Letters Oct. 9: Give taggers what they deserve; COVID safety in our schools

Doing the right thing with those taggers

Re: “Nanaimo graffiti tagger must pay $15,000, clean up and say sorry,” Oct. 8.

It was so great to read that Nanaimo tagger Khaos was heavily fined and made to clean up their mess. Having grown up in Victoria, I have witnessed a steady increase in tagging, which is not proper graffiti art but nothing more than straight-up vandalism of public and private property.

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Tagging is ugly by any standard, and those sad cases desperate for attention who perpetrate it need to be held accountable. Victoria city council should learn from Nanaimo’s example instead of wasting their budget on fantasy projects and handcuffing the police while the citizens of this once-beautiful town watch it crumble.

C. Scott Stofer

Life-and-death issue demands one response

So, Premier John Horgan thinks that local school boards are best suited to determine COVID-19 safety issues on their premises. Isn’t this an abdication of responsibility?

We are not dealing with routine educational matters, but with a provincewide life-and-death issue where only the province can ensure consistency and appropriate safety measures, based on the scientific knowledge available in real time only to the provincial health officer.

The U.S. has an excellent legal doctrine of reckless endangerment — it seems that the concept is worth importing.

Roger Love

Premier is content letting things fester

Regarding vaccines in school districts, I wish Premier John Horgan was more of a chief executive officer than a politician.

As in the dispute about old-growth forests, he appears quite happy to let things fester and hope they will resolve somehow over time.

From what I read and hear, it seems to me that the will of the people shows clearly what needs to be done now, in both cases, and that takes a leader, and that clearly is the premier.

Vince Devries

Critical thinking is not always wanted

We have been encouraged to use critical thinking in our lives. Yet when one does critical thinking “outside the box,” they are negatively criticized. Am I the only one who finds that this does not make sense?

Wendy Campbell

Please, stop giving food to wildlife

The story concerning fines handed to a Whistler woman gave my faith in wildlife infractions enforcement a welcome boost.

This level of penalty is very rare but shouldn’t be. No bear should have to die because it just trying to survive.

An instance of garbage cans positioned permanently at roadside in our rural residential area and attracting bears was only resolved after I made several phone calls and emails to both the Municipality of North Cowichan and the B.C. Conservation Service over a period of more than a year.

I don’t think it should take that long to resolve enforcement issues concerning wildlife. Another issue putting bears at risk is hobby farmers who don’t secure their flock or their feed products, enticing bears to a possible easy meal. These beautiful animals deserve better from us.

Mike Wilkinson

That’s a Caribbean, but it’s not a ’54

Re: “Once-grand Packard Co. took hit in ’30s,” Bill Vance column, Oct. 8.

Just a minor detail, but the Packard Caribbean pictured is a 1956, not a 1954 model.

Packard produced Caribbean convertibles from 1953 to 1956 inclusive, but only built a Caribbean hardtop in 1956.

Fewer than 300 were produced and the number of survivors in Canada is probably in the single digits. I have owned one since 1973.

Harold Swierenga
Salt Spring Island

Special praise for a cartoon and a column

Over the decades, I’ve heard many negative comments about the Times Colonist.

This past week, Raeside’s cartoon on Justin Trudeau and Les Leyne’s column on Isobel Mackenzie’s report should remind us how fortunate we are in Victoria to still have this daily newspaper.

Norman Spector

Where a councillor must live in the city

Jason Baker, the mayor of Brockville, Ontario, has been forced to resign. He moved to his “dream home” outside the Brockville city limits not knowing that was a no-no under municipal law.

What an idea: You have to live in the city in which you hold office and spend taxpayers’ money. Victoria council, are you listening?

Bill Mitchell

We need more leaders like Angela Merkel

I never thought that one day I would be praising a German politician.

I grew up in a town — West Hartlepool, later joined to nearby 800-year-old Hartlepool — which had been bombarded in December 1914 by a German fleet, resulting in more than 100 civilian deaths. One of my uncles told me later that he had seen the head of one of his schoolmates blown off.

During the Second World War, as the atrocities mounted, the local and national hatred of Germans increased, mitigated in part by attempts to ridicule Hitler and his cronies in BBC comedy shows. Justice could not come quickly enough.

Fast forward three-quarters of a century and we have the retirement of Angela Merkel, an outstanding and world-respected politician. She makes the recent and current British rulers look like the twits they are.

She will be missed.

John Stonehouse

Reconciliation is a complex challenge

Two days before National Reconciliation Day, as Coastal GasLink was bulldozing down trees to make way for a bitumen pipeline to be forced under the Morice River, a Wet’suwet’en land defender was tasered and then arrested.

This is one of countless examples of systemic racism, reflected in the state-sanctioned subsidized resource extractive industries that rape and pillage unceded lands of Indigenous peoples.

How did this happen? Empire builders made it simple by forcing natives onto reserves, stealing their lands, destroying families, setting up fake band councils, all to create an economy for the colonizers.

Until “Canada” stops allowing logging, mining, pipelines, etc., to continue unchecked, there can be no real reconciliation. An economy that respects Indigenous rights for wild-crafting, ceremony, hunting, fishing, trapping and respect for the laws of nature is hard to imagine, but for those with imaginations, we can begin by listening to those who have had no voice for more than 500 years.

This new holiday is a sham. For mainstream politicians, corporate thieves and the apathetic, it is another day of decadent deceit.

The arrogance award goes to Justin Trudeau, who was caught sneaking off to Tofino for a surfing holiday on National Reconciliation Day, refusing to attend the Indigenous ceremonies in Kamloops.

We settlers who have freedoms and wealth galore must remember that we have unearned privilege because colonized Indigenous Peoples, all over the globe, have lost their lands, their cultures, their languages, their children and their health. Recognizing reconciliation is a complex and existential challenge for us all.

Eartha Muirhead
Denman Island

There is enough coastline for birds

It’s too bad that distant federal regulations will bring to an end such a harmless, joy-filled activity as a beach walk with your unleashed dog.

Tough for me to understand that our local municipalities are unable or unwilling to stand up to these rules.

I walk Willows Beach daily with my two dogs, from October to April. Once in a while, you see a heron. I’ve never seen the heron molested or attacked. Maybe a few seagulls.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada has 243,042 kilometres, on three oceans, of coastline. The longest coastline in the world.

The migratory birds can have the rest of the coastline. I just want three or four kilometres of beach here in Victoria.

Adam Bate


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