Letters of the week – Jan. 26

Jan. 26: On behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Alberni Valley Hospice Society...

Societies move forward as partners

To the Editor,

On behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Alberni Valley Hospice Society, we would like to provide some additional information and context to the Jan. 5 article announcing our partnership.

It was unbeknownst to both societies that the spokesperson sent to represent the Canadian Cancer Society was involved in legal action at the time.

Moving forward, we want to express our delight in this community partnership, and we hope this will inspire other organizations to partner for the benefit of their communities.

The Canadian Cancer Society will be joining the Alberni Valley Hospice Society office space as of Feb. 1, and will be available Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 3088 Third Avenue.

We are sorry for any confusion or concern this may have caused.

Brian LeFurgey, regional director, Vancouver Island, Canadian Cancer Society

Gretchen Carlson, executive director,

Alberni Valley Hospice Society / Ty Watson House


New name would bring out history

To the Editor,

re: Editorial, Racist Tone Over Neill Disappointing, Jan. 10.

I am not surprised by the racist backlash against the idea of changing the name of A.W. Neill Elementary School and Neill Street.

In Neill’s era, overt racism against Indigenous peoples and immigrants was fairly common in letters to newspaper editors. Today, that kind of racism still exists but has mostly moved to online comments sections, where it often goes unchallenged, or missed when expressed in more subtle forms.

To the common claim that changing the names would be erasing history, I say that it would do the opposite. It would highlight the history of racism in our community and our willingness as a society to overcome that history by a simple act of reconciliation.

Historical plaques, both inside and outside the school, like the kind you see on roadsides near historical sites, could explain that history, thus doing more for historical education than not changing the name would do.

In the spirit of reconciliation, I suggest the name of the school be changed to George Clutesi Elementary, which would be a fitting way to honour the work of that nationally important local pioneer of Indigenous cultural revitalization. Mr. Clutesi, a survivor of the Alberni Indian Residential School, was “a teacher of Tseshaht values, beliefs, traditions and culture … [who] was highly visible and respected both within his community and throughout Canada.”

Perry Bulwer,

Port Alberni


Deal with present problems

To the Editor,

Seriously people, give ur heads a shake! Why do you want to waste tens of thousands of dollars to change words on a sign when we have homeless hungry people on our streets and living in our parks?

Here’s a thought: take a bad memory and do some good. Have Coun. Chris Alemany sit down and figure out how much it would cost our city and school board to change the names of Neill Street and A.W. Neill Elementary School. Then have Mr. Alemany, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadians Society, the National Association of Japanese Canadians, and anyone else on Mr. Alemany’s bandwagon take that amount of money out of their own pockets instead of the taxpayers, and distribute that money between the bread of life, KUU-US crisis line society, and any other local charity.

It is time to stop throwing taxpayers’ money at past issues and deal with our present problems.

Chris Forbes,

Port Alberni


No graft, no problem

To the Editor,

Here’s a suggested remedy for elected public officials’ “pay-to-play politicking”:

Legislate elected officials’ salaries as “eligible income” and legislate supplementary income from politically-related sources as “non-eligible income”. This would then be deducted from their taxpayer-funded incomes and returned to government.

Liz Stonard,

Port Alberni