Letters Sept. 18: Get shots now rather than later; a peaceful cruise-free summer

Take your medicine before you get sick

We are enjoying David Sovka’s series on vaccines. Hilarious and spot on — though I’m guessing my cousin Karen from Alberta and her American husband don’t find it as funny.

Anyway, my favourite point is the confounding realization that someone who refuses to get the vaccine would probably accept any drug offered to treat the disease if (when) they get it.

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And I’ll bet dollars-to-doughnuts they won’t be grilling the nurse about how long it took to develop or test those meds. To those holding out, please — take your medicine now instead of later.

Tammy Ruffolo

Peaceful summer without cruise ships

It has been so peaceful here in James Bay this summer without the almost daily dump of thousands of tourists on our doorsteps; bringing pollution, garbage, noise, traffic and congestion.

And so nice to have a break from those who do not live here lecturing us on how much money they make by using our neighbourhood as a beachhead for the invasion.

And arrogantly telling us that if we do not like the massive and ever-increasing number of ships we should move.

When Alaskan politicians earlier this year expressed concerns regarding the Canadian cruise ship ban, Premier John Horgan and other local politicians dismissed them with the same condescension and contempt that James Bay residents have had to put up with for years, with the difference that the Americans don’t have to take it.

Now steps are being taken to repeal the American law that forced the cruise ships to stop in Canada on their voyages. Will these ships still go to the expense of stopping here on what is, after all, an Alaskan cruise if they are not compelled to?

But maybe all is not lost. After all, we still have the navy in Esquimalt. Perhaps we could send out a destroyer to once again force the cruise ships to stop here. Or intimidate them with our subs?

Ian MacDonell

Effective communication and different views

Some recent letters here have touched on the subject of communicating with others who have different views. I’d like to explore that thought a bit more.

The most eloquent orator in the world cannot communicate anything to a head of lettuce, because the lettuce can’t hear. And the same is essentially true for human communications. Communication does not happen because of what is said; effective communication happens because of what is heard.

The problem with many staunchly opposed points of view is that neither side wants to listen to the other, and even believes that because “they” aren’t listening to “me,” communication isn’t taking place; and they are sadly not far wrong.

But for the protesters who are being extremely vocal at hospitals or other political rallies of late, maybe you should consider that if all you are doing is yelling and shouting and screaming at the top of your lungs, then the only message that you are communicating to anyone else is that all you know how to do is to yell and scream.

And why should anyone listen to that?

Richard Silver

Male photographers aimed for erotic angles

As an Olympian proudly representing Canada in gymnastics in 1968 and 1972, I was not sexually abused by coaches or doctors, but sometimes by some male media photographers.

Back then, we called certain favoured camera angles “crotch shots” — and though women rarely appeared in sport sections, such crotch shots of girls and women were all too often printed, much to their dismay.

Splits and straddles are spectacular displays of the human body, but they tempt some men to aim for erotic angles.

In later years, when I was head coach at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta, such angles were not allowed in our gymnasiums.

An obvious solution to such creative adult abuses of young athletes is to educate everyone of what sexual abuse looks like so it is recognized as wrong.

While the U.S. female gymnasts made a compelling force for full accountability by the FBI and U.S. Gymnastics at their testimony before the U.S. Senate, sexual abuse will not be curbed easily.

It is a disgusting and inhuman feature of male sexuality and power that needs to be addressed. Waiting does not change the criminal and molesting behaviour of the men who take advantage of little girls and young women, even as they represent the most precious world class athleticism.

This is a problem caused by men, and needs to solved by men. When and which men will tackle the horrific behaviour of these male deviants?

To date, I have not seen or heard a single man condemn or stand up to this behaviour by resolving to find ways to tackle it.

Boys’ toys and clothes are over-­masculinized and female body suits are getting overly skimpy — we have to start somewhere.

Sandra Hartley

Empty, rotting buildings not worth saving

Re: “A need to preserve our vanishing architectural past,” commentary, Sept. 8.

While I respect that we all have varying opinions on things such as preserving architecture, I find myself bemused by the fact that the appropriately-named Northern Junk buildings arouse passion.

I grew up in Victoria, and have lived in the Capital Regional District since 1974. For more than 90 per cent of that time, those decrepit eyesores have embarrassingly languished, empty and rotting.

The assertion that “a majority of Victoria citizens” are saddened by the potential loss of their visibility strikes me as questionable. I suggest visiting Colmar, France, to see what sort of buildings are worth preserving.

Colin Gardiner
North Saanich

Make better use of reconciliation day

How surprising that our federal government and our provincial leaders have decided to declare Sept. 30 a “holiday” to observe and participate in reconciliation. So government employees get a day off work and children get yet another day out of school.

What use is that? What a tremendous loss of opportunity.

How about we declare a true “in” digenous day of recognition and promote learning of all things Indigenous. Workplaces could show leadership in true inclusion by offering workshops on First Nations methods of conflict resolution and harmonious living and their perspective on reconciliation, starting with the truth.

How about children stay in school and participate in a full day of learning: of arts, language, cooking, songs, dance, drumming, food preservation, silviculture, medicinal values in plants, symbolic meanings in totems, foundational stories, etc. etc. I am sure our educators would not have any difficulty filling a day dedicated to such learning.

Perhaps local First Nations in all areas of Canada would welcome a chance to share their culture in a truly meaningful way. Would this not serve a purpose greater than a day off to sleep in, to shop or for those workers who do not have the benefit of such a “holiday,” to attempt to find child care?

Ann Wilmut

When dog owners become a nuisance

Back in August 2020, I wrote a letter to the Times Colonist that I hoped would bring attention to dog owners in Beacon Hill Park and their lack of respect for other people and for the park’s rules regarding dogs.

Unfortunately, it seems many dog owners didn’t pay attention.

This Monday, my father and I went to look at the peafowl near the petting zoo, because some of them have chicks. Nearby was a woman yelling at her dog, which was off-leash and obviously out of control, but we tried to ignore the noise.

Dad and I tried to look at the pea-chicks, but the birds were disturbed by the off-leash dog. The mother peahens recognize dogs as predators and will run off with their chicks if they see a dog.

Dad told the dog’s owner not to let the dog chase the birds, but the owner flippantly said that her dog will stop chasing the birds when ordered.

Dad and the woman argued on whether off-leash dogs are allowed in Beacon Hill Park.

The owner said she has lived in the city for 60 years and they’ve always been allowed to have dogs off-leash in the park, but Dad and I knew this wasn’t true. (Dad double-checked this, and he was right; they are not allowed).

Dog owners who ignore the rules and allow their dogs become a nuisance should face harder consequences.

Emma Dingman

When ideology trumps common sense

The Liberal government has doubled the national debt accumulated by all goverments since the creation of this country, in only six years of power.

Even so, we have the national NDP promising to add more than $ 200 billion to the debt over five years with a comment that the ultra-rich will pay.

The NDP do not seem to understand that there are not enough ultra-rich to pay off such outrageous debts, and taxing corporations will only see their costs imposed on Canadians in additional purchasing costs.

And corporations employ many millions of Canadians who will ultimately see their jobs disappear, as these large organizations move to lower tax destinations.

And then we see a party that plans to abandon our resource sector at a time when we need additional resources and pipelines, as they have just approved in Newfoundland.

Otherwise we will receive our fossil fuels from foreign countries as the demand for oil and natural gas increases around the globe.

Surely Canadians must understand that we cannot continue to borrow funds to sustain the country.

At some point we have to reduce spending and face the prospect of balancing the federal budget.

That is not the current financial plan of neither the federal NDP and Liberals.

H.J. Rice

Stop using sirens, try a tinkling bell

How annoying, irritating and unnecessary the sirens at 2, 3, and 4 in the morning in James Bay, this quiet, subdued, little part of Victoria, inhabited mainly by the elderly, retired and happy little families.

We know that at these times the streets are deserted and there is not a soul in sight. So who makes the call to sound the alarm bells and wake up the gently slumbering who can then not get back to sleep?

What purpose?

It is clearly unnecessary to warn everyone and every vehicle when there is nothing there.

So it would seem to be a bad habit of those who have the power to make themselves heard, to assert, to proclaim their importance by honking their horns while everyone sleeps.

Haven’t we had enough of this stupidity? This city is filled with intelligent people and we don’t really need to suffer the actions of fools.

Let the city governance ban the use of sirens for once and all. And go back to a tinkling bell on the front bumper of the vehicle, which always worked to forewarn those in the way, and in the next street.

Geoffrey Weston
James Bay


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