Letters, Aug. 23: Day parole for impaired driver, crimes and punishment, climate concerns

Driver’s day parole is an insult

Re: “Day parole granted to drunk driver who killed West Shore RCMP officer,” Aug. 16.

Let me get this straight. An impaired driver killed RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett while trying to evade the RCMP. For taking a life, he is eventually sentenced to four years. While awaiting sentencing on the original charge, he is found to be impaired once again and injuring a passenger. For this, he is sentenced to 18 months.

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Now Kenneth Jacob Fenton has been given day parole.

I am surprised that anyone can see this as justice, much less the sentencing judges and the parole board. Shame on them and the message that they send to other citizens of B.C. and Canada.

This is an insult to the family of Const. Beckett, all law enforcement personnel and the citizens of Canada.

Gordon Grossmann


This murderer needs to be locked away

Re: “Duncan killer out 60 days for ‘healing,’” Aug. 21.

I was living in Duncan when Suzanna Seto was murdered. The crime stunned and terrified people in the Cowichan Valley, and as a member of the medical community I was aware of some of the details of the horrific attack.

The crime remained unsolved for more than two years, until a subsequent attack on a woman in northern B.C. led to the arrest of Kelly Toop, who had told that victim what he had done to Seto.

I do not have access to psychiatrist’s assessments of this man but he seems clearly to fall into the category of sexual sadistic psychopathy.

While there is some debate as to the causes of this disorder (i.e. genetics vs. environment – and it would seem that Toop had a very unfortunate early life) there is little debate as to whether such individuals can be “cured.” They cannot.

This reality seems to be supported by a 2019 psychologist’s report that Toop’s “risk for violent and sexual reoffending remains high.”

This, after 37 years of incarceration.

One must then question the parole board’s description that “the unescorted temporary absence reflects a first step toward a safe and gradual reintegration process.”

I am not an advocate for capital punishment, with its inherent biases and potential for mistakes, but there are cases where individuals have shown themselves incapable of living in society without destroying the lives of others and their families, and these people must remain incarcerated.

Toop is clearly one of these people. Would this parole board have advocated the “gradual re-integration” of Clifford Olson?

Tim Relf


Address population growth in climate talk

Re: “Facts matter in discussing fossil fuels,” and “Amid climate crisis, we must change the way we look at land,” columns, Aug. 18.

Thanks to Trevor Hancock for pointing out that carbon dioxide levels are the highest they been in 800,000 years.

Should we be surprised by that? What was the earth’s population 800,000 years ago?

Continually attacking the fossil-fuel industry is Janus-faced, particularly when the column next to it, by David Suzuki, addresses land use and the way we “manage forests and grow, process and distribute food.”

This has long been a tongue-in-cheek reply from supporters of the oil and gas industry around the causes of the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere. That is, the methane emissions produced by cattle throughout the world.

Hence, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s jump onto the latest bandwagon, calling for Canadians to eat less meat and more plant food. It seems the avant-garde of the environmental protection movement has taken it seriously and is moving on to greener pastures.

Clearly, the rise in CO2 is attributable to many things, not the least of which is world population growth, which neither Hancock or Suzuki seem to want to talk about.

The dilemma we face is how to manage population growth in the face of governments’ economic arguments for “growth and development.”

One of the ways Canada can address that is to significantly reduce its immigration intake. Alternative land management and massive reforestation are part of the solution.

The oil-and-gas sector is doing its part by continually developing state-of-the-art technology, such as “carbon-capture” technology developed in Alberta.

In keeping with Hancock’s desire to ensure the public discussion is “informed not misinformed,” all this should inform public discussion.

Even Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has recognized that Canada should be self-sufficient in respect of oil and gas, and not reliant on foreign oil.

Connor Whelan


Idling cruise ships pollute city’s air

Re: “Cruise ships targeted for grey-water dumping,” Aug 15

Along with grey-water dumping in our waters by cruise ships, there are, of course, the sulphur dioxide emissions into our city’s air of two idling cruise ships at dock (an average day at Ogden point).

Bikes, cars, ships: Get your environmental priorities together down at city hall, eh?

John A. Fry


Protecting caribou a huge challenge

I visited a reindeer herder in Norway and felt the ground rumble from the movements of a nearby herd of several thousand caribou. Since then, I have wanted to appreciate all sides of the difficult challenge our Canadian leadership is called to deal with in their stewardship for the remarkable caribou.

I am inspired by the history of Ingenious uses generations of First Nations and Inuit people have developed for caribou skins, antlers, bones, sinew and fat. I am told even the toenails have a specific use. Every bit of the animal has been utterly respected and appreciated.

But I am afraid these resilient creatures are no match for our breathtaking stripping of their homeland. Add the effects of climate change and the long-term outlook for caribou is bleak.

Should we be killing the wolves to protect the caribou? How moral is it to shoot wolves from helicopters? Does that approach feel right? How effective are liberal hunting practices?

Are maternity pens (capturing pregnant females and protecting them in a predator-proof enclosure) working? Are we sure of the value of our actions or are we just traumatizing animals? Do we really need to chase these lichen-eating giants from their land for our pleasurable snowmobiling and heli-skiing habits?

Will the northern herds be lost to our want of the oil beneath their ancient hooves?

The questions are not easy for leaders with divided constituents. I feel sorry for the current herd of leaders, too.

Thelma Fayle


Wilson-Raybould wrong to pursue criminal charge

Re: “SNC-Lavalin controversy tails PM to Quebec,” Aug. 19.

It seems to me that our justice system has been improving lately, using more often the venerable old practice of “restorative justice,” such as sentencing offenders to “community service” instead of prison. But we are still too focused on punishing criminals rather than requiring them to make restitution.

I was thinking about this in regard to the bribery charges against SNC Lavalin.

In my opinion, Jody Wilson-Raybould was wrong to choose to pursue a criminal charge for SNC Lavalin when she had the option of “deferred prosecution” accompanied by various kinds of compensation from the company. Judging from letters to the editor in the Times Colonist on this issue, my opinion is very much in the minority.

Jim Hill


Trudeau’s actions are like those of Trump

Re: “SNC-Lavalin controversy tails PM to Quebec,” Aug. 19.

All of the Liberal cabinet members stood strong behind Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments regarding the ethics commissioner’s findings in the SNC-Lavalin report. Why would they not? They want his endorsement for future cabinet jobs.

Refusing to accept the report reminds us of the actions displayed by U.S. President Donald Trump. So is it now Justin Trump or Donald Trudeau in Ottawa?

William Jesse


Containers with sand could take your butts

While walking around the neighbourhood recently I noticed that around every bus stop the ground is littered with cigarette butts.

Wouldn’t it be sensible to have a decorative container filled with sand positioned at the end of the bus stop bench ? Problem solved.

Marianne Stewart


From potholes to super smooth

A one-block section of a Rockland area road has been transformed from potholes to sheer beauty.

I called Victoria’s roads department and spoke to a very accommodating woman, and explained the deplorable condition of Maud Street.

In about two weeks, work had started. Not only was the roadway replaced but new sidewalks, planter area and curbs were completed on August 9.

Well done! Much appreciated by all of us that live in the area.

Doug Brimacome


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