Letters July 16: Indian Act; help with healing; disliking the commute

Indian Act is a major problem

I am a senior who has read many commentaries regarding the vandalism of churches and statues negatively affecting law and order and reconciliation.

My hope is that immediate attention be given to dealing with the foundational underpinnings of numerous problems that include the significant failures attached to the residential schools.

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This means that the Indian Act and all the connected Departments and bodies, however named, be abolished over the next short period of time.

Would the Indian Act and the related governance be enacted today? It is the root, the legislative base, the starting point, of all the many problems that have followed it until today.

Then, why does this monstrous legal creation, and its many ill effects, continue to exist while being such a roadblock to meaningful reconciliation.

The churches over the years and especially as of late have received a lot of deserved criticism regarding the residential schools. But, a stronger focus now should be on the federal government along with those representing indigenous interests in terminating this anachronistic legislation.

Some members of the Indigenous community have resisted such dismantling in the past. Now the Indigenous interests have an opportunity to participate in a reconciliation program involving the removal of the Indian Act, with thought out alternative replacements to address important issues like safe water, food and housing, all of which would appeal to the broad Canadian population.

Let us by working together find effective solutions that come about and matter much sooner, than later.

Bob Lisevich
Sidney

More investigation would help healing

Re: “Don’t become hardened to news about residential-school grave sites, says Turpel-Lafond,” July 14.

I totally agree with Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the director of the University of British Columbia Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre.

The horrific acts of reported “genocide” against our Indigenous neighbours and their children “should be probed properly,” as she has stated.

However, to “probe properly,” should the ground radar “hits” not be established as children’s graves, instead of possible “voids”? After all, as “reported,” the radar had a large error margin.

Would not the next step be a forensic examination to establish if the children were “murdered,” as reported … and if so, should all the sites across Canada be secured as possible murder scenes?

Surely our Indigenous neighbours deserve a nationwide investigation as recommended, regardless of the cost.

Such action would go a long way in helping to heal the deep wounds caused by colonialism.

John Walker
Cobble Hill

Retiring instead of returning to office

Re: “Fight climate change by ­working from home,” commentary, July 14.

I totally agree. So much so that I am retiring from my position as mainframe developer in one of the Crown corporations.

There was a total lack of any apparent variation in the work-from-home guideline of six days per fortnight. The impression I got was that it was their way or the highway.

As I have underlying health issues and did not feel safe in working in a cubicle farm of 200 or more people, I am retiring one day past the Sept. 7 return-to-work date.

Steve Simpson
Victoria

Don’t keep secrets about border plans

With July 21 less than a week away, you would think someone in Ottawa would have a clue as to whether the border between the United States and Canada is going to open or not and make it public so people who want to cross can make ferry plans and reservations for people wanting to go or come north or south.

With both countries having high percentages of fully vaccinated people, what is the problem in giving us a heads-up?

This is not a national security secret. B.C. Ferries and the Coho would appreciate a heads-up as well, I’m sure.

How about a little less secrecy and a lot more action please?

Alex Badiuk
Victoria

Think of James Bay, not of cruise ships

I find it astounding that there has been no mention of the negative impact that cruise ships — floating petri dishes — have on James Bay residents. Only economic figures are talked about.

What was announced as a $130-million industry pre-pandemic is now announced as $2.7 billion. How can this be?

Monies come from people who fly or drive here and stay for a vacation, supporting our hotels, restaurants, car rental agencies, shopping, whale watching, etc.

Seems downtown is once again booming.

It is not the cruise industry that is the mainstay. Cruise passengers come here for a few hours, walk around town, eat on the ships, don’t support hotels for accommodation, might have an ice cream or a beverage, get back on the ship.

They leave behind all their foreign garbage, trucked away by huge transport trucks driving throughout the city to Hartland landfill, even though none of it originated here.

They blanket James Bay with emissions, huge traffic, noise, and now maybe the COVID virus.

The people of James Bay must be considered in this scenario. We are the ones who pay taxes to Victoria, spend far more in any year than a tourist does, and we are the ones who put up with all the negatives of this industry with no compensation.

Please rethink the true benefit of this industry, not for just a few, but for the good of many.

Linda Klein
Victoria

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