Letters Oct. 6: A needless wolf cull; did a social-media crash really matter?

Urging an end to the wolf cull

“Stop scapegoating wolves” was the cry at the demonstration at the B.C. legislature on Monday.

It was a desperate plea to stop the unregulated recreational killing of wolves in B.C. and the government wolf cull, which has destroyed as many as 1,400 wolves in five years. All done with the aim of saving the mountain caribou.

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Yet no existing, properly-conducted research shows that killing wolves saves caribou. Long-standing evidence indicates that habitat loss and human encroachment are the underlying problems. But wolves are paying the price through this horrendous killing spree led by the B.C. government. If we are silent, hundreds of these fascinating and intelligent animals will die needlessly.

Rosalind Coleman
Brentwood Bay

Social media crashed, and what didn’t happen?

Wow Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp crashed on Monday. I thought it was the end, I was so frightened my life, literally, “didn’t” flash before my eyes.

Bill Carere
Victoria

Water-well licensing could reduce food supply

Re: “Looming deadline could close taps on 15,000 water wells,” Oct. 5.

I want to applaud the efforts of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in B.C., however, I am not sure that the impact of significant numbers of businesses operating in B.C. becoming illegal was flushed out sufficiently for the public to register the looming disaster.

The estimate of 15,000 groundwater users who risk losing their right to continue to use groundwater (unless they get their applications in before the deadline) did not include smaller, home-based businesses, including all the smaller farms selling food to stores, restaurants and directly to us at farmers’ markets.

So, the number of businesses who will have no authority to use groundwater without a licence could be much, much higher than 15,000.

The cost of food in B.C. is already going up and these costs will continue to rise due to climate change, the pandemic and labour shortages.

What will it look like if thousands of food producers can’t operate for years while they wait for their water licences?

Donna Forsyth
Victoria

Fairy Creek logging costs NDP a supporter

I would rip up my NDP membership card if I still lived in B.C.

I was the Vancouver Island organizer for the party, campaign organizer in a federal election in Fraser Valley East and worked in Alberta and Manitoba elections.

It took some time to understand that our “socialism” meant a working relationship with the economy in private hands, and a welfare net paid for by the taxpayers, not business. Now it seems that once in power, the party dumps its pro-environment policies overboard.

The insanity of removing old growth can not be explained to those who do not want to see it.

I was a chokerman, tree planter and taught at a forestry college in Hungary, so I am not opposed to rational forestry.

I am opposed to destroying priceless natural treasures.

Dr. Richard von Fuchs
Sopron, Hungary

Drama among Greens is not helping the party

Re: “Despite turmoil, Greens are needed in Canada,” Elizabeth May, Oct. 5.

Talk about a confused and distracting commentary. To begin, May was “thrilled” when Annamie Paul decided to run for leader of the Green Party. After that, not so much.

One would have hoped for, if not expected, a different commentary, not one that reinforces what we’ve all been reading in the past days about a hopelessly dysfunctional party.

The needed commentary would have been to describe exactly why May believes that “Greens are much needed in our Parliament” — and forget the drama, which I suppose matters to a few people, but not many in the general population.

What does the Green Party offer on environmental policy and action that the major parties are not offering — mindful that preaching is easier than governing?

Sadly, one could conclude that the ongoing drama within the party is hurting, not helping, public support for responsible green action.

Gordon MacNeil
Victoria

Many people are hoping the Greens can rebound

Re: “Despite turmoil, Greens are needed in Canada,” Elizabeth May, Oct. 5.

I think May is person of principles, honesty and integrity. I understand her willingness to lower her profile so that the new leader could be prominent. It would seem now that an atmosphere of enforced silence has been detrimental to the party and to the practise of democracy.

I am certain that there are many folks who are looking forward to a strong resurgence of the party so that we can uphold a true democracy, “government for the people, by the people.”

Eleanor Randell
Victoria

Universal health care means care for all

In recent weeks I have become increasingly disturbed by the number of letters from writers who have a cavalier attitude towards the universality of our health-care system.

There have been many letters advocating withholding care from unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. In the past, the same attitude has been expressed about smokers. Both groups are admittedly making choices which may result in hospitalization, but if we extend this logic further it becomes less clear-cut.

If someone partakes in such risky pursuits as skiing, mountaineering and mountain biking, are they to be denied care if they come to grief? After all, they too made their own choices.

The bottom line is that universality only works if it is truly universal. No one gets to play God.

Doug Row
North Saanich

PM’s non-attendance was a non-issue

As I watched the Sept. 30 Truth and Reconciliation telecast from Ottawa, I reflected on how appropriate it was for our elected officials to stand back and leave the stage to Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. It was very moving — their day to speak.

As to the prime minister’s failure to attend the Kamloops ceremony, when I watched that program, I am sure I heard that the invitation was extended twice via email, but no reply was received.

That sounds like a foul-up in the office, but Justin Trudeau did not offer that excuse, just took the heat.

Enough with the tempest in the teapot.

Ardell Ramage
Nanaimo

A lapse of judgment that becomes a lie

Taking a vacation on the very first Truth and Reconciliation Day is cringeworthy, matching the fiasco of calling an absolutely unnecessary election.

These are examples of very poor judgment by our prime minister. This is a chronic pattern.

Taking a vacation paid for by the Aga Khan, awarding WE Charity a sole-sourced contract for youth programs in spite of his family connections, dressing up in elaborate Indian costumes when meeting suit-dressed Indian notables and of course his handling of the SNC-Lavalin fiasco resulting in the loss of highly esteemed Indigenous Canadian ministers are events guaranteed to produce guffaws of embarrassment by Canadians and others.

With Justin Trudeau, lapses of judgment imperceptibly become lies, like promising electoral reform on his original electoral platform and then, with no explanation or apology, dropping the idea.

A company executive showing such serious lapses of judgment would be given a pink slip. Unfortunately, the docile nature of Canadians and a somewhat obsequious press allow such shenanigans to continue unabated.

To add insult to injury, we the taxpayers, are funding his advisers. They should be defunded.

Dr. Adrian Fine
Victoria

Andrew is wrong on spending priorities

Re: “Victoria is facing a public-safety ­crisis,” commentary, Oct. 2.

Victoria Coun. Stephen Andrew chose to agitate not for increased funding to address housing, food, and psychological insecurity — root causes of public disorder — but to increase funding for enforcement of public order.

This view is typical of the wealthy class who hate paying to alleviate the suffering of the poor, and elected him to rally workers to pay more to sic more violence on poor people.

Understaffing, overwork and burnout are a huge problem in B.C.’s hospital system because authoritarians like Andrew think spending more money on policing the poor is priority No. 1 while privatization and underfunding of hospital services from nursing to housekeeping to transport to imaging to radiologists — because people with money like paying for police and do not like paying for hospitals — have brought B.C.’s hospital system to the brink of collapse.

Hospitals or police? I say stop underfunding B.C.’s hospitals, spend more on housing, food, and social services for the poor, and stop trying to turn B.C. into a police state.

Bill Appledorf
Victoria

Andrew should be Victoria’s next mayor

Re: “Victoria is facing a public-safety crisis,” commentary, Oct. 2.

Not only has Victoria Coun. Stephen Andrew clearly identified the dangerous state of public safety in Victoria and its causes, he has also clearly made the case that he should be the next mayor of this city. Thank goodness.

Residents of neighbouring Oak Bay know that there is “no call too small” when it comes to contacting their local police force. In Victoria, when it comes to calling VicPD, many residents are coming to the following conclusion: “Why bother?”

The crisis at hand would be even more glaring if only the many incidents in the capital city that are not being reported were included in the picture.

Most of this council has clearly been distracted by their supposed legacy projects in recent months and years. However, what they will truly be remembered for is the public-safety crisis they have shamefully allowed to unfold on their watch.

Trevor Amon
Victoria

Answers coming in the next civic election

Re: “Victoria is facing a public-safety ­crisis,” commentary, Oct. 2.

Good to see that irony is alive and well at Victoria city hall.

Coun. Stephen Andrew writes that the city is undergoing a public-safety crisis. Really? As everyone — excepting perhaps councillors — knows, this crisis was perpetrated by the council’s decision to lay out a welcome mat to the homeless in recent years.

It escaped their calculations that such an influx of unfortunates might include a large number of folks who were used to and comfortable with violating even the most basic societal rules.

Nor are they shy about backing up their behaviour with violence. Combine this with the mind-boggling uselessness of our judicial system, and you have the crisis that the councillor belatedly perceives.

Welcome to reality, city council.

So thank you, Andrew, for bringing to our attention what has long been common knowledge. The questions now are, what steps will the council take to reverse the damage, and how will it ensure such a mistake is not repeated in the future.

I suspect the answer to the second question will be found in the next city election.

Michel Murray
Saanich

Decarbonizing Victoria and the Island

Electric cars and bikes are a very small part of the answer. We need free/very affordable public transit that serves communities with small buses, routed cabs and high-speed trains, in addition to regular buses.

We must keep oil and gas in the ground and subsidize solar, wind and tidal power instead. We must preserve every inch of old-growth forest and selectively log the rest. There is no time left to listen to lies or tolerate poor leadership. I want my tax dollars used properly or not at all.

Judy Lightwater
Victoria

The world’s future must be carbon-zero

The recent oil-spill atrocity in California, polluting beaches, tidal flats and wetlands, killing aquatic life, birds and marine mammals, is just one more nail in the coffin of the out-of-control petroleum industry. Isn’t it?

The sad, even tragic truth is, possibly not. Why? Because our governments at every level are so afraid of change that they are effectively paralyzed when it comes to developing and implementing strategies to deal with what most competent authorities have called a crisis.

It’s difficult to know what to say in the face of this existential failure. The Times Colonist’s Trevor Hancock is undertaking the necessary task of once again discussing the issues methodically and dispassionately. Others have tried to take more direct action, with greater or lesser degrees of success.

Perhaps it is simply time to tell our elected officials that the time for dissembling is past. It may be scary and inconvenient, disruptive and costly, but despite COVID and deficits, now is the time to begin the long and difficult transition to a carbon-zero future.

Whether we like it or not, we are the inheritors of the Earth and have become its arbiters. We have to ask ourselves, are we up to the task?

Tom Masters
Chemainus

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