Letters to the Editor: Feb. 24

Deer cull; Response to Threats; Bill C-51; Species Management

Deer Cull

I find it hard to believe that you are going ahead with a deer cull at this time of year. Cranbrook has been winter range for the deer for as long as I can remember, but yet at a time of very poor management by the Ministry and the worst deer population that I can remember in my 47 years living in Cranbrook, you are going ahead with a cull that will likely target as many migrating deer as town deer.

The deer committee needs to step up and find another solution. As for the Ministry, you need to stop Whitetail doe slaughter before it’s too late.

Barry Bauer/Cranbrook

Response to threats

Horrifically, as we have seen in Canada, the international jihadist movement has declared war on us. Canadians are being targeted by these terrorists simply because they hate our society and the values it represents.

One only need to look back over the past several weeks at the terrorist attacks in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu as well as attacks abroad in Australia and Paris, to see that the threat of radical Islamic extremism is a very real threat.

As I travel throughout Kootenay Columbia, I hear constituents over and over saying that these threats require a strong response.

That is why, under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Conservative Government took action and brought forward the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act and Anti-terrorism Act 2015, that protects Canadians against jihadi terrorists who seek to destroy the very principles that make Canada the best country in the world to live.

Our Government rejects the argument that every time we talk about security, our freedoms are threatened. Canadians understand that their freedom and security go hand in hand. Canadians expect us to protect both, and there are protections in this legislation to do exactly that.

The fundamental fact is that our police and national security agencies are working to protect our rights and our freedoms, and it is jihadi terrorists who endanger our security and who would take away our freedoms.

Providing national security agencies with new tools will ensure that gaps in sharing information about suspected terrorists does not limit their ability to prevent attacks on Canada or against Canadians.

We as politicians do not enforce the law, but we have the duty to make sure that law enforcement has the necessary tools to keep Canadians safe.  As a former RCMP officer, I can assure you that this government is doing everything in its power to continue to do just that.

David Wilks, Member of Parliament

Bill C-51

I write this letter as a 20 year old political science student who is concerned about democratic descent in Canada. Furthermore, I write this letter as a pre response to what I believe MP David Wilks will say about a bill that is currently in the second reading in the House of Commons. That bill is Bill C-51 — The Anti-Terrorism Act. David Wilks will most likely tell you that this is a bill that protects Canadians against the terrifying acts of terrorism. However, we already have laws that protect citizens against terrorism. Might I remind you that the Toronto 18 were all charged under Canada’s current anti-terrorism laws. David Wilks’ words will most likely leave you in a state of fear. In contrast, I (as a concerned voter) will not write to instill fear, but rather, as an appeal to reasoning. For reasoning and logic is what seems to be lacking in the drafting of legislation in the Canadian House of Parliament. Bill C-51 is a travesty of democracy.

In Canada we have a deep and strong history of social movement and peaceful democratic protest. Whether it’s the On To Ottawa Trek, the women’s movement, or the Aboriginal Rights movement, Canada has a long and beautiful history of citizens gathering and protesting.

Canada’s historic protests have usually been peaceful, but illegal. Meaning acts of civil disobedience took place.

The core of my concern lies in the broadly defined language of the bill. As Independent MP and lawyer Brent Rathgeber stated: “the terms are so imprecisely defined that, for example, it’s possible environmental protesters could be considered to be disrupting the economy, and fall within the measures of the bill.” The possibility of the limitation of social movements is undemocratic, unreasonable, and unconstitutional.

Bill C-51 will not only limit protest, it will erode civil liberties, and give CSIS and police forces more power to detain without reason. Remember when I said I wouldn’t be writing to instil fear? I lied. The bill and the contents of the bill are scary. However, the solution to the bill is not. Write your MP, let your voice be heard! Also, I encourage anyone to read the contents of the bill, especially you – David Wilks! I firmly believe you wouldn’t be supporting this bill if you had read it. Or maybe I’m simply asking too much from a politician?

Eddie Petryshen/Fort Steele

Business

Since winning the Liberal nomination on April Fool’s Day 2000 with many guides in attendance, MLA Bill Bennett has had a difficult time explaining his partnership in a big game guiding business while claiming no conflict of interest.  Newspapers from coast to coast have never been satisfied with Mr. Bennett’s various twists in the tale.

His latest revelation on the subject of his shareholder loan to the guiding business is informative: “There’s no interest on it, there’s no promissory note.  If I demanded repayment on that loan, I have no documentation that would require them to repay the loan.  It sits on the books and I disclose it every year in my conflict of interest disclosure statement.” [“Bennett refutes conflict of interest rumours,” Townsman, Feb. 20, 2015]

We can all be glad unbelievable Bill is not the Finance Minister.

William G. Hills/Cranbrook

Species Management

Re: Animal Alliance Targets B.C. Tourism;

Our MLA Bill Bennett voices the opinion that wolves must be managed just as any other species. Does this include humans and politicians?

H. Rieger/Cranbrook