Letters March 31: Get a chocolate bunny instead; carp in Elk Lake; masks not an injustice

Want a bunny? Get a chocolate one

Each year as Easter approaches, many children yearn to own a pet rabbit. Before any parent considers adopting a bunny, let me give you some advice.

Rabbits are not like cats and dogs. They are fragile creatures and if held improperly or dropped they will suffer serious injury.

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Rabbits take care and attention. Although rabbits can be litter-box trained, they are not like cats. They can leave a mess all over their cage.

Children might say they would take care of the mess, but after a short while this novelty will wear off.

Mom and dad who are busy people won’t always be available to do it, and this becomes a chore. Children will tire of a rabbit before they will a dog or cat because rabbits do not react as they do.

Then the rabbit is neglected until one parent decides it is time to dump the rabbit in the wild with its friends. No! A domestic rabbit will not survive for long in a natural environment, nor with other rabbits. Rabbits need exercise, and having them in a cage is torture unless they can get out to exercise.

Having owned rabbits for decades, all I want to say is: Please do not give your child a pet rabbit for Easter. I have seen too many very sad situations with abandoned and neglected rabbits. I think a big chocolate bunny would be a far better choice.

William Jesse
Victoria

Reduce carp numbers in Elk Lake

Re: “Citizen efforts can restore Elk Lake,” commentary, March 27.

The commentary summarizes many of the issues that will be worked on over the next few years. However, it doesn’t mention an issue that I believe could end up being a major factor in attempts to improve water quality in Elk Lake.

That is the relatively new presence of common carp. The blue-green algae blooms that are a major health problem seem to be stimulated by phosphorus levels.

Apparently, 70 per cent of the nutrients in Elk Lake water comes from internal sources, i.e. sediments.

I have watched the carp grub around on the bottom sucking up sediment, filtering out edible bugs and then releasing the sediment back into the water.

That must significantly add to the lake phosphorus levels. So in addition to all the other processes that will be tried, I think they should also investigate ways to reduce the number of carp, perhaps selective netting.

Michael Corry
Victoria

Mask requirement is not injustice

I have a few questions for the anti-maskers protesting downtown on Saturday.

After the protest was over, did you grab lunch at your favourite restaurant? Did you get groceries on your way home?

Did you visit one of the many places where front-line workers who can’t afford to stay home put their lives and health on the line to serve you?

I wonder if your doctor called to say that you are next in line to receive the vaccine (based on all the white hair I saw, I think it will probably be soon).

COVID-19 is not something that ceases to exist when you stop believing in it, like the Easter Bunny (I hope no children are reading this).

How well must your lives be going that being asked to wear a mask and social distance to keep each other safe feels like oppression.

If you want to know what being under attack looks like, consider looking no further than the Asian Canadian and American communities who have been subjected to racist harassment and attacks since the pandemic started.

It is astonishing that when some people try to find examples of injustice, wearing a cloth mask is what they come up with.

Tharani Balachandran
Victoria

Protesting coverage given to protests

There have been a couple of interesting letters on the right of citizens to complain. The letter-writers made the point that citizens are entitled to express their frustration with governing bodies.

As one person wrote: “Democracy relies on the voices of its citizens to act as a check and balance against the tendency of its elected bodies to become authoritarian.” Well put.

That same writer went on to state that we’re fortunate to have a free press, specifically lauding the Times Colonist.

I’d like to believe that we have a free press. So, whether I agree or not with those in attendance, I welcomed the coverage in that same issue about Friday’s old-growth-logging protest in front of the courthouse, complete with a large photo showing the half-dozen or so protesters who gathered.

And further down the page was a listing of “protests slated for Victoria this weekend.” We were informed with some detail about the timing and subjects of those protests. Fine. It’s crucial to have an informed citizenry, isn’t it?

But wait a minute. There was a much bigger protest last Saturday, March 20, and there wasn’t any advance notice in the paper.

It was attended by hundreds of people who gathered in Centennial Square and then marched peacefully to the legislature.

Was there any coverage in this paper? None. Was this not news? Why was this significantly larger protest ignored?

Oh wait, I know: They were protesting COVID-19 restrictions and the changeable science behind them. Ah, right, that kind of protest is off the table in our free-press world.

Smacks of censorship to me.

Dolores Bell
Victoria

Same old, same old as old-growth goes

It was after a great deal of soul-searching that on Saturday, I attended the protest on legislative lawns despite COVID-19 concerns. For me, though, it really wasn’t a choice.

It is unfathomable to me that in 2021 there is any question about the heinousness of old-growth logging. I will not reiterate the scientific reasons nor the ethical reasons for protecting what is left since if you don’t know what they are, you haven’t been paying attention.

What I will say is that, the fact that we are still having this conversation under NDP governance smacks of the same old practice of back-room deals by a bunch of middle-aged white men.

Deborah McEwen
Victoria

They can protest with no restrictions

Once again I note that the Protest 101 movement is alive and well on southern Vancouver Island.

That protesters can lie down on the entrance roads to the ferry system, scale the legislature steps and erect bonfires, and impede legally granted access to logging operations, all of which can be done with apparent impunity, baffles me.

The threat to the many workers relying on this harvest for employment matters little to this movement.

Their agenda becomes secondary to any others. I suggest if the protesters want fulfilment of their agenda, try the ballot box.

Alfred Carter
Mill Bay

We get exactly what we deserve

Upon reading the numerous letters and commentary regarding whether we should or should not complain, or whether there is too much of one or the other, etc., I recalled a report from many years ago pertinent to the debate at hand.

Years ago, during a particular era when the North American education/school system was being criticized for “under achieving” in terms of comparative international test results, a report comparing five or six schools/systems in different countries was published in a reputable magazine.

Admittedly a fleeting commodity some days, but if memory serves correct, the comparison included two or three Western schools along with “equivalent” counterparts in South East Asia.

Granted, the sample size was limited, but parents in the Western cohort believed their children were doing as best they could, as were the schools. Basically, parents seemed to be a contented lot.

However, their comparative counterpart parents thought their children should be working harder, and that their schools should be more demanding. They were much less than a contented lot.

What did the authors conclude? That we get the school/system we deserve.

Keep smiling! (Or not!)

Gordon Zawaski
Parksville

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