Letters

Email your letters to: letters@pentictonherald.ca

Ride-sharing not fair to cab drivers

Dear editor:

Thank you for the article on Kater (Herald, A1, Sept. 10), but though I am not impressed by the poor driving of 90-100% of Penticton and Okanagan cab drivers, I have no intention of ever using Uber, Kater or any ride-sharing firm.

Why? First off, more cars on the road is a massive step – no, 90 massive steps backwards. And I "support" the firms and drivers who were already here before any "Johnny come lately," who takes away income from drivers struggling to survive.

I have no love for taxi firms, but their hard-done-by drivers, I do have compassion for.

Besides, I have an e-bike so I have almost no need for a taxi!

Patrick Longworth

Penticton

Public model best, says ICBC boss

Dear editor

Kris Sims claims (Herald, Opinion, Sept. 11) that Alberta auto insurance rates might sound like fairy tales but the make-believe nature of her opinion piece is the way she completely ignores the facts of the challenges facing auto insurers across Canada, including those with private insurance models.

Let's start with Alberta, where Ms. Sims curiously failed to mention the latest news that the cap limiting rate increases to a maximum of 5% per year has just been eliminated. The general consensus is that rates in Alberta are about to soar.

Or, what about in New Brunswick – another private insurance market – where the media this week reported private insurers applying for rate increases of 20, 30 or even 50%?

Or Ontario – again, a private market – where that province's very own finance minister recently stated that "Ontario's auto insurance system is broken."

By comparison, public auto insurance systems in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are largely thriving and producing the most stable rates across Canada – seeing either low or zero increases each year.

These are facts which highlight that private insurance is not the magic solution to lower insurance rates Ms. Sims and others may have you believe, and that public models can work.

We know the affordability and fairness of insurance rates is something we need to continue to address here in B.C.

We've already started that work, in part, through the Sept. 1 changes to our rate model. Contrary to Ms. Sims’ statements, more than 50% of our full coverage customers who have already renewed under our new model have seen a decrease in their insurance rates.

Government and ICBC will continue to focus on making sure auto insurance rates become more affordable for British Columbians and that they get the care they need if they're injured in a crash.

Nicolas Jimenez,

President and CEO,

ICBC

Trudeau afraid of hard questions?

Dear editor:

Is Justin Trudeau so arrogant he thinks his participation in only two televised debates is all Canadians deserve or is he afraid of embarrassment?

Like explaining why he will not apologize to Jody Wilson-Raybould or why he and the defense minister left the Parliament seconds before a unanimous vote to apologize to the vice admiral Mark Norman?

Or how about a really tough question, like explaining in detail how budgets balance themselves.

Terry Tyne

Penticton

Nothing to fear but fearmongers

Dear editor:

Canadians are getting prepared; 87% feel the coming election will be more negative and divisive.

In today’s complicated world there is a fresh brew of younger liberalism, where more authority in our lives is taken over by algorithms, which multiply the speed of technological change.

Three quarters of Canadian job loss is due to automation and half prefer online retail to shopping in person.

To some, this pace of change is unsettling. Some look for reassurance in nostalgia for a simpler time and seek self-esteem in taking back control.

Nostalgia serves both optimists and pessimists, as an anchor in a transforming world; not to do the impossible and turn back the clock; but rather to slow down today’s quick, forward moving younger bionic-liberalism that feeds on technological change and tends to look to its own new horizons.

In every generation, in every family and in every empire since the beginning of recorded history, generational change is as perennial as the seasons; the young rebel and the old resist. We’ve been here before.

But today there is a bigger threat; our liberal-democracy is under attack from anti-democratic forces.

Some seek to influence particular outcomes in our elections, while others seek to dismantle our belief in ourselves and promote the fear of the “other,” to polarize and divide society; to make us more cynical about our democracy and question whether it can survive; to create opportunity for authoritarian-illiberal interpretations.

Hate comes from fear and hides behind free speech.

But free speech stops being free when it’s hurtful and untrue or causes pain and division. The echo chamber of social media magnifies the volume of hate’s black and white view.

But, for the majority of Canadians who see more shades of grey, hate will always have an unmistakable ring to it.

Today pollsters tell us here in Canada one in four says they “hate their political opponent.” Pollsters define “polarized” as those who dislike compromise; or, think people who do not vote like them are their enemy, and see elections as battlegrounds.

Using these criteria, Abacus polling found that 26% of Canada’s population are deeply entrenched in their political views, while 74% of Canadians are more open-minded.

Jon Peter Christoff    

West Kelowna

Dress code would promote harmony

Dear editor:

Canadian immigration of all various cultures at 350,000 per year, or 35 Pentictons, or one million new Canadians over three years, calls for a standard dress and appearance code for all Canadian government employees, or candidates, or elected officials to maintain the harmony and integrity of Canada.

Joe Schwarz

Penticton

Curb parking is way undervalued

Dear editor:

As I stated in my presentation at the Sept. 3 council meeting, raising the in-lieu fee when a developer doesn’t provide the minimum number of off-street parking spaces will only add to the cost of building, and thus be passed on to the end purchaser in the form of higher housing costs.

I don’t recall any councilors running on the platform of raising housing costs.

Instead, council should be working to repeal off-street parking requirements in their entirety.

Minimum off-street parking requirements effectively legislate car dependency, increase pollution, harm walkability, and prevent efficient uses of land. They also prevent revitalization of older buildings.

The root of the parking problem is that council continues to give away much of the precious curb parking in the downtown away for free, thus inducing demand, making the issue worse. Curb parking is a valuable citizen-owned asset, and the citizens deserve fair value from users of parking for what is essentially the rental of public property for private use.

The price for curb parking should be as cheap as it possibly can be to have one to two free spaces every block. This way, the precious supply churns, everyone who wants a space can find one, and it ends cars circling the block for an empty space, which cuts down on congestion, noise, and air pollution.

The funds generated could be used to make public improvements in the areas that it is generated. Funds could be used for street cleaning, fixing sidewalks, planting street trees, burying power poles, or even public wifi. Recently the City of Victoria decided to use its revenues from Sunday parking meters and provide free public transit to everyone ages 18 and under.

There will always be parking downtown. Management of the curb spaces by price will drive more efficient use, reduce car dependency, and deliver fair value to all taxpayers.

Matt Hopkins

Penticton