Letters to the editor – Jan. 20

Weekly letters to the editor from within the Sooke community.

Questions surround recreation land

Re: SEAPARC eyes purchase of DeMamiel Creek golf course (Online, Jan. 14)

The question to be asked, is SEAPARC still collecting the extra taxes that were added on for the pool loan referendum? That loan is now repaid (as of this year), so our taxes should go down to reflect that elimination of debt. This needs to be clarified before we vote on a new debt that will add to the tax bill.

Derek Lewers

Sooke

 

Fletcher’s column off-base, misleading

According to Tom Fletcher, “an employee of the B.C. branch plant of Sierra Club lurks, apparently coordinating media and protesters” regarding logging in the Walbran Valley (Avatar Sequel Bombs in Walbran, Jan 12, Sooke News Mirror online).

He’s referring to me. Far from lurking, I’m proud to be campaigning with Sierra Club B.C. to save the some of the last significant stands of unprotected old-growth on Vancouver Island. (And, to correct but one of the many misleading or false claims in Fletcher’s piece, Sierra Club B.C. is entirely independent.)

Fletcher’s diatribe reveals him as Teal Jones’ willing stenographer, uncritically regurgitating the logging company’s talking points. Fletcher and Teal Jones may believe it is morally and ecologically acceptable to cut down these magnificent trees and destroy complex, delicate ecosystems. Sierra Club B.C. doesn’t, and nor do the majority of British Columbians, who support  concerted action to defend endangered old-growth trees, wildlife, a stable climate, clean water and clean air.

British Columbians know that these things form the life-support system of our planet and support long-term prosperity and a diverse economy, including sustainable second-growth forestry for current and future generations.

A growing list of independent reports from B.C.’s Auditor General, the Forest Practices Board and even a Liberal MLA highlight the need for urgent action to save our forests.

It’s long past time for the provincial government to reverse the damage done when it gutted the rules governing logging. Fourteen years of trusting corporate interests to manage our forests with little or no oversight has got to stop.

Mark Worthing

Sierra Club B.C.

 

Minister’s ideas won’t work without money

Re: 2016 brings opportunities for new ways of learning (Opinion, Jan. 13)

Touting “ flexibility, collaboration, and critical thinking” new education minister, Mike Bernier paints a rosy picture for public schools.

Those who have spent time in the system, however, might see these ideas as recycled “ flavour of the month” fads from times past.

None of the  ideas in Mr. Bernier’s opinion piece are inherently bad just unattainable with B.C.’s chronic education underfunding. Either Minister Bernier has some miraculous plans to make these lofty ideas work in an underfunded classroom or he has no clue about the state of education in B.C.

So students in a crowded classroom with unsupported special needs students are to “pursue their passion, learn by doing, and have hands on experiences.” Somehow teachers, stressed and overburdened will help each of 20 to 30 students go in their own direction with measurable and achievable goals targeted in a period of about one hour.

Half baked ideas that are not properly funded should be treated with extreme skepticism as we have learned over the years. Somewhere over the rainbow Minister Bernier sees a golden future for our sons and daughters. There isn’t one new idea in his column that can be implemented without a significant restoration of funding.

Ted Roberts

Sooke