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Letters Jan. 28: Easing poverty with productive work; manage geese with help of dogs

Instead of just redistributing wealth, the way to get people out of poverty is to enable them to do productive work to earn a living, a letter-writer says. CP FILE

Path out of poverty is productive work

Re: “We must tax the rich, for the benefit of all,” column, Jan. 22.

I could not for the life of me imagine that anyone, much less Trevor Hancock, a retired UVic professor of public health, still proclaims as virtue the ideals espoused by Marx and Engels in their Communist Manifesto of 1848. Those ideals are as impractical, unworkable and immoral now as they were in the middle of the 19th century.

While I concur that our convoluted and gerrymandered tax laws allow very wealthy individuals (who make ­DiCaprio’s Wolf of Wall Street look like my maiden aunt) to avoid proper, just and even taxation, the Robin Hood approach to re-distribution of wealth does not fly.

I know of many poor people who are just as rotten to the core, and so do you. Scoundrels abound; it has nothing to do with wealth or lack of it.

As for the efficacy of redistributing all this ill-gotten wealth, Hancock’s supposition that the trillions stolen from the rich to be funnelled to the most deserving poor would lift two billion people out of poverty has no basis in reality.

No, the way to drag a person out of poverty is to enable them to do productive work, plain and simple.

There is that old adage which Hancock chooses to ignore: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

Oh, and if you then steal all the fish he catches, he will leave you, and go somewhere else, leaving you with no fish to steal.

M.D. Hansen

If culls don’t work, what about the bison?

Once again I read an opinion expressing the futility of solving a wildlife problem by resorting to killing off (culling) offending pests. This time with respect to Canada geese.

If culling doesn’t work then where have the millions of Great Plains Bison, millions of carrier pigeons, vast schools of Pacific Sockeye and Spring salmon gone? Some species of whales are also threatened due to human over-harvesting.

Using the reasoning of the cull ­protester, we should have seen even greater numbers of now near-extinct creatures. Perhaps someone from the anti-cull support groups could explain all that to us. I would sure like to know the answer.

But wait, maybe it’s just urban deer and geese that resist culls and that sounds like a sure winner to provide endless food for all of us.

David Smith

Send the dogs after the Canada geese

In Ontario, where I recently moved from, herding dogs are often used to keep Canada geese off of golf courses and public parks.

The private school on Lake Ontario near me had their own “goose dog,” and encouraged dog owners to let their dogs flush out the geese to keep them from pooping on the playing fields.

So ironically, I’m now having to re-train my dogs not to chase sea birds. What was once an activity that drew praise is now a federal offence, sigh. Maybe enthusiastic dogs can have a role in managing the geese here in Victoria?

Shelagh Ross

Still questions about geese-management plan

I certainly hope that before the Capital Regional District adopts a proposed goose-management plan they assure us that no off-leash dogs will harass the geese before they are killed.

Also, I’m curious as to how you distinguish between a migratory goose and a non-migratory goose.

Fred Cox

Those brights lights are just annoying

Now that bright white headlights are being written about again I feel I must chime in.

I went to a large auto parts retailer one day looking to upgrade my old yellow headlights on my truck to some fancy new bright white ones. The guy behind the counter asked me: “Do you want the legal ones or the illegal ones?“

I bought the legal lights because I didn’t want to be one of those annoying, selfish drivers who does not care about other people.

I drive for a living in and around Victoria and I can tell you with confidence some of the white headlights out there are too bright.

When I see blotches in my vision for the next couple of blocks after ­encountering these even during the day, I know somebody is using the wrong headlights.

C. Scott Stofer

Public bus service needed to the airport

Availability of public bus service to Victoria International Airport has long been advocated by some of your readers and I think it is timely to review the issue. It is evident that it is an international airport and it is not too ambitious to expect public bus service.

Two of the advantages:

People, particularly young people, who do not have a car and cannot afford the cost of a taxi would benefit when there is public bus service to the airport.

Environment-conscious people willing to forgo driving a car to the airport would achieve lesser carbon footprint and air pollution.

Even with the availability of public bus service to the airport, the usage of taxis might not diminish as many still prefer not having to carry heavy luggage onto a bus and having to use a bus transfer.

Harry Kwok

Strict controls to limit ammunition purchases

In the 1960s, I applied for a firearms permit to purchase a .22-calibre target pistol for competitive shooting. This application had to be made to the chief constable of Hampshire, where I was living.

When I received the permit it was in thin booklet form with stiff covers. It stated the weapon to be purchased, and the gun dealer entered the serial number of the weapon. The permit stated the weapon could only be used in approved ranges and kept in a secure stowage.

The permit stated the maximum number of rounds that could be held and the number of rounds that could be purchased at one time. The dealer had to record the type of ammunition purchased, amount purchased, date purchased and dealer’s signature.

If memory serves me correctly, the maximum number of rounds I could hold was 200, and the number I could purchase was 100. Each time I wanted to purchase more ammunition I had to go to the dealer with my licence so he could see what was allowed. I had to fill in the rounds already held, then he would record the new purchase.

This was the procedure for all handguns and rifles.

Years later, after a mass shooting of schoolchildren in Scotland, it became very difficult to obtain a firearms permit for handguns, even for civilians who were Olympic handgun target shooters.

This sort of strict control would have prevented the bank-robber brothers from legally amassing 3,500 rounds of ammunition.

Ed Buscall
Brentwood Bay

Federal government must act on housing

It has been reported that Canada is expected to welcome 465,000 immigrants this year, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025 — nearly double the pace of a decade ago.

It has also been reported that there was a 23 per cent shortfall in the construction of affordable housing in 2022, and that there are not enough trades workers to build the number of housing units required. Many trades workers are retiring, or have retired already.

In view of the above, Canadians should demand that the federal government fund and construct enough new affordable housing units to house the 450,000 plus new immigrants that they plan to admit every year.

If the feds can’t do this, they should reduce the allowed immigration levels accordingly. Why should Canadian society collectively turn itself inside out trying to cope with unrealistically high levels of immigration?

Housing shortages, unaffordable rents, the health care crisis, more crime and violence in big cities, environmental degradation — all flow from too much growth, too quickly.

If this continues, this issue will be a big part of the next federal election.

Doug Lee


• Email letters to:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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