Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Readers write about ageism, turning in drug dealers, Site C, and the Royal Engineers.

Dear Editor,

The article on Yale’s St. John the Divine church (“Golden Country”, The Journal, March 22) was very interesting. The church was built by Col. R.S. Moody’s Royal Engineers, as was pointed out in the article.

When you consider the contribution those Engineers made to the early development of British Columbia, it strikes me how little recognition they seem to get. For example, they built the Cariboo Wagon Road: no mean feat, considering the equipment and tools available at the time. Carving an artery out of a thickly forested wilderness should have merited a medal for each man in the regiment.

The Engineers not only built the church at Yale, they built the first Alexandra Bridge in 1863, which stood until 1894. The bridge that replaced it in 1926 is now far enough off the highway to be largely unknown or ignored by travellers. I visited the bridge some years ago, and was impressed by the fine, solid building that went into its construction. I painted the bridge in all its forlorn glory, and the painting hung in the Ashcroft Art Club’s annual exhibition. It was purchased by a resident of Kamloops who had attended the show.

Those Engineers surveyed many miles of land in the B.C. Interior, including the village of Bella Coola. They were everywhere, it seemed. Perhaps there is a book written about their exploits in planning, surveying, and building in what amounted to a largely uninhabited wilderness. If there isn’t, there should be. Too many historic sites in B.C. suffer neglect of mention and preservation. Happily, St. John the Divine church in Yale isn’t one of them.

Esther Darlington

Ashcroft, B.C.

Dear Editor,

This letter should be of particular interest to every senior, or every person with a senior in their immediate sphere of interest.

I have been a victim of outright “ageism”, or an unjust attack on my civil rights based on the fact that, at the age of 71, I had a stroke.

This stroke occurred two years ago, but my recovery has been excellent. Despite the fact that my doctor gave me an evaluation that said that my eyesight had fully recovered, I was ordered by ICBC to take driving tests to determine if I was fit to drive.

My background includes teaching drivers’ ed in Ontario, securing an advanced driving licence from Canadian National Railway in Toronto, and driving large trucks for CN for several years. After driving for almost 60 years in several jurisdictions across Canada, I have a perfect driving record and have never even had one speeding ticket.

Despite this, I was ordered to take three driving tests, in Chillwack and Hope. I supposedly “failed” all three. I was totally amazed at the lack of professionalism displayed by the two men administering the tests. They both showed a complete bias towards me, gave incomplete instructions, and even, I believe, lied on their written reports. For example, on three occasions they reported that the “examiner had to take verbal control”. Yet in reality, at no time did they indicate to me that they were “taking control”.

The three tests yielded results that were not only inaccurate, they were outright biased. I was convinced that they were instructed to fail me, in an attempt to get the “stroke victim” off the road. I realize that it is important to ensure that bad drivers get off the roads, but I know that I am not a bad driver, and don’t want to be penalized for the many poor drivers who are on the road.

ICBC now tells me that I have lost my licence, and wants me to ask my doctor to re-test my physical skills; something he has already done. I ask you to contact your MLA to address this injustice. Please don’t wait until it happens to you or yours.

Dick Harrington

Hope, B.C.

Dear Editor,

This is the first time I have ever been so upset as to forward my feelings in a Letter to the Editor. While my experience is minimal, one of the prerequisites is relevance.

“It’s never going to stop.”

As I sit here tonight there’s another call. We lost another one tonight to deadly carfentanyl.

I’m not oblivious to the harm drugs can do to a person, as I’ve been using since I was 12 and I’m now 63.

For many years up to this point there was some honour amongst thieves. Drug dealers sold you drugs. The quality ranged from good to poor, but they never altered them with another drug that was going to kill you.

With the experience that we have, I realize the only way it’s going to change at all is if we start turning in the dealers. We know, or someone close to us knows, where the drugs were bought.

This is a war we will never win, no matter how many resources are spent locally, so “inform on the guy who sold a drug that murdered your friend, relative, or acquaintance.”

I say yes. Call your local RCMP or local drug enforcement detachment and ask to speak to a detective. I did, and while it may seem futile, the officer did tell me it all makes a difference. It’s just evidence in a crime

So will I pick up the phone again this time? Well, I hope I don’t have to let myself think too long on that.

No words. Absolutely gutted.

Gary Christie

Wetaskiwin, Alberta

Dear Editor,

Recently I read an article from the National Observer, where environmentalist David Suzuki chastised BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver over his decision to support the new NDP government’s decision to continue with the Site C Dam project.

Although I empathize with, and feel, Mr. Suzuki’s remorse and frustration, I also understand the very difficult decision that had to be made by the Green Party leader.

Though Site C is an environmental disaster when it comes to destroying valuable farmland and uprooting Indigenous cultures, it will produce decades of clean energy.

Though Site C will cost us more to produce electricity than what it will sell for, placing increasing pressure on our own domestic rates, we will have more than ample amounts of electricity for decades.

Though Site C has created a huge distraction from clean and renewable energy systems, it has also put downward pressure on domestic solar, making it extremely competitive with escalating BC Hydro debt, which will continue to escalate with the Site C boondoggle.

However, when push comes to shove, Mr. Weaver and the BC Greens had no alternative than to support the government in power. For one thing, more constituents than not, whether informed or ill-informed, wanted the Site C project to go ahead. In actuality, Mr. Suzuki had more opportunity to educate and reach out to the constituency than did the poverty-stricken Greens. Mr. Suzuki iterates how great past Premier Dave Barrett was, yet doesn’t want to reach out politically himself.

With all due respect, David, if we want to make a difference, sometimes we have to get our hands dirty and put ourselves in uncomfortable positions. Ask Andrew.

Unfortunately, the bottom line is that the BC Greens could not have stopped the Site C project. If they’d voted down the government, the Liberals would have won in spades, and the project would have gone ahead regardless.

We’re very sorry, David. Like yourself, the announcement of the Site C project going ahead caused my tears to flow like the Peace River. However, as former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney once stated after losing a round of NAFTA talks, “Losing a battle is not losing the war. You consolidate your lines of communication, and prepare for another day.”

We have lots to fight for, David. Don’t give up on our grandchildren, don’t give up on our beautiful planet, and please, David, don’t give up on us. We need each other.

Arthur Green

Hope, B.C.


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