Letters Nov. 19: A Mountie’s compensation claim; firing of ceremonial guns

Carlé claim needs to be reopened

Re: “Compensation denied for kids of Mountie who was harassed,” Nov. 13.

Krista Carlé had submitted a claim for compensation from a $100-million class-action settlement against sexual harassment within the RCMP. Carlé had been a key figure in bringing the issue of sexual harassment within the RCMP to light.

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Her claim was closed, as she died before her claim had been assigned. The reason for denial, made by the independent assessor, was that claims could only be considered for “living” RCMP officers.

Guy Versailles, a spokesperson for the independent assessor’s office, said the assessor has to abide by the terms of the settlement agreement. That, I am sure, is true for the assessor.

Within our parliamentary system, there are individuals vested with the power of discretionary authority to review and alter decisions based on their merits. Those individuals are called lawmakers. That authority needs to be applied and the claim reopened.

Keith Laxton
Victoria

Officer’s children deserve compensation

Krista Carlé’s children have suffered the loss of their mother due to the sexual harassment she received during the time she served with the RCMP.

It is a grave injustice for the RCMP to deny compensation for her children “due to the volume of complaints that have been received.”

Michel Bastarache, the assessor administering settlement claims, noted that Krista had been a key figure in bringing the issue of sexual harassment within the RCMP to light. He also wrote: “The public outpouring of grief that has followed the news of her death and the multiple contacts we have had from class members over the past number of days are a testament to her place within the movement that led to this settlement and that has provided so many women with an outlet to tell their stories.”

He is basically stating that without Krista’s dedication and involvement, none of the women would have received the settlement.

His decision to deny her children the compensation they deserve and close the file is a travesty of justice and must not be allowed to stand. Every member of the RCMP, B.C. and federal politicians, and fair-minded Canadians everywhere should now show their outrage over this decision and insist that it be reversed.

While the assessor may be right that he must abide by the terms of the settlement, that does not mean that the government has to. Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should work together to ensure the Carlé children receive the compensation they deserve.

Dorothy Mullen
Victoria

Public appetite for carbon pricing limited

Re: “Echos of Dr. Evil as premier tries to demonize oil companies,” Les Leyne column, Nov. 14.

In his column, Les Leyne rightly points out the inconsistency between Premier John Horgan’s outrage with high gasoline prices and his government’s stated objectives of persuading people to move to electrically powered vehicles.

Surely, putting a higher price on carbon, whether it’s done by the government or by the private sector, should be welcomed. Perhaps, as Leyne suggests, the problem is that the private sector, not the government, is getting the money.

However, the government’s response to high gasoline prices may also be indicative of a more basic problem in relying on carbon pricing as the major way of curbing use, namely, that beyond a certain level, the public will object.

Even the federal government tacitly admits this. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks a great deal about putting a price on pollution, the fact is that the federal carbon tax accounts for only about 20 per cent of the measures invoked by his government to switch toward renewables.

John Sutherland, PhD
Victoria

‘Progressive issues’ in hockey? Say what?

Re: “Time out for ‘crisis masculinity,’ ” Nov. 14

I was hoping the Cherry pit would just die a natural death, but I guess that was too much to hope for. CP journalist Victoria Ahearn spotlights St. Thomas University’s Kristi Allain’s assertion that Cherry was a culturally divisive force who should never have been allowed access to the airwaves.

Now, I have never been a fan of Don Cherry’s brutal philosophy of hockey (rock ’em, sock ’em), and have frequently wished he would simply shut up. But this sociology professor has taken chronic boorish behaviour and elevated it to a crisis of masculinity threatened by a new social order entailing “progressive understandings of gender … and issues around immigration and diversity in Canada.”

She ends her puzzling interview by suggesting that successor inter-period shows need progressive voices talking about “progressive issues in hockey.”

People … guys just want to play hockey. And so do some girls. Let them play and forget about the broader issues. There aren’t any. Anybody with skates can play. You skate. You pass. You try to score, and the other guys try to stop you, within the rules.

Simple.

M.D. Hansen
Victoria

Target those profiting from tainted drugs

Re: “Island parents want son’s death declared poisoning,” Nov. 13.

As the mother of an adult child struggling with serious mental-health and addictions issues, this story really touched me. I totally agree with these parents wanting the language around their son’s death changed.

We are losing a staggering number of people, particularly young people, to fentanyl-tainted drugs. Young people experiment, or sometimes they are already living in a kind of hell and are self-medicating.

Sometimes it is a tragic one-time activity, but often the drug use has been slowly progressing to the hell of addiction.

There is a crisis happening and this could happen to anyone’s loved one. No family is immune. None of us should keep our heads in the sand.

I believe that as a start, to try and get on top of this horrible situation, safe supply and more treatment centres where addiction is truly understood is the only way to go to start saving lives.

These treatment centres need to be provincially funded, as the vast majority of families cannot afford the cost associated with a private centre. Healthy citizens benefit all of us in our communities.

Would we rather pay for safe substances and treatment options or the costs of untreated addiction — repeated ambulance calls, hospitalizations, policing, neighbourhood crime, etc. And don’t forget the victims who survive a tainted drug and are left with severe brain damage, possibly spending the rest of their lives severely compromised. What would you want for your child?

The cost to the families who lose a loved one cannot even be measured. Somehow, we need to start targeting the root of these tainted drugs, the producers of these substances.

Our courts need to get much tougher. These are not “accidental” overdoses. Someone intentionally put fentanyl into these drugs, all in the name of profit. Let’s start calling this what it really is — murder, and nothing less.

Georgina Tweed
Victoria

Housing is not school trustees’ mandate

There is a discussion underway in Fernwood concerning some of the lands surrounding Vic High School that belong to the school district. The issue of the discussion is financing a funding shortfall for the seismic upgrade at the high school. One of the proposals to meet this shortfall has been a land swap between the school district and the City of Victoria.

There have been other proposals to meet the funding shortfall that do not include a land swap. If the land swap is accepted as a course of action to meet the funding shortfall, there is a pending proposal at the city to build on this land.

Last week, the BCGEU sent out an email to its members to submit letters of support to the school trustees in support of a building development. However, housing is not an issue for the school trustees. The mandate of the school trustees is the protection and use of their assets for current and future educational requirements.

In this regard, the BCGEU email is inappropriate and they are meddling with little understanding in a matter that belongs to the school trustees and the community.

Ron Mclean
Fernwood

Guns signal intent for lasting peace

Re: “Why mar ceremony with jarring gunfire?” letter, Nov. 14.

The tradition of firing weapons at ceremonies of remembrance originates from a time when ships would fire their guns seaward before entering a port, rendering those ships vulnerable to attack during a time in history when cannon-reload procedures were a time-consuming affair. The act demonstrated an intent to enter a port without cause for violence.

The guns fired at Remembrance Day ceremonies honour this tradition, symbolically signalling the intent for lasting peace in a language universally understood by the soldiers, sailors and airmen whom we keep in our thoughts that day.

While this act might be an affront to the sensibilities of the letter-writer for its startling concussion and allusion to violence, enduring the inconvenience of a blank shell fired one day a year pales in comparison to the sacrifices made by those whom it honours.

Thomas Kirk
Victoria

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