There is work available

Dear Editor:

Re: “Tent city people know they’re not welcome,” (Herald, July 26).

The front page story and photo tells of a young, homeless man who has tried, but can’t find a job.

Apparently he hasn’t tried very hard as hundreds of transients are working local land and orchards for the season. Some foreign and out-of-province workers are even supplied with accommodation.

Perhaps enlist in the military young man and give your country a chance to have a tent sale.

Tom Isherwood

Olalla

Disappointed with Sedins

Dear Editor:

I think the Sedin twins not attending the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame induction is a black mark to all true hockey fans. Shame on them. I was hoping to see them, now I don’t want to.

Doug Bertram

Penticton

Needs more time to cross

Dear Editor:

Recently, a letter was written about the need for shorter pedestrian crossings, in order to help facilitate the movement of traffic. Hasn’t that writer noticed that so many of us are crippled in one way or another, either with wheels or not?

On Duncan Ave. in Penticton, by Safeway, the crossing man who lights up for us is obviously a 20- year-old prime athlete (just look at those shoulders). Whoever drew him never had an old mommy, a little child or a wheelchair, along with mobility attendant issues.

Joy Lang

Penticton

Good luck to De Jager

Dear Editor:

I wish Supt. Ted De Jager well in his new posting and hope that his successor will improve upon his efforts within the community.

Patrick Longworth 

Penticton

UK’s PM must refocus

Dear Editor:

New UK prime minister, Boris Johnson could shock the world by refocusing his persuasive talents from Brexit to that of Russia becoming a member of the ECM.

To be known as the Eurasia Common Market, this would be the most powerful, peaceful economic entity benefiting mankind in history. Should Canada consider membership in the European Common Market?

Joe Schwarz 

Penticton

Time to vote strategically

Dear Editor:

In the 2015 federal election, I voted Liberal. One of the things that motivated me was my perception that the Harper government had no legitimate claim to power.

In 2011, thanks to first-past-the-post, there was a majority Conservative government even though the party garnered just 39.6% of the vote.

Worse, it seemed to me that in many ridings where a Conservative was elected, the candidate could not have beaten the second-place candidate in a one-on-one election.

I voted Liberal because I believed that, in my riding, the Liberal candidate had the best chance to beat the Conservative candidate.

We are, of course, still saddled with first-past-the-post, and a recent Abacus data poll leads me to worry that this flawed system will once again produce a Conservative government that will look illegitimate to me and, I believe, to many other Canadians.

In the poll, Canadians were asked to share their perception of Donald Trump. Overall only 25% of the 1,500 Canadians surveyed had a positive or neutral opinion of Trump. Among supporters of the Liberal party, just 15% had a positive or neutral opinion. The numbers for supporters of the NDP and Green parties were similar — 8% of NDP supporters and 15% of Green supporters had a positive or neutral opinion of him.

The picture is very different for supporters of the Conservative party — 46% of them had a positive or neutral opinion of Trump.

Andrew Scheer looks like he’s patterning himself on Trump. He has very little regard for facts and loves inflammatory rhetoric. And it looks like his supporters would welcome a Trump-like leader. A Conservative government led by Scheer could be worse than the one led by Harper.

On the other hand, supporters of the Liberal, NDP and Green parties seem to have a lot in common with each other — and very little in common with Conservative supporters. To prevent the election of an illegitimate Conservative government, it’s important that we recognize these commonalities, and that we vote strategically.

That means that in each riding individual voters need to figure out which candidate — Liberal, NDP or Green — has the most support. Then they need to vote for that candidate. This is not the election to waste votes on candidates who have no realistic chance of winning.

Diane Eaton

Kelowna

Lousy public consultation

Dear Editor:

Meaningful public consultation starts from the bottom up where residents and taxpayers are invited to shape the scope and framework for public policies and projects during all planning stages — not after planning is completed.

In Kelowna, planning is a top down process where city staff and council confer only with select private and senior government- sector stakeholders and ignore very real concerns of residents about neighbourhood impacts and taxation issues.

Real public involvement involves residents and taxpayers at all stages of planning.  Here, the public is not involved until long after project scope and options have been selected and massaged by city hall planning, policy and communications staff to ensure a desired outcome for select stakeholders.

Kelowna’s public surveys at open houses and on city websites are not meaningful. Survey questions and results are highly manipulated to direct public comment in a direction and format that guarantees support. Survey results are rarely tested statistically for their accuracy and reliability.

Ignoring public concerns results in bad public policy and projects that create social, economic and environmental impacts on the community.

Three examples of this fallout include city decisions on supportive housing, short-term rental regulations and waterfront development.

The Chamber of Commerce wants the homeless moved from downtown to protect tourist businesses.  The province offered a big bag of money to fund supportive housing and the city approved land uses to enable this social shift.  

Ignored were more than 14,000 residents concerned about neighbourhood public safety.  

Short-term rentals impact far more residents than they benefit. Private landlords benefit, but all residents suffer from increased land, tax and rental costs.   Importantly, short-term rentals reduce the supply of long-term rental housing as landlords convert to more profitable short-term use.

A 2016 CORD study showed that 600 meters of Kelowna’s critical lakeshore aquatic habitat was lost over a 10-year period. Despite public policies that protect this habitat, council approved waterfront projects that impact Crown land, fish habitat and drinking water quality without any public consultation.

These projects were planned from the top down — not from the ground up. Kelowna residents and taxpayers had no say at the stakeholder’s planning table. Their only entry was at open houses or public hearings where their concerns were subsequently ignored.

It may take longer, but meaningful public consultation works. It creates better outcomes, streamlines planning, identifies critical issues, saves money and protects taxpayers and neighbourhoods from long-term surprises.

Richard Drinnan, M.Sc.

Kelowna

Too many medications!

Dear Editor:

As as a senior, I recognize the dangers of falling and I attribute many of these falls as a direct result of taking multiple medications.

Many seniors are taking blood pressure pills, anti-depressants, sleeping pills and over-the-counter medications.

The common side-effects of these medications include dizziness, lightheadedness and muscle weakness, all of which increase the likelihood of a major fall.

Many seniors take these medications without knowing the risks of side-effects. The common feeling is “if it is prescribed by a doctor it must be OK.”

Due to the doctor shortage and the increased workload of our GPs, it is not possible for doctors to spend time educating seniors about the dangers of multiple medications.

Seniors and their caregivers need to be aware that any change in a medication or a new medication may result in increased risk of falling and should advise the doctor if any changes in balance occur after taking the new drug.

Dorothy Mullen

Victoria

Help our needy first

Dear Editor:

Re: “Spend our tax money here,” letter by Joe Sawchuk (Courier, July 25, Herald, July 26).

I wholeheartedly agree. Why are we giving so-called Third World countries such as India more than $64 million in aid when they already have enough money to participate in the space race, building a rocket and sending it to the moon.

They also have built nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers — meanwhile, most of our seniors live on a very meagre old-age pension and some of our native peoples live in deplorable conditions, some not even having clean water.

I too want my tax dollars to go to Canadians.

Canadians have always been very generous but unfortunately, all the money sent as foreign aid has not helped the needy citizens of those countries. The foreign leaders use the foreign aid money as their own slush fund, adding to their off-shore and Swiss bank accounts.

Charity begins at home!

Liliane Morgan

Victoria

No solution to plastic?

Dear Editor:

Amusing.

We put a man on the moon, “apparently,” landed a space craft on Mars, carry around a handheld cell phone, also known as a computer/camera/gaming centre/gps/answering machine/calculator/music player, invented virtual reality, artificial intelligence, electric cars, drones, and the Snuggie, but we can’t invent biodegradable single use bags/straws/packing etc. that degrade, in a day/week/month or year once they have been in contact with water.

C’mon!

Bill Carere

Victoria