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Letters Jan. 4: Medals for Korean War veterans; design suggestions for senior-friendly warships

Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, then-commander of the Canadian Army, places a wreath during a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War at the Monument to the Canadian Fallen in Ottawa, on June 21, 2020. JUSTIN TANG, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Don’t forget veterans, get them their medals

War is death, it is destruction and suffering. It is also a time when men and women, soldiers and civilians stand up and face great danger to stop wars and restore peace. But how do we remember them today?

The governments of France and the Republic of Korea would like to thank Canadian veterans for liberating their countries. The National Order of the Legion of Honour and Ambassador for Peace Medals are available to eligible veterans.

If you are a Second World War veteran who participated in the campaign to liberate France from D-Day, June 6, 1944, to the end of August 1944, or Dieppe in 1942, you may be eligible for France’s highest award.

The South Korean government is looking for Korean War veterans who participated in the Korean War, 1950 to 1953, or its peacekeeping phase which lasted until the end of 1955. Korea’s Ambassador for Peace Medal may be awarded posthumously, unlike the Legion of Honour.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid in 1942, when the allies tested the enemy with an amphibious landing on the French coast. Almost 5,000 Canadian soldiers took part in Operation Jubilee, and only 2,200 made it back. The Normandy battle in 1944 saw the lessons learned from Dieppe put to good use, but Canadian war dead tallied more than 5,000.

The Korean War followed five years after the end the Second World War. Today it is seldom remembered, but the valour of our Canadian veterans shines brightly with the people of South Korea who have not forgotten the 516 Canadian service men who died defending their country.

Please contact me for further information or assistance in applying for these two medals. There is no cost involved.

I am an unofficial volunteer who has helped more than 800 veterans receive these awards. Send an email to and use the subject “Veteran” or send a letter to 1028 Moray St., Coquitlam, B.C. V3J 6S3.

Guy Black
Recipient, Medal of Civil Merit (Republic of Korea)

These sailors are ready, with a few changes

Re: “Canadian navy needs to recruit 1,000 sailors to crew new warships: Vice-Admiral,” Dec. 29.

As a retired sailor/submariner (26 years) aged 82, I have many acquaintances and friends in both of my associations and covering all ranks and trades.

As we sit around reminiscing about the old days, I figure we would have enough members to crew a new ship or submarine with a few minor alterations to the design.

First, the between-deck ladders would be replaced with elevators (not too fast).

Secondly, deck level bunks with no upper tiers. Captain’s bridge chair heated and equipped with a seat belt. TVs that would include the Coronation Street channel.

No loud guns (too hard on the hearing aids). Heads (urinals) throughout the ship as most of the crew would have the elderly gentleman’s problem, and the sick bay attended by VIHA home care nurses.

Finally daily pipedown (nap time) at 1400 after the reintroduced Tot time. Of course we would require an appropriate name for this special vessel, e.g. HMCS Reprobates or Last Call or even Wishful Thinking.

James M. Scott

Indigenous being used by colonists, yet again

The Royal B.C. Museum board is being disingenuous in its claim that it is “decolonizing” its space to make it safe for Indigenous peoples.

In fact, it is doing the opposite, and is using Indigenous peoples to further its own goals, as colonists have always done.

As an Indigenous person myself who has an inherently strong interest in reconciliation, I am outraged by the way the museum board is using us to claim that its destructive plan is being done for our benefit.

We need to ask to what is really going on here. The museum appears to be trying to accomplish a few goals, and all of them benefit only the institution, not us.

It is clearly trying to virtue signal how good and anti-racist it is in an attempt to deal with bad PR over racism in the museum. It obviously wants to have the ability to say “we’ve taken bold action” (no matter how harmful to Indigenous peoples).

It wants to claim to be respecting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action. This is not what the TRC called for, and to suggest that somehow this action honours the calls made by the TRC is a dishonest manipulation of the TRC’s work.

Finally, one strongly suspects that it wants to pressure the provincial government for more funding — for “consultation,” a new building, reconstruction or something else.

The result is widespread public anger and hostility. Who bears the brunt? Indigenous people, of course, because we are conveniently being used as the reason for these short-sighted actions.

The museum’s actions set back reconciliation in immeasurable ways. What is happening now is a stark example of systemic racism against Indigenous peoples.

I can’t believe no one has pointed that out yet.

B.P. Williams

Old Town narrative more fiction than fact

I am surprised at the number of letters demanding the Royal British Columbia Museum reverse its decision to remove the Old Town display.

One would think there would be just as many people demanding the federal, provincial, city, town and regional district governments stop allowing the ever-increasing destruction of real-life historical buildings and Indigenous heritage sites across this province.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

If the Old Town exhibit is to remain, then there should be more narrative added to the exhibit to complete the story. Unfortunately, the Old Town exhibit paints an idyllic picture of the past that is more fiction than reality.

What else did those ships bring to the shores of this province and what did they take away? How were these ships used to enable the occupation of Indigenous lands without Indigenous consent?

Having visited the National Palace in Mexico City, I was enthralled by the massive murals painted by Diego Rivera depicting a much more authentic portrayal of the history of Mexico from early Indigenous to colonization than the third floor of our provincial museum.

Phil Le Good
Cobble Hill

Municipalities must take more responsibility

Last week southern Vancouver Island received several centimetres of snow. It is winter, after all, so it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise — except possibly to municipal officials.

Every snowfall is met with a colossal failure when it becomes necessary to actually remove the white stuff in a timely manner.

In a recent ruling the Supreme Court of Canada said people can sue cities over snow-removal activities that cause injury.

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that municipal snow-removal activities are not immune from such negligence and liability claims, a decision that could affect cities across the country, including those here in British Columbia.

Despite this ruling, the municipalities in this area appear reluctant to even consider this in their limited snow-removal plans.

After all, Ottawa is in another distant province in the far, far, hinterland. They have no idea about the troubled times here in our snowy Lotusland.

Let it snow, let it snow!

Chris Spratt

After clearing sidewalk, along comes the plow

A bit more co-operation from the Municipality of Central Saanich would be appreciated.

The sidewalk was cleared in front of my home early Dec. 30. including a mid-block crosswalk and a bus stop.

Just after I finished clearing the crosswalk, Central Saanich came along pushing snow into the cycling lane and sidewalk.

I appreciate the expectation that the property owner is responsible to clear the sidewalk of snow, but that should not include clearing a sidewalk again to remove the snow the municipality pushes onto the sidewalk, especially after the sidewalk has been cleared once.

A senior citizen should not feel the need to have to once again clear the sidewalk after the municipality has pushed snow onto it. Active transportation is a 365-day-a-year requirement.

Yes for residents with sidewalks there is a responsibility, there also is a municipal responsibility in both designing the sidewalk and cycling to allow for the clearing of snow.

Pushing snow onto the sidewalk at bus stops is very inappropriate. Creating snow banks to impede passengers getting on and off a bus is a gross lack of consideration for those travelling as active transportation users.

Is it Central Saanich’s intention to deter bus travel, walking or cycling in Central Saanich? A look at their policies as practised would confirm it is their intent.

Norm Ryder
Central Saanich

Delaying what we need will be more costly

Re: “Pay now for natural asset protection, or pay later,” Dec. 28.

The authors of this opinion piece lay out a cogent and rational argument for “sustained funding for ecosystem restoration in B.C.’s forests and waterways.” The alternative is to pay much, much more once disaster hits.

It’s like the plumber says you need a new hot water tank, but you try and squeeze a little more time out of the old tank. You end up paying 10 times the cost of a new tank because the tank bursts and you have to replace the flooring and drywall.

UBC geoscientist Kim Green wrote a report released in 2012 called “Deforestation in snowy regions causes more floods.” Her research showed that clearcutting forests doubles and potentially quadruples the number of large floods.

I’d call her an Abbotsford plumber warning us about getting a new hot water tank.

Jim Pine


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