Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for the week of August 21st

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Move Israel or Max to Florida?

Peace in our time, Part II by GD Maxwell, or Herr Flick to his SS friends, let's move Israel to Florida. Yes, and why not move Ukraine to Alberta while we're at it!

I'm not sure what is worse, this idiot whose ego is as big as his mouth, or Pique Newsmagazine who continually print his dribble on a weekly basis. The only thing I wonder is, if we had a vote between Israel or Maxwell to move to Florida, the result would be only one ticket required, one-way.

Jim Clark

Pemberton, BC

Taking sides against Israel

The one thing we can all agree on is the Muslim extremists will never let the worldwide conflict end in a tie. They will never say, "We've had enough." Now we only need to decide — do we want to be the losers? Or the winners? These are the same people who are beheading women and children in Iraq.

Hamas fires rockets into Israel, not just a few rockets but hundreds, and tunnels into Israel to kill and imprison the Israelis and that's fine. But if Israel defends its land, that's bad. Israel has put up with unbelievable abuse and carnage for many years.

Only a terrorist sympathizer would take sides against Israel. It's time the pro-terrorist folks woke up or got a brain transplant.

Don Wensley


SD48 DPAC thoughts on Job Action

The position of SD48 DPAC is much the same as every other partner involved in our kids' education: We want our schools open for learning September 2, 2014.

SD48 DPAC representatives attended an Emergency BCCPAC (BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils) meeting to discuss the current stalemate in the negotiations between the BC Government and the BC Teacher's Federation. Parent leaders from 28 school districts representing parents of 81 per cent of students worked to formulate a unified voice in advocating for our children. The press release from that meeting may be found on the bccpac.bc.ca website.

SD48 DPAC is deeply disappointed at the lack of discernible progress in resolving the dispute and is frustrated that it took until August to resume exploratory talks. The opportunity to resolve this dispute is right now.

We look forward to hearing that this dispute is resolved in time for our children to return to school Sept. 2, and invite parents to voice their concerns through their PAC or by sending them to us at DPAC (mblebrun@telus.net).

SD48 DPAC Co-Chairs

Margot Murdoch

Stephanie McHugh

Barking Bay Dog Park

I've owned a couple of dogs in my life.  I've had the pleasure of keeping company with a dog who could fetch beer, dogs that took giant leaps off docks, alpha dogs, timid dogs, ball stealing dogs, senior dogs and young dogs that frolick and let loose at the dog park.  Until last weekend I had not had the pleasure of keeping company with uptight dog owners who quite frankly just don't get dogs.

Is there a new coveted type of "dog ball" that I have not been informed about?  After two Barking Bay dog owners almost had tantrum-style come-aparts when my dog stole their dogs' ball to initiate a chase, I'm convinced there must be.  What are these highly coveted, worth-getting-worked-up-over dog balls made of? Do they have gold rims, do they bounce extra high, sail extra far in the air — what exactly is it that prompts the owners of these dog balls to guard them with hoarder-like tenacity?  These very same balls that the dogs willingly let go of for another dog to chase. 

 Someone please let me know because I have to inform my dog.  

 I suppose I can also then let her know that she should stay away from tough guy type tattooed fathers, lying on blankets, just in case she should play a little too hard and knock into them. I know I certainly wouldn't expect to be knocked by frolicking dogs playing, or, heaven forbid, get cooled off by that ever pesky wet shaking dog while I'm in the dog park, next to the lake. Really the nerve of some dogs, eh buddy?

Marnie Gibson


Thanks, again

Once again, we would like to recognize all of the organizations who supported the Rotary Club of Whistler on Aug. 3 for the Pancake Breakfast held in conjunction with the Bulleit Bourbon Canadian National BBQ Championships. 

A very special thanks to Whistler Blackcomb for your support and for allowing us to use your facilities. Thanks to Wayne Katz from Zogs/Moguls and Gone Bakery for donating the pancakes and syrup. Thanks to Bruce Stewart from Nesters Market and Wellness Centre for the cooking supplies.

Again this year's event was a success and we raised over $1,000. Proceeds will be used to support the club's International and Community projects. We appreciate your support and we look forward to doing it again next year.

Marg Pallot

Murray Wood

Rotary Club of Whistler

Making a mountain out of Mount Polley

I fail to understand why special interest groups continue to sensationalize the Mount Polley mine incident. Yes, a dam failed and thousands of litres of water and mud knocked out a swath of trees and deposited them into Polley Lake. However, the water was not toxic, as many claim, and, from my understanding, the mixture contains minimal amounts of naturally occurring minerals, metals, rock, sand, silt and mud. Yes, the site looks horrendous. But it's not unlike any other naturally occurring mud slide that happens regularly all over B.C. Thankfully no one was hurt or injured, and the water tests continue to confirm that the water in the creeks and lakes is fit for human consumption and perfectly safe for fish. Scientists also continue to confirm that arsenic, mercury and lead levels fall well below the maximum allowable limits for drinking water. Today, people are once again watching fish jump in the lake and can drink the water, and there is every reason to expect that in a year, natural vegetation re-growth will render the incident almost undetectable. Yes, we need to find out why this happened and do what we can to ensure that it does not happen again. But I am not going to let all the "anti-everything" alarmists out there continue to suggest that we shut down an industry so many families rely on. Instead, let's make it better.

Donald LeungBurnaby, B.C. 

Keep the facts in mind

Much has been written about the Mount Polley tailings pond breach in the past few weeks. However, I think it is important for those who write about the breach to make sure they get the history correct. For example, in an Aug. 5 MacLean's magazine article entitled "Warnings about B.C. tailings pond 'ignored'" it was suggested that the community and local First Nations raised alarms about the stability of the dam but were ignored. Yet, in an Oct. 13 2011 article in the Williams Lake Tribune entitled "Mine discharge application raises concern," it was reported that Imperial Minerals had applied to safely discharge treated mine water from the tailings pond in November of 2009; treated water that would not include man-made chemicals, only elements that occur naturally in the Quesnel Lake watershed. The Tribune article goes on to note that Imperial Minerals held six public meetings to demonstrate how safe the water discharge would be, but it was blocked by local First Nations and community members citing "concerns."If the original application to discharge treated water had been approved, as recommended by the engineers and scientists, the water level in the tailings pond would have been reduced and the breach may never have happened. Moreover, it is very clear now from water testing that the water released from the pond was at, or close to, safe human drinking standards. These are important facts to keep in mind and they show how important it is to get the history correct. I don't think we can point a finger at any one party in this unfortunate incident, but hopefully we have all learned to let the scientists and engineers do their jobs and make the best possible and most scientifically informed recommendations and decisions that safeguard us all.

Michael Taylor

Coquitlam, B.C.

Locals Listen Up!

What is the matter with the people who now live here in Whistler 2014? There are garbage cans every 10 feet from each other. They are all bear proof. People are now feeding bears by hand! Every time a bear is killed, it's 100 per cent human fault. Stop making excuses, stop being so lazy and stop killing bears. It seems like every day I wake up I hear that another bear is destroyed.

Bears are only programmed to do one thing. Eat, eat, eat. So they can hibernate and survive for five to six months.

There is no food around this year so they do what they have to do. Find food. And they will take free food if given to them and they will come back for free food.

Keep all doors and windows locked, don't leave food in your car and please stop leaving garbage out.

Keep an eye out for posters at mailboxes and bus stops. Look into the cubs eyes and see the sadness in their eyes; they don't have a mother anymore and are now living in a cage somewhere in Vancouver. There should be very stiff fines, court dates and jail time for anyone not helping.

Ryan Doiron


Up in Arms

Last year Canada ranked 15th in military spending worldwide; combined with the other 14 countries it amounted to $1.271 trillion U.S. dollars, plus or minus. The United States spent the most, $612.5 billion. It accounted for over nine per cent of its budget.

Is this acceptable in a civilized world?

Here in Canada handguns and assault rifles are illegal and we don't produce nuclear weapons. What better country to call for a global ban on all weapon manufacture and sale!

You may call me naïve or a dreamer and I won't be offended, but I think a world without weapons would be a better place.

Imagine two drunks in a parking lot after last call, having a fistfight over who has the biggest ego. They will likely need medical assistance, probably survive and possibly go to work the next day. Now add weapons. Not only are one or both dead, but their loved ones, armed with the same, will be tempted to exact brutal vengeance.  An eye for an eye, until the whole world is blind.  Look out innocent bystanders.

Conflict in the world will never go away and some problems seem unsolvable. Only one thing is for sure: ruling by the weapon never works out in the long run.

How will we keep the ''bad guys'' in line without superior firepower? Look around, we aren't keeping them in line now, so what's the difference?

Let us compare two riots. The recent one(s) in Missouri, and the Vancouver one in 2011. The first was caused by police shooting an 18-year-old dead and is much larger in scope; the second was caused by hopes dying and not one shot was fired even though police had guns. Both are tragedies in my opinion.

So what is the solution? The 1,200 plus charges police have laid so far in Vancouver rely heavily on photographic evidence. Since 2011 the number of phoneputers has skyrocketed. A possible police slogan could be "shoot helpies not guns". Two drunks in a parking lot, or a young water polo player attempting to set fire to a police car might think twice if they knew they would end up on the news. How about offering a reward of two centre-ice seats to next season's Canuck games, raffled off between the million photobusts? My guess is, over the years the amount of overt crime would decrease. Where are the helpies in the Michael Brown affair?

If the resources needed to make weapons were redirected into diplomacy, health care, infrastructure, food production, non-polluting energy, habitat resuscitation, or ''insert your favourite cause here''... it would be positive. The best possible outcome when you produce weapons is that they work, and people die.

When trying to curb drug abuse, authorities not only focus on the users, they go after the suppliers as well. Case in point, Mr. Emery. The weapon users of the world make the press, but the suppliers are let off the hook. Anytime there is a shooting, arrest the gunman for sure, but charge the gun manufacturers and distributors as well, even extradite them to countries where their merchandise is illegally obtained.

The arms race is a marathon whose finish line consists of the runner-up's downed body.

Rob Neaga