Letters Sept. 21: Lost at Thetis, Trudeau, e-bike confusion

These hikers also got lost on Thetis trails

Re: “Hiker calling for better directions on secondary Thetis trails after six-hour ordeal,” Sept. 19.

Thank you for the article on the need for better signage in Thetis Lake Park. I concur wholeheartedly with this woman’s request for better signage. My wife and I got lost in the park last year and we were without cellphones.

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We had no intention of going off designated trails but we did accidently and we got lost. We felt certain that we would be spending the night in the woods and we were not prepared for that. Fortunately we found our way out to a roadway but had no idea where we were or in which direction to walk. We flagged down a passing motorist and he graciously took us to our car several miles away.

I felt that I should have written to the Capital Regional District after that incident but I didn’t, thinking it was just a blunder on our part. Now I realize that with better signage this would not have happened.

CRD senior manager Jeff Leahy said the trails are “appropriately and clearly signed” but then says it can be “easy to get turned around and lose your way.” A bit of a contradiction, I would suggest. Please Jeff, do not wait for someone to perish in these woods before doing something about it.

Richard Grosset
Victoria

Many other reasons to be upset with Trudeau

Re: “Trudeau sorry for wearing ‘brownface’ in 2001,” Sept. 19.

I understand why many Canadians are upset with Justin Trudeau for painting his face black or brown on at least three occasions. How is this worse than his purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, his subversion of justice in the SNC-Lavalin affair, or his ruining the career of Jody Wilson-Raybould?

It is said that past behaviour is a good indicator of how someone will act in the future. Hopefully, Canadians will remember this on election day.

Cheera Crow
Victoria

Perhaps Trudeau is ‘just not ready’

In some countries this act of blatant racism would result in resignation, but of course in the middle of an election this would be unprecedented. An idealist’s solution would be for Jagmeet Singh to somehow orchestrate a political union of two parties into one — the NDP and the Liberals — and then Singh would be the leader of the one combined party, and ultimately prime minister.

Perhaps those Conservative attack ads in the Harper era were right when describing Justin Trudeau as “just not ready.” Too late now, though. This sad episode does reveal that our American friends do not have a monopoly on racism. Racism should definitely be a front-and-centre election issue.

Douglas Cornish
Ottawa

Can’t we dress up for a costume party?

So much of the news is about Trudeau dressing up for a costume party 18 years ago. Can we not dress up to be a character in a play or attend a costume party without being branded a racist? This is not a serious issue.

Jean Kanngiesser
Port Alberni

Criticism of Trudeau not justified

The media criticism of Justin Trudeau for wearing dark makeup is utterly overblown and ridiculous. He is clearly in costume for a dress-up event in these photos along with others. It’s totally shameful what his opponents and the media are making of this. It was a costume party, for goodness sake.

Maybe we should label Laurence Olivier a racist for wearing face and body makeup in his esteemed film Othello?

Serena Stone
Oak Bay

A painting and belief in miracles

Re: “Painting declared a miracle,” Sept. 14.

Some people in this article claim that a painting of Mary sending a message by crying real tears, is a miracle.

I believe that the miracle, if there are such things, is that some people believe it.

Bruce Sproul
Victoria

ICBC is prime culprit in e-bike confusion

Re: “Electric scooter rider’s ticket tossed because ICBC offers no policy,” Sept. 19.

When it comes to the confusion concerning e-bikes (electric-motor-assisted vehicles), one agency is clearly responsible: ICBC.

One might assume that the laws concerning the licensing and insuring of e-bikes are ambiguous, or outright flawed, and need to be rewritten before any more tickets are issued by police (including a $600 driving without insurance violation). But therein lies the rub.

The laws concerning electric-motor-assisted vehicles, as documented in the Motor Vehicle Act, are crystal clear. Electric-motor-assisted vehicles have both a small electric motor and pedals and are just that, motor-assisted vehicles, where the motor assists the rider’s pedalling, but does not replace it. If the rider stops pedalling, the motor must stop, and likewise to start moving from a stop, the rider must pedal first and the motor can then kick in to assist.

If the motor can run without the rider pedalling, or if it continues to run when the bike is travelling in excess of 32 km/h, under the law it is no longer a motor-assisted vehicle; it is a motor vehicle and requires insurance and licensing as such.

Police enforce the law, they do not enforce the ambiguous nonsense that ICBC publishes. Explore the ICBC website on the topic and the confusing and contradictory information will make your head swim. The law is clear. ICBC is not.

Andrew Mueller
Victoria

Let prisoners help rebuild the wall

Driving by the once wobbly Wilkinson Road jail wall, we are witnessing its demolition and the restoration by a commercial stone mason.

As a self-taught home wall builder, it occurred to me that there is an irony in this situation. Wall building, as Winston Churchill and others could attest to, is a wholesome meditative experience.

There is great satisfaction in manual labour. A form of New Deal for the soul.

Behind the ornate edifice of the correction centre, many sad souls waste their time and talents in crushing idleness. Why are they not allowed to assist in the construction and save us taxpayers some dollars?

Probably because such ideas are quickly smothered by health and safety regulations and a confection of union concerns.

For me, the new wall will be a symbol of over-correctness and its ability to deny us the benefits of self-reliance and the value of all labour.

Caged birds can sing, but we are not helping much with our system that enforces such awful confinement.

Russell Thompson
Victoria

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