Letters July 14: Making amends for past mistakes; Toxins from wrecks a ticking time bomb

The question: How can we make amends?

Re: “Unmarked graves found on Penelakut Island, tribe says,” July 13.

Ever since I talked to a young Indigenous woman about a year ago who told me that “My grandmother went to the residential school on Kuper Island — but she survived,” I pondered exactly what she meant by that cryptic comment.

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Now I know, and it’s shocking.

That residential school, like many others across the country, was a death camp — our very own Canadian holocaust. And I, as a white Canadian, am ashamed. The question remains: What can we do to truly make amends?

Brian Case
North Saanich

Not easy to prove your immunization

After my second dose of vaccine, I was advised that after 48 hours I could go online and get my immunization record.

I did apply, and found out that unless I had a mobile device, I could not get it.

After numerous phone calls, I was told I could go to my family doctor or any walk-in clinic and they could get it for me. Not so.

I was also told to laminate the cardboard record I had received after my shots and it would suffice. Is this all I am going to have, and if it gets lost or stolen, how will I be able to prove I was fully vaccinated? If my doctor cannot access it, who could?

The last I heard was that the government was trying to find a way to allow those of us without a mobile device access to the record. But they did not know when. I have taken a photo of the card in the meantime.

William Jesse
Victoria

Stop stalling on vaccine certification

If the NDP government really cares about our economy they are going to have to establish immunization certificates soon.

Those flimsy cards we received are not enough for most border authorities.

Having a vaccine certificate — a simple, reliable and secure way to determine who is inoculated — will be critical to making work and leisure safe for everyone.

Requiring proof of vaccination is not new. Remember the yellow vaccination booklets for international travel?

The importance of knowing who has been vaccinated is not just a health issue but is vital to economic revival. The European Union has already developed a digital vaccination certificate and New York has rolled out a smartphone app.

So tell the B.C. provincial government “to get on” with it. If we wait for Ottawa, it will likely be 2024!

Rosalind Coleman
Brentwood Bay

Remove all toxins from new and old wrecks

Why did it take 53 years to undertake the much-needed removal of oil and fuel from the MV Schiedyk?

Granted, removal-pumping technology has greatly improved since the Schiedyk hit that underwater ledge and sunk in Nootka Sound. And the site was thankfully monitored by Canadian authorities who noticed some oil leakage.

There was no more time to waste.

Still, those decades of foot-dragging may have seen a tragic eco-scenario off historic Bligh Island sitting amid a pristine ecology that’s home to the Mowachaht and Muchalaht First Nations.

I now urge all levels of our governments, including First Nations’ councils, to have fuel and other toxins removed from all new and old wrecks as soon as possible — after they sink or potentially before they submerge.

We simply cannot afford to take any more fuel-oil chances with our fragile, sadly threatened environment.

Finally, Canada and B.C. should become leaders in this type of job-creating salvage operation while thankfully ridding our beloved coasts of such preventable toxic tragedies.

Peter W. Rusland
Duncan

Make it cheaper to provide housing

I was shocked to read about Saanich municipality rapidly jacking up development charges of all kinds when there is such an acute shortage of affordable housing in much of the country.

Saanich needs to make it cheaper for builders to do their jobs. As well, the province must stop Saanich — and likely other municipalities as well — from laying on expensive bureaucratic flab as the price of housing keeps spiralling to the stratosphere.

Louis Guilbault
Victoria

Spoiled little dogs enjoy cold towels

Thanks to the reader who suggested the freezing of wet towels to be placed around the neck to alleviate some of the heat-wave miseries for us humans.

I have a friend who does something similar for her very furry little dog friend. She dampens towels and lays them out flat in her freezer until they become somewhat stiff.

When the poor little fellow is panting and uncomfortable in high temperatures she lays these cold towels over and under him and he is immediately cooled and much more comfortable.

I’m sure sprinklers and wading pools work fine for bigger dogs, but the really little guys mostly don’t care for that kind of activity — they prefer to lie in the shade with a cold towel.

We’re not talking about “real” dogs here, just spoiled little lap dogs, although the big guys would probably also enjoy the same “spa” treatment.

Jacquelyn Ross
Coombs

Canada: A land of grovellers

On a recent morning while I was listening to Northwest Public Radio, they played the Grand March from Verdi’s wonderful opera Aida.

The march spoke to me of triumph and glory, something not to be found in Canada today. Canada has become a land of grovellers. We prostate ourselves before rights jockeys, globalization, pharmaceutical companies, political correctness, Red China, “wokeness” and much more.

Probably our greatest prime minister was Sir John A. Macdonald. He may have been a drunkard and a racist but he built a nation coast-to-coast. He took scandalous risks but got the job done.

Do we see any potential leader capable of such nation-building on today’s political stage?

David Pearce
Victoria

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