Letters July 9: Conflict will not aid reconciliation; toppling Capt. Cook

Blaming and fighting will not help us

I am finding it hard to handle all the criticism of our country. To hear people talk, you would think we lived in a tyrannical country and we are without freedoms.

Are we perfect? No. Have the best decisions been made all the time? No. Do we have segments of our population who are not tolerant? Yes. Have Indigenous, Japanese, German, Chinese, Italian and many others been discriminated against? Yes.

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But despite all these missteps, we live in a country that is generally a good place.

Our failure to honour and learn from the past is a dangerous practice, as is destroying past artifacts.

We need to remember the mistakes made and also recall the times when those things were done. People to this day make decisions based on the skills, ability and knowledge we have at the time.

We are not a unique nation in this aspect. Whether you look at South America, Europe, the United States, Africa, China and so on, there is lots of evidence that errors and damage have been done.

I am encouraging all of us to think about tolerance and forgiveness and reconciliation. It is not going to be easy and will be a lot of work.

Many families were destroyed and damaged, and we need to help them recover and listen to the people respectfully and with humility.

It is not easy to change people’s views; you only have to look at anti-vaxxers to see that we may not all agree on the correct way to go. So we need to find a way to work together

As Dr. Bonnie Henry said, and I think it fits here, Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe.

Destroying, blaming and fighting with each other is not going to get us healed nor allow us to come to an understanding and move forward.

Glenn White

Shawnigan Lake

Hawaiians were first in toppling Cook

In 1779, the flesh-and-blood Capt. James Cook was toppled by the Indigenous people of what is now Hawaii, who were obviously unhappy with his presence.

Not sitting in judgment of anyone, just stating an interesting historical juxtaposition.

Sandy Szabo
North Saanich

Let passersby draw their own conclusions

I suggest that the remains of the Cook statue be left as is.

People walking by can reflect on this and related events in our history and draw their own conclusions.

R.A. Green

Leave the statues as a reminder

Please leave the statues as they are. They are more important now than they have ever been when they were elevated statues. Also leave the totem pole on the Malahat, scars and all.

These are important reminders for future generations about our discourse.

These will generate discussions – more than they ever did when created.

Sabine Orlik

We need to stand up and fight back

It is so disheartening to see the remains of the Capt. James Cook statue. I have lived here for 40 years and never seen the city so crippled by thugs and vandalism.

I am not so proud of this city anymore. I am sorry, as we all are, to what happened to the Indigenous children. Maybe it was sickness, maybe worse — but that is still no excuse to tear down statues, bad-mouth police and threaten city workers.

Without history, we cannot learn and improve society.

What is to become of Victoria? Where are the leaders? Who is going to stand up and fight back these atrocities?

The council is weak and they make bad decisions. We need to speak up. Thanks to the Times Colonist and CFAX, we have a voice.

Ann Nelms

A diverse selection of Anglo-Saxon names

A letter in the July 7 edition noted that the 16 letters published in the July 6 edition were “very diverse, indicating a very broad ancestry.”

Of the 16 letters, 11 of them featured Anglo-Saxon surnames, with the remaining five of various ethnicities. But then, you never know the writer’s ancestry based solely on their surname.

If you’re looking for real diversity and broad ancestry, read the letters to the editor and obituaries in the Winnipeg Free Press or Edmonton Journal. You might just find a name you can’t pronounce.

Shannon Moneo

A feeling of loss after Canada Day

The events of this “Canada Day” have left me with a feeling of loss … loss for a city that has been my home for 45 years.

When police are afraid to uphold the law after witnessing the destruction of public assets and not arresting the criminals that destroy them, we are all in serious trouble.

Christopher Walker

Practical concerns on street names

I have been reading with some interest how to address the street signage debate. Some wish First Nations characters while some want English translations beneath the name. Looking at it with an unbiased opinion, I have a couple of questions:

How will mail get delivered to an address Canada Post can’t identify?

How is someone from outside of the capital region supposed to find an address if they cannot input the address into a navigational system, or for that matter pronounce the area they are looking for?

I am sure there are many other questions or concerns that will pop up. As I said, I support the First Nations initiative to have certain streets and areas renamed, while at the same time we must be aware of the concerns and needs of people from outside of the capital region and must also supply a practical approach on how to achieve satisfaction on both sides.

Tim Beazley

Apologize, then pay for the repairs

A question for Victoria’s chief of police: Why weren’t people who performed this act of vandalism stopped and arrested by our police officers?

Could they have been unaware of it happening? It must have taken more than few minutes to destroy this statue. Surely there is a law against such activity.

The perpetrators must be made to apologize to our citizens and to pay for the repair costs.

Roy Crichton

Sisters of St. Ann deserve fair treatment

The Times Colonist recently included a story that implied the Sisters of St. Ann were forced to hand over historical documents against their will, and drew a line between the deaths of Native children and an Island school where the Sisters taught.

I don’t have the evidence that the reporter has, but must say that malicious behaviour by the Sisters would surprise me, given my personal experiences with them.

I have an uncle, born at Victoria’s St. Joseph’s Hospital, to a mother out of wedlock. She could not give birth in her local community, and the Sisters kindly took her in.

I know a Sister who is also a teacher, who has worked tirelessly on social justice issues, and has walked the talk by personally assisting refugees.

I also know a Sister who taught at both residential schools, and at expensive private Catholic schools. Given her personality, I find it hard to believe she would “switch on” and “switch off” her behaviour for anyone.

I fear the Sisters of St. Ann are the collateral damage of an inflamed news cycle. It is fair and just that the residential school system is receiving the attention that it is. But fairness also requires that full information be gathered and presented before verdicts are drawn.

Owen Toop

‘You’re not cold, you’re more British’

When I was in England studying (a long time ago) and not being used to such indoor temperatures, I commented to my wonderful English family that I am so cold that my hands are all red and blue.

With the most fetching big smile I was told: “Oh Heidi, you are not cold, you are just becoming more and more British, our national colours are red, white and blue.”

Heidi Lamb

Stage is set for our pedestrian mall

Though downtown business and council were against citizen efforts to create a a Government Street pedestrian mall for many years, it is nice to see this current effort underway.

I did significant research on pedestrian malls back in the day.

The most successful pedestrian malls had three things in common. They are most successful in centres where there is lots of summer sunshine, were considered “touristy” and have a local population that is considered “outdoorsy.”

Seemed to describe Victoria quite well. Pedestrian malls also share a good retail anchor location, which the street also offers.

John Vickers
Miramichi, N.B.

Experience to help with the next heat wave

Dampen a hand towel (or several for backup), twist it into a horseshoe shape and put it in the freezer. In a short while it will freeze up solid. Place it around your neck.

It feels just great and really alleviates excess heat in our bodies. I learned this trick on some of my motorcycle trips to Africa and South America where it was hot, hot, hot and it was a welcome escape.

Nick Gudewill

The right to protest, and 50 flags destroyed

The Rotary Club of Oak Bay is one of the most respected charity organizations in our city. Every year, one of their major fundraising efforts is planting Canadian flags around Greater Victoria on Victoria Day weekend, Canada Day weekend and Labour Day weekend.

This year, some lunatics from the loony left drove around Oak Bay and stole about 50 flags. They literally tore them from the flagpoles.

Now, instead of the Rotary Club using the funds raised during their yearly Canadian flag program, they will have to use the funds to rebuild their flag inventory.

Everybody is upset about the news of the discovery of the graves of those Indigenous children who died a generation or so ago, but there is so much more to Canada Day.

Never forget that Canada is the best country on Earth and I believe that Victoria is the best place in Canada to live. So, count your blessings.

Paul Arnold

RapidBus is nice, but what about LRT?

My wife and I are former, and hope to return, Victoria residents. So we welcome the new RapidBus program announced last week.

But didn’t B.C. Transit recommend light rail transit (LRT) between Langford and Victoria in the Victoria Regional Rapid Transit Project 10 years ago?

I also could not help noticing the unused E&N rail line between Langford and Vic West. Why can’t it be utilized instead?

We had lived in Bordentown, New Jersey, which is served by the NJ Transit RiverLINE that uses railway tracks and it goes on-street like LRT in Camden.

We often rode it; the railcars are bright, comfortable, easily accessible, and with plenty of room for bicycles. The trains run every 15 minutes in rush hours and every 30 minutes at other times.

The Island trains can also start in and go to Duncan, Nanaimo, Courtenay and Port Alberni.

That avoids the Malahat where there are even more traffic delays and, sadly, accidents since when we left. RapidBuses will only get stuck in these messes.

And it would be far cheaper and less environmentally damaging to rebuild the railway than to expand or build a new highway.

Brendan Read
Woodstock, Ont.

Motorcycles ruin a walk at Clover Point

A few days ago, my wife and I and our little dog, Lucy, went for a walk at Clover Point, as we do several times weekly. I have been noting the progress of the “improvements” as time goes by and, sure enough, as promised by the wizards at city hall, the western side of the loop has been cut off to automobile traffic.

The “improvement” has not, however, eliminated the motorcycles from the western side. As we approached, three gents on Harleys halfway down the road started their bikes up, unleashing a horrible cacophony.

As we approached, Lucy off-leash, the “hog” riders roared off at speed. I managed to grab the dog, fearing for her safety.

So now we have the west-side loop closed to auto traffic so that that westerly view can no longer be enjoyed from their autos by the elderly and infirm but the motorcyclists, with their unmuffled, poorly muffled or “straight-pipe” exhausts and dangerous riding habits have the run of the place?

Something seems amiss to this Clover Point user.

John C. Sarsfield


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