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LETTERS: A different perspective on urban deer; thoughts on electric rail

Is deer fatigue setting in?

Perspective is Everything

As a Kimberley resident for the past 57 years, I would like this opportunity to make comment on one of the most precious of natural resources in the area: the local deer population. The benefits of these lovely creatures roaming our streets is often overlooked, with some locals referring to them as “rodents” or “varmints”, but to me, these folks are not looking at the bigger picture when making these statements. The physical, social and economic health of the community as a whole benefits from this ever-growing population of ungulates, as I will clearly demonstrate.

My lovely wife, for example, has improved both her gross and fine motor skills when she runs from the deer that ‘playfully’ chase her and the dog when out walking. This has also provided her with new social opportunities, as complete strangers will spontaneously open their porch doors and hustle her and said dog into the living room to escape a gentle thrashing from the deer. I myself have returned to a childhood passion, as I have recently re-learned my skills with the slingshot, honing them in the fun play sessions the deer and I often have when I get home from work. I can now shoot a dime off a fencepost at 50 yards. Another new hobby I have developed is vehicle bodywork, as I am learning how to repair the dents in the hood of my truck because a deer jumped out of my yard and used it as a landing mat. These new pursuits have been of enormous benefit to my well-being upstairs during the course of the pandemic and the limitations we have been experiencing. All this, of course, brings some associated economic spin-off as well: marbles for the slingshot from the Dollar Store; bodywork materials from the hardware store; new underwear from some of the sprint/escape sessions the deer, the dog, and I too often partake in; buying raspberries from the Centex as the deer ate all mine. Another big benefactor economically has to be the local veterinary practices. After one particularly rough play session between one of these deer in my yard, my dog emptied her bank account to ensure her fourth leg stayed attached to her body by donating big cash to not only the local vets, but also veterinary surgeons in Calgary. This of course allowed the Lovely and me the opportunity for some travel and the chance to meet more people, which of course has been severely limited, but sorely needed, as of late.

A bit overwhelming all in all, but if you tilt your head just right, and look at it in a “plane crashes in the downtown core creates jobs” kind of way, you can begin to see how I have made my point. Maybe the deer are not as much of a problem as some people think; you just have to look at things from a different perspective.

Jeff Bates

Kimberley

I wish I could believe MP Morrison is sincere in his expressed desire to “bring an electric passenger train service to the region”. [Black Press, May 4, 2021]. His claim to have had a meeting with Tesla to discuss this topic is just too much. Tesla has NOTHING to do with railroads! True, Tesla is much more than a car company; in fact, Elon Musk has stated more than once that Tesla’s future energy business will be bigger than its car business: Solar glass roof tiles; battery manufacturing; home, commercial and utility-scale battery storage, and the software to regulate the complexity of these systems; those are just a few of Tesla’s non-car products.

Musk’s initiation of the Hyperloop was a response to his “disappointment” in 2013 at the approval of California’s high speed rail project In fact, it is doubtful that many railroads are enamoured of Tesla’s plans to produce autonomous electric semi trucks. Even without autonomy (“driverless”), electric semis will reduce transport costs and threaten rail’s market share.

Electrification of rail in Canada is a great idea and would be a far better use of taxpayers’ money AND almost certainly create more jobs than our continued subsidy of the fossil fuel sector. Fossil fuels are 19th century fuels. We are into the second decade of the 21st century with atmospheric C02 levels hovering around 420 PPM – a level that last existed 3 million years ago! https://www.rmets.org/event/pliocene-last-time-earth-had-400-ppm-atmospheric-co2

I appreciate Morrison’s suggestion that an electric train would work as a non-partisan solution to reducing Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions. However, when reviewing his most recent “message from your MP” flyer, I can find no mention of trains, electrification, or cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

In fact, the leaflet reads like a Conservative Gun Owners and “Lock ‘em up and throw away the key” tirade. Hardly the sort of message someone who is trying to work on a non-partisan regional transportation network would publish.

In closing, I would appreciate more sincerity and less repetition of Party Talking Points from my MP. If mentioning “Tesla” in a nonsensical context was meant as a “dog whistle” to signal: “I’m Green, vote for me”, then the strategy failed, at least for me.

Sincerely,

David Beringer

Nelson

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