Letters June 3: Speak up on vandalism; heat damage to our marine environment

Mayor, council need to speak up

The vandalism and violence perpetrated by radical protesters against historical artifacts in Victoria must stop now.

First, the mayor and council removed the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, creating a permission structure for more radical elements to up the ante.

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Then we saw the Beacon Hill bust of the Queen cut off.

On Canada Day, the very namesake of the city, Queen Victoria, was defaced and the statue of Captain Cook was violently pulled down and thrown in the Inner Harbour as Victoria police stood by and watched.

All these events are being perpetrated by those who, in their anger and with their own brand of righteous morality, wish to cancel history instead of looking at history in context.

The injustices done to Indigenous Peoples is no justification for this kind of behaviour.

It is high time that Victoria’s mayor and council make public statements that statues and historical figures are, for better and for worse, part of our history and this history should be understood in context.

They should also be clear that while peaceful protest is the right of all Canadians, the destruction of public property will not be tolerated.

Given the passive response so far to these events by our civic leaders, how long will it be before some of these protesters move on to other targets such as churches, as we have seen already in other parts of B.C.?

Sadly, these events send a very poor message to the world about Victoria and the disrespect by some for history, law and order.

Jeff Kucharski
Victoria

Choosing vandalism over celebration

So let me get this straight … on Canada Day, instead of Victoria having fireworks and appreciating Canada and the fact that we don’t live in North Korea, Saudi Arabia or other awful places with violence, few rights and very little food, a local group destroys and throws a symbolic piece of metal covered in (toxic?) red paint into the ocean.

I really don’t think pollution and vandalism are the right way to protest. If they threw the equivalant metal in the form of aluminum cans and a paint can into the ocean, no one would agree with this.

Why do some think it’s OK because it’s shaped like a person (Captain Cook)? What does this accomplish to help anyone right now?

Marion Smardon
Victoria

Limit risks in this orgy of destruction

What the heck did poor old Captain James Cook do to merit his statue being torn down and desecrated by a mob?

He was only here briefly, he was British, not Canadian, and he hardly touched land on our shoreline. Remember, the statue was holding a compass, not a gun.

Perhaps all the statues, commemorative plaques, totem poles, etc., should be removed from the legislature grounds and stored somewhere until this orgy of destruction has run its course.

Robert Pellow
Parksville

Serious damage to the intertidal zone

With all the bad news about human deaths and fires caused by the recent heat dome, there has been another calamity that seems not to have been noticed in the media.

The intertidal zone — that precarious and fragile transition between sea and land — occupied by numerous species evolved to survive a drastically variable environment, has been decimated by the heat wave.

Online discussions with various wildlife groups have indicated a mass kill up and down the island, and almost certainly the entire coastline of North America from California to Alaska.

The stench of rotting oysters, mussels, snails, limpets, crabs and barnacles is reported everywhere these species once thrived.

This mass kill might seem insignificant, and yet involves countless trillions of organisms, and is just the very first finger of one summer early in the oncoming climate catastrophe.

Fire is a dramatic and devastating consequence of climate change, but destruction at a far greater level is also occurring, with unknown consequences for us and our planet.

Nathaniel Poole
Brentwood Bay

Governments are doing nothing on climate

Feelings of anger kept rising as I listened to reports of the Lytton fire roaring through the village.

We’ve been talking about climate change while our governments, provincial and federal, pay lip service, then go on cutting old growth, shipping the logs to China; buying a pipeline; increasing subsidies to fossil-fuel extractors; pushing on with Site C despite the loss of northern farmland; determined to make every last cent, all of this on the backs of First Nations whose resources we’ve stolen, pushed off their lands, made our wealth on their backs while their kids are swept into foster care, even still, even now.

I am waiting for politicians who mean what they say and work towards healing the harm. Meanwhile, private citizens instal solar panels and heat pumps knowing we can’t wait for governments to do much of anything.

Dorothy Field
Victoria

Extreme weather plans needed for apartments

As a result of the recent extraordinary heat wave, many “excess deaths” have been reported by the coroner. The majority of the deaths have apparently been, not in long-term care facilities, but people, particularly elders, living in apartments, either rental or condos.

This type of neglect should not be allowed to happen in an advanced country as Canada. Apartments tend to hold the heat much more than single-family houses and thus are more dangerous during heat waves.

Some strata councils have established emergency plans in case of earthquakes, which includes locating their residents in such circumstances.

I suggest that all strata councils establish emergency plans that include checking all units during extreme weather to prevent people from dying from heat stress.

Rental apartments also should have such emergency plans by the rental agent or property manager. City councils should act to encourage these emergency plans.

Kenneth Mintz
Victoria

Deeply grateful for this country

There was no official national celebration of Canada Day this year, and we all understand why. Descendants of the first peoples of this land are in pain and it is not the moment for jollification.

We need to surround them with our love, respect and understanding, now and always.

Nevertheless, there are numberless people today who in their hearts are deeply grateful for this country. In 1940, when the troops of Nazi Germany were just across the Channel, and an unarmed Britain stood helpless, many British children were sent alone to Canada for safety, and, at age 10, I was one of them.

Canadians took us in, clothed us, oversaw our education, celebrated our birthdays, treated us as their own and all without thought of payment. Food parcels without number were sent to our parents, restaurants put on Christmas parties for us, and complete strangers did us kindnesses we’ve long forgotten.

At the end of the war, children were often sent home with a new wardrobe as Canadians knew of the severe clothes rationing in Britain. And the food parcels continued to arrive.

But because of stringent British foreign-exchange regulations, Canadian foster parents never did get repaid for the five years of caring for not always easy children ( I know, I was one of them).

Thank you Canada for then, and thank you for welcoming me back in 1958.

Elizabeth Chatfield
Victoria

We could solve problems on Earth

If global warming is our reality, why are all the rockets being shot up to Mars, the moon, space stations and now space tourism never mentioned as contributing to global warming?

Instead of turning space into a garbage dump and giving a few privileged wealthy a thrill, perhaps the savings could be spent on solving some problems on Earth.

Wendy Lojstrup
Brentwood Bay

Billions for Parliament, Indigenous left out

I can’t imagine the frustration, the anguish and the sense of hopelessness, of many Indigenous Canadian citizens, when they consider federal government priorities and expenditures like the Parliament Hill Centre Block restoration project.

Does this not seem obscene? Who are our representatives representing? Only the wealthy and privileged?

Given the billions of dollars to update the capital buildings, not to mention other, inexplicable military expenditures, I would ask, how much of the federal budget is dedicated toward the improvement of First Peoples’ environment and health?

Simple question, I hope.

What, actually, are the numbers?

What if the staggering comparative lack of investment in Indigenous communities across Canada is due simply to the lack of political power, i.e. votes?

This would be quite damning. It is, I fear.

This is unquestionably racism. We are a wealthy nation. Let charity begin at home.

Bob Wishlow
Central Saanich

Downtown crime and those ‘conditions’

Not long ago, a woman was arrested for attacking a man with a hammer, a young woman and her dog were attacked by a man with a hammer while sitting in their van downtown, a man with a knife and “other weapons” entered a restaurant downtown and started damaging the walls, and a man who threatened a security guard with a knife at a mall downtown was arrested.

What do all these incidents, and others, have in common? These armed and violent individuals are released with a court date and “conditions.”

Is anybody going downtown these days feeling safer?

Ian MacDonell
Victoria

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