Letters Dec. 8: Growler grumbling; residential schools; COVID awareness

Yes, drivers are always at fault

In his column, Steve Wallace asked: “Are drivers always at fault when cyclist hits door?”

The short answer is “Yes,” because opening a door into a bike lane is the same as dropping a gate into a car lane without notice. As a driver, I have 100 per cent responsibility according to law and common sense to ensure I do not put a large and heavy object into a travel lane.

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Wallace missed a great opportunity to point out that the road design with an unprotected bike lane sandwiched between motor vehicle traffic and parking (the door prize) is considered unsafe and is being replaced in many areas including Victoria by protected designs that are safer for all users of the road.

In cases involving common road safety issues, systemic fixes are superior to post-crash action and playing the blame game.

Bharat Chandramouli

Close the border to sound as well

Jack Knox wrote of grumbles about Growlers. We’ve heard them for three solid days in Cordova Bay — 60 kilometres from the naval base on Whidbey Island as the crow flies.

When they started back in 2008, we were (mis) informed that it was due to a runway realignment and would be ­temporary.

Knox wrote about complaints in 2015 and there now are several lawsuits in federal courts over the U.S. navy jet noise, including a class-action lawsuit filed for 24 individuals and couples seeking damages from the navy over Growler aircraft practice.

Now there will be over 100 Growlers stationed there, according to Knox, and we will hear them here in Canada even more often.

Could the border be closed for sound, too?

Gene Valeriote

This church is waiting for end of pandemic

On behalf of Lutheran Church of the Cross in Victoria, we are thankful for the diligent leadership of Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and their Health Ministry team during the ­pandemic.

We appreciate how hard it must be to wrestle with public health challenges on a daily basis. Their empathy for the health and well-being of all residents of B.C. is evident in their frequent public briefings.

The province’s clear recommendations to faith communities have helped us implement COVID-19 protocols within the congregation, including the tough decision of cancelling in-person worship.

We stand behind their decision to limit in-person worship based on current research and data, in order to protect the health of members of faith communities and the wider community.

Following COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks and limiting in-person worship, gives faith communities the freedom to plan for a future when it is safer to invite people into worship spaces.

Working together we can lessen the strain we are placing upon nurses, doctors, and all front-line workers and their families.

We give thanks for the work of scientists and researchers developing vaccines for wide distribution, longing for the day when this time of waiting is over, and we can gather together more fully once again.

Until then, we are faithfully waiting, not gathering for worship, committing to acts of love, observing COVID-19 protocols.

Joanne Solomonson, chair
Rev. Lyle McKenzie, co-pastor
Rev. Lyndon Sayers, co-pastor
Lutheran Church of the Cross

Please do not disrespect COVID victims

Just recently I’ve talked to a couple of people who have a belligerent attitude regarding what’s going on globally right now. They seem to think it’s all overblown. Well, it’s not overblown, it’s not a hoax, it’s not “fake news.” It’s real and it’s dangerous to think otherwise. I also believe that anyone who downplays the severity of this virus is disrespecting the millions who have died and all those who have lost loved ones to this horrible virus.

Diane Ball

École Beausoleil is not French immersion

Student enrolment at École Beausoleil (a.k.a. Sundance Elementary School) on Bank Street as well as École Victor-Brodeur require a student’s parent(s) to have French origin and for the preferred, spoken language at home to be French.

These schools (building and land) are leased from school district 61 and operate under the Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones (FNCSF). They are not School District 61 French Immersion schools.

Some enrolled students at École Beausoleil might live in the South Jubilee community while many others are transported by bus from the Greater Victoria area.

These French-language schools are vital in strengthening the Francophone culture and promoting lifelong bilingualism. However, suggesting that building a new École Beausoleil would relieve the pressure of climbing enrolment in School District 61 is misleading. South Jubilee community members and School District 61 parents/families deserve to have ­factual information.

Don Roy

This design suits neither old nor new

Re: “Buildings worth saving if they can be living, breathing part of community,” commentary, Dec. 1.

Luke Mari of Aryze Developments wants Victoria to move into the future with its architecture.

I think it would be a little easier if the designs were better. The proposed rendering of the Bank Street School and a new École Beausoleil is surreal, suiting neither old nor new.

It’s OK to go to an art museum and see a Salvador Dali painting, then leave. It’s a different matter to have to live in one.

The Atrium Building on Yates Street is modernistic, yet beautiful, mimicking a boat, reminiscent of our location by the sea. Perhaps it would be worth studying.

Amy Robertson

Residential schools had no positive side

Re: “Important to note both sides of the story,” letter, Dec. 3.

In my more than 30 years as a working journalist I learned something other than Steve Weatherbe’s lesson that there are two sides to the residential school saga.

An issue as complex as this requires one to look at the origin and reason behind the institution. It has been well-established by historians, in documents and commissions and accepted by the Government of Canada that the residential school system was an attempt at cultural genocide — the wiping out of thousands of years of First Nation ­history, language, law, education, literature and culture.

Suggesting there is a positive side is similar to the trope used by Jim Crow lawmakers that, while some Africans suffered under slavery, many were ­better off because they no longer had to scrounge for an existence, their food and lodging were provided and they had work to occupy their time. That some Africans survived slavery and achieved greatness does not place this evil institution in a positive light.

Similarly, because some First Nations rose above the evil institution that was meant to destroy their culture is more an indictment of the racism that placed them in the schools, rather than a positive story of their survival.

Imagine what Canada could be had we incorporated the First Nation medicine, culture, experience and strength rather than attempt to destroy it.

Attempts to gloss over the loss and harm from this institution doesn’t bring balance.

Gerry Klein

Wonderland event would be COVID safe

Purchasers of tickets for the Victoria Wonderland Christmas light drive-through event at Ogden Point, scheduled for the weekend before Christmas, received emails stating that the show has been postponed indefinitely.

The event was imagined and designed to be a COVID-19 safe event. I understand that Toronto, one of our nation’s COVID hotspots, is allowing Pearson International Airport to go ahead with its own very similar event.

Attendees of both events remain in their cars, so there is no chance of spreading the virus but to others within the same car, who should all be within each other’s home bubble anyway.

Forcing this event to cancel seems like excessive regulation. Please, let us rethink this decision.

Allan Reid


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