Letters Jan. 12: Person of the Year nominee; apologies to Karens; politicians and travel

An early nominee for Person of the Year

Re: “Moose on the Goose? Sooke hobby farmer wants to ride her steer on the trail,” Jan. 3.

The headline got my attention. The only-in-Victoria (well, actually Sooke) story developed in the first column inches of the article.

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Then, wham! The Page 2 photo of Kristy and family and creatures great and small, her Temple Grandin philosophy and her work on the weekend as a nurse on the front lines of the pandemic were the clinchers. She’s my first nominee for Victoria’s 2021 Person of the Year.

Steve New
Victoria

Apologize to Karens, victims of social media

Let’s speak the truth about Jack Knox and the “Karen” fiasco.

Who cares and so what if some miscreants on the almighty social media network decided at some point to select the name Karen to stand for a “rude, arrogant, and offensive” female?

That’s slander, pure and simple. Anyone with half a brain and one iota of maturity should have learned long ago to ignore and/or defy slander as nothing more than subversive name-calling and mob rule. Schoolyard stuff.

Let’s hope that the time will come for all those whose lives are now filled with and ruled by their allegiance to social media, when they realize the hollow rhetoric which apparently rules their lives.

Time for an apology to every Karen in the world from all the rude, arrogant, and offensive people who unjustly vilified the name, as well as an apology for any other people victimized by social media.

Claire Paterson
Victoria

Cowichan Tribes setting a fine example

Re: “Cowichan Tribes orders members to stay at home,” Jan. 8.

The headline says it all. Finally, a leadership strong enough to require compliance and, from the article, deploy the means to enforce it.

Maybe we shouldn’t have taken over running the province 150 years ago — the First Nations have been telling us that ever since!

Roger Love
Saanich

Free lunches were not a problem

I cannot believe how much ink has been spilled over Victoria council’s decision to cancel free lunches for meetings held over the lunch break.

For part-time councillors giving up their time at lunch and not be given a sandwich on the public dime is ludicrous.

Surely they had other more important city business to transact other than talking about the cost of a brown bag lunch?

Moreover, in cancelling these low-cost lunches, council has stiffed yet another small business trying to survive in these troubled times. A false economy indeed!

David Collins
Victoria

We missed a chance to fix the problem

I have watched, for the second time, a documentary produced by KOMO TV called The Fight for the Soul of Seattle and was struck by how similar Victoria’s problems were.

Although Seattle is much larger and the situation more severe, it would appear that we are heading in the same direction if those in charge do not take action.

I believe provincial and municipal governments should watch this video and a previous documentary titled Seattle is Dying and take a long hard look at what our future will be without dedicated solutions which separate the truly homeless because of hard times, from those with mental health, addiction or alcohol problems.

Each of these require different solutions.

I remembered an article from the Daily Colonist of May 31, 1978, during the heroin crisis, where the government of the day proposed a Heroin Treatment Act that would offer long-term treatment for addicts. It was strongly opposed by the opposition, who would not even recommend any amendments. This is why we are where we are today.

Darryl Radick
Victoria

A handy gift to America’s enemies

I wonder if those supposed “super-patriots” (who are really America’s biggest threat to democracy) realize their actions gave a gift-wrapped present to those fanatics and countries that are also threats to America.

Those same external enemies of America, e.g., remember 9/11, are once again celebrating at the damage inflicted upon the United States. This time by citizens.

Yes, the reality of the attempted coup by the so-called American patriots gave democracy’s enemies a real boost!

Many years ago, the FBI and other security agencies warned that the biggest threats to America’s democracy and stability were the internal fanatic, radical and supremacists groups within America. Looks like no one took it seriously.

Steve Frankel, an American citizen
Ladysmith

A reminder of an attack in Victoria

The visual and visceral shock of Wednesday’s insurrection in the United States came from the invasion and sacking of a building (the U.S. Capitol). But the actual desecration lay in the mob’s attack on constitutional democracy, by attempting through force and intimidation to prevent an institution (the U.S. Congress) from transacting essential business.

The distinction is important. Viewed from here in Victoria, the visuals of Wednesday’s events look very foreign, but the desecration is painfully familiar.

Less than a year ago, a mob in Victoria — it was, as in D.C., a subset of a larger demonstration — tried to prevent our democratically elected legislature from sitting and from transacting the constitutionally essential business of hearing and debating a speech from the throne.

Members of the two mobs would no doubt disagree on most aspects of public policy, but in the assault on constitutional democracy they are brothers-in-arms.

I hope that those in Victoria who last year tried to use force and intimidation to block legislators, civil servants and the press from entering the legislature are this week feeling a healthy sense of moral discomfort, and perhaps rethinking the side they took.

Grant Smith
Victoria

Do what you want, then say you’re sorry

What is it with politicians thinking they’re “elite” and above the rest of us peons and entitled so they can do whatever they want and simply stick an apology out there after?

They seem to believe in the idea “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission,” the same as so many of them do when they want to do something as part of their agendas.

This seems to be very prevalent in Victoria council. Is there any wonder why people just don’t trust politicians any more? I know I don’t.

Mike Butler
Victoria

We were foolish to elect these people

To say I am disappointed and disgusted is a gross understatement of how I really feel regarding these people.

They were elected by the citizens of this country to serve as their representatives in our democracy to help guide our government in carrying out the wishes of the public.

They have acted with complete disregard, arrogance, and insensitivity. Contemptible attitude and display of assumed privilege and entitlement are totally offensive and repugnant. They were given the privilege by the public who elected them and then behave in this way.

They are Canadian citizens first, the same as the rest of us, no more and no less.

If they want to be respected they must earn it, but obviously they haven’t a clue how to, and these are the kind of people we foolishly entrusted to run our country.

No wonder the public has little faith in our governments.

John Martin
Nanaimo

Resign? But then we need a byelection

Several letters have been submitted demanding Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow resign due to his foreign travel.

If he does so, then we, the taxpayers, will be faced with yet another costly ­byelection — as was the case with the self-serving former councillor Laurel Collins. So perhaps we should just wait until the next term and if so desired, show your displeasure then.

Gordon Hansen
Victoria

Basic civil rights and First Nations

Many Canadians, looking down from their lofty perch, have been witnessing an exposed truth that people of colour in the United State are and have been systematically discriminated against and denied their civil rights.

We admonish the United States to correct these injustices.

But wait a minute, how do we treat our citizens of colour? Not any better.

There are 8,000 First Nations people who do not have access to safe, clean drinking water, which has been promised to them for more than 20 years. First Nations people are five per cent of Canada’s population,yet they make up 23.2 per cent of people in jails and penitentiaries.

The facts of injustice and mistreatment of the First Nation people has a very long history. We need to clean our own house.

N.J. Hughes
Saanich

Non-essential but still responsible

I do not feel that the mayor of ­Castlegar committed an egregious offence by traveling in his own vehicle to his own property two hours drive in the remote area from where he lives, to gather with no one else.

That action is not even on the same page as elected officials who boarded public transportation and flew hours away to hotels and resorts in warmer climates over Christmas.

As I understand the facts, care was taken to ensure no contact with other individuals or the property of others.

Guidelines against non-essential travel are just that, guidelines. No laws were broken and no one was put at risk.

It is inappropriate for someone to feel bullied for the actions taken. On Vancouver Island, people drove from Victoria to the Comox Valley and vice versa over the holidays.

While it may be non-essential travel, if Covid pandemic precautions were otherwise observed, we should be more gracious to those who made this decision in a responsible way.

Christy Faraher-Amidon
Comox

Honour system with lower speed limits

Good on Victoria city council for approving a city-wide 30 km/h speed limit on streets with no centreline. Too bad drivers and cyclists will ignore this law with impunity, just like they ignore other traffic laws.

Victoria police don’t have the resources to enforce a city-wide 30 km/h speed limit. Without meaningful enforcement, drivers and cyclists have no incentive to change their behaviour.

It’s quaint that most councillors believe the honour system is enough to make road users obey the law. But the only thing a 30 km/h speed limit will accomplish is to give Victoria residents yet another reason to shoot a dirty look and wag a finger at their neighbour.

Doug Stacey
Esquimalt

Special thanks to a math teacher

I like to skim the obits – I feel like I need to respect the people who have lived such long lives by at least reading about their lives.

On Jan. 10 I came across Alan Ormerod, who lived in Fort McMurray once upon a time. I feel compelled to write this letter and thank Alan for being such a great math teacher. I was a student at Fort McMurray Composite High school 1977-1980. He inspired me to become a teacher and to believe that I was a good learner. He made math easy for me, it was a logical process.

He would not have remembered me as a student as I was one of many he taught but I would like his family to know that he was a great teacher and I am sure he inspired many young people. I read his obituary and am grateful to see that he lived a full and active life.

To all teachers – you never know how you touch a life – but you do.

Kelly Betts
Mill Bay

Wasteful spending? Look at the Pentagon

Re: “U.S. spending bill stuffed with pork,” column, Jan. 10.

It’s no secret that Lawrie McFarlane is not a fan of government spending and now, not contented with blasting B.C. investment in social programs, he’s set his sights on the U.S.

As an American-born permanent resident of Canada, I take umbrage at his cherry-picking broadside.

Clearly the COVID relief package is critically needed as the U.S. has lagged behind Canada in providing necessary aid to individuals, businesses and local governments. In the months ahead, government investment will also be necessary for America’s decaying infrastructure, the green energy transition, providing access to health care, and more. With interest rates near zero percent, now’s the time to invest in a more secure future.

If McFarlane wants to fight wasteful spending, rather than flailing at programs supporting healthier eating, internet access, the arts, foreign aid, etc. I suggest he focus on the Pentagon.

With an unauditable budget of over $750 billion a year, he’ll find more than enough pork to keep him happy.

Ira Shorr
Victoria

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