Letter - A just rebuke

As author of the article, “The James Bay Rental Housing Crisis”, (March 2016, James Bay Beacon), I wish to acknowledge the spelling error noted by Lynette Browne in her April Letter to the Editor.

Regretfully, I was inattentive and had not changed my Microsoft Spell-Checker from American English to Canadian English.

You are quite justified in pointing out this rather glaring oversight on my part, particularly as I used the American English spelling of “neighbors/neighborhood” instead of the Canadian form, “neighbours/neighbourhood”.

I am indebted to you for reminding me of not only the care I must take in editing my own work, but also the vital role played by astute proof-readers like you who are dedicated to improving the quality of our community newspaper.

V. Adams


Letter – Gone missing eh?

I've been enjoying the north/south cultural comparison pieces by James Fife describing the learning curve he and his wife, Marilyn, are traveling as they move from San Diego toward retirement in James Bay. Following the lead of Lynette Brown, staunch defender of the honour of Canadian spelling down to the neighbourhood paper level, I'd like to correct a small but significant omission from Mr. Fife's piece in April's Beacon. In describing his pleasure at receiving official word of his inherited Canadian citizenship he makes reference to his grandparents Prime Minister, Sir John MacDonald. This momentarily caused me some confusion. There was something missing. Then I got it. Raised in the US, Mr. Fife may be excused for not knowing what every Canadian school child is taught...that Canada's first Prime Minister is called Sir John A. MacDonald, or more colloquially, Sir John Eh? 

Terry Loeppky


Letter - Appalling folly

The tides off Victoria’s coast has been rising and falling for millions of years and over that time whales, fish and crustaceans have died, sunk and putrefied joining a mass of sea vegetation taking their part in nature’s magical reincarnation process. Victoria’s contribution has been negligible and that is obvious. Reducing or modifying Victoria’s liquid waste will have no beneficial effect whatever. It is interesting to compare that condition with that in Kelowna where the flow in and out of the lake is so small that it takes over a hundred years for the lake water to change. Secondary treatment is no good there and they need of the world’s most sophisticated tertiary treatment plants.

The most important reason for treating sewage discharged to the sea is to control pathogenic organisms to prevent disease. The present system does that perfectly for there are no pathogens at the shoreline. The control of pathogens from secondary treatment plants is much less satisfactory for it requires staff to follow procedures and readers will recall what happened at a water plant not many years ago where correct procedures were ignored.

It has been believed in advanced countries that secondary plants do not themselves lead to disease but that is not obvious because the essence of most secondary plants is the aeration tanks where air is blown through the sewage to purify it leading to a mass of pathogenic aerosols above them. Lacking evidence that this practice has caused harm advanced nations have accepted that any risk must be negligible; until now that is. In recent years medical researchers at the University of Pisa (Galileo’s old haunt) and Gothenburg (a major Swedish city) have deduced that aerosols from secondary plants may damage the health of the elderly. All this can be read on the internet but been conveniently ignored.

So we can deduce with certainty that whereas providing secondary treatment will do no good it is equally certain that it will do harm. Taking into account the diversion of funds from other needed enterprises it would indeed do great harm.

Injury has been ignored but would be substantial and it appals me that the CRD have not bothered to work out how many people are going to be permanently impaired for this wicked folly.

 JE (Ted) Dew-Jones, P.Eng