Letters July 17: Is cruise-ship reopening a win?; those unused tables

Cruise ships win, environment loses

Re: “November cruise-ship reopening buoys Victoria tourism officials,” July 16.

One for short-term profit. Zero for air quality, water quality, marine life and sustainability.

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Hilary Knight
Oak Bay

Vaccination demand is nothing new

For a very long time, proof of vaccination for certain diseases has been a requirement for international travel.

When I went to South Africa in 2013, I had to be able to prove vaccination for yellow fever, if I was coming from or through a country that was a yellow fever zone, and typhoid.

All over the world, this is the way it is. If you want to get into that country, you have to be able to prove you are vaccinated for whatever is on that country’s list.

That’s because countries have the right to protect their citizens from disease. So, while proof of vaccination for ­COVID-19 is something new, because it’s a new disease, having to prove your vaccination for it is not unusual, because all countries have the right to say “you can’t come here if you’re not vaccinated for that.”

Why is it considered to be an invasion of privacy to be asked for proof of vaccination? Whether you are or are not, you’ve made the choice, so why be upset at being asked what choice you made? Or if you can’t be, for a medical reason, again, why be upset at saying that?

If you want to go to a particular ­country, get the vaccinations you need, or don’t try to go there.

Laurie Crozier

Clover Point tables attract little interest

As July 15 was about midsummer and this was a beautiful sunny day with a typical light breeze, my handicapped wife and I decided to check out the new Clover Point design improvements.

From recent reports, we knew, of course, that we could no longer sit comfortably in the car facing the preferable western view; as you can see in the photo taken in late morning, those parking spaces are now occupied by picnic tables that are not exactly occupied by enthusiastic people picnicking.

Clover Point is always a breezy place, and the likelihood that people looking for a good picnic spot will flock here seems remote especially once summer temperatures are behind us.

Well done, you designers!

Gary Suter

We should not ignore the warning signs

With the unprecedented and deadly heat wave in British Columbia giving us a ­preview of what is to come, I hope that governments, at every level, will stop procrastinating when it comes to concrete action to slow global warming.

It was hotter — nearly 40 degrees at the Victoria airport — in our normally temperate Vancouver Island than I ever experienced in all my years living in Ottawa.

Stop buying pipelines and subsidizing big oil, coal mines and fracking for natural gas.

Stop clearcutting forests and cutting the few remaining old-growth trees.

Stop destroying our oceans with overfishing and plastics.

Stop letting bottled water companies drain our water supply.

Short-term gain for a few will contribute to long-term pain for our children, grandchildren and our environment.

The greed of man will destroy the very planet that we live on. We are the invasive species.

Subsidies should be used to retrain workers for creating renewable energy and cleaning up all those abandoned and polluting oil fields.

Rethink an economy that relies on ever increasing growth and the demand for more stuff.

Will future government apologies for the mistakes of the past be about ­ignoring all the early warning signs and expert advice and not acting quickly enough to be effective in slowing, or even stopping, global warming?

Stephanie Greer
North Saanich

Essential character trait is missing

The news reports on Ben Isitt’s ­resignation as vice-chair of the Capital Regional District’s Indigenous Relations committee highlight the fundamental character trait that is required for this role, and that Ben Isitt lacks: integrity.

Jeff Smith

Isitt tried to save taxpayers money

How very astonishing to see Stan ­Bartlett, past chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria, attack Coun. Ben Isitt for trying to save money for Victoria taxpayers by querying whether the city should pay all policing costs for national ceremonies such as Remembrance Day!

But like Adam Stirling, Bartlett’s strategy with regard to Isitt seems to be to let fly with any and all mud in hopes that some of it will stick.

Sorry, Stan, but the dirt’s on your face.

Larry Hannant

Investigate death of Jared Lowndes

It’s not just First Nations leaders who want an inquest or inquiry into the Campbell River killing of Jared Lowndes.

The incident is a disgrace in a so-called civilized country. How can we expect ANY police representatives to investigate this impartially, especially after the RCMP organized a cortege for a dog?

It’s hard to believe that anything a suspect does in avoiding or resisting arrest should result in point-blank execution. And we pretend we do not believe in the death penalty.

Shame also on those Campbell River residents who have destroyed memorials to Lowndes. What were they thinking?

After all the residential school revelations, it’s embarrassing — even shameful — to be a Canadian. This killing is another nail in our national coffin.

John Stonehouse

We should not think of it as us versus them

How very unwoke of the recent letter-writer who said what too many Canadians secretly feel — that “we are being played.”

Newly elected Assembly of First Nations leader RoseAnne Archibald does not help matters by her call for more “reparations.” That simply plays into an us-versus-them mentality.

Intergenerational victims of abuse at residential schools have made legitimate claims. However, justice will never be done by payment alone.

Indigenous Peoples also properly expect the Truth and ­Reconciliation ­Commission calls to action to be met by government programs to address the ongoing consequences of ­intergenerational trauma.

But everyone should recognize there is no way to turn back the clock, and no amount of program money will be enough to turn the page.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike must stop thinking in terms of us versus them.

We should shift to the full and free recognition of Aboriginal rights and title and the orderly implementation of Indigenous co-governance of the lands we all share.

Like all governments, Indigenous leaders will not satisfy all of the people all of the time. There will always be ­protesters, disrupters, people who feel they are being played. Being in government is always harder than being in opposition.

But we can and must trust Indigenous leadership to be principled and fair and they, in turn, should expect to be held to that standard.

All of this may be a lot to ask of some people, but at least it may bring an end to the rhetoric and make a positive move toward reconciliation.

Richard Butler

Yes to free speech, no to vandalism

I find it increasingly difficult to have empathy with, and support for ­Indigenous rights, when supporters — thankfully a minority — vandalize and damage ­society’s properties.

Property damage is simply wrong.

So far, their anger has only been actively directed at statues and churches, but they seem determined to cow society into refocusing its history.

The latest example, the irresponsible vandalizing and destroying of Cook’s statue in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, decries the invaluable contribution of James Cook to exploration, charting and science.

Cook was the son of a farmhand who raised himself to the exalted rank of captain through his endeavours, hard work and aptitude. He was not a career naval officer, but earned his sea legs as a deck hand on a colliery freighter.

He was one of the world’s great navigators, not a symbol of colonialism.

As a former journalist, I wholeheartedly support free speech, but abhor free vandalism and property damage in its support.

Chris Banner
Shawnigan Lake


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