Richard Cannings

NDP candidate Richard Cannings speaks at The Herald's All-Candidates Forum, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

Everyone needs to board vaccine train

Dear Editor:

Apart from the emotional toll on doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, this pandemic is taking a huge financial toll on the general health care system.

Maybe some of it could be recouped through the unvaccinated.

If those among us won’t get the vaccine for the benefit of themselves, their families, and the general population, perhaps they could help with their wallets.

Although it is unlikely the system would ever charge the non-vaccinated for COVID medical visits (which cost approximately $50,000 according to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information), perhaps the least that can be done is to charge them for COVID testing.

After a pre-surgical COVID test last week, I commented to the nurse, “Well, that was easy,” to which she replied, “Too easy,” as she gestured around the large rented room that had six to eight cubicles, each staffed with RNs in PPE who are there daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.. How much does that cost?

It’s all free, and she noted that the majority of those being tested are unvaccinated. So, people who will not get a free vaccine but require a COVID test for work are more than willing to pop in every few days for a free test that takes 10 minutes or less.

This is costing the taxpayer, as well as the health system, inordinate amounts of money. But, maybe if those people had to pay for their tests, they might reconsider. “Not vaccinated? Sure you can have a test for work — that will be $100, please.”

That might change a few hearts and minds. Something must be done to get everyone on board the vaccine train, and this might be another way to go.

Leslie Manion

Penticton

Verifiable facts always matter in an election

Dear Editor:

During the Herald’s South Okanagan-West Kootenay all-candidates forum on Sept. 8, the Conservative Party of Canada candidate said: “In Penticton, we have the highest crime rate in all of B.C.”

This is not true.

The candidate also said: “We have the highest rate of drug addiction of any community in B.C. – here in Penticton.”

Not so fast.

In its coverage of the forum, the Sept. 10 edition of the Herald reported the candidate’s remarks.

Let’s look at the facts.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2020 crime severity report, Penticton has the ninth-highest crime rate for all B.C. municipalities. That’s a far cry from the highest crime rate in B.C.

Penticton does have the distinction of the highest crime rate for Okanagan cities in 2020, a statistic that has persisted for the prior three years.

Regarding the candidate’s assertion on drug addiction levels in Penticton, no readily available government health or statistical documents replicates this statement.

If deaths related to the illicit drugs are the measure, between Jan. 1, 2011 and June 30, 2021, Penticton was not even on the B.C. Coroner’s Service list of the top 15 communities for drug-related deaths in BC.

According to the Sept. 1 Herald, statistics from the coroner’s service show that 15 Penticton people died from suspected drug overdoses in the first six months of 2021 and that figure makes the death toll here the highest per capita of the major Okanagan cities.

Penticton has persistent social challenges. It’s incumbent upon all candidates for national office to use accurate and factual information when discussing the challenges in our area.

The use of sweeping and false information tarnishes the reputation of our wonderful community and its residents.

Verifiable facts always matter.

Wendy Stewart

Penticton

Phillip, Cannnings: winning combination

Dear Editor:

A short note to cheer about the voting procedures in Canada. No armed guards at the doors, staffed by wonderful volunteers, we live in the best country in the world. We are so very fortunate in so many ways.

I believe that by voting for Joan Phillip in Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola and Richard Cannings in South Okanagan West Kootenay, we can be the best valley anywhere.

These individuals bring common sense, science and history to our table. Let’s share them with Ottawa as a vital part of a winning NDP party.

With gratitude for the right to vote.

Jeanette Beaven

Summerland

The myth of limited fiscal powers

Dear Editor:

Conservative candidate Helena Konanz consistently raises the matter of government debt and deficits, claiming that they are responsible for higher taxation, high prices and a host of other money ailments.

The fact is that much government borrowing, particularly in the COVID period, has been from the Bank of Canada. The Bank has been funding the government at a rate of $2-3 billion a week. Canada can borrow as much as it wants from the Bank. The only limiting factor is inflation.

The Bank of Canada is a Crown corporation. When the government borrows it is an “in-house” transaction. Money is moved from one pocket to another in the same pair of pants. Our government has no intrinsic need to borrow from financial markets.

Like many Conservatives Konanz seems to think that the Government of Canada is like a household with limited fiscal powers. This myth has the effect of preventing us from dealing effectively with very large issues, such as the grotesque inequality of wealth in Canada, where the top 20% own 73% of the wealth, the bottom 40% own a meager 1.2%. Health care, education, housing, play second fiddle to debt and deficit hysteria.

The myth of limited fiscal powers also shackles us in our response to the impending catastrophe of climate warming.

The only limits on what we can do are the material, human and institutional resources we have. We all know that Canada is rich in such resources. That we don’t direct them effectively to mitigate the problems we and the whole world face is worse than criminal.

John Harrop

Naramata

Konanz fully aware of all SOWK issues

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter in support of Helena Konanz who is running for the Conservative party in your riding.

Helena has lived in Penticton for many years so is fully aware of all the issues that need to be addressed. She spent several years on council gaining both experience and knowledge. I’m certain she will help solve the present problems with crime and addiction. Helena is young and full of energy and I am sure she will make a great MP. Please support her with your vote.

Mike Pearce

White Rock

Educate yourself before voting Sept. 20

Dear Editor:

Actually, I’d prefer to say “Dear Canadians” because Canadians, your votes really do matter.

In addition to marking your X to the candidate of your choice, the equally critical point is that you make an educated vote. This includes listening to not just what the candidates (and their party leaders) have to say, but also make yourselves aware of the history of these candidates and what their party’s have done, or not done, what they said they’d do if elected.

I’m proud to call Canada my country of choice, because, like many Canadians, I am an immigrant on land that’s mostly the unceded territory of the First Peoples of Canada.

I watched the Penticton Herald all-candidates forum last Wednesday (youtu.be/0Hthzy00lzs) and for those of you who have not watched, and listened, you have until election day on Monday, Sept. 20.

I was really saddened that Helena Konanz felt she had to give false information, when she said that the NDP candidate, Richard Cannings, had prorogued Parliament, thereby, sadly, triggering this election.

Proroguing Parliament is only done when a prime minister calls on the Governor General of Canada, to suspend Parliament for a specific time.

I was even more saddened when I heard some people would have voted for Richard Cannings except they were upset that he’d prorogued Parliament.

This brings me back to please, I urge you, listen, ask questions, get your facts straight, and vote for the party that I believe stands and acts on behalf of Canadians, the New Democratic Party.

Never forget, that it was the NDP and Tommy Douglas that gave Canadians a real gem, universal healthcare.

Of course, like so much in life, there’s room for improvement, such as a National Pharmacare and dental program and vote for Richard Canning, a member of the NDP, and the only Party that I’ve heard ready to add to Tommy Douglas’s legacy.

Make you X matter, for all Canadians.

Brigid Kemp

Penticton

If supplying drugs, why not craft beer

Dear Dox and Politicos:

While we are rolling out the dough for a supply of safe drugs and nice cozy places to use them, may I please add another to the list.

It appears that I am very fond of beer. With the proliferation of craft breweries, my supply of safe suds is somewhat in question. I am suggesting that a card be issued to all those suffering from this self-imposed malady so that we can present it at reputable liquor establishments and sales outlets to acquire our safe and free supply of quality brew.

In the event that I or my fellows find themselves on the street in need of assistance, I think a certain amount of “trained” persons could be equipped with coolers of ice cold brewskis to administer so that we can get on our way and repeat the process all over again.

I can forward the address and contact info of my favourite tonsil-wash emporiums if you’d like to set up accounts to streamline the process.

Your consideration is greatly appreciated.

R. Scott

Penticton

Scared of side effects from shot, not virus

Dear Editor:

Congratulations.

You finally printed a couple of letters to the editor in the weekend edition telling the truth about the vaccine and its side effects (Herald, Sept. 11).

I am more afraid of the side effects, some long-term from the vaccine than I am of getting the virus.

These people who love to get any pill or shot put out there are always sick and will always be because every medication has a side effect. Just ask any doctor.

Margaret Masson

Oliver

Alternate route to Kelowna needed

Dear Editor:

After the major inconvenience of Highway 97’s lengthy closure two years ago due to a rockslide at Summerland, I was very happy to hear of the recent announcement from Conservative candidate Helena Konanz that the 201 Forest Service Road will be upgraded to be a reliable alternative route.

This additional route will be a major and long-needed road improvement for everyone in the South Okanagan needing to travel to Kelowna for any reason.

We have long needed another safe route to Kelowna when the highway is shut down and I thank Helena Konanz for making it a priority.

I am gladdened to hear of initiatives of this type for our area after six years of a fourth- place shadow party MP under-representing our interests.

Helena Konanz can count on my vote.

Karen Rosenberg

Penticton

When Richard Cannings speaks, people listen

Dear Editor:

The upcoming federal election requires a serious shift on climate, justice and health.

With his experience, I believe Richard Cannings is ready to act decisively and quickly on these issues.

The next government will play an essential role in determining whether Canada is successful in fighting the climate crisis.

The NDP intends to expand protection for the natural environment in a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights.

They also commit to creating an Office of Environmental Justice. The Conservatives do not mention either of these reforms which will require expert advice including that from top scientists.

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government failed to properly support Canada’s excellent scientific community. In fact they came close to dismantling it. In this election the local Conservative candidate seems to be focusing on roads and crime.

These are local issues which should be dealt with regionally or provincially. The climate crisis demands that politicians look at the big picture which is saving the planet.

We need Richard Cannings. When he speaks in Parliament, his peers listen.

Anne B. Ginns

Penticton

Only Konanz can serve our local needs

Dear Editor:

I write this letter in support of our good friend Helena Konanz in her campaign to become the next Member of Parliament for the constituency of South Okanagan West Kootenay.

During my several years working with Helena on the board of the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS), I came to know her as a hard-working, kind-hearted, and politically-astute member.

Helena will give our area an excellent voice in the pending government of the Hon. Erin O’Toole. Her voice, and her opinions will count where it matters.

And as a long-time tennis pro, Helena knows how to serve and to score effectively.

Through my many years as a member of local governments, and for 15 years as a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament, I learned that I was able to achieve much more in serving the needs of my constituents while occupying a seat at the Cabinet table, or as a decision maker on city councils and boards.

That is where the views and priorities of the local electorate can be best translated into effective and lasting decisions.

Although I know and respect our current MP Richard Cannings, he cannot serve and satisfy our local needs and priorities while sitting as a Member of the opposition.

If the NDP really had any influence on the many misguided decisions of Justin Trudeau, then why do we find ourselves in the midst of a costly and unnecessary federal election while Canada struggles with the tragedies of resurging COVID, climate change, forest fires, global upheavals, and a huge federal debt?

It’s obviously time for a major change of leadership in Ottawa.

Our only option to the Trudeau Liberals is to elect Erin O’Toole as our next Prime Minister, supported by our own MP, Helena Konanz, who will truly get things done by serving the needs of people here in this constituency.

Please make your vote count by choosing Helena Konanz as our next Member of Parliament.

Tom Siddon

Kaleden

Mother Nature strutting her stuff

Dear Editor:

My first wife and I are closing in on 80, we are a couple of ex-Limeys, we got off the boat (CP AIR) in 1974 Vancouver.

We have lived longer in Canada than we did in “Blighty” (UK), I am semi-senile and my wife is an ex-blonde.

Our sex life is in the tank, my wife says she would rather have a bar of chocolate.

To all you Cheshire Cats out there that have it made, to those of you who have it all planned out, to those of you who are ‘well healed’ and have it all figured out, listen up.

Everything has changed and it is not going back to how it was a year or so ago, your portfolios don’t mean a thing, your RRSPs are like a breeze in the wind.

All your dreams of blissful retirement could now be in jeopardy.

Your future health is now in doubt, your partner might not be your soulmate, it’s a whole new world out there. The time with your family is now. Your bucket list needs to be tossed out, all you fat cats in your 50s and 60s think again — reassess your situation. Is it worth relying on your official retirement age and that of your partner?

I suggest it is not, live your life, live each day, the writing is on the proverbial wall, Mother Nature is sending us all a message, and those who aren’t listening have their heads in the sand.

I am speaking from experience. We live in a seniors’ gated community in Oliver. Who would know better than I? I see the dreams and aspirations of people our age go up in smoke almost daily.

Live your life, live for today.

Don’t procrastinate… seize the moment. This time it’s not foreign governments or dictatorships threatening warfare, no this time it’s Mother Nature strutting her stuff.

There isn’t a living person on the whole planet who can speak with experience. Don’t believe me? Turn on the news, any channel, any time and check on the world flipflop of advice on how to deal with COVID.

Nobody knows and that is painfully obvious, me thinks old COVID is here to stay, might as well live with it.

Don Smithyman

Oliver

All lives don’t matter

Dear Editor:

Watching the recent leaders’ debate on TV, I wondered, could we have a debate on the understanding of each leader on what it means to be a human being with infinite longings.

This would be followed by questions like: How come the young people in our country no longer expect to find happiness in ordinary things? Why are illegal drugs so urgent to human survival and fulfillment? Why is pornography so widespread and gambling on the rise?

It is clear that in our society “not all lives matter.”

Abortion is always a betrayal, allowing a human being in its mother’s womb to be destroyed rather than loved. As one mother said after a miscarriage; “they called my child “bio waste” — it broke my heart into pieces.”

Now a child awaiting birth can be treated as an enemy by doctors and parents.

How can we promote a culture where assisted suicide is not treated as a modern victory over death?

I think COVID-19 is forcing people to confront death and generally we try both to hide from it and to hide it away. When President Plutarco Calles of Mexico, in 1926, closed all Catholic churches, Graham Green, was sent from Fleet Street to make a report on its effects. The first woman he interviewed said, “They don’t know what to do with us when we die, they bury us like animals.”

When will our leaders recognize that religious groups are part of culture and not sub cultures? The French Revolution (1798) laid one of its first attacks on Notre Dame Cathedral, destroying priceless art works and renaming it the Temple of Reason.

Their leaders boasted of a new era; liberty, equality and brotherhood, but they quickly forgot about brotherhood. Napoleon came to power in 1799 and being a strong leader reopened the Cathedral to its Catholic mission and established religion as part of French culture.

There is nothing new in history and brotherhood is our tomorrow.

Fr. Harry Clarke

Penticton