Questionable facts

Re: Rhetoric needs to be challenged (Nov. 9, 2012 PNR).

Mr. Harrison’s opening comments are virtually identical to those of Ms. Greene. The astounding similarity of these two letters suggests to me a coordinated attack.

Their letters criticize a letter written by Parkland student Ryan Trelford as being “rife with unfounded assumptions and fact free rhetoric.” The only fact in either letter is a discernible hostility to Mr. Trelford’s linking the adjectives “fresh and lively” with “new developments.”

Mr. Harrison challenges Mr. Trelford that his own “fresh and vibrant, is more likely to include a rural ambiance, farm market shopping and quiet streets.”

Clearly this is an opinion which sounds more like a Norman Rockwell postcard than reality. He then muddles up his imagery by telling us that he lives in a subdivision (not, in fact, a rural area) which he claims includes an abundance of young families. A subdivision full of young families would not be particularly quiet for long, but would be vibrant and alive with children playing.

As to Mr. Harrison’s facts, in his letter he claims that proportionately, youths 10-19 are more abundant in North Saanich than in the CRD as a whole.

Really?

Here are some facts:

The total enrollment at Parkland high school is 563, of which 34 per cent (191) live in North Saanich  and 58 per cent (327) live in Sidney.

Total enrollment at North Saanich Middle School is 433 of which 31 per cent (134) live in North Saanich and 58 per cent (255) live in Sidney.

The numbers are pretty clear and if you’ll notice, they suggest declining enrollment as the current generation of NS Middle School students move on to high school.

Mr. Harrison concludes with a demand that Mr. Trelford’s letter be dismissed as “election-style rhetoric.”

Based on the above evidence, we conclude that Mr. Harrison’s letter must be dismissed as negative, election-style rhetoric, devoid of tangible fact.

We suspect the strength of  the rebukes of those letter-writers is provoked by fear that the coming generation wants inclusion in the future of North Saanich and will shortly be shaking up the status quo.

John Upward and Nancy Eaton

North Saanich