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Letters Jan. 8: No bullying seen at Langham Court Theatre; make reconciliation levy voluntary; stuck in snow at airport

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Langham Court Theatre in Victoria. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST. May 2021

Langham Court Theatre has been inclusive

As a multi-year member and active volunteer with Langham Court Theatre, I’ve never witnessed or heard of any discriminatory or bullying behaviour nor harassment that the board claims has happened there.

There is a large community of ­volunteers that I’ve had the privilege of working with and I’ve always felt ­humbled by the creativity, talent and dedication of those members, some of whom have served Langham Theatre for upwards of 50 years.

These people have been open and willing to share their knowledge and expertise and they have always encouraged and welcomed everyone into their community. They have been inclusive and not exclusive.

That made volunteering for the ­organization a wonderful, enriching ­experience. This makes the new board’s allegations of poor behaviour even more difficult to fathom.

The new board has had difficulty bringing a co-operative and collaborative approach into their new mandate and have instead chosen to tear down everything we’ve worked so hard to accomplish.

Instead, their approach has created disharmony, confusion, anger and hurt feelings. I fear for the future of Langham and can only hope we can recover some of what has been lost.

Debbie Laverty
Victoria

Voluntary levy could go to reconciliation

Re: “Reconciliation tax must go to referendum,” letter, Jan. 5.

Couldn’t agree more with Stan Bartlett’s call for a referendum on this issue.

Diverting municipal tax funds to other jurisdictions, whether in the name of reconciliation or any other objective, is certainly not within the usual remit of a municipal government.

And as Bartlett points out, this ­measure was opposed or strongly opposed by a majority of participants in a recent public opinion survey of proposed supplementary budget items.

That Victoria city council voted to approve the item anyway, and ­without a proper assessment of the merits, is ­troubling. To a cynical observer, the ­situation reeks of fatuous virtue-­signalling by elected officials eager to be seen to be “doing something.”

As an alternative to a referendum, here’s another idea: make it easy for Victoria residents and businesses to add a voluntary supplemental “levy” to their annual tax bills, to go directly to a reconciliation fund.

This would give the broader citizenry the opportunity to participate directly in the funding process if they choose, in addition to their current passive participation through the myriad of federal and provincial reconciliation initiatives already in place, funded in large part by personal and business income taxes.

Hannah Wells
Cordova Bay

Museum needs new leadership

I bought my first annual Royal B.C. Museum membership more than 30 years ago but won’t renew. The museum has an ill-conceived and poorly executed plan to remove most of the existing museum exhibits, but apparently no replacement exhibits coming. What kind of a museum does something this daft?

We are among the many B.C. and Canadian residents who fully support the long-overdue process of reconciliation. The treatment of First Nations people, in B.C. and across Canada, has been a blight on our history and that story is one the museum should and must tell.

We have a keen interest in learning more about the history of Indigenous people and welcome any additions to the collections that promote that.

However, as Canadians of European descent, we also have an interest in settler history, including its darker side. Perhaps the museum leadership might consider some input from the citizens who own this museum.

Reportedly, even First Nations leaders were not consulted over these dramatic changes, and most certainly, the rest of us weren’t. There is a great deal to be done to begin the healing between First Nations people and the rest of Canada’s people and many admirable efforts have begun in this respect.

However, the hastily contrived efforts of the current leadership at the museum seems more geared to political correctness than reconciliation. They really need to rethink this terrible idea.

Some new leadership at the museum might be a good first step.

Mark Jeffers
Victoria

Snow at airport, passengers have to dig

I had to go to Victoria International Airport on Thursday. I got there about 4 a.m. to find that they had not plowed the parking lots.

I got stuck at the gate to long-term parking. I was there for about an hour.

Finally a very nice woman came out with a shovel and some salt, and I dug myself out.

She said she was not allowed to help. She said I could go to short-term parking.

Guess what! That was not plowed either. I got stuck in there too. Luckily I didn’t miss my flight. It was cancelled.

I was shocked that an international ­airport would not have snow removal. This storm was forecast.

I am not a young woman, but I managed. An older or disabled person would have been helpless.

Theresa Graham
Saanich

Celebrity anti-vaxxers could hurt sponsors

A famous world-class tennis star has been denied access to the Australian Open because of his anti-vax status. Well done, Aussie government.

It is very tiring to hear the continual vociferous rantings of the anti-vax minority without having celebrities join their ranks. There is a way the majority can counter this and it is by boycott.

Should a majority boycott watching this celebrity then the effect can be dramatic. The celebrity himself may not care given his wealth, but his sponsors are a different matter.

Imagine millions of tennis fans turning off their TVs or switching channels whenever Mr. Anti-Vax appears. The sponsors’ TV commercials become worthless.

Moreover, if millions of fans write to the celebrity’s sponsors and boycott their sports products it will be interesting to see how fast they drop their protégé.

Neville Hircock
Parksville

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