Opinion

OUT ON A LIMB: We should get more out to Remembrance Day

Sunday’s Remembrance Day ceremonies were well-attended as usual.

But I think they could be even better attended.

I think this year was the first year in a long, long time I attended the ceremonies as a spectator (I actually don’t like that word, I prefer to think of myself as a supporter). Usually I’m there either as a Scout leader or taking pictures for the paper. It was quite different for me not to have to shepherd a cluster of shivering youths to the cenotaph as part of the parade or bobbing and weaving in and around the ceremony participants taking pictures and getting in the way as newspaper photographers generally do. This year, reporter Kristen Douglas was on duty and handled the job well.

But this year I drifted into the crowd and stood in the rain. I couldn’t see any of the actual ceremony participants because I was way at the back with the great unwashed crowd. And a couple of dogs. Why do people feel they have to bring their dogs to a Remembrance Day ceremony?  What possible good could it be doing them? Take them for a walk later, you’ve got the day off.

Anyway, afterwards I had to go to the store to pick up a prescription renewal. In the store, I noticed how many people were there shopping. Had any of them been to the ceremony? Would it have killed them to come down an hour earlier, attend the ceremony and then go do their shopping, like I did?

I don’t have a problem with the store being open and people doing their shopping. I know some of the shoppers probably were at the ceremony but how many weren’t? How well attended could our Remembrance Day service possibly be? It’s always impressive how many are there but it’s also amazing how many more could be there still.

Howl...I see the provincial government is forgoing the need for a wolf cull in British Columbia. Good.

Every time there’s a dearth of prey species (moose, elk, etc.) the only culprit ever seen is the wolf and the only solution is to “cull” them (just replace the first two letters with k and i for the real meaning of that word). Blaming predators has been going on for years – just read Farley Mowat’s Sea of Slaughter – and the wolf has been the focus of centuries of culturally-based persecution (as in: who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?). The problem here is the wolf is a natural part of the ecosystem. The exploding population of humans is not. It’s the humans that need managing not the wolves.

Luckily, the provincial government is showing some wisdom in not being taken in by the age-old cull the predator argument. But Victoria’s grip on the ledge of wisdom only hangs by its fingertips at the best of times.

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