Letters April 6: Belligerent anti-mask ferry passenger; who is running Saanich

Those who protest should face penalties

Re: “Ferry forced to return to dock because of ‘belligerent’ anti-mask passenger,” April 3.

To quote the words of the famous Roman statesman Cicero: “Oh Tempora, Oh Mores.”

article continues below

It is hard to believe that a group of individuals can disrupt our ferry system and avoid serious consequences because they have views that are opposite of well- thought-out medical and scientific reasoning.

It is hard to fathom that we are so worried about individual rights and freedoms that anti-mask protests can even take place.

We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, yet individuals are still doubting what is happening around us. That is their right, but they should not be permitted to express their views by inconveniencing and putting other members of society at risk.

If there are hefty fines for having gatherings inside houses or beyond the 10 outside, so too should these fines apply to protesters and disrupters.

Jeff Barnett

Save the protests for important issues

We all have rights, yes, but we also have a brain and a heart, which some of us refuse to use at times.

We are being asked to wear masks in public. Simple. We keep ourselves safe and others safe till this virus is in control.

If you had cancer and were asked to take chemo to help get rid of it, yes you have a right to refuse. You are not harming anyone but yourself. Your choice.

With the virus it means you may harm someone else besides yourself. This is when we use our brain and heart for common sense.

We are all working for the end to come soon with this pandemic. Let’s just use our power of emotions for something like stopping old-growth foresting or climate change or something that is good for all of us, not just ourselves.

Gail Cresswell
Qualicum Beach

Fines not enough for disruptive types

Can we not do anything to bring these misfits to heel? The $460 in fines seems inadequate. How about augmenting the fines with the cost of fuel involved in the delay, overtime wages for the crew, and some sort of settlement for the passengers that were deterred in their travel?

If the penalties cannot be paid, jail time will suffice. Public transit should never be trumped — pun intended — by a “rebel without a clue.”

David Masini

Protester should pay for time lost

Get serious with these knuckleheads. A court action should be part of the remedy.

B.C. Ferries should sue the offenders to recover the cost of the time lost and inconvenience to the passengers.

What does the corporate and individual loss total? Probably a scary number.

This should stop the nonsense.

Rick Pepper

Anti-maskers hurting everyone else

If we were in the middle of another world war and cities in B.C. were being bombed with conventional and chemical weapons, I wonder what type of idiots there would be who would refuse to wear a gas mask?

It would be the same idiots who refuse to wear a mask during a pandemic. The difference is, in a chemical war if you don’t want to wear a gas mask you would be just hurting yourself.

In a pandemic you would be hurting all your fellow citizens, and loved ones. Do you anti-maskers really feel good about not wanting to help your fellow citizen, or your loved ones?

Who are people that would probably be running to your aid if you were in an accident or received a life-threatening injury. How selfish and lowlife can you be?

Ed Bailey

Ferries should offer outdoor mask breaks

The Mask Denial kind of behaviour is becoming more and more prevalent in the population as COVID-19 fatigue sets in.

This pandemic has been going on past a year, causing great stress and discouragement generally.

Totally understandable under the circumstances how it is affecting many. Especially those who are experiencing a catastrophic worldwide event for the first time affecting them so directly.

Imagine what populations of the past experienced through the world wars and other pandemics like 1918, the Dark Ages and many more. Those who had little hope of surviving. But we do!

We’re living in modern times with ­vaccines developed and put into circulation in less than a year, a miracle. There is hope!

It is said that fresh air is a good thing. We can go out for a walk or eat outside relatively safely.

Why can’t that apply to passengers on the ferry who need a mask break? It does get to you and it gets hot inside those masks.

It’s called compromise.

Why can’t we go outside on deck for a breath of fresh air, socially distancing of course, then come back inside masks on?

Maybe if the decks were reserved for mask breaks, even with a time limit, just maybe that would relieve some stress so everyone on board can get to where they’re going and the ferries wouldn’t have to turn around back to dock to kick that “belligerent” passenger off making everyone late.

This COVID virus and all its variants are not going away anytime soon.

E.C. Jewsbury

The rest are protecting the anti-maskers

Unfortunately, we have too many of these heroes who are willing to stand on their principle and fight for the last drop of someone else’s blood.

By not wearing a mask, they are endangering others by spreading their viruses to them.

Masks are worn to protect others from the COVID-19 pandemic.

By not wearing a mask, these heroes are endangering others while being protected themselves, because others around them are considerate enough to wear a mask and protect their fellow ­citizens including these “shining knights in armour fighting for their freedom.”

How altruistic is that?

John Sitwell

We need a full pandemic lockdown for a month

Apart from trying to appease everyone, why are we instilling half-assed restrictions when our COVID-19 numbers are continually climbing?

Similar to last spring, why aren’t we implementing a full lockdown for one month (or at least until vaccinations outweigh infections) to combat the rising numbers?

Why masks for Grade 4 and up, why not K-12? Why shut down indoor dining; close outdoor dining as well.

Why allow outdoor gatherings of 10 or less? Restrict all gatherings. The impact this will have on businesses/individuals will be huge (again), but if we don’t do something drastic, we’re going to be in this static situation a lot longer.

The government needs to continue benefits for businesses and individuals this full closure would certainly devastate.

Diane St Jacques

Islands Trust article just political spin

The March 31 commentary by Islands Trust Council chair Peter Luckham, which tried to gloss over the recent defeat of a motion to make protection of the natural environment the top priority of the Islands Trust, over and above community needs, was specious.

In his attempted rebuttal of a devastating commentary by Jacinthe Eastick, Luckham made not a single reference to the defeat of the historic motion by Trust Council, despite that being the main focus of Eastick’s article.

Nor did he respond to charges that the decision not to prioritize the environment in the Policy Statement turned support for the cultural heritage of Indigenous Peoples into a symbolic gesture.

Similarly, Luckham failed to respond to statements that the Islands Trust, in defeating the motion, ignored the results of its own public consultation process, and brushed aside last year’s State of the Islands Report showing that the Gulf Islands are in steep environmental decline.

Luckham dismissed Eastick’s conclusions without refuting any of the points that led her to those conclusions. In other words, his rebuttal amounted to nothing more than political spin.

A.J. Henshall
Galiano Island

Who is in charge in Saanich?

You must have heard of the old adage “the inmates are running the asylum” — well, the unelected staff are running Saanich, especially in the planning and engineering departments.

While the elected officers just go along, the last mayor tried to remedy the situation, and look what happened to him.

It’s time the mayor and council took control, or maybe it is time for the taxpayers in Saanich who are of the same opinion as mine to write as well.

Look at the Saanich website at the number of applications for a change in land use that have been waiting for years to be confirmed, some just need a direction from mayor and council.

It’s a disgrace the time it takes.

John Smith

Saanich does not need a casino

I am disappointed to learn of Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes’ proposal to build a casino in Saanich. Some members of council see this as a means of economic growth in place of increased property tax. It will bring jobs. Also on the positive side, many people who gamble see ­casinos as a form of entertainment much like going to a movie or sporting event.

However, there are several downsides of having a casino in the community, including financial strains, especially to pathological gamblers to the point where family members are affected and in some cases bankruptcy and domestic violence occurs.

Casinos tilt their operations so that “the house always wins,” and in so doing they prey on the people who can least afford it. Some people argue that casinos have ties with a criminal element, not necessarily organized crime.

So the question is who is going to take responsibility for the social ills created by the gaming industry? Also, Greater Victoria already has Elements Casino which, in 2018, more than doubled its size. Does a region with less than half a million people need another casino? Where will the casino be located? Near UVic? What will be the impact on traffic?

The municipal council and residents of Saanich will need to carefully weigh the benefits of an increased financial outcome for the municipality against the harm done to people’s mental health, work performance, families and the community.

In my view, casinos should not be the route taken. Council should seek alternative, more positive approaches such as providing incentives for businesses to locate in Saanich and grow.

Al Niezen

No thanks to a Saanich casino

Do not put a casino in Saanich. This remains a cash-cow leading to nothing positive, healthy, educational or recreational, in my opinion.

Have we learned nothing from the illegal and unhealthy lifestyle this leads to?

Saanich residents need to speak up, please.

Cheryl Robinson

Richardson Street plan an unnecessary idea

The Richardson Street bike plan has evoked comments such as this, from a March 16 letter: “The hysterical rant from the Oak Bay resident, foaming at the mouth over what Victoria council is doing to us, was utter nonsense.”

This sort of vicious attack closes doors to civil debate, and serves little purpose other than to exaggerate the opinions of the author.

Our reality, having cycled Richardson en route to downtown from Oak Bay over the past four years, multiple times per week, all year long, illustrates that the bike plan is an unnecessary expenditure.

The most common dangers are posed not by motor vehicles, but by cyclists crossing four-way-stop intersections without stopping, passing other cyclists without warning, riding without helmets, wearing dark clothing at night and without lights, and generally ignoring rules of the road that inconvenience them.

Leave Richardson mostly as is, but definitely consider widening the road between Moss and Cook streets and also focus on re-paving rough spots where warranted, along with more serious enforcement of the rules of the road for both cyclists and motorists.

Brian Bruser
Deborah Bruser
Oak Bay

Other streets will see more traffic

The changes to Richardson Street are projected to remove about 2,500 vehicles per day, “re-directed to Fairfield and other east-west streets.”

If I lived on Fairfield, Rockland, Gonzales, Quamichan, Oak Shade Lane or Green Oaks, I’d want to know the projected traffic volume for my street.

Note that all these east-west streets, except Fairfield, connect to Rockland. If I were driving on McNeill heading downtown, I’d turn left at Foul Bay, right on Gonzales and zip up to Rockland.

Or, I’d turn right, left on Quamichan and probably zip up Oak Shade Lane, or Green Oaks, no problem.

Give us those numbers, please.

Ken Milbrath


• Email letters to: letters@timescolonist.com

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

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity.

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist