Letters Sept. 22: Trudeau’s judgment, don’t burn leaves

Good record on multiculturalism

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

In reaction to the photo of Prime Minister Trudeau in an Arabian costume with face makeup I will say this. His record in the past four years on multiculturalism, Indigenous issues, etc. is strong and consistent.

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I will also say it’s a good thing we can all look in the mirror and honestly say we’ve never made a mistake, we’ve never hurt someone, we’ve never disappointed ourselves or felt badly for something we’ve said or done. But if we ever have, we’ve probably apologized and asked for forgiveness.

So let’s hope that when a prime minister, a friend, a family member or a colleague does or says something they regret and they apologize and accept responsibility for their actions that we in turn have the dignity and character to accept their apology and move on. None of us is perfect.

Rick Baker
View Royal

This is about repeated poor judgment

I want to share with you my opinion as a middle-aged white male just why the whole blackface thing is really “not that big a thing” to me.

So Trudeau wore blackface once. No twice. Sorry, I meant three times at my last check.

Most of us understand that when the incident occurred in 2001 it was a different time, and different circumstances, and even then I don’t think he did it as a deliberately, calculated racist act. He was dressing up as a cartoon character and he made, under the filter of today, a bad decision.

If it wasn’t a deliberate act, maybe we could call it a casual or uninformed act of racism at best. Stupidity is another name.

You know it was poor judgment, I know it was poor judgment, I think most everyone agrees it was poor judgment. Heck, even Trudeau acknowledges it was poor judgment.

See? That’s the point. It wasn’t intended as a racist act, it was poor judgement even back in 2001.

Just as it was poor judgment to accept “gifts” like a flight and vacation paid for by a rich acquaintance, poor judgment to dress up as Bollywood Indians when visiting India and poor judgment to interfere with the attorney general.

This isn’t about blackface, it’s more about a consistent pattern of poor judgment.

Jay Cornell
Cobble Hill

I was not offended by Trudeau’s ‘colouration’

I’m a Canadian, originally from New Delhi, India and brown. I do not find Justin Trudeau’s fancy dress party “colouration” offensive at all. In my opinion, he simply dressed to play a part. For various political candidates to vilify him and to make this appear to be offensive, is absolute nonsense, especially since he was quite young and it was long before “political correctness” came into vogue.

The candidates should focus on far more serious and pressing matters, such as a Canadian national policy on housing. A vast majority of young Canadians cannot afford to buy a property in their own country, while foreigners often buy multiple properties they don’t even live in — with cash, consequently driving property prices sky high. Housing should become a major election issue, resulting in a complete ban on all foreign ownership of Canadian property.

Sunil Kaplash
Saanich

He’s been saying sorry a lot

Justin Trudeau has to be the sorriest PM we’ve had in modern history.

I’ve never heard a prime minister say sorry so many times and for so many things.

Were his sorrys sincere? Remember, he was a drama teacher before he became our PM.

Bob Broughton
Victoria

Another thing about that blackface photo

Regarding the scandal of Justin Trudeau wearing blackface in the Arabian Nights 2001 gala benefit for West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver — not one article I have read in the newspapers mentions one other glaring faux pas.

His right hand is touching a girl's left breast.

Margot Tidd
Victoria

It happened 18 years ago

I, for the life of me, cannot understand all the fuss about something Canada’s PM did 18 years ago.

This was after all a costume party. Justin Trudeau was teaching. How was he to know this, years later, would come back to haunt him in his role in politics? Quite possibly Justin Trudeau then had no idea he would run for a political office. Did he have a crystal ball?

I think the media, etc., should cut him some slack. Since when is it politically incorrect to dress up for a costume ball?

Chris Garrett-Petts
Victoria

It’s the season of unwanted burning

As autumn approaches, various routines will ensue. Taken for granted entitlements will soon assail our environment and the health of many B.C. residents.

I am referring to the seasonal fall burning of leaves and grass that tens of thousands of citizens will participate in.

Our government leaders must quickly put an end to this practice which only adds to the devastation that the Amazon rainforest is experiencing.

If Prince Edward Island can stop the madness, then so can we.

Chipping and composting is the solution to this unnecessary pollution.

The worst offence is the sometimes weeks-long smouldering of unwanted stumps.

Incomplete combustion results in breathable air being compromised with unacceptable levels of airborne particulates.

On otherwise beautiful fall days, smoke-filled air will pollute both lungs and laundry and make it unsavoury to venture outdoors. Fresh air will cease to exist in many jurisdictions.

We will again witness violations of the spirit of the Paris Climate Accord by allowing unfettered burning to continue.

Gord Byers
Nanaimo

Don’t publish ads for guns

I was appalled that you would accept a flyer that openly sells guns of all kinds. Not only are they advertising hunting rifles but are also selling 9mm semi-automatics, handguns that need not be in the hands of anyone, plus a semi-automatic rifle.

Why are we in Canada allowed to obtain such weapons? Are we emulating our neighbours to the south? It can only encourage shootings, as in the United Sates.

Do we have a right to bear arms? Thank goodness we don’t have a National Rifle Association to finance our election process.

Richard Brown
Cobble Hill

Neighbours leaving because of the tax

Re: “Goodbye Victoria, speculation tax is forcing us to leave,” commentary, Sept. 17.

I have sympathy for John Dudycha and his wife who must say goodbye to Victoria because of the new B.C. speculation tax.

Last week, we sadly said farewell to two wonderful neighbours who divided their time between Phoenix, Arizona and their home here in Saanich.

With their two sons, they have been coming here several times a year for the past 15 years. They came as often as possible including school breaks, Thanksgiving, Christmas and throughout the summers.

Over the years, they completed major upgrades to their home and garden, their boys participated in various sports and summer classes, and they enjoyed many aspects of living in our community while contributing to the local economy.

Hardly “foreign speculators,” their aim was to retire here in a few years. It’s hard to imagine that the sale of their home has in any way improved our housing problem, but the exorbitant amount of the tax, on top of paying full annual taxes, has forced them to sell.

Affordable housing is of major concern, but Finance Minister Carole James’s speculation tax doesn’t just target actual speculators (from inside and outside B.C.). Unfortunately, it has cast its net far too wide and caught up a number of part-time home owners from outside B.C. who were actually important contributors to our community.

Those of us who have had the pleasure of great neighbours from outside B.C. understand the personal impact this tax has had on some (former) members of our community.

Daphne Donaldson
Saanich

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