Letters to the editor Feb. 23

Keeping suites illegal offers sense of comfort

My husband and I have been residents of Oak Bay for 12 years. We have a young family with two kids.

I have been interested in the comments made regarding the legalization of secondary suites. We truly see the benefit of legalizing suites for families that need an extra income. However, I have a rather interesting concern. When we lived in Saanich as a young couple starting out, our neighbour had a legal suite. The resident was somewhat ‘shady.’ We didn’t like how he treated his dog, how he never spoke to us and how he had regular ‘shady’ visitors to his house.

I definitely would not have felt comfortable having our future children play in the backyard by themselves. So, we moved to Oak Bay to start a family. It has the best schools, best neighbourhoods, best amenities (which we pay for in our property taxes).

We are aware of illegal suites on our street and don’t mind at all.

Having said that, I like the fact that if someone seemed to be up to no good, we could potentially complain about the illegal suite and that we would have some power for dealing with them.

It makes me feel very safe.

Caroline Gough

Oak Bay

Jewish opinions cover wide range

Re: Jewish settlements pale next to other atrocities (Letters, Feb. 9)

I am Jewish. Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is an Israeli-Jewish professor at Hebrew University. Her daughter, Smadar, was murdered by a Palestinian suicide bomber. Her late father, Israeli Defense Force Gen. Mattityahu Peled, was a hero of the Six Day War and governor of Gaza in the 50s.

Dr. Peled-Elhanan says the violence that killed her daughter cannot end until Israel ends its occupation of Palestine. She supports the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” campaign to achieve this. She also supports the Bereaved Families for Peace, www.theParentsCircle.org.

Mr. Fisher can call her a “self-hating Jew” or “a traitor to her people,” but not an anti-Semite. Why are there such diametrically opposed views among Jews? Some say put five Jews in a room and you’ll get six opinions.

Dr. Peled-Elhanan and Mr. Fisher are clearly intelligent, undogmatic people. Both have equally valid perspectives. The Jews were oppressed during fascism. Nobody would fault the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance’s use of terror then.

Now the Palestinians are being oppressed – for every Israeli to die in the conflict since 1948, five to 10 times more Palestinians have been killed. That’s a greater human rights violation rate than in Sudan or China.

Some Jews acknowledge the Palestinians’ genuine struggle for liberation, with all their internal problems. Others respond to our own history based more on emotion rather than sober analysis.

Larry Wartel


Tribunal can have dual winners

Contrary to Christopher Causton’s assertion (‘Tough Times for Oak Bay police department,’ News, Feb. 4) that “in human rights complaints there are no winners … everyone loses,” in fact the loss often occurs long before the complaint is filed. Loss of dignity, of freedom, of rights.

The goal of the complaint is to restore some of those losses. Human rights complaints are no doubt difficult for all parties, but often for very different reasons. The tribunal process hopefully creates learning opportunities for the individuals involved, as well as for others in their organizations and in society.

When this happens, everyone wins.

Hersh Kline

Oak Bay

Sled dog killings

an outrage

Our family is outraged with the killing of 100 sled dogs in Whistler.

It’s unbelievable that this butchery of innocent animals went on in our Canada. Canada’s reputation, let alone Whistler’s, is at stake here. We truly hope that the owner and the employee of Outdoor Adventures of Whistler is prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that the company’s business licence is revoked.

We must demand that as a result of the inquiry, new rules and regulations be created so that this monstrous act can never happen again.

Rachel McDonnell

Oak Bay