Letters: Restitution rules; Cats cause trouble; Unnecessary name change

Restitution rules

I want to applaud the restorative-justice group on Texada Island [“Restorative-justice program expands,” September 6].

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I have been in classrooms, schools and whole districts that subscribe to the principles of restitution as an alternative to punishment and consequences.
Restitution is built on the understanding that when a student takes responsibility to make right what has gone wrong, it builds character.

When this is established as an universal expectation, it builds community. I could always tell which model was in play by the tone in the hallways.

It makes you wonder what this would mean at a community level.

Maureen Mason


Cats cause trouble

A recent letter to the editor [“Letters: Cats pose no danger,” August 30] in response to a Murray Dobbin article [“Counterpoint: Keep your cats indoors,” July 19] claimed there was no reliable evidence that cats pose a danger to wildlife.

In fact, there is a preponderance of evidence from many countries published in scientific journals that have been peer reviewed. Environment and Climate Change Canada's scientists have identified domestic cats as "a well-known conservation issue,” accounting for more than 200 million bird deaths per year in Canada.

A single feral cat will kill an average of six animals every day to survive, or more than 2,000 per year.
As to Australia and the United Kingdom concluding that cats pose no danger, an online search shows that Australia's Department of the Environment and Energy has embarked on a zero-tolerance control program, which includes poison baiting, aimed at reducing the feral cat population by at least two million.

Australia's efforts to protect its unique fauna includes entire towns that have prohibited outdoor cats and treating strays as they treat feral cats.
In the United Kingdom, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds estimates that 275 million birds are killed by domestic cats. Again, many peer-reviewed scientific studies confirm that cats kill wildlife.

As to cats' hunting instinct, any wildlife rehabilitation facility will tell you well-fed cats do indeed "follow through to the final attack phase" on a regular basis.
Approximately 25 per cent of the birds I take in every year at Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society are the result of cat attacks. When you consider how many other hazards are out there, that is staggering, and these are only the birds that have survived long enough for someone to call me.

Similar to dogs chasing deer, well-fed cats will catch and kill birds for the fun of it.

Cats and humans have indeed cohabited for centuries, and cats are delightful pets. Dogs are also wonderful pets and many have a strong predatory instinct, but no one will argue that dogs should be allowed to hunt in packs and take down large mammals.

The benefit to humans from cat companionship is no argument for allowing them to kill wildlife.

Merrilee Prior
Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society


Unnecessary name change

Powell River Regional District, which includes the city of Powell River and five electoral areas, has been requested to change its name to qathet Regional District [“Board support weakens for regional government name change,” August 9].

The regional district will be holding public meetings to judge support for the change at an estimated cost to its taxpayers of $2,500.

I am opposed to the change for the following reasons: it will cost many thousands of regional district taxpayers’ dollars to change signs to the office, meeting room, work yard, letterheads and computer programs, et cetera; all 20,000 Powell River Regional District residents, except about 500 who live on Lasqueti Island, all reside within 30 kilometres of Powell River, the city or the river; all 29 BC regional districts are identified as to the location in their name, such as Metro Vancouver Regional District, Regional District of Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Comox Valley Regional District, Central Coast Regional District and Powell River Regional District. Where is qathet?

Also, qathet is a Coast Salish word. Tla'amin Nation has yet to join Powell River Regional District. Should it join the regional district, it would be more appropriate to call it Powell River Tla'amin Regional District, similar to Alberni-Clayoquot regional district.

Stan Gisborne
Padgett Road

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