Letters: Public debate worthwhile

Sooke Bike skills park debate should remain respectful and factual

A reasonable public debate over the Sooke bike park is an important and useful part of the democratic process. However, some people are stepping over the line by making serious accusations which they do not back up with fact. This kind of hyperbole should not be tolerated by anyone, whether for or against the park.

Independent of the Sooke Bike Club, a group of youth set up a Facebook page called “Yes to the Bike Park” — For Supporters of the Sooke Bike Park — and in several days got over 600 “Likes.” Shortly afterwards, another Sooke citizen posted a Facebook page called “Yes to the bike park I say no no no” and invited comment. She got 20 likes and numerous comments from supporters of the Sooke bike park saying why they were in favour of the Sooke bike park.

After a few days, she posted accusations of “bullying” on her Facebook page. Wikipeadia defines bullying as: “the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others.” Bullying is a serious offense and allegations of it should be taken seriously.

However this person provides no evidence of “bullying.” I read every word posted by members of the public, mostly youth, on her Facebook page. The worst comment said her dog looks like a rat. Not polite, but not “bullying.” In fact, I saw no comments that were abusive or intimidating, nor did I see any evidence of coercion.

What is particularly offensive is that we have an adult directing her accusations at, predominantly, youth. Youth have a right to participate in democracy and to use legitimate means at their disposal. They have a right to set up a Facebook page and allow posts in support of their cause. They have a right to block comments on their own page. This is not “bullying.”

On this same Facebook page the writer accuses supporters of the Sooke bike park of bullying council. Since this is clearly false, it leads me to wonder if all her accusations of bullying are rhetorical.

If this person has any evidence of actual “bullying,” she should bring it forward and report it to the Sooke RCMP so it can be dealt with. Real bullying should not be tolerated. Rhetorical accusations of “bullying” trivialize the very real problem of bullying and the suffering of its victims. This kind of false allegation is damaging and possibly libelous.

We are still a community, even when we disagree. I urge everyone expressing their opinion on this issue to do so in a respectful manner and to present facts, not hyperbole or lies.

Christina Schlattner

Sooke

Know the rules of the road

To the ignorant driver of the blue Dodge 4 x 4 with rear Willie Dodge plate covers making a right turn from Murray Road onto Sooke Road towards the Sooke town core, please, please, review correct driving rules before you hurt someone.

On Friday, August 2 around noon time, you took it upon yourself to push your way through the intersection unsafely and posed a risk to myself and other drivers too.

First, you did not come to a complete stop at a red light.

Second, you failed to yield to traffic proceeding on an advanced green light (from Otter Point Road), nearly smashing into my front right fender (red Ford Ranger). When I honked at you to let you know you were in error, you then proceeded to fling your arms in jesters of disgust towards me as if I was the one at fault.

Please, please, do