Letters July 21: Give new Clover Point a chance; Cook statue should be reinstalled

Many are enjoying the new Clover Point

In response to the letter-writer’s observation that the new Clover Point picnic tables were empty on a Thursday morning, it’s too bad he missed seeing multiple tables in full use days before by more than a dozen people with disabilities.

They parked their minivans in the new accessible parking stalls and spent the afternoon taking in the views while dozens of other families, dog-walkers, bird-watchers and kite-fliers took advantage of the vehicle-free space to enjoy the sights.

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There is always room for improvement — like perhaps installing beds of native plants to break up the asphalt — but let’s give this a chance.

Brian Lepine
Victoria

When to apply the law, and when to let it slide

When I read the letter about the tables at Clover Point attracting little interest, I wondered what would have happened if the writer, with some assistance and in the presence of one of Victoria’s finest, picked up a table and tossed it into the ocean to park his car so his handicapped wife could enjoy the western view.

Would the police reaction be the same as during the recent tossing of the Cook statue into the harbour? I think probably not.

The Cook statue should be reinstalled. To not do so would be like letting the robber of a bank keep the money.

Wayne Cox
Saanichton

The French connection in the James Cook debate

Re: “Yes to free speech, no to vandalism,” letter, July 17.

I agree with the writer that the mindless desecration of the James Cook statue missed the mark.

The focus of this admirable character was on seamanship, surveying and discovery, and evidence suggests that his dealings with any Indigenous peoples he met on his travels were respectful.

His own death was due to the behaviour of others beyond his control. Thus, to link him to any of the sins of colonialism is really stretching history too far.

However. If you do accept such historical elasticity, no doubt some understandable anti-Cook grudges could be detected, possibly from flat-earthers, or maybe from an anti-clearcutting lobby, noticing that he felled trees to repair a mast at Nootka Sound!

But we must look to the French for more heartfelt disapproval. For it was the same James Cook whose expert survey of the dangerous currents in the St. Lawrence River facilitated the safe landing of British troops to scale the Heights of Abraham, win a pivotal battle, settle the conflict with France and establish British control of the North American territories that became Canada.

Now, there’s one to get your teeth into.

Clearly the lynch mob lacked a historian to look at all the angles.

John Lover
Oak Bay

Residential schools letter was racist and derisive

Re: “With the graves, are we being played?” letter, July 13.

In a January column, editor Dave Obee said: “To be fair, there are limits to what we should print. A column denying the Holocaust will not appear in this newspaper.”

So how did this derisive and racist diatribe about recent horrors affecting Indigenous people ever make it into print? Surely the writer’s efforts to deny the brutal realities of the residential school system warranted a similar exclusion.

The decision to publish this letter was wrong-headed. First of all, Indigenous communities across Canada are in a state of profound mourning for their lost children. This unspeakable pain demands respect from all of us.

But the author adds insult to injury when he reduces the horrific mistreatment of residential school children and their families to problems of “underfunding.” The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada tells the truth: “As the numbers demonstrate, the abuse of children was rampant.”

Secondly, the author’s attempts to downplay atrocities at the schools are a cruel affront to survivors. His use of sarcasm to diminish crimes against children should have been a red flag in this newspaper’s editing room.

The cavalier reference to “axe- wielding nuns” is unconscionable in light of actual events. According to the TRC, a judge referred to a residential school supervisor as a “sexual terrorist” after he pleaded guilty to 18 counts of indecent assaults on young boys.

“The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide,” the commission asserts. It is time for the harm to end.

Doreen Marion Gee
Victoria

Seniors suffering below the poverty line

In the news recently we found out that addicts will get fentanyl patches or pills for free to try and limit the number of overdose deaths.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe the deaths have to be lowered — but I do not believe that free drugs is the answer.

Now for my beef.

Seniors seem to be the forgotten demographic in this province. Roughly 80 per cent live below the poverty line and have to choose between eating or getting their medicine.

Many live in isolation because they cannot hear well and get embarrassed when out because they keep having to apologize and ask the store clerks to repeat themselves.

There is no way they can afford $3,500 to $5,000 for hearing aids per year. B.C is one of the few provinces that do not help seniors get the medicine or hearing aids, or for that matter food that they need.

Now people are going to say that there is fair pharmacare to help them, but to qualify you need to spend between $2,000 to $10,000 on your meds before that kicks in. How do we spend that when we are having to choose between meds or food?

Don’t even get me started on the lack of medical care. All these clinics the province is opening is ridiculous. First you have to find one that is not “at capacity” and then, when you do, the waiting time is usually about three to four hours long. Seniors can’t sit there that long.

I think it is about time for the government to step up and help.

It burns my butt that drug addicts get free housing, are fed and now get free drugs. How is that helpful in getting them drug free? It’s not. As a senior I just want to sit down and cry.

Colleen White
Colwood

There is true bliss just 50 miles up

Writing of ”slipping the surly bonds of earth,” Robert Service may not have seen in his mind’s eye that people would actually do that.

With Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson lifting themselves and others to “swing in the sunlit silence,” it is a wonder why anyone would want to return from the bliss and pure joy of seeing your blue-green home from aloft.

Yet reality of chaos, mayhem and grief with which one must contend, raises the question, why can’t we achieve on Earth as it is from 50 miles up?

Steve Hoffman
Victoria

Faith in humanity revived by Peter and Karen

In these trying and troubled times, we experienced an event of extreme kindness that restored our faith in humanity on Saturday.

After biking from James Bay to Oak Bay Marina, we got a flat tire on one of our bikes while in the parking lot. Peter and Karen instantly got out of their car and offered to help.

Discovering that we needed a new tube, they offered to drive and pick one up, (they picked up two for us), returned and then installed the tube, and then declined our offer to pay saying they were just paying it forward.

Thank you Peter and Karen, your kindness touched our hearts deeply and inspires us to help others as you helped us.

John Woodruffe
James Bay

Information needed on our safety

Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry, where did you go?

Clarity and guidance are sorely needed as our full vaccination rates do not seem adequate protection in the face of new variant threats.

Where are we exactly with vaccination rates? How safe are we in British Columbia with so much cross-border opening?

Please don’t leave us to find information from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control online. Not everyone has that option and we cannot ask questions.

Connie Bortnick
Saanich

Putting people first? Ask the medical orphans

At about 9:30 a.m., two medical clinics on the Saanich Peninsula were at capacity and the third one was closed. The only place left for us “medical orphans” is the Saanich Peninsula Hospital emergency ward.

About 18 per cent, or 900,000 people in B.C., have no access to primary health care. At the same time, our tax dollars are made available for industry, in the form of tax breaks, subsidies, loan guarantees and grants.

People without a family doctor are a symptom of a failure on the part of government to put people first.

Graeme Gardiner
Sidney

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