Letters Jan. 22: Scofflaws who block traffic; paparazzi at work

Charge scofflaws who block traffic

Re: “Protesters block access to Swartz Bay ferry terminal, delay Monday sailings,” Jan. 20.

Once again, law-abiding citizens of our region are confronted with the illegal blockade of a public road and transportation system.

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This radical group of activists pulled the same stunt by blocking access to the Johnson Street Bridge a few months ago.

They will continue to harass the public and break the law unless they are arrested and charged with public mischief and obstruction of traffic on public roads.

Unfortunately, they will probably wear such a step as a badge of honour, as they believe they are saving the planet. If they want to protest and demonstrate, do it legally but with respect for the rights of others.

The majority of law-abiding citizens must have some rights and should not be forced to put up with this bunch of scofflaws.

Bev Highton
Oak Bay

Oblige protesters by arresting them

When protesters come fully prepared to be arrested for breaking the law, I can only encourage our authorities to oblige them.

Peter Foran

More blockades if no arrests are made

We are supposed to have rules and laws about blocking main roads, but it does not seem to apply to protesters and their groups.

A while ago, they blocked the Burrard Bridge in Vancouver and the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria, stopping people from going to their jobs and other business. No one was arrested.

On Monday, they blocked traffic for the ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, stopping people from going to appointments, including seniors who waited a long time for those appointments for their health problems.

I think our officials should have had police arrest them before they could block the roads illegally. If arrests are not made, it will happen again and again.

George Menchions
Cobble Hill

Put environment before economy

Short-term pain for long-term gain is the mantra for physical fitness. The Coastal GasLink pipeline across northern B.C. is short-term gain for long-term pain.

The local economy may benefit in the short run, but the resulting greenhouse gases will add to the pain of global warming.

Climate science has established beyond doubt that greenhouse gases resulting from burning fossil fuels are warming the climate, causing wildfires and disrupting long-established stable ecosystems.

Warmer winter temperatures allowed the mountain pine beetle to invade and destroy B.C.’s lodgepole pine forests. Climate warming has allowed destructive species such as bark beetles to invade and destroy boreal forest ecosystems around the planet.

Climate scientists attribute the 2017 wildfire that destroyed Fort McMurray, the catastrophic wildfires in Australia and California, rising sea levels and recent destructive extreme weather events to global warming.

If the world’s climate continues to warm, it’s only a matter of time until the coastal forests of B.C. and the western states fall victim to wildfire, and rising sea levels inundate low-lying coastal areas such as the Fraser River delta.

Premier John Horgan’s mantra for economic development appears to be short-term gain for long-term pain.

Harvey Williams

Hereditary chiefs’ role similar to Queen’s

Here is the simplest way to understand the relationship between hereditary chiefs and band member-elected chiefs.

Think the Queen and our prime minister. The PM’s party was elected to more seats in the House of Commons than any other single party. Our country is governed by our elected members of parliament, legislature or city/town council. Not by the Queen or her appointed representatives in Canada.

Hereditary chiefs are simply the Indigenous way of saying monarchy. No more, no less. I know that many will say it is somehow different, but in truth, it is not.

Canadians of every political stripe, of any religion, of any ethnicity, would become unglued at the thought of the Queen dictating what we could or could not do in our country.

Ron Sleen

Job creation and land protection, too

British Colombians would benefit from a much deeper understanding of the complexities of Indigenous governance in Canada and how to reconcile these systems with federal and provincial law.

Clearly, there are tensions in Wet’suwet’en governance between elected and hereditary leaders, and the situation in their communities is very complicated.

Hereditary chiefs of the clans and houses who hold their positions by birthright are trying to protect the lands and waters of their traditional territories.

Elected chiefs of band councils are working to secure jobs for their members and an end to poverty in their communities. The broader community in Northern B.C. surely desires the same outcomes.

Everyone should at least agree on the basic goals: secure jobs, poverty reduction, and land and water protection, and then work to reconcile our governance systems in a respectful and non-confrontational fashion.

Jamie Alley

If working illegally, send paparazzi home

Apparently, paparazzi photographers have set up camp at Meghan and Harry’s mansion.

Thus they are “working,” and as “tourists” from the U.K., they are violating Canadian law if they have no work permits.

They should be ushered out of Canada immediately.

John Vanden Heuvel

Maybe Harry should seek refugee status

Now about Harry. We have to assume that he has followed proper immigration procedure and submitted an application for permanent residency, along with a job offer that has been advertised at an employment office.

As he seems to have no particular trade or profession, it is doubtful he will qualify — he may have to get in line with the horde of other asylum seekers who face suppression of human rights at home.

As he had been under guard all his life, he can actually say he is in personal danger and entitled to some haven of safety, therefore the status of refugee would be appropriate, along with monetary allowances (beer money).

Meghan probably lost her American citizenship when she moved permanently, but would still be required to pay U.S. taxes on foreign earnings. She will also need the offer of a job no one else wants to accompany her residency application for Canada.

All in all, it would be good to see them settle in our safe little haven to bring up their children in a normal and healthy environment. It is a place most of us chose, so why shouldn’t they? They can afford a good life here and will pay their way.

We should applaud their bid for freedom and get off their case.

Bill Labron

Victoria police chief needs more support

Victoria has an exceptional police force under the leadership of Chief Constable Del Manak. It saddens me that he constantly has to justify to city council the dire need to hire more officers.

I know only too well the dedication and sacrifice of being a VicPD officer.

Downtown is no longer safe. I enjoyed working downtown for 35 years and have seen a steady decline over the past 10 years. Lately, I have been bumped, body checked and cursed for merely minding my own business. I feel less safe here than I do in any other city I have visited.

Manak deserves the support and respect of mayor and council.

Hilary Jordan

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