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Letters May 15: Encampment at UVic; impact of all that building on climate change

The Palestine Solidarity Encampment in the middle of the University of Victoria campus. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Pickleball is, ahem, played with paddles

Re: “Pickleball racket is the problem,” letter, May 9.

If we played with rackets we might be able to change them.

Pickleball is played with paddles.

Ramona Stella


Protesters appropriating shared commons

Re: “UVic can’t agree to ‘ultimatums,’ president says, as encampment continues,” May 12.

Despite much mention of open and constructive dialogue, there seems to be none about the elephant in the room. That is, the appropriation of a large section of the shared commons for the sole use of one small group to the exclusion of all other students not sharing their convictions. Would the commons occupiers welcome into the encampment those carrying signs of “Free the Hostages,” “Condemn the Oct. 7 Massacre” or “Jail the Rapists”?

You know, just to provide a bit of context to help promote some critical thinking. I don’t think so.

John Farquharson


Priorities: the political and the essential

Last fall, the prime minister boasted of his government’s campaign of bringing a million immigrants into the country in 12 months, seemingly oblivious to the connection between numbers of people and numbers of homes required. As well, the immigration minister appeared surprised to learn that there were also a million foreign students in the country, double the number of three years earlier, grudgingly conceding that this million too, might be adding to the squeeze for available housing and resources.

The response: a national construction campaign, including changing the laws to give federal and provincial governments more clout at the municipal level and a public shaming of any politician who would prove unpatriotic by questioning the crusade.

And suddenly, the approaching summer reminds us of our essential needs as opposed to the political: the people of Fort Nelson evacuated the town over the weekend and as of this morning, a wildfire roars directly toward the town, fanned by 40 km/h winds. The dragon of climate change is back!

It seems we are numb to the contradiction of our priorities. There can’t be many activities that contribute more carbon to the atmosphere than building — concrete, asphalt, lumber, glass, plastics and all the fossil fuels burned in the process itself. Yet it appears we still haven’t connected the dots.

Yes, all the industrial activity, including on Vancouver Island, the tower cranes, roads, bridges, and buildings are fuelling the flames that visit us with increased regularity and ferocity.

Iain Donaldson


Drug prohibition flawed and ineffectual

Re: “Consider evidence and experience in the war on drugs,” commentary, May 11.

Ben Goerner’s commentary should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in, or having influence over, drug policy.

It is a lucid and compelling analysis of the fundamentally flawed and demonstrably ineffectual regime of drug prohibition.

I can think of no other policy that is so ineffectual in achieving its implicitly stated aims — keeping individuals safe from dangerous drugs.

A policy that has resulted in greater exposure to increasingly toxic drugs, ever-increasing mortality and morbidity, all while simultaneously creating larger profits for organized crime.

It is way past time for a serious conversation about our dependence on this highly problematic and harmful approach.

Dr. Perry RW Kendall

Former B.C. provincial health officer

Centennial fountain is part of our history

Regarding the article on preserving the Centennial fountain, I would like to add that what we really need to do is to preserve Victoria’s history. Mid-century is now part of its history.

What would Europe be without its historic buildings and fountains. What if Italy, for example, had torn down their old buildings and fountains throughout the centuries? People flock there to see them.

The Centennial fountain and our historic buildings are part of Victoria’s uniqueness. In Europe there is government funding set aside for restoration and preservation.

Lara Martell


Earthquakes are not funny

I have been annoyed for months by David Sovka’s apparent belief that humour is a blunt instrument. However, his May 12 column goes too far. At least three times, while informing readers about emergency messages, he leads us into a dead end in an attempt at levity. In doing so he obscures the lesson dangerously.

Unfortunately, the emergency supplement included in the Times Colonist on May 7 doesn’t cover the new Canadian Earthquake Early Warning system. Hence, clear information about it is needed.

An earthquake is not a laughing matter. I’m sure the message that will be sent via television, radio, and cellphone will be clear. The column could have used this preparation event, then, to inform readers of exceptions. What if a person, by chance or by choice, isn’t able to receive a message by radio, television or cellphone?

Perhaps David Sovka could tell us whether an emergency message might also be received via another device connected with their internet, or by some low-tech means. How can readers prepare for the possibility that they will be out of touch when an emergency message is sent? The column was intended to convey information. It failed.

Alanne Gibson


Sovka offers much‑needed humour

Just having my first cup of coffee and read David Sovka’s column on earthquake preparedness.

Snorting the finest President’s Choice Dark Roast out of various face-holes certainly enhances the flavour/aroma/insert sensory perception here.

Promote that man. Better yet — give him a cookie. Failing that, make him a daily or at least frequent contributor.

What with wildfires, drug crisis, taxes/inflation, housing costs, health care, war, protests and numerous other subjects that are as serious as a heart attack,

being able to look at everything with humour is a sadly lacking talent in society today.

If he has the time in his understandably busy schedule (he’s giving us solid gold here, people), maybe ask him to tackle the above subjects one at a time. That should provide material for a while.

Excuse me, I thought I had gotten it all, but the remaining coffee dribbled out of my sinuses as I wrote this. I’ll have to email you.

Alexander Bork


E-bike riders, get a bell and please, go slower

Saanich is offering thousands of dollars of rebates to anyone who wants to purchase an e-bike.

ICBC is giving millions of dollars back to drivers.

I am a walker, runner and a real cyclist, with a pedal bike. Haven’t owned a car for over 20 years.

My commute to work is minimum 10 kilometres per day, depending on my route.

Where is my rebate for running shoes or bike maintenance?

Ask anybody who uses the Goose or other trails around the Capital Regional District without an e-bike. They will agree that 90 per cent of e-bikers are speed-freak jerks. Young or old. No warning, zero respect.

Even the huge bikes with kids on board, 50 km/h.

They buy a $3,000 e-bike, get a rebate, yet not a $5 bell. Or not respectful enough to use it.

The Goose and other trails have turned into the Indy 500. How soon is a pedestrian going to be killed on our multi-use trails? It will happen.

Pat Gelinas



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