LETTERS: Herbicide use – LED street lighting – Eileen Wicks’ detention

May 01, 2022

Continued use of herbicides harms our region’s biodiversity

Dear Editor,

Photo courtesy of Terry Taylor.

I am concerned about the continued use of herbicides in our forests to kill deciduous trees and shrubs, in order to prevent competition with coniferous trees.

Research has shown that deciduous leaves are more fire resistant than conifer needles. These target species also support the biodiversity of our forests. There are many native insects on these trees and shrubs, and in turn these insects are important food sources for insectivorous birds. We hear again and again about the continuing decline of birds and insects, yet our forestry prescriptions continue to utilize herbicide treatments to maximize timber production.

I photographed the notice below, last summer, at the Abyss, south of Nanaimo, to show that these practices are taking place in our area. It was sad to see so many dying arbutus trees.

An article in the North Shore News deals with BC Timber Sales’ intention to use a massive herbicide treatment on the Lower Mainland. What also disturbed me is the intention to also target Devil’s club and salmonberry. Devil’s club is the most important medicinal plant for coastal First Nations, and salmonberries are an important cultural food source. 

Terry Taylor, Qualicum Beach

Failure of Town to understand LED street lighting science

Dear Editor:

Light pollution is increasingly recognized as a serious environment and health issue. Additionally, as stated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, visual access to dark sky is a cultural good. It is part of an endangered world heritage, increasingly moving beyond our reach.

The failure of Qualicum Beach Engineering to understand and follow the scientific recommendations of using LED street lighting not exceeding 3000 Degrees K is endangering the environment and the health of Qualicum Beach residents, the oldest population in Canada.

Keep up the pressure on this issue!

Ron Fisher, Qualicum Beach

Support for Eileen and Trevor Wicks grows

The following are some of the comments posted to the Change.org/FreeEileenWicks petition. — Editor

Brian Glennie She should not be forcibly detained.

Sylvia Griffith This is an atrocity, which should never be repeated. Where is “Justice” in our health and legal systems? What is happening to the Canada that once WAS?!

Murray Etty A grave injustice has been done to a lovely couple.

Deborah Morrison I am appalled that this can happen in BC, or anywhere in Canada, in this day and age. And that a hospital and the RCMP can cover up all the details and lie and hide behind their lies. It is disgusting and needs to stop.
I could go on for pages but am too angry – at the police and at NRGH. Never will a dime of my $ support any of their charities when they themselves skirt the laws!

Andrea kalt This is medical abduction and the social worker also needs to be fired. Bring Eileen home to Trevor! This is unethical and wrong.

Barbara Berger I am utterly shocked at what has happened to this elderly couple and no one is doing anything to help them. Rather the system seems to be inflicting harm to Eileen by keeping her a prisoner and not respecting the legality of Trevor’s guardianship over his wife! What kind of state do we live in in BC, Canada where this kind of thing can happen? This is extremely disturbing!

robert larsen I think it is absolutely disgusting that people in the position of authority are permitted to treat other people with so much disrespect and inhumanity.

Eileen Wicks, Qualicum Beach, January 2022. Photo courtesy Trevor Wicks.

Diana Mongeau I know these people and their rights need to be respected.

Kimberley Boudreau After reading about this couple, what they have endured by Island health, I’m disgusted. Let Mrs Wicks go home and live out her life with her husband. That is the right thing to do.

Sylvia Griffith This situation is beyond belief! Why is our justice system not doing their job!? “Gangsters” isn’t a strong enough word for VIHA.

Alpha Woodward The way in which Eileen Wicks was apprehended and subsequently held a prisoner in a hospital ward is draconian and inhumane. Please free her from what must be an isolated hell and let her go home.

Kjeld Aoearing People are trying to stand up for rights exactly like these. We need to stop overreach of gov and health care representatives that may Or may not suffer from narcissistic or abusive tendencies.

Vicki Wynans I am a retired RN -this is typical of Island Health =we need a policy to protect people”s rights.

Teya Graves This is unjust, ridiculous overreach of authority based on some petty social worker. They clearly are able to take care of their own needs with a LITTLE support. When they need more support, they will ask for it. Until then, hospitals and police need to back off.

Janet Brooks This is abusive bullying!

Joyce Mainland My daughter (40) and myself have known both Trevor and Eileen over the past year. We met them as they sang almost every week on Qualicum Beach. We loved joining them and talking with them. It was evident how much they cared for each other. As we took our daily walks along the beach, Trevor and Eileen could often be found picking up garbage left by others on the beach. It was just like them to be so thoughtful. As we got to know them more, Trevor explained to us that Eileen has early dementia. It was very evident how concerned and protective he was for Eileen. We were shocked to hear what has happened. The photos speak volumes to Eileen’s of her unhappy state….it seems like their treatment of her by keeping her at the hospital, has broken her spirit. So sad for both of them, neither of them should be subjected to such undue hardships.

Trisha Douglas What the heck is wrong with law enforcement! This is kidnapping!

debbie Newhook This is disgusting treatment of our elders.

Berni Pearce At 86 years, I understand some of the difficulties of aging. What is happening to Eileen Wicks is so abusive that words fail me. There are thousands of elderly people here in this region who are cared for by an elderly partner. The responsibility of the state is to provide home support, not terrorize and assault them. Taking an elder from their home against their will is assault. Free Eileen Wicks and pay compensation for pain and injury. No injury, you say? Such an assault experienced by any elder is detrimental to their health. Of course it’s an injury.

Marilyn Krahn Eileen and Trevor are friends. I cannot understand how something like this can happen in a democracy.

Boyd Shanks This is unbelievable! How can VIHA do something like this without legal accountability and against the rights and wishes of Eileen and Trevor. Frightening for all of us!

Eileen and Trevor Wicks, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, March 2022.

Carollyne Haynes I’m signing this petition because I believe the treatment of Trevor and Eileen Wicks is totally unacceptable. Who next?

Bonnie Draginda They are long time friends of my relatives.
This is so beyond wrong!!!
They are two of the most kind & amazing people you could ever meet.
I simply can not believe this is happening to them. Unlawful & unbelievable. This needs to be fixed immediately!

Amanda Kelly This is outrageous and inhumane. They should be reunited immediately and this never should have happened in the first place.

David Haynes This is abuse of Eileen by the RCMP, and social services in no uncertain terms. It is abuse of Trevor as well and is really baffling that he’d be taken to Courtenay with no way of returning home.

Raven Gagnon Police brutality is never okay and “safety checks” should never be done by the RCMP who have NO concept of trauma informed care nor any deescalation techniques other than brute force.

Deb McKinley I’m signing because this nightmare might be okay in some other third- world dictatorship, but it should NEVER have happened in Canada. I know this couple and fear for their lives. Before you look away, just imagine if the same happened to you, What would you do?

Jennifer Duggan The brutality and lack of transparency is frightening. This could happen to anyone of us.

Josh Young I’m Canadian and this isn’t what Canada is about.

READ previously Published Letters