Letters June 11: The politics of protesting councillors; crickets disappearing due to lizards

Disobey the law, councillor? Resign

Re: “Saanich councillor at blockade with other Island politicians, hoping to get arrested,” June 9.

I was both saddened and concerned in reading the story of an elected councillor who was seeking to be arrested at the current logging protest in TRL 46.

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These people were elected to make laws for the citizens in their communities. By seeking arrest by disobeying a court order, whether through a civil or criminal process, they are displaying a complete lack of respect for the democratic process and for the rule of law.

To claim that disobeying a court order is being done as a private individual rather than an elected office-holder is a false distinction.

Peaceful protest is perfectly acceptable, but if these people believe that they must disobey a lawful court order, then they should resign their elected positions.

Richard McCandless


If they protest, vote them out

It is amazing that elected officials will travel to a illegal blockade and want to get arrested. What is wrong with these people?

They should be voted out.

This problem with protesting has gone too far. Most of the protesters don’t know why they are protesting, but like lemmings, are following radicals.

If the government continues to let this go on, nothing will get done. Time for the government to stop this stupidity.

In Alberta, they have laws to stop this. Time to start big fines and severe jail time. The government needs to get a spine and get tough.

Do we really want our province run by protesters?

Ken McGechen


Councillors, what about the space junk?

Re: “Saanich councillor heads to blockade with other Island politicians, hoping to get arrested,” June 9.

Clearly the role of councillors extends far beyond their jurisdictional boundaries and underlying municipal legislation.

So, residents and voters are wondering if Saanich Coun. Nathalie Chambers, Metchosin Coun. Andy MacKinnon, Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt, and Gary Holman, the Salt Spring Island electoral area director for the Capital Regional District, would also tackle the issue of space junk.

I’m told by Wikipedia that the U.S. Space Surveillance Network reported nearly 20,000 artificial objects in orbit above the Earth, including 2,218 operational satellites. However, these are just the objects large enough to be tracked.

As of 2019, more than 128 million pieces of debris smaller than 1 centimetre (0.4 in), about 900,000 pieces of debris 1–10 cm, and around 34,000 of pieces larger than 10 cm (3.9 in) were estimated to be in orbit around the Earth. When the smallest objects of human-made space debris (paint flecks, solid rocket exhaust particles, etc.) are grouped with micro- meteoroids, they are together sometimes referred to by space agencies as MMOD (micrometeoroid and orbital debris).

Space junk — otherwise known as space debris, space pollution, space waste, space trash, and space garbage — is of risk to manned spacecraft, satellites and space shuttle missions. Apparently, one cataloged piece of debris has fallen back to Earth each day for the past 50 years, putting earthlings at risk.

We would urge you to approach the United Nations, NASA, NORAD and the European Space Agency with our concerns.

We know local politicians are busy addressing local concerns about transportation, homelessness and violent crime, not to mention the pandemic and the economic impact. But we hope you will also prioritize space junk — it would be out of this world if you could — and not get arrested in the process.

Live long and prosper!

Stan Bartlett, past chair

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria

Wall lizards are here, field crickets are not

Nobody seems to have noticed that the invasive wall lizards are exterminating the native field cricket, a phenomenon which I have been watching with dismay for many years.

If any readers live in wall lizard country, ask yourselves: When did you last hear the lyrical chirping of crickets on a summer’s night?

And if the lizards have just recently arrived in your area, watch (or listen to) the crickets gradually vanish.

Willi Boepple


Get rid of memorials to Pierre Trudeau

If people are so hell-bent to remove statues that represent unfair treatment to Indigenous people in residential schools, why don’t they demand the removal of statues of Pierre Trudeau?

Why don’t they rename the airport in Montreal that’s named after him?

After all, the years that he was prime minister were some of the most offensive years in these schools, and I don’t believe for a minute that he didn’t know what was going on with them.

Could it be because other statues were just “low-hanging fruit” and Trudeau was “special”?

Donna Mason


Give us numbers on vaccination success

There are still COVID-19 cases being reported, even though the numbers are coming down.

But has anyone asked how many of the people with the new cases have been vaccinated?

Maybe Dr. Bonnie Henry could let us know the stats on this.

How many people who have had the vaccine are getting the virus?

This might show vaccine-hesitant people that the vaccine works.

Barb Eubank


Invasive species are all around us

I read with interest the pro and con arguments regarding acceptance of the wall lizards as an invasive species.

Other invasive species not mentioned are Eastern grey squirrels, which have made themselves at home in all urban areas after being introduced to the West Coast, resulting in the native red squirrels being driven out.

Peacocks are another. For some reason, just because they are pleasant to look at, we allow them to run wild and if on a farm, the noise bylaws don’t seem to apply. The racket goes on night and day to the detriment of the health of neighbours.

Atlantic salmon raised in pens suspended in the oceans on the B.C. coast are an invasive species, yet our money-grubbing government has allowed this to go on for years — oh, I forgot, they don’t escape their pens. Yeah, sure.

Don’t forget plants, of which there are many, including the noxious scotch broom that will overtake almost any native plants. Pick your fight, people. There are more than enough to go around.

Mike Wilkinson


‘Follow the science’ to an eco-friendly future

The image I saw recently of a tree sitter protecting our old-growth forest was incredibly powerful.

It is absolutely criminal that our government has decided to ignore the science when it comes to the protection of rare ecosystems on our planet.

No longer can we use the excuse that trees are only timber for houses. Science has taught us that they are large carbon sinks, while at the same time they give off copious amounts of oxygen.

They also provide critical habitat for hundreds of species, including ensuring that our wild-salmon spawning beds are kept in pristine condition.

Logging of these ancient forests threatens watersheds and countless endangered species, and destroys the “circle of life” in our forests. Once habitats are destroyed, species populations are skewed and the predator-prey relationship is severely compromised.

The old-growth forests make up a crucial intact ecosystem that supports great biodiversity. This must be recognized before it is too late.

Forty years have gone by since Carmanah Valley’s “war in the woods,” but sadly we have not learned from it and continue to follow the destructive “commodities path.”

We have been told time and time again to “follow the science” by our government. It is well past the time they follow their own advice and give the next generation the chance of a more eco-friendly sustainable future.

Rachel McDonnell


Doctor was exonerated after allegations found meritless

Thirty-three years ago, I was appointed to a board of inquiry along with two senior women officers to investigate allegations brought by a female corporal of sexual misconduct against a physician at the CFB Esquimalt base hospital.

After hearing sworn testimony from several witnesses, including the complainant, the board concluded that the allegations were completely unfounded. The doctor was fully exonerated.

The motivation for the complainant’s allegations was not established, but testimony suggested malice.

I sincerely hope that the current investigation into an incident alleged to have occurred 32 years ago is able to arrive at conclusions that will fully exonerate Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin and permit him to resume an outstanding career.

Michel Brossard

Central Saanich


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