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Letters April 24: Nature isn't a Disney production; students have nothing to fear from police officers

Emerson the elephant seal in McNeill Bay on April 16. VIA JACQUES SIROIS

Let nature be nature, and deal with real issues

The juxtaposition of two ongoing stories in the Times Colonist, the orphaned orca calf and the adventures of the elephant seal “Emerson,” completely ignores the fact that Bigg’s orcas consider seals to be their prime food source.

If we help one, we hurt the other. Emerson may be a very smart seal — he initially chose upstream Gorge Inlet to be completely safe from orcas.

After his “rescuers” relocated him, he found his way back and has been seen in various parts of Greater Victoria but seems to be avoiding the mean streets of downtown (like many human residents).

Nature is intrinsically cruel; we should not be Disney-fying nature. If Emerson wants to explore our neighbourhoods, let him be.

People who let their young children near him need to learn some parenting skills (ones that our far-distant ancestors knew).

As to the orca orphan, either his pod will return to help him or he will find his way out when it suits him.

Let us spend our time and money on preserving and restoring habitats, preventing devastating forest fires, etc.

Kenneth Mintz


No sign of intimidation when students see police

Several months back I was walking past Margaret Jenkins School on Fairfield Road.

VicPD were conducting speed zone checks for the school zone. Two young boys were inside the school yard fence watching the actions of the police officer (lunch hour, so children were out in the school yard).

The officer was wrapping up his activities and took the time to reach out to the boys, walking over to the fence where the boys had been watching.

I overheard part of the conversation. Within 30 seconds the group of two young boys had ballooned to about 20 youngsters eager to talk with the officer.

Questions being asked to the officer were all being answered in a professional manner. Then it hit me: No intimidation. The group of children, boys and girls, were eager to speak to the officer.

School board trustees, remove your blinders.

Paul Baldwin


Nature kindergarten should not be scrapped

More than 10 years ago, I worked with the Sooke School District to create B.C.’s first nature kindergarten. Here, a teacher and early childhood educator worked together to create a exceptional educational experience that welcomed the children into the formal education system.

Seeing the success of that partnership innovation, the district hired more early childhood educators to partner with kindergarten teachers in support of young children’s introduction to school.

Kindergarten is the beginning of a child’s educational journey. This is the time that difficulties can be identified and more easily resolved. Children should begin school feeling welcomed and supported.

Teachers and early childhood educators bring different expertise to the classroom. Working together they can support children to be contributing members of a learning community.

Amid rising concerns about children’s development, I am disappointed that the Sooke school board has decided to scrap this program. I am concerned that this is a short-sighted response to a budget issue.

I urge the school district to continue their kindergarten partnership program and ensure that children begin with their best foot forward.

Enid Elliot

Early Learning and Care Faculty

Camosun College


We need common sense about drugs, weapons

I am flabbergasted at the idea that it’s OK for drug-addicted people to take drugs and even weapons into hospitals.

How can medical staff do their jobs properly when they are constantly on the alert with unstable people?

As far as I’m concerned, three things have to happen to even begin to fix this problem.

Firstly, open and staff mental illness treatment facilities to treat drug and mental illness within a mandatory time frame.

Secondly, jail those who commit crimes … and I don’t mean in one door and out the other.

Thirdly, assist those who really want help.

I have seen Victoria fall from a lovely, safe city, in part, to a drug-filled, dangerous nightmare, and now it’s being allowed into our hospitals.

Common sense must prevail if this serious situation is to be rectified.

Norah Clarke

James Bay

Double standard with alcohol, nicotine

Re: “Illicit-drug use by patients at VGH is common, nurse says,” April 11.

The story documents drug-addicted patients being allowed to openly smoke drugs like fentanyl, crack, meth and heroin while in their hospital rooms, putting staff and of course other patients at risk from “toxic fumes,” and the coming and going of drug dealers supplying patients with illicit drugs.

A leaked health authority memo was described which “instructs hospital staff to allow patients to use drugs in their hospital rooms.”

The rationale is that addiction is a health issue, as well as the recent decriminalization of drug possession and use in many situations.

However, I’d like to point out that alcoholics and nicotine-addicted patients are not allowed to partake of their choice of drug in hospital rooms, so why should an exception be made for these other types of drugs? This has gone too far.

Richard Konopasek


Capital gains kerfuffle: Much ado about nothing

Much is being made of the increase from 50 per cent to 66.7 per cent of capital gains over $250,000 being taxed.

Note that 100 per cent of earned income, otherwise known as labour, is taxed.

Note also that capital gains that are “included” (taxed) are taxed at about half the rate as earned income.

Bill Appledorf


Book sale volunteers are exceptional

The volunteers working last weekend at the Times Colonist book sale drop-off are to be commended for the excellent job they did. Each one performed their task with efficiency, friendliness and kindness, making the drop off a joyful experience.

Congratulations also to those responsible for the exceptional organization of it.

Thank you to each person involved, allowing me to pass along for others to enjoy the books that once meant so much to my late husband.

Marg Williams


A great performance? Then get on your feet

On Saturday, April 20, I attended the musical Anne of Green Gables at the McPherson Playhouse.

Being a musical junkie, I have seen hundreds of musicals over the years and I found the calibre of the performance was excellent, as were vocals and orchestration. A lively and fun experience!

What was most disappointing was the audience. As outstanding the lead performers were, no one except my companion and I gave them a standing ovation.

The remainder of the audience clapped vigorously with their butts firmly planted in their seats.

Come on Victoria! Stand up and recognize the performers who worked hard to make sure you were entertained by the antics of Anne Shirley.

The show was definitely deserving of your acknowledgement and really would not have taken much to make a young performer’s night memorable.

Shelley Tobo Gaudreau

Sherwood Park, Alta.

Giving thieves access to a supply of copper

I see the Victoria city council, in all their wisdom, has decided to allow EV owners to run charging cords from their residences to their vehicles. These cords will not be a cheap purchase by any means.

I can just hear the copper wire thieves now saying “bring it on.”

Gerald Johnson

North Saanich

Please, prime minister, dress just a bit better

It was nice that the prime minister got to enjoy our city, while conducting some official business, over two days.

A photo in the Sunday paper showed him visiting CFB Esquimalt to meet the Polish president. While the president and the commanding officer looked smart and dressed for the occasion, poor Justin, now on his own, looked as if he had slept in his trousers.

I am sure that Sophie would never have allowed him to go out without pressing his pants first.

Tim Hackett

Brentwood Bay


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