Letters Oct. 21: Unmasked on ferry; no need for bonfire; spectacular Todd Creek bridge

Charge the protesters who stormed the ferry

It’s sad there were no charges laid when protesters broke B.C. Ferries rules and tried to intimidate passengers wearing masks.

Have we reached the stage were you can break the law with impunity as long as you are part of a large group?

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B.C. Ferries shouldn’t have sold tickets to passengers without masks. If they only behaved badly after the ship left port, then they should have been charged in West Vancouver.

Doing nothing after they put other passenger’s health at risk makes a mockery of all COVID-19 regulations. We are only going to win the COVID-19 battle if authorities enforce the rules. Ignoring mob disobedience only begets more mob disobedience.

S. I. Petersen
Nanaimo

Stupid ones are trying to take over

Based on what I have read about this pointless act of anti-social behaviour among mask protesters on the ferry, I do not feel the need to engage in the usual social niceties. The facts of the incident are clear.

A bunch of clowns on their way to hear another clown spouting nonsense about a secret cabal of humanoid reptiles running the world saw fit to harass other ferry passengers whose only “crime” was to have had the good sense to be wearing masks while in a public locale.

The lack of social responsibility exhibited by this tiny group of idiots is breathtaking. The meek may not inherit the earth but it sure looks like the stupid ones are giving it a heck of a try.

Len Dafoe
Nanoose Bay

Give anti-maskers their own island

I have a suggestion regarding the “anti-maskers” who disrupted operations Saturday on the B.C. Ferries. Let us find a small, uninhabited islet somewhere – as far away as possible – and allow them to live there free from the obligation of having to pay taxes that might be exploited to inhibit the spread of COVID-19.

They would be free to conduct their own herd immunity experiment and would be at liberty to hold “freedom rallies” at any time of their choosing. If it happens to be on any of the B.C. ferry routes they will be free to shake their fists as masked passengers as they recede into the mist.

The one stipulation? Not allowed to leave until a vaccine is found.

David Masini
Victoria

No conspiracy, just do your part

The attitudes and protestations of anti-maskers and freedom-rallyers lead to a question. How would such people cope with a war, which requires a population to act resolutely and make much more significant sacrifices for a matter of years, not months?

The reality is that we are at war — with an enemy that is, for us lucky ones, hidden and indirect. The only way for us to defeat this enemy is to recognize that we’re all in this fight together. Until an effective vaccine is widely available, a collaborative approach is the only way we’ll win.

Brainless individualism isn’t appropriate. Democratic society offers much freedom, but it comes with responsibility.

Several examples: rules of the road and driver licensing, work safety regulations and vocational qualifications. These requirements protect people, save lives and serve us all; likewise, social distancing and mask wearing during a pandemic.

Anti-maskers and those claiming to fight for “freedom” thumb their noses at: small businesses trying to survive; those in all front-line roles, including health care; seniors; veterans who fought for genuine freedom; people with compromised health; parents and children; and those Indigenous people and immigrants who have shouldered many years of much tougher life conditions.

In short—pretty much everyone else.

I’m sure Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un and their ilk would love this movement to grow. But maturity means tossing out conspiracy theories, listening to real facts and doing your part.

Margaux Finlayson
Victoria

A bonfire of the inanities

Last year, I wrote of the incongruity of our local East Wellington fire department holding a bonfire, due to issues with air quality and outdoor burning, among others. Recently I noticed the EWFD has advised that this year’s Guy Fawkes bonfire is cancelled “due to COVID-19”.

Alas, I was hoping it was cancelled due to common sense.

Dave Kirk
Nanaimo

Pandemic election is a risk to voters

I felt fortunate in these times to vote today. While waiting, I asked myself how it might feel to be an American voting in the Nov. 3 election.

I had difficulty imagining the fortitude to be asked of many of those voters — standing in interminable lines, facing potential disorder and even intimidation. I felt so glad to be Canadian. nlike tens of millions of our global citizens, we do not face the corruption of our fundamental right to have a say in who governs us.

But such obvious contrasts make it easy to miss the more subtle erosion of Canada’s comparatively high bar for voter accessibility.

Increasing numbers of our citizens are being disenfranchised long before an election is even called. The circumstances of poverty, disability, no home, no fixed address, no photo ID can present almost insurmountable hurdles for voting. The term “privilege” takes on a whole new dimension in this context.

Here in B.C., the calling of an unwarranted and opportunistic election in the midst of a pandemic presents a further risk to voter accessibility. Efforts to mitigate the inherent restrictions are encumbered by a short timeline.

How many more people will be disenfranchised by these circumstances? And wherein go the rights of the least able, so too will go mine.

Carol Nugent
Oak Bay

COVID protocols can limit access to care

In response to COVID-19, some health-care providers require patients to wait outside until the practice calls the patient’s cell phone to summon them inside.

Unfortunately, this creates an accessibility issue for seniors and others with disabilities that inhibit them from using cell phones, such as patients with dexterity, vision, and hearing impairments.

Health-care providers have impressive organizational skills, and it would be helpful if they could figure out how to remove this barrier to health care.

Ann Lohner
Victoria

Green party is not irrelevant

Re: “All in this together until it gets nasty,” editorial, Oct. 17.

I take exception to the comment about Greens returning to “irrelevant status.” In 2017 the Greens secured almost 17 per cent of the provincial vote, which is hardly irrelevant.

By the way, B.C. Greens weren’t irrelevant when it came to their purchasing a special cover in the Oct. 17 edition. I guess you can have it both ways.

Greens temper the vote of what would ordinarily be a “take no prisoners” approach of the two major parties each seeking a majority.

The province has experienced stability over the three years of the NDP government with the support of the Greens. That is a good lesson for British Columbians to remember. The sky didn’t fall.

Two independent science-based reports on the state of old growth forests in B.C. were published this year. They both called for a paradigm shift in how we view forests. Both called for immediate action to protect ecosystems that are in danger of irreversible collapse.

Is the NDP listening? Who would sanction the cutting down of the 157 acre Cathedral Grove? Do we want sustainable forests or a patchwork of protected old growth ‘forest museums” for future generations to remind us of what once was.

We need to hold governments accountable for their actions in the forests. We have an NDP government bent on continuing old growth logging at an unsustainable rate. “Irrelevant” Greens, once again, are speaking for the forests.

Duncan Sutherland
Victoria

Bridge replacement is spectacular

I want to thank the Capital Regional District and Seismic Construction for the beautiful job they have done on reconstruction of the Todd Creek Trestle Bridge, just past kilometre 47 of the ­Galloping Goose Trail. It was a long process, and the final result is definitely worth it. It is spectacular.

I watched the progress through the months, and when the piles of old lumber were sitting there, it was very clear as to why the bridge needed replacement. It was a danger to all using it. Fortunately, it has been replaced before any tragic mishap could occur.

When I see such great work being done for the benefit of all, it makes me happy to be a taxpayer. These are the kinds of things that make our world happier and more civilized.

Craig Bugden
Sooke

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