Peter MacKay

Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay speaks to supporters at a meet and greet event in Ottawa in this file photo from January 2020.

Agrees with Miller, MacKay right choice

Dear Editor:

I’d like to echo the sentiments from James Miller’s column supporting Peter MacKay as the candidate most skilled and prepared to lead Conservatives and our country at this important moment in our history (Okanagan Weekend, July 11).

Peter and I both served in Stephen Harper’s cabinet. I greatly appreciated his thoughtfulness and focus on issues that make a difference in the lives of Canadians rather than on personal attacks against other candidates. I have personally experienced the respect he extends to his colleagues and constituents and observed his deep commitment to those he serves.

Peter understands public service. Both as a former Crown prosecutor and as Canada’s foreign minister and representative on the global stage, he has remained focused on serving community and country.

As noted in your editorial, as Minister of Justice Peter stood with the victims of crime, especially children and those subjected to human trafficking. He introduced the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, placing the needs of victims at the heart of our justice system.

As Minister of Defence, Peter rebuilt our Armed Forces after a decade of darkness under the Liberals. It is sad to see that the Trudeau Liberals have failed to build on this success.

Peter works hard. His determination to learn to effectively communicate with Canadians in both official languages is a testament to that work ethic. Those of you learning a second language know what I mean.

Peter is clear about where he stands on social, economic and other important issues. He doesn’t pretend to be something in one part of the country and something else in another part of Canada.

Peter believes in a big tent, one which welcomes a broad range of ideas, not only from Conservatives but from all Canadians. He believes that we deserve better government than that which we are getting today from the Trudeau Liberals. He dislikes the use of labels that pit Canadians against each other. These only serve to divide.

Canadians need a seasoned leader to unite us and to present a viable alternative to the unethical government of Justin Trudeau. That leader is Peter MacKay.

Isn’t it time to restore Canada’s place in the world, to eliminate the terrible financial and ethical legacy Trudeau is leaving behind, and to rekindle hope for prosperity and opportunity for all Canadians?

By any measure of leadership, government experience, temperament and accomplishment, Peter is by far the most qualified candidate to lead the Conservative Party and our country.

For those of you casting ballots in this leadership race, our future rests with your choice. Choose well.

Ed Fast, MP


From the bottom of her still-alive heart

Dear Editor:

On Tuesday, July 7, I came out of Save On Foods and proceeded to cross the driveway to the parking area. I looked both ways for safety to cross and looked towards my car.

Boom! I tripped over the speedbump and my face crashed into the pavement. I remember feeling so dazed and some people ran to help me. I was taken back to the sidewalk area and someone brought a chair for me. I was bleeding profusely from my face and knee.

I want to thank Jean, a first aid instructor from Squamish, who was here on vacation. He gave me first aid until the ambulance arrived. I also want to thank the others whose names I did not get. They contacted my family, brought me water to drink and consoled me until the ambulance arrived, who I also thank. Thanks to the emergency department staff at the hospital who gave me immediate care. Very bad injuries! It will take six to eight weeks to heal.

Thank God for such caring people everywhere. Thank you from the bottom of my still-alive heart.

And to everyone a message — look up, look down, look left and right — stay alive We need each other! Our hearts stay alive.

Lydia Edwards


Where’s the outrage over Rideau Hall?

Dear Editor:

On July 2, a well and illegally-armed member of the armed forces Canadian Rangers breached the perimeter of the Rideau Hall enclosure. This area includes the residences of the Governor General of Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The “suspect,” equipped for force of arms, allegedly wanted to “talk” to the prime minister. I view this as a credible assassination attempt.

To my dismay and disgust, there have been no denunciations of act by the leaders of the Opposition parties, other than a self-serving comment six days later from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh that was meant to forward his own agendas.

To my further disappointment, there have been no comments from regional MPs Richard Cannings and Dan Albas. Gentlemen, you are better than this!

David Flater

Okanagan Falls

Not the greatest, Trump is the worst

Dear Editor:

Garry Rayner, who calls Trump the greatest president ever, must be living in a self induced bubble caused by drinking too much of Trump’s Kool-Aid (Herald, June 8).

Most of Donald Trump’s so-called accomplishments posted by Garry are factually incorrect and only spouted by Trump himself when patting himself on the back.

He’s alienated every leader of every country except for Russia’s Vladimir Putin — .what a surprise!

Trump’s only legacy is to go down as the worst POTUS in history — a megalomaniac who is actually using a Nazi symbol as his election logo, an eagle used by Adolf Hitler and modern white supremacist groups.

That bigoted racism and his absolute disregard for the citizens of his own country during this pandemic are all anyone needs to know about his agenda.

He’d rather hold an election rally than listen to his health experts to control the spread of COVID-19. A total of 130,000 Americans have lost their lives so far with probably double that expected in the coming months (more than two wars combined) and this buffoon held a Fourth of July celebration, expecting hundreds of thousands of people.

Rick St. Martin

Lake Country

Safety was ignored at SPCA flea market

Dear Editor:

Driving by the BC-SPCA’s flea market on Sunday, I noticed large groups of people crowded around many of the vendors tables without masks and ignoring the 3-metre spacing . This appears to be a blatant social safety derelict on the part of the organizers, the vendors and the people milling around.

Was the SPCA issued a permit by the City and under specific safety guidelines to conduct the flea market? This ignorance of COVID-19 safety guidelines may only result in a spike of people affected and hospitalization, leading to an eventual lockdown in other critical areas.

Claude Filiatrault


No social distancing at River Channel

Dear Editor:

During a recent trip to Penticton, my husband and I were deeply dismayed to witness a large crowd of people at the end of the famous Penticton River Channel.

There was no social distancing being practised or obvious regulation of that particular group of people (at least 80 individuals). We did observe social distancing practises at the beach at Skaha Lake, yet the crowd at the end of the channel was in no way regulated.

Even when we are all on holiday, COVID-19 is not. Your own paper has recently reported on new cases of the virus in Kelowna (Okanagan Weekend). Unless and until some regulations are imposed on sites like the channel entrance and exit, Penticton may well be the next city your paper reports on as having new and plentiful cases of COVID-19.

It is no secret that Penticton has a large and active population of senior residents. I would think that the current city council would be mindful of this vulnerable demographic and be more vigilant in regulating recreational sites.

Visitors to our cities and towns tend to utilize our shopping resources, our recreation sites and restaurants as part of their holidays.

If social distancing practises and/or the use of masks are not enforced, this leaves the senior population of Penticton at risk.

Possibly many of the people using the channel during the summer months are not residents and therefore, will take what they “acquire” in Penticton and return home with memories, trinkets and possibly COVID-19 only to share all of these with their family and friends.

I would encourage Mayor John Vassilaki and the city council to address this site and any others that are not regulated asap for the sake of Penticton’s residents and all her visitors this year. The money that may be spent on regulating these sites will pay forward many times over if B.C residents and B.C. visitors remain safe and healthy.

Patricia Schmunk


The kindness of strangers

Dear Editor:

I was in a car accident on Monday, June 29 at Green Ave. and Skaha Lake Road, and I would like to personally thank the ladies who so graciously stopped to help and support myself and the other driver on that day.

I don’t know who you are, but I thank you so very much. You were my witnesses. There is still so much kindness in this world, amid COVID-19.

I would also like to thank all the front- line responders at the scene and at the hospital.

Forever grateful, thank you.

Ruby Besse


BC Housing’s efforts are not working

Dear Editor:

Ah, the pushback will come, but for once let’s face reality.

The July 8 front page story in the Penticton Herald on Compass House is proof positive that ardent efforts by BC Housing, although well intentioned, are a complete failure.

The people they are trying to accommodate just do not have the capability to appreciate what is being done on their behalf, for whatever reason, be it drugs, mental illness or just plain vagrancy.

So they congregate nearby to do drugs, eliminate, harass, rob and other illicit activities, impeding proper acceptable human activity.

Should the rest of us have to put up with this?

Get them outta here. Don’t care about platitudes that society is judged on how it treats the downtrodden.

Leaving these folks to congregate with the rest of us is a distorted attempt to appease those that think we need to include “these folks” in our lives. Institutions, refuges, sanatoriums and asylums need to become acceptable again.

Paul Crossley


Please remove cars from our shoreline

Dear Editor:

I am pleased to see Matt Hopkins’ opinion piece, “Prime land wasted on parking, asphalt” (Herald, July 10).

Yes, Lakeshore Drive is a pristine piece of lakefront, and cars should be removed from it. Exhaust, noise, view obstruction, safety ... crazy!

Yes, Westminster is close enough for cars. Shuttles and pedi-cabs could transport people to the beach from a gravel lot elsewhere. Please remove cars from our beautiful shoreline.

Patricia Hunter


Cycling column was self-entitlement

Dear Editor:

I’ve read Matt Hopkins column (Herald, July 10) a couple of times and I cannot get my head around why he thinks cyclists have more of a right to the beachfront than people who drive automobiles.

There was an extensive and expensive study done by the city planners that welcomed input from the residents of Penticton before the revamping of the multi-use sidewalk and parking was initiated. The current situation we see along the beach was decided by the citizens who could see past their own special interests and were willing to share. The angle parking was decided on because then people can go relax by the beach and enjoy the view from their cars.

As a board member of the local cycling association I think Mr. Hopkins’ time would be better spent educating his membership on how to be considerate to others on our paths and sidewalks. Perhaps the association could distribute bells so the riders could warn walkers they are about to be passed instead of whizzing by and scaring the living daylights out of pedestrians.

Another educational initiative the association could look into could be getting cyclists to ride within the cycling lanes, not three wide on Government Street impeding the safe transit of everyone, including themselves.

I’m just a little curious why Mr. Hopkins feels that a cyclist’s safety is someone else’s responsibility? Shouldn’t we all be cognizant of our surroundings and the inherent dangers of our lifestyles?

If, as Mr. Hopkins states, the parking is only utilized for eight weeks per year, then the cyclists should feel totally safe riding there for the other 44 weeks.

Everyone should really try to understand there are a multitude of points of view and our city council, at the time, did a wonderful job of including the entire city before the construction began.

Tim Lyons


Who said Trump was a good guy?

Dear Editor:

Re: “Trump among the greatest presidents,” by Gerry Rayner (Herald letters, July 8).

I read with interest Mr. Rayner extolling the accomplishments of Donald Trump. It makes me wonder that if he happened to be living in the U.S. whether he would be eulogizing Trump in such a way.

Early in Trump’s term, many editors, writers and journalists began to catalogue the head-spinning number of misdeeds coming from his administration. There is a list and collection of Trump’s cruelties, collusions and crimes, and they felt it was urgent to track them to ensure these horrors that were happening almost daily would not be forgotten.

This year, amid harrowing global health issues, civil rights and humanitarian and economic crisis, I feel that it has never been more critical to note these horrors, to remember them, and to do all in the voting public’s power to reverse them.

In all probability, the list will be updated between now and the 2020 presidential election.

Various writers, et al., have compiled this list during the course of the Trump administration. They categorized them under the heading of “Atrocities Key.”

• Sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying

• White supremacy, racism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia

• Public statements/tweets (more often than not blunt, bigoted and false)

• Collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice — Trump staff and administration

• Trump family business dealings and Trump University

• Policy

• Environment

• Detention of immigrant children and mistreatment of dreamers

Irrespective of what Mr. Rayner has stated as “good things or benefits,” in my view they don’t hold a candle to the things in this list. Trump is like a leopard and we all know that leopards don’t change their spots.

If track record is any indication, Trump’s approval is listed as being 40.1% and his disapproval rate as 55.9%. Hardly indicative of someone many tout as a “saint.”

Comparatively speaking, Trump just doesn’t rate well when other presidents are considered.

Barack Obama was rated as sixth in the top 10 of a recent poll of historians.

John F. Kennedy was rated as 12th and Bill Clinton as 13th.

One Donald Trump was rated 44th. This is not a rating of someone who touts himself as being more effective and accomplishing more than any other president.

Delusions of grandeur aren’t too difficult to rate.

Ron Barillaro


Who is maintaining our hiking trails?

Dear Editor:

I have lived in the Okanagan for 26 years and during that time I hiked on most of the trails in Okanagan Mountain Park. Most of those hikes were done before the fire of 2003.

Recently my sister, who lives in Penticton, and I hiked up the Mountain Goat Trail to Divide Lake. Near the beginning of this trail there is a sign indicating that the Gemmil Lake Trail is not maintained.

We were shocked to find that the trail to Divide Lake was not maintained either. There were patches of undergrowth where we could not even see where we were stepping.

We opted to return via Baker Lake and Okanagan Mountain trails hoping to avoid more undergrowth, knowing that it was twice the distance to get back. Although not as steep, it was even worse.

I had hiked on these trails in the past, but I didn’t recognize them.

What we had hoped was going to be a three-hour hike ended up being a nine-hour hike. A few times we wandered off the trail because it was so overgrown and because many of the markers had been lost in the fire.

I was shocked that there were no signs indicating that the trails were not maintained. Nor is there much indication about the condition of the trails on the Okanagan Mountain website. Hikers should be given more warning. It is dangerous.

We wondered if students who are receiving government money could help to maintain the trails. It could make Okanagan Mountain Park a great place to hike again.

Kay Mullholland


Passing the buck on mental health costs

Dear Editor:

Riverview Hospital once housed thousands of mentally ill patients, but in the 1980s, the Social Credit government came up with a plan to close Riverview and integrate mental health patients back into communities. Thousands ended up on the streets.

Today the site sits mostly empty except for three small mental health facilities operated by Fraser Health.

The construction of a provincially-funded $101 million mental health and addiction treatment facility on the Riverview grounds began in 2017 and is planned to open its doors in 2021. It will house 105 patients and provide specialized care for adults with severe and complex mental health and addiction challenges.

The Okanagan Valley alone could probably send 105 patients to that facility, never mind the rest of B.C. Instead the government in its wisdom has used the locally= paid police services as its ‘thought control’ police since the early 1980s.

The Mona Wang issue: The provincial government sits back; lets the police take the heat for the disastrous results on what is essentially a health issue. Why? Could it be because what should be Medicare costs are being transferred from the provincial treasury to the local taxpayers that fund the police services through property taxes? The Penticton police budget is $10-million this year and that doesn’t include bylaw services which also deal with these issues.

According to Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, an officer and a nurse trained in mental health response work together in the PACT team in Kelowna. But the unit is swamped with calls, and attempts to outfit a second one are stalling. “It’s just one officer and one nurse. Clearly they can’t work 24-7,” the mayor told CTV News.

I think 911 calls need to be redirected to where they belong. In the case of Mona Wang, that distress call should have been directed to the paramedics instead of the police; it was a health issue first and foremost. The police should only be involved as needed to keep the peace. They are not nurses and should not have the burden of health care added to their already extensive duties.

Local taxpayers have been subsidizing mental health since the 1980s. Shame on the provincial government and shame on the provincial Health Minister Adrian Dix and shame on Interior Health.

Elvena Slump


There are good people out there

Dear Editor:

I was trying to load a built barbecue into my SUV (it didn’t fit) when a lady parked across from me asked if I needed help and that we could load the barbecue into the back of her truck and she would drive it to my house. Wow ! She followed me home and wouldn’t take any money. She was just a genuine good person. So, thanks again to the gorgeous blonde with the white Toyota pickup. Sorry I didn’t get your name.

Lloyd Wright


Tip for handling grocery produce

Dear Editor:

I’d like to take this opportunity of passing on a tip for handling fresh produce in grocery stores which I picked up a couple of months ago from an online article.

In order to avoid handling produce which you eventually decide not to buy, take one of the plastic bags which the store provides for your produce purchases. Turn the bag inside out and pull it over your hand and arm like a glove. Use this ‘gloved’ hand to sort through the items on offer.

When you have decided which items to buy, pick them up using the ‘gloved’ hand and pull the bag over the selected items. You will end up with your purchase in the bagwithout having touched any of the produce with your bare hand.

I have been using this successfully for several weeks but can’t help noticing that I seem to be the only one doing it.

Brian Butler


This is the kind of world worth living in

Dear Editor:

On Friday evening, my wife was involved in a cycling accident near Wharf Street, and Highway 97 in Trout Creek in Summerland.

I am grateful to the many bystanders and motorists who stopped to offer assistance and stayed with her until the ambulance arrived..

It was most reassuring to know that despite challenging times the vast majority of people are kind, compassionate and caring.

By constantly watching and listening to news that is less than good, it can skewer our view of what its really like out there.

To say it simply, my fellow citizens impressed me.

That’s the kind of world I want to live in.

David Balfour