An editorial cartoon to match the festive season.

Letters to the Editor for Dec. 24

Letters to the Editor for the Dec. 24 edition, covering off-leash dogs, the Paris Summit, and a personal call for help.

Letter to the Editor re:  Off-Leash Dogs

On a recent beautiful winter day, my run on the Fernie dike trail was a bit tarnished by off-leash dogs. First, I was charged by an exuberant, large black dog. “Don’t worry,” said her owner, “She’s ok”.

But I certainly wasn’t ok. It’s not ok for an animal I don’t know to run up to me and try to put her paws on my chest, friendly or not.

About five minutes later, a couple held their two dogs (breeds known for their strength) by their collars as I ran past. On my return trip, I called out to this family to warn them of my approach, but the dogs acted too quickly and ran at me, charging into me hard enough that I stumbled. “This is why we usually hold onto them”, said one half of the couple.

We were on the dike trail, an area where what’s required is leashes, not just holding.

After being rammed a second time by these dogs, I felt intimidated enough to descend from the dike and finish my run on city streets.

Many animals enjoy a frolic outside on a beautiful day. But coexisting with domesticated animals on public property works best when the rules are followed. If you own a dog, please leash it where required so that we can all make the most of being outdoors together. Your hands and voice are no substitute for a leash, and my body is not a dog toy.

Heather KerrFernie, B.C.

 

Letter to the Editor re: Paris Summit

Negotiations are difficult by nature.  Managing negotiations between 195 countries is nearly impossible.  This was the dilemma facing the negotiators of the Paris climate Summit.  To solve it they brought in a unique management strategy.

The trick to getting through over-complicated negotiations comes from the Zulu people of South Africa, called “induba”.

Instead of repeating stated positions, each party is encouraged to speak personally, and state the “red lines” they are unwilling to cross.  While telling others their hard limits, they must provide solutions to find common grounds.

“Including everyone and allowing even hostile countries to speak, achieved a remarkable breakthrough,” writes The Guardian.  An historic first, the Agreement was adopted without objection.

As Ottawa now turns to reaching a detailed national climate strategy with the provinces by early March while also moving toward a North American agreement, it would do well to utilize this effective strategy that brought consensus to vastly different nations.  After all, we may be a diverse population, but we are one Canada.

Yvonne JamesNakusp, B.C.

 

Letter to the Editor re: A plea for help

I am a 54-year-old disabled man fighting M.S. One year and 10 months  ago I was a victim in my own backyard – I was beaten into the ground by three or more men. Both of my dogs were taken and I am waiting for one year and 10 months for some justice.

I was told to go to small claims court to seek compensation for my personal injuries. I was told that I have to take the summons for the small claims court to the men who helped beat me up myself. I cannot afford to pay someone fifty dollars to take the summons over for me. Fifty dollars is a lot of money for me.

I thought I could get a personal injury lawyer to take my case but I couldn’t get one lawyer in Fernie or Cranbrook to take my case.

What is so hard about my case? I am a disabled man who got beaten into the ground and there is not one lawyer to help me claim for personal injuries in the area. Even legal aid for low-income people told me that they don’t help victims anymore.

Why should I go to Calgary or Vancouver to get help? This is not fair to me. I am not a punching bag for people to hit. I am a human being who needs help.

Darcy BrunoElko, B.C.