Letters Oct. 13: Calm the vitriol over vaccinations; Bravo Zulu to Saanich workers

Let’s cool the hatred over vaccinations

I am not an anti-vaxxer. I have had two Pfizer shots. What worries me far more than the effect of COVID on our society is the degree of hatred that I see in letters to the editor in this paper.

Anti-vaxxers, rightly or wrongly, fear the short-term and long-term effects of the vaccines more than they fear COVID. They also fear the degree of government control on their lives.

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Instead of a respectful dialogue, people are being labelled and demonized by those that disagree with them.

We have seen letters in the Times Colonist that anti-vaxxers with COVID shouldn’t be treated, and essentially told to go home and die, and similar views have been the theme of numerous letters.

We have never been so divided as a country, over this and other issues. Hopefully at some point there will be leaders that bring people together rather than pushing them apart.

Greg Robinson
North Saanich

Late with the garbage, but the driver backed up

I forgot to take out my garbage in time a few weeks ago.

Heard the truck, but by the time I got to the curb, the truck was about two houses gone.

The driver observed my dilemma and backed up to retrieve my cans.

Thanked him and he went cheerfully on his way.

I suspect that they get few accolades or attaboys for a job well done.

Well, here is one from me, Bravo Zulu!

Jim Glass
Saanich

Teachers do without to protect the rest of us

Many thanks to our teachers who continue to provide a great learning environment for our children despite worries about catching COVID-19 from their younger unvaccinated pupils.

A teacher friend who lives alone spent Thanksgiving on her own rather than risk spreading the virus that she may have picked up at work.

I hope that parents get their 5- to 11-year-olds vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them, as it will provide another layer of protection for all of us.

Alanna Wrean
Victoria

Hey, loud little men, stop making so much noise

I often wonder if I am the only one who thinks our city is insanely noisy. I use the adjective “insanely” as the most common effects of chronic loud noise are sleep disturbance and annoyance behaviours, which tend to make us crazy (or at least crazier).

Am I the only one who thinks in 2021 that roaring internal-combustion engines are archaic? There have been vehicle noise-restriction laws longer than the laws against lead pipes and paint and asbestos. The internal-combustion engine noise is no less toxic.

Advocates of this explosive din, if there are any, might suggest all of the noise is about performance. On this I must agree. The racket is indeed not about vehicle performance, but about little men performing.

In a city with 40-50 km/h speed limits, all the noise is performative noise: Open exhaust pipes puking out engine noise, not for speed but for attention. Call them loud little big men.

This engine noise fetish, as that is what it is, is indulged in by a few but affects many. Perhaps the decades-old Motor Vehicle Act had this in mind when it included vehicle noise restrictions.

It would seem that the case for eliminating loud engine noise is iron-clad. The laws, the science and our human experience are, on this note, all aligned.

Solving the problem of toxic engine noise should be easy as we already have the laws, and the offenders are quite open about their behaviour.

If we can’t solve this easy problem, perhaps we should join the internal-combustion engine noise enthusiasts and step on the gas, as our species, with this attitude, is surely doomed.

Steve W. Hodge
Victoria

Maybe it would be better to be somewhere else

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu recently warned Canadians planning to winter in the sunny south, that non-essential travel is not advised.

I wonder why that should be a concern when those of us in Victoria and the entire Island, are told by our provincial health leaders, that our hospitals are full of unvaccinated COVID patients, and if we get sick or injured it might not be possible to be cared for in our hospitals.

That is what the health minister should be talking about. If you have the proper travel insurance and you are going to the “sunny south” this winter and need health care, you’ll get the best. If you are here and get in health trouble — you are in trouble.

Jim Laing
Saanich

Clearing derelict boats not a coast guard job

Re: “Canadian Coast Guard urges patience as it deals with up to 1,600 derelict boats,” Oct. 10.

Having been born during a violent stormy night at Royal Jubilee Hospital over three score years and ten ago, and having lived and been a responsible sailor on the Coast ever since, you can put me down as a disbeliever of the bureaucratic hogwash pontificated by the Coast Guard’s Robert Brooks, national director of the vessels of concern program, who, while lamenting with flopping sails back in Ottawa, has more than an albatross caught about his neck.

After two years, we are being asked to be patient and becalmed, as “files are prioritized” and boats of concern are sinking, their damaged masts pointing skyward as they spew pollutants into our harbours and waterways.

The Saanich Inlet Protection Society has reported six boats of concern to the Coast Guard, three of which are now oozing effluent onto the brine at the bottom of Todd Inlet.

The almighty Coast Guard should focus on what they do best — rescue at sea. A qualified marine surveyor should be retained to inspect and assess all boats that appear to be derelict or abandoned.

Any vessels deemed a hazard should then be quickly removed by a marine salvage company, similar to the police arranging for derelict cars and trucks to be taken off roadways by tow-truck operators.

Recovering costs from owners will not work. Logic suggests that these vessels are derelict or abandoned because the owners cannot afford to maintain them, or are too lazy to care and won’t be caught.

John Olson, avid kayaker
Sidney-By-The-Sea

No joy-filled day without the birds

Re: “There is enough coastline for birds,” leter, Oct. 9.

How like a two-dog owner to feel that a beach walk (run) with unleashed dogs is a “harmless, joy-filled activity.”

The writer goes on to state that “once in a while, you see a heron.” The reason that you and we do not see more birds is because of the careless and free-running harm done by humans with dogs.

Our coastline may be long, but migratory birds fly in distinct and regular paths. Perhaps this is what the writer does not understand about the word migratory and the designation of certain areas as protected for these birds.

The Victoria Harbour Bird Sanctuary (which includes Willows Beach) was established by federal regulation on Oct. 27, 1923. Almost 100 years ago!

More and more the birds are disappearing. Because of free-ranging, running, bush-diving, bird-chasing dogs, we no longer see quail in and around Anderson Hill nor on the boulevards of Oak Bay.

We used to see harlequin ducks along our Oak Bay shore line. You might see them on a few of the islets if you are in a quiet craft, but certainly not many.

As for the “harmless fun,” perhaps all dog owners should also consider the fecal contamination and subsequent risk to children’s health while playing on our beaches.

One day perhaps we can hope they will enjoy the return and proliferation of our disappearing birds.

Ann Wilmut
Oak Bay

Clearing the beaches to improve the views

Are dogs off-leash on Gonzales Beach really threatening wildlife?

I write in response to a Sept. 24 commentary by a former Crown counsel, and the photograph that accompanies it.

For eight years, I lived on the west end of Gonzales Bay in a small, affordable, rented home — one of four that were sold some years ago when the owner died.

What sprang up in their stead was but one of the newish, single-family mega-homes that today grace the bay in that photo. Alas, the bank along which I walked down to the shore daily with my dogs is today a solid concrete mass and — a memory!

Indigenous grasses, nesting areas for generations of local birds, wildlife of all sorts — gone.

To those who know, or have experienced this area, my point is twofold:

When perfectly affordable and functional housing is levelled to make way for palaces for the privileged (and a boost to the municipal tax coffers, surely) can affordable housing really be as high-priority as our legislators and officials would have us believe?

And how do a few dogs off-leash splashing in the surf further jeopardize wildlife, pray?

Might it be instead that stragglers and strangers with dogs present an eyesore to those so fortunate as to occupy that land along such a beautiful corner of our city?

Kathryn Miner
Victoria

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