Farmers in lose-lose position in pandemic
I am writing to comment on the complaints registered against Bylands Nursery by Amy Cohen, and the group RAMA (Okanagan Weekend, July 25).
Local growers, and I am one, are in an impossible position to satisfy all concerns. If we allow our workers into the community, and they acquire COVID-19 and infect their housemates and workmates, we are criticized for being irresponsible. On the other hand, if we restrict our workers to the farms and on site accommodation (delivering groceries and amenities to these staff), we are stigmatized as abusers of human rights.
Clearly we cannot serve all masters.
In my farming operation, where we are housing workers, we believe we have a moral obligation to keep these staff safe from COVID-19. This is especially acute given that transmission of this virus is proven to be much likelier in dormitory type housing.
This is not a question of whether the workers are Canadian or foreign. We presently have staff from within Canada, and from Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Jamaica. Regardless of whether these staff are Canadian or from another country, if they are residing in accommodation we provide, our obligations to their communal safety are the same. All foreign workers complete a 14-day government run quarantine, and upon arrival into our accommodation, Canadian staff or foreign, all are expected to remain away from environments where social distancing is not possible.
In practice, this means isolated to the workplace, in the accommodation provided, and in the immediate environs. Staff certainly go on local exercise walks, visits to local parks and so on, provided they can completely observe social distancing. Bearing in mind the fact that over 1,000 temporary foreign workers in Ontario have become infected with COVID-19 picked up in the community (with three gentlemen dying); and with local infections now amongst farm workers in the South Okanagan, I am satisfied that we are charting the right course in our workplace.
Some perspective and context has been absent from the coverage of this story to date. The Canadian ethos is to look out for one another; and asking our guest workers to cooperate in achieving this goal is reasonable. Most foreign workers are completely supportive and understand the need for these safety measures. In the context of the COVID 19 pandemic, restrictions on individual freedoms are fair and just, and Canada’s continued success at flattening the curve cannot be sustained in any other way.
“Brits” is a more acceptable term
I refer to Tom Isherwood’s letter of July 22, in which he uses the term “Limey.”
This is quite offensive to most English- born British people and very rarely used; certainly not in common use.
It originates from the early 1800s when long sea voyages were made by the Royal Navy ships and other vessels. The crews had a daily allowance of Rum and this was laced with citrus juice, mainly from limes, as it helped alleviate the scourge of scurvy - a condition rife in the overcrowded crew quarters on those ships.
Later, it was used to describe convicts from England being deported to Australia, being given the same treatment. And to this day it is sometimes used in Australia to refer to visiting English tourists.
It was also adopted by some U.S. military personnel stationed in England during the Second World War, towards the local residents in their own country, but when treated with contempt and little effect it ceased.
Most English-born British citizens are happy to be called “Brits” as I am, being of fifth generation good English stock — “a Kentish maid;” but still honoured to have been accepted as a Canadian citizen some 20 years ago.
To refer to your birth country (England) as Limeyland is definitely not acceptable.
Marjorie M. Montgomery
His morning fix - letters to the editor
I just can’t imagine the Penticton Herald without a letters page filled with mixed opinions from people from all walks of life.
Many letter writers shed a different light on many opinions, proving once again, all people will never dance to the same drumbeat.
Some days a person can get a real eye opener from letters submitted to the Herald that otherwise, true facts of life may never surface.
Take the letter page of July 29. The letter of the day, “A grandmother’s recipe for love and peace” by Lydia Edwards said it all. I read the letter twice and it’s a keeper and a reminder, our space on earth is limited.
The time arrives quickly for mature seedlings to inherit the good, bad and ugly left behind in a world stained and presently fighting an unknown invader.
Next letter, “Premier puts life of Albertans in danger”by Ron Kubek opened my window of thought, by entering my backyard. I heard the loose lips of Premier John Horgan’s flapping, and personally thought he was off his rocker. I paid little attention till I read Kubek’s letter which was sad to say the least, as I keep hearing “we are all in this together.”
I thought this included all Canadians who can work where the work is, and live wherever they choose. Horgan needs a reality check along with the wee-wees and their puppets who have likely never gone without or felt financial pain.
I thank the Penticton Herald for the morning fix, shedding the light of so many different opinions submitted by writers from different back grounds.
Rich or poor, smart or so-so, the Herald letters page may make a person grumble but so far, no rumble as nobody is right all of the time?
Thank you to Grandma Lydia and Ron Kubek for the morning eye openers. Thanks Herald for printing our opinions.
Pharmaceutical biz the real criminals
The greater one’s mental pain or trauma while sober, the greater the need for reality escape, thus the more addictive the euphoric escape form will likely be.
Yet, in many straight minds drug addicts have somehow committed a moral crime, perhaps even those who’d become addicted to opiates prescribed them for an innocent sports or work injury.
We now know pharmaceutical corporations intentionally pushed their very addictive opiate pain killers — the real moral crime — for which they got off relatively lightly, considering the resulting immense suffering and overdose death numbers.
Frank Sterle Jr.
Solar energy has more cons than pros
I am responding to Chris Allen’s Carbon Chronicles column in support of Summerland’s Solar Storage project (Herald, June 28).
While Allen acknowledges that the project is replacing clean hydro power, he goes on to discuss the environmental damage created by hydro dams such as flooding river valleys, blocking migrating salmon, impacting wildlife and so on.
He talks about mistakes made in the last century and the impact to the environment from those mistakes even though a majority of those issues have been rectified.
What Allen doesn’t do, however, is address the environmental impact of so-called renewables like solar and wind. For example, he points out carbon emissions from constructing the dams but doesn’t acknowledge the emissions from mining the materials to build solar panels and battery storage, plus manufacturing.
As with most proponents of solar, Allen would make us believe that solar panels and lithium batteries are magically created from unicorn milk and pixie dust. He also neglects to mention that when that solar field has outlived it’s use in 20 years, the panels and batteries will likely need to buried in land fills and left to release toxic materials into the soil. Why not recycle?
The industry has discovered it’s cheaper to build from scratch, therefore the supposed lower cost of the panels. Perhaps Summerland could do what a lot of progressive European nations did with their waste panels and ship them off to poor African countries where locals might get enough power to light their homes for a year or so but then have to deal with the mess.
In spite of all the green washing done by proponents of solar and wind, they simply don’t return enough energy for the energy invested to create them. A recent study in Germany showed that hydroelectric dams produce 35 times more energy then is required to make them whereas solar produces 1.6 times more.
Oh, and the solar fields are devoid of flora and fauna whereas the lakes created become home to fish and wildlife as long as they exist.
Horgan’s licence plate comment ridiculous
Re: “Take the bus, Horgan suggests,” (Herald, Page A4, June 28.)
Do I have it right? Is the B.C. Premier now saying that discrimination is okay in the eyes of the NDP government?
If a person can be judged and then harassed on the licence plate on their car, does this mean that a woman who feels harassed at work can simply be told to change her apparel and go find a different job?
Or, if an Aboriginal man feels harassed in the town he has visited, he can simply go and have his skin bleached? Just what kind of province are we becoming?
Glenn W. Sinclair, Ph.D.
Traditional Canadian jobs are now at risk
It is a natural instinct to be active, for this reason human beings need jobs to keep them busy and at ease with themselves.
But, continuing knowledge growth and nations industrializing along with 24/7 automation, reduces the demand for Canadian labour hours.
Our labour costs and a host of other factors curtails and limits our international trading volumes. Huge ships loaded with container boxes of manufactures are now normal.
Canada is left with supplying bulk coal, oil, natural gas, agriculture and some manufactures in exchange for imports.
In short, Canada international trade limits domestic job creation. Fewer jobs does not fit with our fiscal monetary beliefs. The percentage of Canadians in actual production is relatively small in relationship to our 38 million inhabitants. Even so, we manage social supports, including health care.
But now again, we are in massive uncharted fiscal monetary territory. In that it is the worry, the unknown so to speak. The danger of further collapse is stalling and threatening recovery efforts.
Since society has continued to adapted to less physical labouring many times, we now need to accept the concept of far fewer traditional jobs.
Marching civilizations constantly forces changes. It requires we philosophers to contemplate civilization anew.
Bruce Alton McGillis
Our B.C. licence plates are fading too fast
The state of affairs at ICBC is written plainly on our licence plates. I’m noticing more and more, their colour and finish wearing off to the point of being unable to read.
It seems to me this presents a problem to public safety, and makes me wonder, why has ICBC chosen to make plates of such low quality? Could it be the $18 fee to obtain another? Or the $230 fine for displaying an illegible plate?