Vancouver Sun letters to the editor forSaturday, May 18, 2019

Map showing chinook salmon restrictions Times Colonist

I read with interest Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s op-ed on Monday, proclaiming the government policy regarding limiting sport fishing of Chinook salmon on the B.C. coast. There was not a word about salmon farms, which have been prohibited in Alaska, Washington State and Oregon. The most harmful result of the farms is the sea lice that can infect smolts migrating to the open sea.

The only solution from Fisheries and Oceans Canada is to penalize B.C. sport fishers.

This bureaucratic decision is akin to a rancher not being able to catch a wolf killing his sheep, and coming home and kicking his dog.

The job losses from shutting down the fish farms would be offset by the resulting return of a vibrant wild salmon industry. The resident orca population would be thankful.

Ron Espin, West Vancouver

Pipeline harming Chinook

Given the urgently needed strong Chinook conservation measures announced by Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, why is he accepting the National Energy Board’s flawed pipeline plan, which over-rides strict conservation measures imposed by our B.C. Fish Act and Streamside Protection Regulation?

The B.C. laws were put in place to protect critical riparian-zone habitat and to help slow plunging numbers of returning wild salmon. Clearing riparian areas and trenching to cross more than 700 Fraser River tributaries with a pipeline for Trans Mountain is unnecessary, given advances in directional drilling/boring for running pipe. And the laying of anti-spawning mesh to prevent Chinook from spawning within work zones to facilitate construction is outrageous.

If we can adopt drilling/boring for urban water and sewer lines, then surely we can do it along the pipeline route for the Chinook.

Larri Woodrow, Langley

Low-barrier housing doesn’t help addiction

Low-barrier housing is a harm-reduction policy that, unfortunately, does little to address the ravages of addiction on users and the community.

The theft that the Super Valu on East 1st Ave. is experiencing isn’t for food — it is theft to finance addiction. I have been stopped numerous times on Commercial Drive by desperate addicts trying to sell bricks of cheese or meat. Addiction disables the capacity to appreciate the dysfunction that creeps into neighbourhoods where addicts feel more welcome.

It is ironic that a large portion of welfare dollars collected through taxes to feed and house those in need goes into the purchase of drugs that ultimately becomes laundered in expensive homes, luxury items or ends up in casino coffers.

The “reduction” part of the current harm policy does little to address the actual harm that addiction does to addicts and communities. Criminal bosses and gangs are the only ones who truly benefit from this expensive policy. A real harm-reduction policy would provide treatment immediately on demand and those too lost in decades of addiction be given supervised hospital-grade drugs.

Patti Milsom, Vancouver

Story was uplifting

Re: Medical resident learned life lessons from mother, May 13.

Thank you for the uplifting story on Monday’s front page. It highlights the concepts of resilience, gratitude and the therapeutic use of self in healing.

Kulwant, the widowed mother, embodied resilience, a trait familiar to our family. Her adult sons expressed gratitude for the strength of their mother, the life force inherent in a mother’s love.

Her son, medical student Jas, offered the therapeutic use of self, an important healing source to the patient. He did not offer a technique or a procedure, but reached out of self to another, not to cure but to heal. There are lessons here for all of us.

Nancy Yurkovich, Richmond

Begbie deserves his fate

I take exception to letter-writer Jim Anderson’s description of New Westminster council’s removal of Judge Matthew Begbie’s statue as rewriting history. It’s more a case of correcting history.

Begbie’s treatment of the chiefs was racist and murderous. He belongs in the dustbin of history. Anderson should read Sweat and Struggle — a working-class history of Canada by Jack Scott who wrote, “there is an element of danger in providing people with a knowledge of real history.” Hopefully, it might help him understand the real history of our country.

Mike Crocker, Surrey

Letters to the editor should be sent to [email protected] The editorial pages editor is Gordon Clark, who can be reached at [email protected].

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