Letters to the Editor

Write: letters@pentictonherald.ca, 400 words or less.

People crying about freedoms are limiting ours

Dear Editor:

Those who are rational thinkers now have plenty of evidence that vaccination is both safe and highly effective. It is also overwhelmingly obvious that those who remain unvaccinated have a high chance of infection, and a percentage of those will become very sick.

Double-vaccinated people can live normal lives and be in proximity with others (including children), with or without masks. The only reason governments have now restricted this freedom is to protect the remaining people who chose to be unvaccinated.

The freedom we all seek is ironically being prevented by a minority that are defending the freedom to not being vaccinated.

Furthermore, routine surgeries are now limited because we have given priority to unvaccinated COVID-sick people. That’s another irony because everyone, including the unvaccinated, expects our medical system to be ready to help or save them.

At the extreme, triage (choosing who lives and dies) becomes a reality. Do doctors save those who are unvaccinated and dying from COVID over others who participated in keeping the hospitals functioning?

Nothing in life is without risk. There is a minuscule chance you might die or possibly suffer lifelong issues because of getting vaccinated. If Canada were invaded and you were asked to suit-up and fight for your country’s freedom, is there a chance you might die?

Sometimes we must risk death or debilitation for the benefit of all, including those too young or old to fight. My guess is the anti-vaxxers would again protest to protect their freedom of choice while watching the rest of us fight and risk death to protect those very freedoms.

I am tired of pandering to the selfish and losing my freedom as a consequence.

Michael Neill

Kelowna

National Day of Failure to Reconcile

Dear Editor:

Another empty gesture from the Canadian government. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation? Perhaps, National Day of Failure to Reconcile.

How many Canadians can name even one of the Calls to Action of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission? Readers would be well advised to see the Assembly of First Nations document, “Progress on Realizing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.”

Or, see the reports on the website of the Indigenous Watchdog, or reports on the website of the Yellowhead Institute.

If Canadians take time to actually read only the Calls to Action, just 18 pages in the Executive Summary of the TRC, they can see for themselves the nature and extent of change needed to right 500 years of wrongs. The Executive Summary itself is a superbly crafted piece of writing: detailed without being tedious, provocative without being inflammatory, revealing, and insightful. I commend it to thoughtful readers.

I note with a certain degree of irony the recent apology from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops for their role in the residential “school” system, along with the continued silence of the Pope on the matter.

The Bishops have pledged to raise $30 million to support reconciliation projects. I hope they do better than they did last time they made big promises.

A total of $79 million was pledged to be raised starting in 2007, but Canada’s 12 million Catholics donated less than $4 million of that by 2015.

In the same time they also raised about $300 million for renovating and building churches. And the Government of Canada allowed this to happen.

Any Canadian who views Sept. 30 as a day commemorating positive steps on the part of the Government of Canada or of the Canadian people who elect them is ignorant of some painful realities about Canadian history and Canadian current events.

Linda Pedy

Penticton

Conservative outlook putting people at risk

Dear Editor:

Re: A lot has changed in six weeks (Dan Albas column, Penticton Herald online)

One thing that hasn’t changed in six weeks is the attitude of the federal Conservatives. What Albas leaves unsaid is extremely telling. He states “while our intensive care unit beds are fast filling up with citizens infected with COVID as the Delta variant spreads in this fourth wave of the pandemic … Despite all of these things going on, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided now would be a good time to call an election.”

He neglects to add that intensive care is overfilled with primarily the unvaccinated — people guided by the Republican/

Conservative disregard for humanity, here in Canada epitomized by the Official Opposition’s stand on vaccination.

In some countries today, gunmen murder nurses sent to vaccinate. Is that the kind of mentality to emulate? That’s freedom of choice? Where is the Conservative leadership of even their own supporters?

Elaine Lawrence

Kelowna

Canada and others need to form alliance

Dear Editor:

The Two Michaels’ ordeal has made clearer to me that before China might be successfully compelled to do anything it doesn’t want to, the compelling source must at least possess a consumer base thus trade import/export bargaining chip compatible with China’s nearly 1.5 billion consumers.

Even then, China’s edge may be its restrictive control over its own business sector thus market. In Canada’s case, with 38 million consumers, we’re no match.

Not alone, anyway.

Perhaps some securely allied nations, including Canada, combining their resources could go without the usual China trade/investment tether they’d prefer to sever, instead trading necessary goods and services between themselves and other interested non-allied, non-China-bound nation economies.

Then, again, maybe such an alliance has already been covertly discussed but rejected due to Chinese government strategists knowing how to “divide and conquer” potential alliance nations by using door-wedge economic/political leverage custom-made for each nation.

Or could it be that every country typically placing its own economic and big business bottom-line interests foremost may always be its, and therefore collectively our, Achilles’ Heel to be exploited by huge-market nations like China? Regardless, China so far seems to have handled the West.

Frank Sterle Jr.

White Rock

Thrift store prices are becoming expensive

Dear Editor:

Went thrift shopping like I always do — and after The Care Closet got rid of their summer stuff — their clothes went from $5 per shirt to $6.50.

I know they are trying to help the hospital — but give me a break — they should have a thrift monitor checking prices or, better still, fine them for gouging the public.

Outrageous — is it alright to picket the thrift stores?

Arlene Wright

Penticton

Fired ambassador was right all along

Dear Editor:

On Friday, Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou pleaded not guilty to a U.S. Federal Court Judge in Brooklyn, New York. It happened via an internet hook-up from her lawyers’ office in Vancouver, where she had been held under house arrest in her exquisite mansions for almost three years, pending extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges.

Meng was quickly freed, then delivered a very complimentary prepared speech in which she was careful to mention “rule of law,” before flying home to China.

Almost simultaneously Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — the Two Michaels — who had been held under far less luxurious conditions in Chinese jails, were freed to board a conveniently-parked Canadian Forces jet that would fly them home after a harrowing time for them and families.

To have everything arranged with the precise timing of a very high-end Swiss watch, obviously indicates that this political release of all three was in the works for quite a while, and the media were either kept in the dark or sworn to complete secrecy, fearing a last-minute hitch.

The Two Michaels were greeted in Canada by the prime minister, while Meng exited her jet in China waving like a head of state before addressing a huge welcoming party on the tarmac.

There has been much conjecture about the murky politics surrounding Meng’s arrest at the behest of the U.S. government in December 2018, which occurred when her private jet was refuelling in Vancouver en route to a conference in Mexico City.

She holds Canadian residential status, but surely the powers-that-be in Ottawa should have foreseen the consequences of arresting such a high-profile Chinese citizen, and should have insisted the U.S. government have Mexico do their dirty work on her arrival there.

Even more troubling, for those who care to remember, is how John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, was unceremoniously kicked to the curb in January 2019 for publicly being truthful. He had said it would be great for Canada should the U.S. drop extradition demands for Meng, if The Two Michaels were released as hostages.

That a diplomat dared tell the simple truth raised hackles among Ottawa’s political and media elite, who mounted their high horses dressed as crusader knights to ride at full gallop over the soon-to-be-former ambassador, all waving banners emblazoned with “Rule Of Law.”

Ironically, from what the world saw on Friday, it appears that what McCallum suggested is exactly what took place, with the rule of law operating behind closed curtains

Bernie Smith

Parksville

Trudeau’s Liberals won the election

Dear Editor:

Erin O’Toole’s decision to pivot his party to the center backfired, aliening his base and put his leadership in jeopardy.

The likeable persona of NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has only reconfirmed the party’s perpetual third place position.

The Bloc is a one-trick-pony with little impact on Canada, unless if affects Quebec directly.

So with the opposition in disarray around him, prime minister Justin Trudeau is the last man standing, — firmly at the head of his party and in a position to act on his ambitious agenda of new spending and social programs. That is quite an accomplishment for a leader mocked by opponents as style over substance.

It was no secret that he was trying to regain his majority, but even so, without exception, the opposition parties are all worse off in the aftermath of the election and some are teetering on the verge of collapse.

The bruised and chastened opposition parties will have no appetite for another election anytime soon and this gives the Liberals and Trudeau more or less a free hand to govern as a majority , because he will be sure to carry at least one other of the smaller parties to ensure his government never faces a non-confidence vote.

Jon Peter Christoff

West Kelowna

‘Sin’ tax suggested for all non-vaxxers

Dear Editor:

We have “sin” taxes for tobacco and liquor. We recognize the negatives to society and increased health-care costs.

How about a new sin tax?

The province or the feds should put out that if you do not have your second vaccination by Dec. 31, then your 2021 income tax rate will increase by five per cent.

Help the deficit and reduce health-care costs. Just do it; hit these idiots where it hurts.

Ken Mawdsley

Saanich