Letters Aug. 4: Protect the vaccinated; Duncan town crier's valuable role

Protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated

As our federal politicians bumble towards yet another unnecessary election, the one issue that demands attention from our elected body (and yet has been entirely ignored) is what steps will a newly elected government of Canada take to protect the vaccinated population from the unvaccinated?

While there will be those that have legitimate, medical cause to avoid the COVID-19 vaccine, the lion’s share of resisters put us all at unimaginable risk.

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The time has come for all governments, federal, provincial and municipal, to force the unvaccinated to make the choice — vaccinate or lose those individual liberties we take for granted in our very civil society.

Personal choices that are contrary to the public good should not and cannot reign over those of us that made the choice to protect ourselves, our children and those most vulnerable.

If resisters cannot make the same choice, the time for necessary consequences has come.

Mike Houle
North Saanich

Unmasked? Unvaccinated? Then stay away from me

It seems there many who believe it is their God-given right to go amongst us, unvaccinated, in our time of peril, when the evidence is strong and abundant that to not be vaccinated ensures that COVID-19 wins and many of us die.

I respect your right to choose; with the caveat, that you must be shunned by the majority, confined to like-minded spaces, not be given any COVID-related sustenance; no emergency ward, no hospital, no access to public events, no contact with me or my family.

Keep your unmasked, unvaccinated distance from me and mine.

Whitney Moyer
Colwood

Duncan’s town crier had a valuable role

The City of Duncan is getting rid of the town crier in favour of a city ambassador. What else is a town crier but a city ambassador?

Ben Buss did a brilliant job over the past 10 years. Was there any discussion? Was there any public debate? Was the public even asked?

I am all for decolonization, but what is offensive about a town crier? They traditionally wear a military uniform.

This is what happens when you elect a bunch of people with no understanding of tradition and no respect for basic respect. Council never even spoke to him about this before making the decision.

The city paid for his original uniform more than 10 years ago, when Robert Alexander, the first town crier, retired. It cost about $1,000. Ben would appear at every city event and travel to many events all over the island and even internationally, to praise Duncan and encourage people to come and visit us.

It cost the city $600 a year afterwards to pay for his gasoline and to pay to have his uniform drycleaned. He is a wonderful man who took his job very seriously. He learned to play the bugle and added a Metis sash because of historical links between the regiment whose uniform he wore and the Metis people.

He competed against the world’s best and was considered 10th in the world. His cry about Duncan and the totems came fourth in New Zealand. He has spent $10,000 of his own money to travel, upgrade his uniform (e.g. square toed leather boots) and to undergo training.

What does Mayor Michelle Staples’ statement, “Their regalia and cries will live on in many for years to come,” even mean? Absolutely nothing.

Why could they simply not have waited until Ben wished to retire?

Sharon Jackson
Former city councillor
Duncan

Accessible buses have no place to park

Re: “Clover Point redesign ‘fixes’ what wasn’t broken,” column, July 30.

Years ago, I drove the Oak Bay Kiwanis bus to take residents on monthly outings around Victoria. The highlight of these trips was a stop at the end of Clover Point, where passengers could safely get out and feed the gulls, before returning home.

Often, one would see several accessible buses from other facilities parked on the loop at the same time. This is no longer possible because the new road design does not provide a safe place for buses to park, or turn around. As a result, Clover Point has become inaccessible to the disabled and those in residential care who rely on bus outings.

Some city councillors appear to be pushing their “no vehicle” ideology without seeking advice from existing stakeholders. Clover Point has traditionally been a location for viewing sunsets from behind the protection of a car windshield. It is also a great place for kite flying, but too windy to enjoy sitting at a picnic table.

Enough of this trial balloon! Please remove the picnic tables and reopen the road so that everyone, which includes the disabled, can again enjoy access to Clover Point.

Phil Hoen
Victoria

Flushed with pride at new Clover Point

This debate on Clover Point’s “new look” has failed to mention one key bonus — toilets!

Thank you, City Hall.

Anne Moon
Victoria

Nothing appealing in the revised Clover Point

I drove to Clover Point several times during the weekend, at different times and days. What a reconfigured disaster.

Dallas Road was a steady stream of cars, either driving by, or turning in from both directions.

There were queues of cars trying to exit left and right or enter from the left and right at Dallas, as a few cyclists zoomed through the cars without stopping, all through a narrow entry-exit way.

All the parking spots were occupied around the half loop. Cars were lined up, trying to navigate the turnaround circle at the end.

A woman with a baby buggy was trying to manoeuvre through the turning cars to get on the grass and walk to the other side of the stupid tight turnaround.

Most of the handicap spots were unoccupied (no wonder, it’s not safe to exit a car there). There were a few people sitting at the seagull-soiled benches or picnic tables — most would walk down the ramp and picnic on the beach out of the wind — also there were people walking or cycling off and on.

Cars were parked on the lawn near the boathouse, opposite where there’s an ugly cattle fence around the inside of the half-loop to deter cars or campers from parking there.

There is nothing to find appealing about this change to Clover Point compared with the way it used to be, which was a fun, enjoyable, and wonderful place to attend by car, bicycle, or on foot for decades.

Dave Paul
Victoria

Not seeing many people at Clover Point

I am down at Clover Point daily with my four-legged friend, and often in the evening. I have yet to see the new pedestrian-friendly format being used and enjoyed by the masses.

It would be refreshing to see this city council humble itself and admit they jumped the gun and were off base on this one.

I recall a comment from council leadership after they voted to progress with their current plan that they believe this council is “ahead of its time in their thinking and planning and everyone basically needs to catch up.”

With that attitude, I am doubtful they will change Clover Point to once again be more vehicle-accessible.

Election time is slowly coming, and hopefully we will see some fresh faces on the ballot.

Dana Miller
Victoria

We must move to a net-zero economy

Re: “Natural gas will help us reduce our emissions,” comment, July 31.

Gwyn Morgan’s propaganda piece for the fossil-fuel industry is particularly ill-timed, with the recent conflagration in Lytton and hundreds of heat-related deaths across the province.

The connection between rising CO2 levels caused mainly by fossil-fuel consumption and increasing worldwide frequency of heatwaves, fires, floods and other catastrophes is undeniable (except perhaps to those who spent their lives working for and deriving substantial financial benefit from the industry).

Morgan scatters numbers freely through his article, but omits some of the most important. Although it is true that the actual combustion of gas in a power plant releases only half the CO2 of coal, when the production and transportation of the gas is considered, the advantage disappears.

Its production via fracking releases fugitive emissions of methane (as much as four per cent of gas produced) which over 20 years is 80 times more harmful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

The overall result is that while this B.C. gas being burned in China may reduce Chinese emissions, the increased emissions in B.C. will balance this and make it impossible for us to meet our own unambitious targets, let alone net zero.

Morgan also ignores the recent rapid advances in battery technology and other ingenious ways of storing solar and wind energy, financial divestment from fossil fuels, and many other factors.

It is unconscionable that our provincial and federal governments are still subsidizing fossil fuel projects.

If our politicians can have the integrity to ignore the incessant well-funded lobbying of the fossil-fuel industry we can direct resources to ensure that we do indeed move towards a net zero economy.

It may require a retooling comparable to a wartime effort, but for the sake of our future generations we must make the transition.

Judy Gaylord
Victoria

Herd stupidity on climate awareness

I thank Dave Secco for his contribution (“Here are some signs of the climate emergency,” July 31) in which he listed, very convincingly, some symptoms of our inability to address the climate crisis.

At the top of the same page, Gwyn Morgan (former director of five global corporations) makes a case for LNG exports out of B.C., and about the futility of efforts to convert fully away from fossil fuels.

How sad that this commentary appears while the northern hemisphere is on fire. Morgan’s tired old argument is that if we don’t sell gas to China, they will burn coal.

LNG may have a lower carbon footprint, but most of it will be fracked out of the ground, with all the environmental impacts. Once the export structure is in place, market forces will push to keep the gas flowing for a long time. This is no solution to an emergency.

It may well be that it’s too late for any solution, given Secco’s succinct observations.

We are all in this together, and when the climate collapse is complete, in the lyrics of a song from the cold war, “we all go together when we go.” The behaviour of a large fraction of the world population leaves little hope.

We are exposed to herd stupidity when it comes to climate awareness.

Reinhard Illner
Victoria

Don’t waste money on natural-gas facilities

Re: “Natural gas will help us reduce our emissions,” commentary, July 31.

Gwyn Morgan starts from the false premise that we need to “reduce” our greenhouse gas emissions, and concludes that natural gas will help us do that.

In fact, to prevent things from getting worse, we need to reach a state of net-zero emissions. If all we do is “reduce” the emissions, we will keep adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and our climate crises will just keep getting worse. Anything less than reaching net-zero means we have failed.

Sinking money into natural gas facilities is a long-term investment, which will require a long-term period of use. That investment is actually a waste of money since we have to get to net-zero, not just a short-term reduction of emissions.

Bob Kreiss
Shirley

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