Letters July 30: Out for a stroll at 3 a.m.; homelessness is a national problem

Walking in the wee hours? No problem

Re: “Street checks are a vital part of policing,” letter, July 29.

I would describe myself as a “decent law-abiding taxpaying citizen” who can frequently be found “wandering the streets in the early morning hours.”

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Most often these walks are a strategy to help if I happen to be having difficulty sleeping or are a pre-work walk if I am working a non-typical day.

The insinuation that walks in early- morning hours is something that a decent person would not do illustrates the problematic thinking behind those that are currently in charge of street checks.

Walking or “wandering” at 3 a.m. is not suspicious in and of itself and is not a crime. Under no circumstance should the police be allowed to do a check unless there is legitimate suspicious activity. If society feels that people walking need to be checked on, I can think of several other types of professionals that would be better suited to the task.

As a “decent law-abiding taxpaying citizen,” I feel that street checks need to stop, are too frequently abused, and a waste of resources. Sadly, however, I expect my opinion will be discounted since my early-morning walks bring my decency into question.

Christopher Reiche Boucher


National problem, national solution

Re: “Horgan slams Victoria choice to not clear camps daily,” July 28.

Add “the long-term unemployed” to the long-standing descriptive aphorism for Victoria as “home for the newly wed and nearly dead.”

That Premier John Horgan and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps are at cross purposes in dealing with unemployed campers in Beacon Hill Park should surprise no one.

Horgan’s perspective in large measure is no doubt driven by provincial priorities and concerns, whereas Helps’ priorities are almost certainly local. Both have shown considerable empathy for the plight of these campers of necessity.

With considerable certainty it must be realized that such campers, whether in Victoria, Nanaimo or Vancouver are not all long-term residents of these cities. Many, if not most, come from elsewhere in B.C. or Canada.

And what are the implications of such dispersed and long-term-unemployed persons?

The first is the requirement to recognize that we are dealing with a national problem. The second is, on an equally urgent basis, the requirement for our national government to — with appropriate national funding — co-ordinate a sorely needed national housing response.

Ron Johnson


Mixed messages about our welcome mat

After reading the response from Premier John Horgan about Alberta licence plates, I have decided not to take my family on our planned trip to Vancouver Island this August.

What really shocks me is the amount of advertising Destination B.C. spends on advertising in Alberta, trying to entice tourism to the province.

It seems that you are sending mixed signals. What I will not be sending is any of my family's vacation money. We will spend that $10,000 in Alberta or elsewhere in Canada.

James Edwards

Canmore, Alta. 

Saskatchewan is nicer in this pandemic year

For 49 years, my husband and I paid taxes in British Columbia and, latterly, I paid probate fees. Three of our four children were born there, and I earned my master’s degree at UVic.

Today, I cancelled our planned October trip where I with my two daughters had booked several accommodations on our beloved Vancouver Island and where, among other places, we were going to visit my oldest daughter’s grave.

Shame on you, Premier John Horgan! Since we are no longer welcome in B.C. due to our licence plates, we will either stay home or turn eastward and spend our money with our fellow Canadians in Saskatchewan instead.

Georgina G. Wilks


Money for lawyers, not for children

Re: “Abused RCMP officer’s family finally gets compensation,” July 28.

After reading the story about the settlement for Krista Carlé, I was curious about the $17,000 deduction for legal fees.

Doing some digging, I understand this is the amount that the firm handling the settlements are charging.

Are you kidding me? Certainly some legal costs would be expected, but $17,000 per claim!

I would have even hoped that, in a case like this, some pro bono work would’ve been involved, or why wouldn’t the RCMP or the federal government not cover any legal fees?

It saddens and upsets me to think 20 per cent of the settlement went to lawyers rather than her children.

Ted Daly


Seniors deserve respect from others

Re: “Don’t demand discounts, businesses are trying to recover,” letter, July 15.

The Black Lives Matter movement has brought about a new impetus to end discrimination and the suffering it causes. However, one besieged group always goes under the radar: senior citizens.

The inflammatory July 15 letter is an unfortunate example of the ageist typecasting that older people have to endure every day. Seniors also deserve to enjoy a life free of prejudice.

Instead of offering a balanced perspective, the scorching words of the letter-writer serve only to falsely portray all seniors as rich entitled parasites. The facts speak otherwise.

A 2017 report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives states that “a significant number of Canadian retirees have very little wealth” and a 2015 report by the B.C. Seniors Advocate reveals that “half of older people in B.C. live on $24,000 per year or less.”

The one-time federal payment to low-income seniors was not an across-the-board government handout for all elders. Given only to the poorest seniors, it was an essential benefit to help them survive COVID-19 with their health intact.

And the much-maligned discounts can make the difference between whether a senior eats or not. To suggest that seniors are not as deserving of these cost-cutting measures as others is downright offensive.

Seniors’ lives matter too. Let’s put an end to ageism now.

Doreen Marion Gee


Charge us more for riding the ferry

Re: “Lack of a bailout leaves B.C. Ferries high and dry,” July 29.

Why are we wasting newsprint space on such trivialities as the B.C. Ferries being short of revenue?

The answer is simple: Raise the ferry fees — which are ridiculously cheap to start with.

People travelling the ferries can afford to pay and should pay the fair cost of providing these services.

Get real and stop whining!

Robert Popple

Nanoose Bay

Fight this virus, sacrifice now

An open letter to all the wonderful young people:

Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill your grandma, your parents, your neighbour with cancer, your best friend. Please don’t let “the beast” attack you, leaving behind a lifetime of scarred lungs, failing kidneys and lost youth.

This is war. Fight back; you know how. Be brave, step up, be selfless: sacrifice now for a better tomorrow. Your lives are precious. So, to me, is mine.

E.M. Chandler

North Saanich

Wasps are our friends

The wasp season is upon us and they do us a great favour by eating the insects that eat our plants such as aphids and caterpillars. Let’s learn to appreciate them and live with them.

Here are some useful tips.

At this time of year, the wasps are busy feeding their young so they are hunting for protein. So, if you’re having a barbecue they will assume they are invited!

The easy thing to do prior to barbecuing is to place bits of protein in a number of places so they will be all filled up by the time you are ready to fill up yourself. It’s also fun to watch when they bite off too big a piece and have a difficult time lifting off.

In a couple of weeks the wasps will be switching from protein to sugar for nourishment so do the same thing with pieces of ripe fruit.

J. C. Siemens


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