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Letters Sept. 27: Spilled blood and illicit drugs; inform children, do not indoctrinate; right questions about transportation

The “1MillionMarch4Children” rally at the B.C. legislature lawn on Sept. 20, 2023. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Hold them accountable for blood on the streets

Once again, a police officer died in the line of duty and two others were injured, one of them seriously.

Grief is widespread and not just among the families and the co-workers directly affected. There is outrage because this is a hideous crime involving illegal weapons and illegal drugs that keeps repeating itself with increasing frequency.

There is however a factor that is never, but must be, mentioned. Vaunted, but misguided, cannabis has been legalized and even hard drugs for personal use are now allowed without repercussions but many still purchase their marijuana from sources other than government-licensed stores.

All other drugs are obtained from unlicensed dealers, save the so-called safe supply.

No poison of any kind that one pumps into one’s body or inhales is safe, let’s get that straight, so “overdose” is a misnomer. International organized crime facilitates the supply of all recreational drugs and narcotics, and we all would like to see those criminals behind bars.

Innocent, and mostly poor people, including children, suffer or die in third world countries to ensure a steady supply for the Western world. It is all a matter of supply and demand. We know who is responsible for the supply component.

But should not the users, including the respectable people who cut the odd line on the weekend, also be held accountable for all the spilled blood and monstrosities that are committed on their behalf in order to gratify their demands?

Hans Rysdyk

Qualicum Beach

Science, common sense are driving these parents

Re: “Parents urged to trust their kids on gender identity and sexuality,” Sept. 24.

The Times Colonist published a one-sided story on last week’s nationwide parents’ protest against public schools teaching permissively about sexual orientation and gender inclusion.

The article quotes extensively from a single professional counsellor who offers up this gem: Since we trust our children when they tell us they don’t like tofu, we should trust them when they tell us they are boys even though conceived female.

There are a few differences.

Tofu is a matter of taste.

Gender diversity, if pursued as it has been by some enthusiastic parents and psychotherapists, can easily lead to hormone therapy and genital and mutilation and mastectomies.

The medical professions in the United Kingdom and several Scandinavian countries have reversed their course on “trusting” children with gender ­dysphoria because there in no evidence it eases their mental discomfort with their bodies.

On the other hand, there is plentiful evidence that if parents and medical professionals adopt a wait-and-see stance, children move out of their gender dysphoria in a few years.

The counsellor suggests the parents are motivated by ignorance and fear but I suggest they are motivated by science, common sense and love.

Steve Weatherbe


Inform our children, do not indoctrinate them

Re: “Thoughts on a protest: We have a responsibility to listen,” commentary, Sept. 23.

The original counter-protest scheduling called for a 3:30 p.m. start, but by the time I was about to head down it was all over and police were asking folks to avoid downtown.

Would I have joined in with the shouting down, silencing of others, disrespect and failure to dive into the debate to “ …soon find common ground around ideas we can all agree on”? Probably.

Mainly because, as a father, the ­likelihood of finding common ground with people carrying signs that say “My child. My Property” might take more like a ­couple of days or weeks than the limited time allowed in the counter-protest.

As for trust in policy makers to make the right call on “subjects as new and unknown as the gender debate and best way to teach subject matter to younger generations,” I’ll take my chances with the epistemic elite, not the politicians.

That is, university-educated teachers and curriculum specialists providing kids with the age-appropriate information they need on sexuality and gender to ­navigate their way from Grade 1 on through to be safe and confident in high school.

Specialists who I know are informing kids, not indoctrinating them.

John Farquharson


Energy sources, SOGI: What a crazy world

Two articles in the Sept. 24 paper lead me to think.

The City of Nanaimo believes adults don’t have the capacity to chose wisely their energy source for cooking or heating their homes.

At the same time it is assumed that young children are capable of deciding their sexual orientation and gender identity.

What a crazy world we live in.

Peter Sugden


Parents, not the schools, raise our children

I am a grandpa to boys aged six and nine. I heard about SOGI indoctrination in elementary school so I attended last Wednesday’s rally opposing the same.

Both Justin Trudeau and David Eby falsely declared the cross-country rallies as evidence of hatred towards of a those of a certain sexual persuasion instead of genuine concern that adult concepts are being forced upon infants.

It’s easy for the political people to delegitimize protest on the basis of a false characterization. Unfortunately, the speeches were not reported by this newspaper.

Had they been reported, your readers would have heard that the speakers recognized the adult counter protesters as having a right to their sexual orientation with statements that they loved the counter-protesters and offered medical aid should the counter protesters need it.

After three-quarters of an hour I got the feeling that violence was possible by the counter-protesters. As I was not there to debate lifestyle or get into a physical confrontation I left.

Three-quarters of an hour later the police reportedly shut the protest down. I can not understand why the school system feels it has a right to influence the thinking of immature children whose understanding of adult concepts is very limited.

As some at the rally pointed out, parents raise the children, not the school system. SOGI has no place in elementary schools.

Ken Walton


Simon Fraser Tolmie had Indigenous roots

Re: “Manitoba could make Canadian ­history by electing first First Nations premier,” Sept. 24.

Not really.

This article ignores Simon Fraser Tolmie, who served as the premier of British Columbia from Aug. 21, 1926 to Nov. 15, 1933.

Tolmie’s maternal grandmother was Josette Legace, the daughter of a First Nations woman from the Spokane area and Pierre Legace, a French-Canadian fur trade father.

Josette married HBC trader John Work, and her daughter, Jane, married Tolmie’s father, HBC physician and fur trader, William Fraser Tolmie, who came to what is now B.C. in the 1830s.

Of course, by the end of the 19th ­century – unlike today – most people were eager to conceal their Indigenous family connections, not emphasize them.

As historian Sylvia Van Kirk has pointed out, when Tolmie wrote about his childhood on the family estate in the B.C. Historical Quarterly in 1937, he “hardly mentioned his mother and omitted all reference to his remarkable Work grandmother.”

Hamar Foster

Professor emeritus

University of Victoria

Ask the right questions about transportation

The Capital Regional District’s 233-page report and survey, where 62,500 households were contacted and only 8,581 valid surveys were completed, missed an opportunity to ask car owners one important question;

Which of these transit options would encourage you to leave your car at home? Bus, light rail transit, next generation tram systems or “name your preferred transit system”?

Because right now car drivers who prefer comfort, privacy and convenience to catching a bus are not going to give up their cars and make buses their main travel mode regardless whether buses are rapid or more frequent.

Regional transportation planning has struggled to keep pace with sustainable, social, economic and environmental demands.

Car culture is often seen as negative and while electric vehicles are only one part of the solution we should be engaging car users if we are to meet climate action targets.

Asking the right questions might get us back on the road to recovery.

Christina Mitchell

James Bay

Nanaimo a target after making the wise choice

Re “Alberta’s fossil fuel war room targets Nanaimo,” Sept. 24.

It was almost amusing to read about the Alberta government’s lobby group “Canadian Energy Centre” strenuously opposing Nanaimo’s planned phaseout of new gas hookups for primary heat in new homes. Such sound and fury, with claims of more than 2,000 letters sent to Nanaimo council. The reality is that the phaseout is mandated for all B.C. municipalities as the province moves to cleaner energy sources.

Nanaimo has merely accelerated the phaseout, a wise move that could avoid future costs for new homeowners.

Blaise Salmon

Shawnigan Lake

Island development must consider fire risk

Wildfire danger is a constant dry-season concern on Galiano Island. As our residential and tourism population grows, the possibility of human-caused wildfires increases.

In 2006 we had the largest wildfire in the Southern Gulf Islands, threatening transmission lines to Vancouver Island and the possible evacuation of our entire island.

A report submitted to the North and South Galiano Fire Departments followed. The 2009 Galiano Community Wildfire Protection Plan recommends that a wildfire risk assessment by a professional forester be conducted for any development on our island.

This good advice is being inexplicably ignored by the Islands Trust, our land use regulator, our fire departments and by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, as they consider a subdivision application for a multi-unit housing development in this same densely forested, high-risk area where the 2006 fire occurred.

The ministry’s subdivision approval process information states they “will review health, safety, environmental and land use considerations.” Yet, the ministry’s response to our request for this was: “Wildfire risk assessment is not a requirement for MoTI subdivision approval.” As our province burns and wildfire risk becomes a year-round worry, is this “Rome fiddling”?

Joan Bartley

Galiano Island

Thanks, Eric, for backing my cooking style

From the Sept. 22 Eric Akis column: “….added grated fresh finger to my hambagu and a bit of milk, which helps to make hamburger steaks more tender when cooked.”

I have often added fresh grated finger to dishes but now I don’t have to hide it!

Doreen Zelisney



• Email:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Aim for no more than 250 words; ­subject to editing for length and clarity.

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