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Letters May 8: Support for school liaison officers; criticism of protests at UVic

A pro-Palestine encampment near the McPherson Library at the University of Victoria on Monday. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Common sense supports school liaison officers

Re: “School police form letters aimed at city hall,” column, May 3.

Les Leyne reports that “Greater Victoria teachers are being asked to send a form letter to Victoria city council members objecting to their support for school police liaison programs.”

That’s like asking the babysitter in a scary neighbourhood to leave the front door unlocked. The babysitters know better.

Who is pushing this latest iteration of toxic rubbish? We don’t seem to know. Brings to mind the “anonymous” reports that set out to condemn this venerable program in the first place.

Yes, the drive to promote inclusivity in our schools apparently includes including gangs bent on including our children. But it gets better.

The mysterious source ventures that city council’s support for the program “…demonstrates a lack of trust and respect for teachers, educators (especially those who have faced discrimination from police due to race)…”

Stop right there. Where is your evidence of such discrimination? Did you just make that up?

Because it doesn’t in any way jive with my observations over many years of the dedicated and caring men and women in this program.

If city council for any Greater Victoria municipality, in the name of common sense, decency and cogent thought cares to advocate for the SPLO and throw up a bulwark against the latest flock of sheep possessing cellphones and opposable thumbs, they speak for this educator. Go ahead and send your ill-guided little missive. My response will be short and unequivocal.

David Masini


Greater Victoria School District


Not a word about many other mass killings

Re: “Faculty for Palestine supports UVic encampment,” commentary, May 4.

The assorted flock of professors of sociology, gender studies and social work at the University of Victoria supporting an arms embargo against Israel warrants overuse of the term “useful idiots.”

After reading their comment, no wonder antisemitism is rampant in universities and in many parts of society.

Are these professors outraged over 500,000 deaths in Syria most of whom were innocent civilians? Not a word.

Are these professors outraged over 300,000 deaths in Yemen? Not a word.

Are these professors outraged over one million Afghans being forcibly deported from Pakistan? Not a word.

And finally, there is the ongoing war in Sudan, where thousands of civilians have been murdered and sexually assaulted. Again, not a word.

The common thread in all these atrocities is that they are Muslims committing atrocities upon Muslims. Not a word.

However, these professors and the countries involved take a keen interest and become fully engaged when a non-Muslim is involved, particularly Israel. Surely it is not Jew hatred that drives this obsession.

Steve Purcell


Take the time to learn Middle East history

Born in 1934 in Holland, I have seen a world that went from a global economic crisis to a world war, followed by a period of growing global peace and economic advances.

I was part of the major postwar migrations, and moved to Canada in 1957.

I developed and have to this day, a great interest in world history. I have seen how Nazi Germany treated Jewish populations in the most inhuman ways forcing them to identify themselves by wearing a large yellow star.

I followed their postwar struggles to reestablish themselves and find a homeland in the Middle East. I have benefitted from the postwar period of global economic advances, allowing more people to own a home and improve their standard of living.

And now, to my great dismay, I see us heading right back to 1929.

What to think of mankind? The current events in Gaza are just a small sample of the past 100 years of life in the Middle East. Anybody wishing to take part in current events cannot do so without taking the time to, as a minimum, study those 100 years.

I am sad that our current student population is hitting the road with banners and slogans, and no apparent effort to learn.

If they wish to be part of the solution, they and their professors should return to the classroom to learn how we got to this point and where to go from here. As it is, it looks like only the homeless will benefit in the form of any plastic tents left, or otherwise our oceans will absorb the remnants.

Vince Devries


Back to the classroom to learn a bit more

I find myself becoming increasingly disturbed by the University of Victoria protest camp demanding that the university divest themselves of all interests connected to Israel.

I am wondering if their demands will escalate to demanding that all UVic professors who have a Jewish or Israeli heritage step down, or perhaps deny entrance to any students with similar backgrounds.

Does this sound familiar? This pro-Palestine protest is treading on dangerous ground and they should be cleared off of the university premises. I repeat the words of a previous writer: These are so-called educated people.

Do they know who started this war in October? Do they know anything about Middle Eastern politics or history? They need to go back to the classroom and get off of the grass!

Marjory Benson


The messages behind students and face masks

Are the UVic students wearing masks and advocating for terrorism the same students who refused to wear masks or consider the health of others during the pandemic? Just wondering.

Alanne Gibson


Let all the students ride transit for free

Thank you to the rational minds who finally came to the conclusion that children riding buses to school should ride for free.

The current proposal is that children under 18 should ride for free. That is an excellent beginning, but I think that we need to go further. All students in undergrad programs at universities or community colleges should be included in the program regardless of age. Those can be the most lean years for many students.

Raise residential and commercial property taxes by a tiny bit that nobody would even notice and it could all become reality right now.

Paul Arnold


Creating Thunder Road on Doncaster Drive

Saanich council has decided that the section of Doncaster Drive, north of Derby Road, is in need of “traffic calming.”

This will entail installation of seven speed humps over less than 1,000 metres of roadway. There is also the apparent “requisite” of adding about 20 new signs, most on new 10-foot poles, on this short stretch of a relatively quiet street.

So there will then be 45 or more traffic control signs littering the landscape there, to keep us safe. Safe from what I don’t know. ICBC crash statistics say there was a single fender-bender on this part of Doncaster over five years.

This is contrary to statements on the Saanich website:

“Generally, we no longer install speed humps on our streets. We have found through experience that they have some negative effects for traffic and neighbourhoods: Each speed hump can delay a large fire truck up to 10 seconds; cars driving over the speed humps are noisy; SUVs and trucks can still drive over them quite quickly.”

An initial email to Saanich Engineering concerning potential roadway flooding issues from erecting, effectively, a dam between the street that runs like a river at times and the adjacent storm drain went unanswered.

A subsequent email pointing out the anticipated “thump-thump” noise issues and tremors originating 15 metres from my pillow and including a video of the “river” running during a brief thundershower did eventually get a response, basically “Too Bad-So Sad.”

So to all of those unfortunate residents of Doncaster Drive with a hump arriving outside their front door … sleep well.

Welcome to Thunder Road.

Ray Morgan


Pickleball is noisy, but great for our health

I was surprised to see how quickly North Saanich council voted to shut down the courts due to a few noise complaints. I live in Parksville and have just started playing pickleball and love it.

It is becoming more popular, attracts a wide range of demographics, it’s relatively safe for the body (good exercise and fresh air) and it’s a great social game (mental health).

With the growing concerns about the state of our health care system and our mental health, why wouldn’t you fund this for the residents of North Saanich?

Dale Urquhart


Solution is at hand for Wain Road pickleball

Back in 1991 when the Racquet Club of Victoria was closed and the squash players suddenly had no place to play, around 100 of Victoria’s squash players entered into an agreement with the District of Saanich to pay for the construction of the squash courts at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre.

It seems to me that if the 800 folks who signed the North Saanich pickleball petition would perhaps get themselves together and each put in $50, and each also find one other person to also contribute $50 to the cause, the required soundproofing wall could be installed at no cost to the municipality.

Pauline Hedger

former squash player


Princess, Emerson and something in common

I would have thought that someone, during Princess Anne’s visit, might have suggested that the princess give Emerson the royal seal of approval.

Christopher Causton



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