Good reasons to OK vote vouching

Dear editor:

Recently a local Conservative complained that MP Richard Cannings “sided with Trudeau and his ilk to let people to vote without identification along with many other disgusting issues” (Herald, Letters, Aug. 1)

Readers might be interested to hear why voting rules changed to allow “vouching” again.

Elections Canada determined that seniors, long-term care residents, the homeless, students, and First Nations electors with non-standard addresses sometimes face challenges showing ID with a correct address.

Electors can prove their identity by making a solemn declaration and being vouched for by another elector.

The voucher must be on the list of electors, know the elector personally, can only vouch for one person, and must also make a written declaration.

Electors who reside in an institution where seniors or persons with a disability reside can be vouched for by an employee of the institution.

I’m happy that our MP voted for this.

This is a complicated process that only a very determined voter would go through. Why are Conservatives so against allowing a few more people to vote?

Lori Goldman

Penticton

CTF represents Conservatives

Dear Editor:

The column by Kris Sims of the so-called Canadian Taxpayers Federation consisting of (six voting members) complaining that pipeline protesters shouldn't be funded by taxpayers (Herald, July 31) is laughable.

She states that the CTF does not use taxpayer money.

However, non-profits are tax-exempt or charitable, meaning they do not pay income tax on money they receive for their organization from their contributors.

Sims states: “The CTF often conducts research, creates websites and holds colourful press conferences, but we don’t use taxpayers’ money to pay for our golden pig statues. Not a nickel.

“We pay our own way because thousands of hard-working people feel the same way we do, and they put their money where their mouths are. They don’t expect their neighbours and co-workers to pay for their perspectives.”

In fact, they do research and propaganda for right-wing conservative movements which, if people check out just a few of past directors, it’s obvious of their political slant.

Those who have been involved include politicians including United Conservative party leader Jason Kenney. He has previously been the federation’s CEO.

Former Alberta director and national research director Derek Fildebrandt is an independent MLA for Strathmore-Brooks. Former Alberta director John Carpay was a Reform Party candidate in the riding of Burnaby-Kingsway in the 1993 federal election.

Walter Robinson, CTF federal director from 1998 to 2004, left the position to run as a Conservative in the 2004 federal election in Ottawa-Orléans.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation represent corporate interests and the Conservative parties (they go by a number of different names these days) and they do it on the public’s buck while criticizing groups for standing up for what the belief in.

It is sad these Conservative hypocrites masquerading as ordinary taxpayers are given space in newspapers to confuse the issues.

Don Aitken

Kelowna

Food bank needs our help right now

Dear editor:

It is that time of year again when the Salvation Army Food Bank is dependent on the generosity of Pentictonites to restock their empty shelves.

This year we wish to speak for the working poor in our city.

The men and women that daily face the long hard battle squeezing every nickel twice to make ends meet.

High rents, escalating electric, sewer and water bills all take a huge bite of low income earners. There is not much left at the end of the month.

There are many kiddies in our fair city that go to sleep hungry at night. Many of these families with kids are dependent on the Salvation Army food bank to supplement incomes that do not stretch far enough.

The Peachfest parade is coming up and this is our chance to say thank you to all those families for the many services they provide in our city that we could not do without. Let’s give them a well-deserved helping hand.

Pentictonites are a generous people. Please be generous again this year. Donate some staple goods, some cash or cheques made out to the food bank during the parade.

Heartfelt thanks and appreciation must go to the many dedicated volunteers at Valley First Credit Union.

The Salvation Army Food Bank is dependent on these volunteers and Valley First that handles the finances for the food bank.

Watch for them in the parade and open your hearts and wallets to the deserving working poor plus the many countless others that use the food bank while temporarily unemployed, disabled, on welfare, etc.

Let us not forget their pets which give them the necessary love and grounding we all need in our lives. Pet food is good too.

We need to recognize also the many Salvation Army volunteers at the food bank that work year round.

Without them these services would not be possible.

God Bless.

Enjoy the parade.

Ernie and Elvena Slump

Penticton

Alzheimer walk raises $24K here

Dear editor:

On behalf of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., I would like to thank Penticton residents for their instrumental support of the 2019 IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, and invite them to become involved with the event in 2020.

Penticton was one of 21 communities that came together on Sunday, May 5, to honour and remember people who have been affected by dementia.

Penticton residents raised more than $24,000, which contributed to the more than $1.1 million raised across the province.

Without this funding the Alzheimer Society of B.C would not be able to deliver local programs and services and support research into the causes of and cures for dementia.

Penticton’s event honoured Klaus and Trudy Kotzian, who graciously gave the gift of their story to help reduce stigma associated with the disease and let other people on the dementia journey know they are not alone.

We would also like to recognize the local offices and staff of our national title sponsor IG Wealth Management who provide tremendous support for the event.

On the ground, each event is organized by a dedicated volunteer committee, without whom the event would not be possible. Huge thanks to Penticton’s committee, led by Abby Villenueve.

You can help us build on the incredible success of this event next year! We are currently recruiting motivated volunteers to organize and implement the 2020 event – a variety of organizing committee roles are available.

To learn more or to apply for a volunteer role, visit alzbc.org/walk or contact Matt Brooks at mbrooks@alzheimerbc.org or 604-681-6530.

Thank you once more to everyone who contributed to the success of this event. Together, we make memories matter.

If you have questions about dementia, please call the First Link Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936- 6033. Support is also available in Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi – visit alzheimerbc.org to learn more.

Maribeth Friesen

Manager, regional services,

Northern and Interior Regions, Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Canada can help more in 3rd World

Dear editor:

Canada has been a leader with others to make sure that the Global Fund is constantly getting monies needed to help defend and eradicate HIV, TB and Malaria around the world.

The Global Fund’s programs are designed to help make sure that girls can continue their education, can access the services they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, can access maternal, newborn, and pediatric health care, and will fully understand their own medical needs.

Many are grateful to Canada for its past leadership and investment in the Global Fund to fight Aids, TB and malaria.

We are at a critical moment when the minimum will not be enough to prevent us from sliding back deeper into crisis.

We need Canada to increase its investment, like other countries have already done, so that we can help avert 234 million infections of HIV, TB and malaria and cut the mortality rate from these diseases in half by 2023.

Mr. Trudeau, we must indeed “accelerate our efforts” – and keep our promises. Our PM stated in 2016, "Canada will continue to champion the important work being done to end these epidemics. We can end these epidemics for good, if we accelerate our efforts.”

As citizens, we urge Canada to keep its promise.

Lennor Stieda

Victoria

Immigration must be kept in check

Dear editor.

If being politically correct had to be condensed into one word, it would have to be: stupidity.

Promoting anything for the sake of being politically correct is prone to produce unanticipated and undesirable consequences.

Promoting cultural diversity by adopting people from all corners of the world may give some of us that warm and fuzzy feeling associated with helping somebody in need, but what is it we are trying to do, and at the end of the day, are we really accomplishing anything?

Yes, we need immigration, but attempting to assimilate all cultures into our already complex Canadian mosaic indiscriminately will not necessarily appeal to people who have no respect for our human rights and freedoms, and are not ready to embrace our inclusive and caring society.

Opening the floodgates to mass immigration does not allow many of these new people enough time and opportunity to assimilate into our socio-economic structure.

Insisting on high levels of immigration against the will of the majority of the people also promotes anti-immigrant sentiments and creates racial barriers, promoting segregation instead of assimilation.

Being an immigrant makes it easier to appreciate why that may encourage many of them to adopt anti-social attitudes, join gangs, and feel more attracted to cultural slums.

The cities of Toronto and London, England, are both very culturally diverse, and both are experiencing huge cultural challenges, and begs the question: Is there a link between our blind pre-occupation with diversity and those seven shootings in Toronto last week?

Early European immigrants, and especially those with military backgrounds are naturally more aware of issues like public safety and national security and do not subscribe to Trudeau’s high levels of immigration or his pre-occupation with the concept of insinuating Canada into a borderless society with the United Nations as a global government.

While U.S. President Donald Trump is unpopular among some people, he is right about the importance of keeping national borders secure from unwanted, uninvited and undesirable people.

As a country we should be equally vigilant and not accept anybody from anywhere, just to improve our prime minister’s chances of getting re-elected, and to get that coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Andy Thomsen

Kelowna

No wonder why some tune out

Dear editor:

I find the U.S. political party situation unfortunately similar to that of Canada: basically governed by either of two federal entities — the Conservatives or Liberals, with both essentially doing the bidding of corporate interests (like the fossil fuel industry) and the very wealthy.

That’s likely why so many low-income citizens perceive futility in voting at all, let alone waiting in long lineups to do so, in what I see essentially as a corp-ocracy.

(That’s the governance in which either of the two established political parties always kowtow to big business’s thinly veiled threats to relocate its headquarters, large numbers of jobs and even capital)

And then there are the states in which a large majority of Democratic Party members voted for Bernie Sanders during the last primary but instead had party hacks fraudulently declare Hillary Clinton the winner!    

Either way, I can imagine it’s convenient for big business to have such a large portion of mainstream society too fatigued and preoccupied with feeding and housing their families on a substandard, if not below poverty-line, income to publicly criticize the former for any injustice it’s committing, particularly when immediately unrecognizable.

Frank Sterle Jr.

White Rock