Letters Oct. 8: Mandate shots for unvaccinated; public safety, not authoritarianism

COVID vaccinations should be mandated

Now that both the federal and provincial governments have mandated COVID vaccines for all civil servants, it is time for our municipal governments to follow suit and require COVID vaccinations for all employees.

Every member of the public deserves to feel safe when interacting with public servants at recreation centres, municipal parks and in person at city hall.

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If vaccine mandates work provincially and federally, there is no reason municipal governments should not require the same to ensure the safety of all citizens accessing public services at any level of government.

Clint Lalonde
Saanich

Too selfish? Too stupid? Get out of our way

Re: “Don’t be a tiger when facing ignorance,” letter, Oct. 5.

Kudos to the writer of the letter regarding the futility of attempting to drag some people out of their self-imposed state of ignorance.

As a society we have spent far too much time and energy pandering to imbeciles who are either too selfish or too stupid to wear a mask or get vaccinated.

Those of us smart enough to understand the need and benefits of societal co-operation and cohesion in the face of a global health crisis are sick and tired of being held back by the donkeys (asses) among us.

Get vaccinated and wear a mask or get the hell out of our way. We want our lives back and you folks are screwing it up for the rest of us.

Len Dafoe
Nanoose Bay

Not an authoritarian; working for public safety

Re: “Andrew is wrong on spending priorities,” letter, Oct. 6.

I do not believe policing alone is going to help manage the social order on the streets. But like so many people who find the crisis an “inconvenient truth,” the writer somehow thinks attacking my character wins the argument.

I do not believe that policing the poor is the No. 1 priority. Policing is only part of the solution to dealing with escalating crime and violent behaviour.

I do not believe in privatization of hospital services. The writer presents this point as a binary choice, but it’s not. Hospitals are funded by provincial taxes, police through municipal taxes.

People living on the street or in supported housing are more likely to be a victim of crimes. They are vulnerable and have little to no redress when they are attacked as they will be labelled “a rat.” So they take matters into their own hands or accept the violence. It’s not a way to live.

Supports are on the streets. We need better support. But it won’t come from funding meant to protect our communities.

The writer might want to spend time on the street or in hospital. I have done both.

It’s a complex issue that needs a multi-pronged approach.

Either way, I maintain my city should not give over to lawlessness until those responsible for addiction, mental health and homelessness come to their senses and provide meaningful and effective support.

The writer was wrong to call me authoritarian. I call it “advocating for public safety.”

Coun. Stephen Andrew
City of Victoria

Mercury poisoning, but nothing is done

I was pleased to read about the plan to pay a percentage of house tax as a voluntary way to acknowledge the debt we owe to the First Nations on whose land we live.

A letter-writer I saw seemed to think that the government pays enough as it is. I am an immigrant from the U.K.; I came to Canada in 1975 and almost immediately learned of the Minamata disease rampant on the Grassy Narrows and White Dog reserves in Ontario.

As it was caused by the British Reed Paper Co., I wrote to The Times in London about it and they sent journalists over to Canada and published a three-page article about it.

In over 40 years since then, the Canadian government has not forced Reed to pay to have this mercury removed, and has not done so itself.

Aboriginal people are suffering the terrible effects of mercury poisoning still. It would appear that none of the allocation of the country’s funds that go to Indian Affairs have been channelled toward cleaning this poison or prosecuting Reed.

So what does Indian Affairs do? Large salaries for paper-pushers in Ottawa, no doubt, but what else?

Is it not time that this is dealt with?

What is the function of Indian Affairs? Is it not supposed to act in the best interests of the First Nations?

Surely protecting people from the horrors of Minamata disease should have been a priority in the past 40 years.

I love Canada, but it has many very recent skeletons in the cupboard that need to be dealt with immediately.

Vivien Tarkirk-Smith
Nanaimo

Let’s become adults, like the First Nations

I posit that our modern capitalist system is an adolescent one.

Since about 1760 with the rough beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have been producing at an unsustainable rate for 260 years.

It is only now we pay the price for human drives and dreams as a consequence of unguided development.

Let us look to the imperfect but continuous global First Nation systems that through respect for nature and the wisdom of elders have not diminished since first contact.

First Nations have and continue to offer an alternative system. They are the adults along with some of us. They show much of the path to an adult society.

It is time we grow up.

John Evans
Brentwood Bay

Don’t worry about land, move forward as one

Again and again we read in the Times Colonist how we need to “return the land to Indigenous people.” Really?

At the time of the first European settlers, there were about 50,000 Indigenous people living in what is now B.C. — about one million square kilometres.

That is one person for every 20 square kilometres. B.C. was vast and virtually empty. Yet somehow, Indigenous people think all that land is theirs, because they were here first. Come on.

You don’t get to claim a huge section of the planet because an incredibly small number of people lived here “first.”

There are five million of us here now. We have to use our land for the benefit of all — moving forward together, as one people.

Richard Brunt
Victoria

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