letters to the editor

Letters to the Editor

Readers write about sacred memories at the Ashcroft Slough and the need to work together

Dear Editor,

We all had a special someone that we indubitably thought of while bowing our heads for the commemorative two minutes of silence during the Remembrance Day ceremony last week. I thought about my husband’s grandfather on his mother’s side.

I knew him as Bonpa Belhomme, and what a fitting name that was. Translated literally, it means “great dad beautiful man”. He was a tall, slender man of a gentle nature. Quiet-spoken, but he made a powerful impact with his wily wit and well-chosen words.

In the truest sense of the word, he was a storyteller. You could understand what he must have gone through in his life with the images he would implant in your mind: two world wars, an economic depression, immigration to a hostile new land, brutal working conditions on the wild West Coast, personal sacrifices.

He made keen observations and astute judgments. Though he made his home in Vancouver, he loved the countryside, embracing the magnitude of solitude: long days, dark nights for months at a time in a camp surrounded by the heaving ocean and rugged Columbia Mountains, much of the time alone with his thoughts.

He died in January, 1988; his body cremated.

I thought about him as I listened to the solemn notes of the Lament. I thought of his devoted daughter, my now deceased mother-in-law, carefully wrapping his urn, tucking it under her arm, and gingerly making her way to the impromptu gravesite she had selected. In my mind’s eye, I see her shed a tear for her dear dad, whispering as she laid him to rest: earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

His burial grounds will always be a place of spiritual commiseration for me. His remains lie in the temperamental sediments that make up our majestic Ashcroft Slough. This, among other things, motivates me to seek safe, legal pedestrian access to what I consider a sacred place.

Gloria Mertens

Ashcroft, B.C.

Dear Editor,

Eight months ago, the world as every British Columbian knew it changed. The greatest health and economic crisis of our generation has impacted each and every one of us. We’ve had to adjust our lifestyles, how we work, and how we connect with those we care about. Many have lost their paycheques and, most tragically, some have lost their lives.

Every single British Columbian has sacrificed. Despite these hardships, as organizations representing employers big and small, in urban centres and rural communities, what’s struck us most is the spirit of togetherness that has helped us through these challenging times.

The fact that every British Columbian — whether they’re on the front line, driving a truck, in a leadership position, or running a household — is dealing with this pandemic in their own way but, at the same time, continuing to find ways to show compassion and help each other has been extraordinary. People collectively caring for people: it’s that Team B.C. spirit that makes this province great.

That’s why, as we look to manage the next phase of the pandemic and the road to economic recovery, we need to seize that team spirit once again.

We also know we have other challenges in B.C. We’re concerned about inequality and divisiveness. We’re troubled by homelessness and mental health within our communities. And we are worried about the impact climate change will have on our planet and our children’s future.

We recognize we don’t have all the answers, but what we do know is we want to be a part of the solution. Now more than ever, we need to collaborate and focus on ensuring B.C. not only survives this pandemic, but that we thrive.

It’s why our organizations are committed to doubling down on our efforts to work together. By employing the same collective approach that’s kept workers and communities healthy and safe, we can help people get back on their feet economically and socially and help our province and our communities move forward.

As our B.C. MLAs of all stripes return to governing in the coming days, we’re here to work with you. Whether it’s in continuing to fight the pandemic, lifting up our economy and growing opportunities for meaningful work, tackling climate change, or ensuring our workplaces and society are inclusive and diverse — there’s a role for all of us to play, and we are here to help.

We are committed to continue working in partnership with health officials, government, Indigenous leaders, workers, and communities to create a better British Columbia for everyone. Because the workers our members represent — the grocery clerks, construction workers, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs, forestry workers, data analysts, mining engineers, and more — are also our family members, our neighbours, and our friends.

Time and time again, British Columbians have shown resolve and strength in coming together. By re-doubling our efforts now, we will get through this pandemic and build a brighter future for all.

Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO,

BC Council of Forest Industries

Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO,

Business Council of BC

Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

Chris Gardner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association

Michael Goehring, President and CEO, Mining Association of BC

Dan Baxter, Interim President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce

Bryan Cox, President & CEO,

Canadian LNG Alliance


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Letters to the editor