Letters

Email your letters to: letters@pentictonherald.ca

Paris targets hurt competitiveness

Dear editor:

Re: “Taxing pollution reduces demand,” Herald, Letters, Aug. 15

Climate change is a fact: Differences in opinion occur over causes and solutions.

Sadly, the decade of millions in foreign funding pouring into our country, funds that have no allegiance to Canada, have been largely unchecked by various governments that are supposed to look after our well-being. These foreign funds have created an atmosphere of group conditioning facilitating unquestioning acceptance of the motives and solutions provided by these foreign entities.

The Paris agreement is seriously flawed. It was an attempt to halt climate change on an honour system with no international enforcement mechanism. The goals implemented were political with severe climate change rules that seriously harm the economies of the wealthier North American and European countries. These countries are sacrificial lambs whilst the real polluters such as India and China and others grow richer and fatter as they benefit from these restrictions.

Various reports say that India is the second largest polluting country in the world next to China. Out of 20 most polluted cities in the world, 13 cities are in India. Delhi is the most polluted city in the world as per a World Health Organization report.

China's CO2 emissions have grown rapidly in recent years. China has the dubious honour of being the world’s biggest emitter of sulfur dioxide. China’s emissions are almost as high as for Europe and the U.S. combined.

Overall, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries: Many of them built in or by China. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43%. Canada by contrast has 3% of emissions worldwide.

With a recession looming it is not economically feasible for Canada to continue damaging its economy with little effect on worldwide pollution levels.

At a recent meeting in Kelowna, former prime minister Stephen Harper said, “Canada is oil.” He said Canada is a resource-based country with 20% of our economy based on the ability to sell our resources. Those resources have been under sustained attack for the past 20 years.

Currently that 20% percentage has been damaged and the direct cause of this is the deliberate sabotage of the Canadian economy by foreign interests aided and abetted by those that have bought into it.

International solutions based on realistic expectations should be sought instead of focusing on land locking and destroying the Canadian resource industry.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

SNC deal was never appropriate

Dear editor:

Re: “PM right to fight for big employer,” Herald, Letters, Aug. 15

Whether Justin Trudeau is guilty of criminal obstruction of justice is up to the RCMP to determine. Regardless, the ethics commissioner found that Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act in pushing to secure a sweetheart deal for SNC-Lavalin to avoid going to court for bribery and corruption charges.

Unlike the Liberal dominated, ineffective Parliamentary Justice, Ethics and Foreign Affairs committees, all of which the Liberals shut down, he could not prevent the ethics commissioner's inquiry from proceeding. 

But even at that, Canada’s ethics watchdog was hampered in his investigation by the Privy Council Office’s refusal to provide all requested information.

With respect to the attorney general being appointed by the PM, yes, that is true.  However, that position must uphold the laws of Canada, and not the will of the PMO. 

If this is not the case then the laws of Canada are meaningless and legal power rests with the PMO. There are too many examples of countries where that is exactly what happens. 

You stated that the attorney general should have used "common sense" and granted SNC-Lavalin a DPA, but in fact she displayed great common sense and integrity by maintaining prosecutorial independence and ensuring that laws come first over the will of the PMO.  And if being a "team player" is more important that adhering to the laws of Canada, then this country is in serious trouble.

The letter also completely ignores the reason the DPA was not approved by the chief prosecutor. It was not approved because it did not meet the requirements of the legislation to grant it. That is the reason Ms. Wilson-Raybould did not go for it, not because she was an "unqualified Indigenous activist." 

In fact she was doing her job properly by upholding the laws of Canada and not bending to the demands of the PM to favour a company that was to go on trial for using bribes to get business in a dictatorial state. And remember that it was SNC-Lavalin which lobbied strongly for the DPA legislation that was buried deep in an omnibus bill rather than put forward as its own legislative proposal.

Yes, it is the duty of the PM to protect Canadian jobs – in the east and the west – but he cannot influence prosecutorial independence in order to do so.

Duane Martin

Penticton

Whitecaps story overlooks success

Dear editor:

I realize Gemma Karstens-Smith isn’t part of your staff but to print her less-than-stellar review of the Whitecaps (Okanagan Weekend, Aug. 17, B2) without calling attention to the success of the Vancouver 86ers/Whitecaps is intolerable to me, a soccer-football fan.

I cannot speak to Bob Lenarduzzi and what he may or may not have done when it comes to how the organization handled running women's teams, but he is an alumni of the North American Soccer League and he helped bring a team back to Vancouver and the 86ers won in the Canadian Soccer League.

That some fans are abusive because of lack of success shows how selfish Vancouver fans have become.

Success is not guaranteed to anyone and as a former soccer player I learned that hard lesson. 

In all of my years as a player in league soccer, mostly as a defender, I scored exactly one goal and it was essentially an assist as the ball was accidentally directed into the opposition's goal by a defender.

If you need a soccer reporter, I sincerely offer my services, as I'd have done a more accurate, fair report than Gemma did.

Patrick Longworth

Penticton

Don’t extend EIZ for Ellis project

Dear editor:

Where is the factual evidence that the economic incentive zones encouraged 19 developments in the city? Where is the proof that extending, by six months, this agreement with Wildstone it will ensure further construction in the area?

Developers develop when they can make money, if the market slows what will they be offered, no tax on anything at all for 10 years or something sweeter?

If the developer has a deadline to finish the 120 Ellis St. project, why do we not see the trades working overtime or weekends?

Does Wildstone not have an obligation to fulfill their end of the agreement?

It is time to put ex-mayor Jakubeit’s bad ideas and favourite selling phrase to rest. Why can’t “revitalization” be done in a financially sound manner for the benefit of the citizens?

Giving developers a 10-year tax break, by paying tax on bare land only, while increasing taxes/levies on the average taxpayer leaves a bad smell in the air and a 10-year tax loss to the city budget.

How is that a good thing when our infrastructure is in such bad shape? Difficult questions that need answers. I look forward to seeing those answers.

Lynn Crassweller

Penticton

Putting developers ahead of residents

Dear editor:

It’s disgraceful that Penticton’s planners still cater to the development industry rather than put the interests of all other citizens first. Blake Laven is at it again and recommending council give away another $500,000 in taxes so that everyone else can pay more.

Council needs to do the right thing, ignore a staff recommendation and allow the economic incentive zones bylaw to expire as planned and move to the next agenda item.   

I believe this is now the second request (see Chase Valley application) for an amendment to extend the EIZ bylaw timeline.

The initial bylaws were not necessary to begin with, were wrong and ill-advised and they certainly should never be extended.

The planners at city hall have no means test and no rationale for forcing other taxpayers in the city to pick the slack for any development for any time period. They do not require any type of proforma that demonstrates a clear need for a tax abatement.

There was also substantial discussion about the issue of continuing and perhaps expanding EIZs in the consultations that occurred for the OCP.

There was sufficient community concern that resulted in the idea being dropped.

Giving one property any form of tax exemption or abatement is patently unfair to every other taxpayer. It creates inequalities and reduces the tax capacity for the city that needs that money for everything from roads, to parks, to bylaw officers and so on.

Our planners have in the past been acting as advocates for the development industry in town when they should in fact be custodians and stewards upholding our Official Community Plan, land use policies,subdivision and building standards. 

Wayne Llewellyn

Penticton