold weather, there will be time to get the 300 deer to a facility where they can be skinned, butchered, wrapped and frozen. Where is the facility that can handle that?

Given the size of fallow deer, it is reasonable to expect an average of 50 pounds of meat from each one. This means 150,000 pounds of excellent organic venison (no steroids or hormones).

With ground venison selling for about $20 a pound and chops, steaks and roasts much more, we are looking at over $3 million worth of venison. At a time when the poor and homeless can never afford quality meat, we need to make sure that any cull is accompanied by a workable plan to distribute the meat to those in need.

I hunted fallow deer on Sidney Island decades ago when it was legal and encouraged and wish I still had access to that superb venison.

Joel Newman


If we do the right thing, nature will help us

Re: “Ending GHG emissions is not quite good enough,” letter, Aug. 3.

The letter is absolutely correct — climate change solutions must be twofold: stop emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) and remove existing GHGs from the atmosphere.

Phasing out fossil fuel use while transforming our energy system to renewables will dramatically reduce GHGs.

And we already have a massive carbon removal and storage system in place — it’s called nature. Oceans, forests, rivers, lakes, estuaries, and soils are all natural carbon sinks. We need to prioritize environmental stewardship and promote regenerative agricultural practices.

Karyn Woodland


Let taxpayers lodge complaints about council

Re: “Victoria councillors at odds over who can file a complaint under code of conduct,” Aug. 4.

“Representative government,” a political system in which an elected assembly governs, is the foundation of democracy in Canada.

The B.C. government recently mandated that each municipal government adopt a code of conduct, wherein the values of “peace, order and good government” are embodied in the conduct and decisions of elected officials.

The City of Victoria intends to draft and adopt a code of conduct that applies to council members, staff members, and citizens serving on council committees. The underlying foundation of the new code of conduct is based on two significant governance principles: transparency and accountability.

Council members are divided on who can lodge a complaint under the new code of conduct. The majority of council newcomers rejected the staff recommendation allowing members of the public to register complaints under the new code.

These councillors fear being the subject of unwarranted public backlash, i.e. “rage farming” fuelled by vexatious social media comments made by disgruntled citizens.

Why have councillors assumed that public criticism is fundamentally abusive, and that as gate-keepers with guardrails, have the right to refuse to hear citizen complaints whether they are trivial or truthful?

Elected officials make decisions on behalf of all citizens.

Why then can’t citizens lodge a ­complaint when their elected representatives violate a code of conduct designed to enhance transparency and accountability?

And one might add, why can’t voters also enjoy the right to recall any council member, who by ignoring or rejecting public complaints, betrays the public trust and undermines representative democracy?

Victoria Adams


We must finish the job, and help Ukraine more

Re: “Try accommodation rather than a war,” letter, July 29.

The writer failed to mention that the reason for Russian ethno-linguistic presence in eastern Ukraine is genocide by starvation of millions and subsequent settler replacement during the 1930s Holomodor.

The writer also omitted the main reasons for the Russian invasions of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea in 2014 were the threat of Ukraine showing Russians a viable democratic alternative to Putin’s kleptocracy and losing Russia’s naval base at Sevastopol.

After a constant stream of torture, executions, rapes, forced mobilizations and kidnappings of Ukrainians in Russian occupied territories, what exactly would accommodation look like for those left behind? If someone has broken into your home, killed your spouse, and raped your child, then barricaded themselves in the bathroom, do you “accommodate” them or finish the job?

Fortunately Canada wants to finish the job and I’m happy to spend my tax dollars to that end. We should never accommodate the monsters that destroyed Mariupol (and Kharkiv, Aleppo, Grozny…).

Robert Sroka


No such thing as free health care

Re: “Canada needs to match Britain’s health system,” letter, Aug. 4.

The British National Health System is not really free. Every wage earner in the country has a small deduction made from that wage, which is met by the employer, too, and goes to fund the system.

C.F. Kirkham



• Email letters to:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Aim for 250 words or less; subject to editing for length and clarity.

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