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Letters Sept. 25: Footwear and turf longevity; sidewalk safety; dogs in parks

Gerald Harris of the Friends of Bowker Creek with rubber that was shed from Oak Bay High turf. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Use proper footwear on artificial surfaces

Re: “Chunks from Oak Bay High artificial turf field ending up in Bowker Creek,” Sept. 18.

The correct management of this particular kind of surface includes the control of kind of footwear used on the pitch. It should only be used on the pitch.

Shoes should be changed at the side of the pitch. Sportswear worn across other surfaces create sharp edges on the cleats, which then damage the artificial surface.

As this article highlights, the people who use this facility obviously do not change their shoes at the side of the pitch. If they did, the Friends of Bowker Creek may be spared from this particular form of thoughtless vandalism of their hard work.

Artificial surfaces are an exciting and dynamic evolution of sports turf surfaces. They are not, and never have been, a cheap alternative to natural surfaces.

Justin Aldhouse


Sidewalks must be safe for pedestrians

Recently someone on a mobility scooter came close to hitting me from behind while traveling almost silently at an extremely high rate of speed.

She yelled at me, suggesting that I should be paying closer attention.

With all these wonderful means of transportation that are available to people I think it is time for society to look at regulating where and how fast they can responsibly operate.

As with cars and such it is well known that some people will be irresponsible. Pedestrians always have the right of way on a sidewalk. There are no exceptions to this rule.

We need to act now before more people are hurt or threatened.

Don Macaulay


Declare war on illegal drugs and all of the social issues

Daily we hear about the huge problem of people dying from drug overdose in our province. We read about all the efforts to deal with this terrible issue.

We hear about free testing of illegal drugs and programs providing safe drugs to the addicted. We read about the need for housing, addiction and mental health programs, along with many other political programs in an effort to tackle this horrendous growing problem in our cities.

I cannot criticize any of these programs as they are all efforts to save people from dying prematurely and needlessly.

However, I do not see any substantial effort to stop the criminals who are causing the problem in the first place. The real problem starts with the daily pushers or drug dealers that visit the addicted to sell their poisons.

Yes, we read about the huge drug busts that our police and military make, but still the problem from illegal drugs grows. We need to arrest the small-time drug dealers who peddle their wares daily to the addicted.

When was the last time you read about a street dealer being arrested for selling illegal drugs? Where is this component of the programs to stop the crisis?

I think it’s obvious to most where these dealers operate, it’s where these poor addicted souls congregate daily to receive food, clothing, social assistance, and medical care. That’s where we need boots on the ground, and arrests made.

The first step in recovery from addiction is abstinence, and if we can stop the illegal drugs from getting to the addicted, then it’s more likely they will turn to a free and safe supply program where they can start to get the help they need.

Most recovering addicts will tell you that it takes something substantial to get them to try to stop using, and not being able to access their drug supply can be that first step.

So what’s missing? What’s missing is the political courage and the will to step up and call on all levels of authority to declare war on the street level drug dealers, big and small.

So which politician will be the one that declares a real war on illegal drugs and all the social problems that come with it.

I’m waiting, Premier David Eby.

Shan O’Hara


Federal government is helping reduce training costs

Re: “Nursing shortage worse due to high training costs,” letter, Sept. 7.

There is no doubt that the cost of post-secondary education is growing and many students and families are struggling to keep up. Making it worse for example, health-care students must also complete unpaid practicums, making it harder for them to work and study to pay their bills.

As a result, there has been increasing federal government support for students. For example, they have increased student grants by 40 per cent and made Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans interest-free, including those currently being repaid.

They are also increasing loan forgiveness for doctors and nurses working in rural communities.

While there is always more that could be done, there is growing rhetoric about government spending fueling inflation and causing interest rates to rise.

It’s a tricky balance, but one I think our government is getting right. According to the International Monetary Fund, Canada has among the smallest general government deficits as a percentage of GDP among G7 counties.

As we try to find our way in these difficult times, we need to avoid falling for the misleading information spread by Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.

Find out for yourself. All this information is available online at the Government of Canada.

Dianne George


Dogs are not equal, so treat them accordingly

Re: “Saanich presses pause on plan to restrict off-leash dogs in park,” Sept. 13.

Perhaps rather than taking the typical Saanich approach to everything, that one size fits all, has anyone actually thought about possibly restricting certain breeds to be on leashes, rather than all breeds?

For example, in many parts of Canada certain breeds are not allowed at all due to their aggressive behaviour, and if they are allowed, they have to be muzzled and/or leashed at all times while in the public.

What I hate as a dog owner, while walking my small pup, is coming across a pitbull or other well known aggressive breeds off-leash with their human nowhere to be seen.

It’s the uncertainty of the interaction, not the reality, that makes people uncomfortable.

I can’t imagine if I wasn’t a dog person, or didn’t know anything about dogs, how I would feel running into an aggressive breed.

So I get the argument and concerns by the non-dog public. However, treating all breeds of dogs with the same approach is unwarranted and ignores man’s interference of nature.

Not all horses are created equal, not all dogs are created equal. Unfortunately there seems to be some kind of misconception that there needs to be dog equity.

If a dog is bred to control people, that’s what he will ultimately do.

That’s his nature, if a horse is bred to run that’s what he’ll do, that’s his nature.

Leashes aren’t the answer, the answer is educating the public and dog owners on what is appropriate behaviour and surroundings for their type of dogs. Anything more is infringement upon dogs’ rights.

That may sound funny but in certain countries they are giving human rights to robots, so why not dogs.

I keep my dog on a leash 99 per cent of the time so as to avoid him being hurt by aggressive breeds of dogs. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

Doug Coulson


We need help with housing, and action against drug cartels

Re: “National strategy is needed to reduce overdose deaths,” editorial, Sept. 8.

As in the case with money laundering, addressing the on-going nationwide understaffing of RCMP experts in such fields is sorely needed.

Further, a comprehensive federal-provincial approach in a federal system such as ours is clear. Portugal’s much more successful approach is a comprehensive one which includes, for example, appropriate housing and adult education of recovering addicts, which are best addressed by a federal-provincial approach.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently questioned whether there is a federal role in the national housing crisis, despite such a role since the veterans housing initiative following the Second World War and the formation of the Central Mortgage and Housing Commision — among other previous positive federal action.

Dealing with local traffickers and dealers — and almost total failure to deal with the Asian and Mexican cartels behind much of this evil trade — has proven useless and calls for serious, well-funded federal action, albeit at a time when the federal Conservatives call for lower taxes, especially for wealthy individuals and corporations that, according to Parliamentary Budget Officer investigations in 2019, avoided paying at least $31 billion in tax thanks to use of foreign tax havens.

Ron Faris



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• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Aim for no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information.

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