Tom Siddon

Tom Siddon is pictured in a 2014 fie photo.

Peter MacKay has best qualifications

Dear Editor:

I was very pleased to read James Miller’s column urging Conservatives to choose Peter MacKay as the “best person to lead the Tories” (Okanagan Weekend, July 11).

I know from a lengthy acquaintance that Mr. Miller is not a partisan advocate for any political party. But on the question of future governance for Canada, and our search for a wise, experienced and sensible successor to Justin Trudeau, Peter MacKay and the Conservatives offer the best hope of putting our nation back on an even keel, given the massive accumulation of COVID-19 debt that Trudeau has left for our children and their children to pay off.

When I was first elected to Parliament in 1978, Justin’s father Pierre Trudeau had saddled Canada with a $30-billion annual deficit for several years running. Now, only six months into the year 2020, Justin has added more than 10 times that amount, at least $300 billion to our national debt. And not a word about how Canadians will ever pay this back.

Personally, I have known Peter MacKay for more than 20 years and was a Cabinet colleague of his father Elmer MacKay for many years before that. Peter was first elected to the Parliament of Canada in 1997, and was re-elected on five separate occasions from 2000 to 2011.

In 2003, Peter was co-founder of the modern Conservative party, together with the Hon. Stephen Harper. Peter then served in the Harper government as Minister of Foreign Affairs, (2006-2007), Minister of National Defense (2007- 2013) and as Minister of Justice and Attorney General from 2013-2015. During his earlier and later years, Peter MacKay practised as a lawyer and Crown Prosecutor in Nova Scotia and Toronto.

For all of his outstanding attributes, as enumerated in the Herald’s recent column, Peter MacKay is clearly the very best qualified among the four candidates running for the Conservative party leadership which will be decided on Aug. 21.

By contrast, his closest rival, Erin O’Toole, MP was elected to Parliament on only three occasions from 2012 – 2019 and served very briefly as Minister of Veterans Affairs in 2015.

The other two candidates Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan have very little political experience.

Peter MacKay is a big tent, broadly experienced, and well-proven candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. He is only 54 years of age, yet he has served in the trenches of politics and Parliament for many years.

In my opinion Peter MacKay is Canada’s best-qualified replacement for our current prime minister, during this unprecedented period of COVID uncertainty and economic mismanagement.

Tom Siddon


EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Siddon is a former Minister of National Defence, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Presentation didn’t change his viewpoint

Dear Editor:

I had the pleasure of attending the Summerland Solar and Storage Meeting on Monday.

Of course, due to COVID-19 protocol it turned out as a blend between in-person and virtual participation which had issues as expected. The presentation from Summerland staff was informative for the most, but never changed my mind about the fact that this is simply a vanity project to enhance Summerland’s image as well as our leadership, as progressive and green.

The simple facts that this $7 million project looks to achieve a return of $5 million tells me all I need to hear. In my opinion, the sparse audience was fairly evenly divided although several speakers against the project left before speaking as the meeting went into overtime.

A few speakers in support of the project, spoke with the fervor of the Spanish Inquisitionist accusing anyone against the project as being climate change deniers. I, for one, am sick and tired of the close mindedness of these supposedly enlightened preachers of doom who have taken over the environmental movement.

In my closing remarks, I encouraged council to read “Apocalypse Never” by Michael Shellenburger and sincerely hope they find the courage to do so. It’s time to expose the movement as the narrow-minded shills they have become and the damage they are doing to the well being of our impressionable youth.

Andy Richards


Make America healthier again

Dear Editor:

America made China great again. Now Trump could invite China’s superior know how to help make Trump’s COVID-19 depressed America healthier again.

Joe Schwarz


Trump is America’s problem, not ours

Dear Editor:

Ron Barillaro wrote “Who said Trump was a good guy?” (Herald, July 14).

The answer is clear Ron, the American people of course, who at least thought he was at the time of the last election.

Why don’t you instead channel your vengeance against the corrupt Canadian politicians who cheat, lie and steal from the Canadian public?

Ron, try to focus on cleaning the political yard here at home as you are running out of fingers to point out what you detest about the ills of a president of a foreign nation.

It’s up to the American people to decide if they want the good, the bad or ugly to be their president, not you Ron. You don’t count.

Maybe stand at the border holding a big sign, “Dump the Trump.”

Tom Isherwood


Trump portrayed poorly in the media

Dear Editor:

Regarding Rick St. Martin’s response (Herald, July 14) to Garry Rayner’s letter (July 8) about President Trump.

Mr. St. Martin apparently only listens to the mainstream media, either here or from the United States. You have take some time to get facts and not just other people’s opinions which, unfortunately is what many so-called news stories are when it comes to President Trump.

To get the truth of what he says, you can listen to his speeches or get transcripts of them. You can also listen to his press secretary and her discussions with the press.

As far as the rest of St. Martin’s letter, he obviously doesn’t like anything about President Trump and he ignores his accomplishments.

The red, white and blue of the American flag and the rest of the Trump 2020 logo does not look like the Nazi symbol.

My only issue with Rayner’s letter was his description of infanticide. Infanticide happens after birth and abortion happens in the nine months before birth. Infanticide is killing already born children and abortion is killing unborn children.

Donna Thomson


Opposition causing delays to program

Dear Editor:

Our federal Conservatives can now claim credit for effectively preventing timely Student Volunteer Placement and the Benefit to the Disabled. What an accomplishment. There’s more to being responsible MPs than “giving away” Canadian flags at the taxpayers’ expense.

Zoltan Lawrence


Looking to the comics for answers

Dear Editor:

Some may remember Dick Tracy, an American icon in the comic world. However, Fearless Fosdick, his alter-ego, a crudely-drawn detective, may not be so memorable.

Fearless was bent on saving the general populace from a possible poisoning by a can of dangerous beans, hidden somewhere in a multitude of such cans.

In order to protect people from potentially killing themselves by eating the bad beans, he shot anyone he saw with any can of beans, leaving them with a huge hole through their bodies, but in no danger of bean poisoning.

Our police officers, sent to protect crisis-ridden patients from themselves, are much like the self-appointed bean detective, often injuring or killing those people in order to keep them from doing such things to themselves.

Joy Lang


Ethics probe, why bother?

Dear Editor:

Why bother having Justin Trudeau investigated for ethics violations for a fourth time when he has already been found guilty of violating ethics rules three times previously with no consequences or change in his behaviour.

He has proven to either be too naive to understand what is and is not appropriate or he is so arrogant that he considers himself above the law. Which is it?

In this latest gaff he must surely have known that his wife, mother and brother received significant sums of money from WE for speaking engagements and if not, then naive would be the answer to my previous question.

If the wealthy Trudeau family feels so strongly about the charitable WE organization, why did they not simply provide their time speaking for free instead of taking monetary payments that could have other wise been used for charitable purposes? Most Canadians that become involved with charitable organizations donate their time and take no compensation.

This latest issue has a bad smell to it and Trudeau will likely be found in violation of ethics rules for a fourth time. It would seem that, for the most part, Western Canadians have seen through our PM as evident from the last election results. Trudeau gained his wins in Eastern Canada and it makes one wonder what it will take for them to become disillusioned with his continuous corrupt and inappropriate ways (black face) and reflect it at the polls.

Expect another apology with the same old worn-out promise to do better until the next time he gets caught flaunting ethics rules while lining the pockets of the Trudeau family and friends.

Guy Bissonnette

Lake Country

Institutions could help mentally ill

Dear Editor:

Re: “Drug-addicted son ‘would have been better off in an institution,’ (Herald, July 7.)

Victoria and British Columbia can buy all the hotels they can, but none of it will solve the problems of the mentally ill.

I grew up in Weyburn, Sask., the home of the largest mental hospital in the British Commonwealth — 2,000 patients! In the early 1970s some “gifted” mental-illness doctors from New York advised the government of Saskatchewan and the City of Weyburn that the hospital would be phased out and the patients would be allowed to live in halfway houses and take their meds, as they “blended” back into society.

The government thought this was a great idea because caring for the mentally ill in a hospital was very expensive, obviously a very wrong decision!

That was 50 years ago and now we need to return to what helped the mentally sick: It’s called hospitalization and it will be millions of dollars less expensive than what government is doing now.

Someone in this government, either in power or Opposition, take the lead, stand up and put forth a motion to build a mental care facility for the people of B.C. It will eliminate most of the homeless and tent problems as well.

Jim Laing


Wear your masks when riding the ferry

Dear Editor:

To ride the ferry, you must have a mask. You don’t have to wear it. You just have to have one. Yesterday I rode the ferry to the mainland. I was amazed at the number of foot passengers that did not wear their masks. We sat in socially distanced seats, but there are numerous areas where you can’t distance yourself.

The most obvious? Boarding and disembarking the ferry. B.C. Ferries have gone to great lengths to get people to socially distance and it completely falls apart during boarding and disembarking.

Impatient passengers, many of whom are not wearing masks, immediately crowd into the entrance and exit points. And there is only one B.C. Ferries employee attempting to regulate the flow.

If passengers want to travel on the ferries, require that they wear their masks.

Masks work. Use them.

Robert S. Elliott


B.C. needs to do more COVID testing

Dear Editor:

In view of the rapidly expanding rate of COVID-19 infection to the south of us, not just our immediate neighbour, but Central and South America as well, we need to feel confident that the B.C. health authorities are being sufficiently vigilant in tracking any threat to this province’s low infection status.

With points in B.C., and Vancouver Island in particular, being attractive tourist destinations, the likelihood of importing infection is a definite concern as we open up facilities.

Therefore one would think that increased testing would be a key factor in addressing this issue.

Notably, however, the testing rate in this province is very low compared to certain other provinces, and what other countries are doing.

Without testing, infected individuals not showing symptoms will go undetected and continue to pass on the disease. A recent review of cases in the United Kingdom revealed that 22 per cent of those testing positive were asymptomatic. This should be a wake-up call.

Finally, we should be better informed as to where the infections are occurring.

A high level of awareness is necessary for us to hopefully avoid hazardous situations and act appropriately as individuals in stopping the spread of this disease.

David A. Clark