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Letters March 15: Renaming George Jay school; lowering speed limits; reducing parking spots

Reconciliation with Chinese Canadians

Re: “George Jay school should honour a Chinese Canadian,” commentary, March 11.

I applaud the sentiments of King Lee in asking school trustees to consider renaming George Jay Elementary after a prominent Chinese Canadian.

This exemplifies the true meaning of reconciliation by rectifying what we now see as a wrong done to Chinese Canadians by George Jay, and does so in the most direct and celebratory way possible.

Canada is a mosaic and that should be reflected as we name various buildings, parks and more.

In this instance, while meaning absolutely no disrespect to our First Nations, I believe the most heartfelt way to practice reconciliation — which should apply to all cultures and in doing so takes nothing away from First Nations — is to honour and celebrate the Chinese culture within our Canadian mosaic.

Linda Baker


Name the school after Ron Lou-Poy

Re: “George Jay school should honour a Chinese Canadian,” commentary, March 11.

My applause and thanks to King Lee for suggesting that the renaming of George Jay School should honour a Chinese Canadian. It was my first thought when reading the original article.

We seem hell bent on renaming absolutely everything with a First Nations name regardless of many other groups we have discriminated against.

I add another name to consider: Ron Lou-Poy.

Kate Mansell


Dr. Victoria Chung deserves an honour here

Re: “George Jay school should honour a Chinese Canadian,” commentary, March 11.

The removal of the racist George Jay’s name is overdue.

However, I was surprised by the suggestion the replacement should be a Lekwungen name.

The victims of Jay’s discriminatory actions as chair of the Victoria School Board were Victoria’s Chinese community, in particular the students directly affected. Surely a more appropriate reconciliatory move would have been to draw a new name from Victoria’s Oriental heritage.

One candidate, for instance, could have been Dr. Victoria Chung. Named for the city of her birth, Chung was the first Asian, male or female, to earn a medical degree in Canada.

However, unable to practice in this country, her celebrated career as a medical doctor, hospital administrator, and medical scientist occurred instead in China.

Martin Segger


Remember what the controversy was about

Re: “George Jay school should honour a Chinese Canadian,” commentary, March 11.

I solidly support King Lee’s proposal for regarding the renaming of George Jay School.

He not only points out three wonderful candidates from our community to rename the school; he also reminds us of the controversy regarding the name.

George Jay’s crusade against disallowing Chinese students from attending George Jay School was diabolical.

Here is an opportunity to honour one of the many people from the city’s Chinese-Canadian community who have offered so many benefits in the development of the Victoria region.

With due respect, the local school board has drifted off course on this matter and needs to remember what this issue was about and who was primarily affected by it.

Barrie Moen

Oak Bay

Speed limits change but driver habits don’t

So — the Saanich council is taking its cue from the car haters on Victoria council with a proposal for lower speed limits. Here’s a little example of how that worked out.

A couple years ago, Victoria reduced the speed limit on Gorge Rd East to 40 km/h. This made zero impression upon drivers, who continued to follow the perfectly reasonable old limit of 50. Try driving 40 on that stretch and you’ll get run over.

To back up its decision, the council installed a couple of those feedback signals that flash their speed to oncoming drivers, along with a plaintive “slow down” sign. Those have to be the world’s hardest working feedback monitors; in busy traffic they look like strobe lights at a disco.

A lot of drivers — myself included — are inclined to goose the accelerator a bit when they see them, as a way of telling council just what they think of its speed limit. I suspect a change on Gorge West will elicit the same reaction.

Still, it will persuade the good ­councillors that they are engaged on the side of the angels in the battle to save the world.

Tragic to see our Island Paradise deteriorate day by day while our “leaders” fiddle with performative virtue signals that accomplish nothing beyond aggravating the populace and bleeding the treasury.

Michel Murray


Blane Coulture loved extreme weather

I was sad to hear Blane Coulture had died. For many years on CFAX radio, Blane was the weatherman’s weatherman.

Graduating from Oak Bay High, in the yearbook Future Plans, Blane said “meteorologist.” He deeply loved the almost impossible task of weather forecasting in our coastal region.

In the glory days of CFAX with Joe Easingwood, Terry Spence, Barry Bowman and The Dobber, Blane offered a nerdy voice, really caring about accurate weather forecasting.

For many years, Blane’s Swiftsure forecasts were followed by many sailors. In late summer, he would offer his hay-cutting forecast for Peninsula farmers.

For years, a taxi would deliver the latest weather charts from the airport to the CFAX studios for 6 a.m.

Blane would pore over those huge sheets of paper to carve out his own daily forecast.

It wasn’t unusual to have a listener call the radio station asking for specific information for a special backyard function on the weekend. Blane would gladly take the call and gave them a personalized rundown.

He was happiest with extreme weather: gully washing rain, Ross-Bay closing heavy winds or over a metre of snow in 1996 — the nastier, the better for Blane.

A local radio station today with a designated weather forecaster? No chance.

A tip of the hat to Blane Coulture — a man with passion about our weather, deserves to be remembered in our city.

Dale Dymianiw


Don’t call it a surplus given coming deficits

Re: “B.C. ministers struggle to spend budget windfalls,” March 8.

How absurd of our well-paid public guardians of the province’s funds to mismanage them. Any B.C. citizen with an elementary understanding of the management of housekeeping funds, knows to safeguard today’s ‘surplus’ to pay down next month’s credit card accounts and day-to-day bills.

There are two budget deficits following today’s surplus. Can it truly be termed a “surplus”in a review of the long-term outlook?

Malcolm Oakes


When everyone can pick their own hours to work

I’ve grown up with the time change. When I was working, I appreciated the longer evenings in summer. When I worked outside as a carpenter, I had daylight in the winter mornings with standard time, and avoided hot afternoons by starting “earlier” on daylight time in summer.

When we switch to permanent daylight time, schools and carpenters will find that it’s too dark to start at the usual time in morning, and will likely adopt “winter hours” — starting one hour later between November and March.

Businesses that serve these people will shift their hours, too. Office and retail workers will start at the same “time” all year, because arriving in the dark is not a problem for them.

See where this is going? It will be up to each organization to decide whether or when “winter hours” start, and we’ll all have to coordinate between day care, school, and work times, hoping that they all eventually decide to shift hours on the same dates each spring and fall. Wouldn’t that be a great idea?

Bruce Mackenzie



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• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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