Letters to the Editor

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

Pandemic mismanagement

Dear Editor:

Sorry, but I couldn’t help comment on our ongoing COVID-19 nightmare after watching the COVID-19 New Hour (formerly know as the Global News at 6).

Chaos has erupted throughout our province. Ski hill partiers spreading more than good cheer. Party boats loaded with twenty-somethings partying like it’s 1999 (before most of them were born). Restaurants and churches defying the confusing and sometimes irrational provincial health orders which seem to change daily. People turning in or shaming on social media, the neighbours who have a little gathering against said rules.

Well I have, within reason, followed the social distancing, mask-wearing rules as best I can, I couldn’t help but wonder what my 20-year old self would have done under these rules.

Consider this. For more than a year, all of us have had our lives disrupted losing unprecedented freedoms that we have lived with for virtually all of our lives. A whole year! Considering to some of us, those years are getting more and more precious, I can understand the rebellion of youth.

Well-rational people turn on each other or businesses who defy the rules, even though they are just trying to survive. I believe we are missing the point. Right from the start, this pandemic has been mismanaged globally, federally and at the provincial level. The World Health Organization mishandled communicating the seriousness of the situation. Our federal Liberal government botched the shutting down and management of international travelers and totally screwed up vaccine acquisition making Canada the joke of G7 nations.

Provincially, we saw conflicting rules and regulations, some of which made sense and some not. In the end, we as voters need to remember what went wrong or this will happen again.

Andy Richards


And you’re working for no one but me

Dear Editor:

Booze, cigarettes, marijuana, gasoline, home heating oil, doughnuts, etc.

What will it be like, somewhere, some day in the future, when there is nothing left to tax? Feels like a Stephen King novel.

Gordon Boothe


Justices are not environmentalists

Dear Editor:

The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the federal government’s carbon tax on appeal from three provinces in what was essentially a jurisdictional matter. Jurisdictional disputes are the business of the Supreme Court.

But, the Justices went step further and offered opinions on the legitimacy of the carbon tax as a tool to combat climate change. That’s not the business of the Supreme Court. The Justices aren’t environmental scientists. It’s ideology in action again; only this time it’s coming from the unelected judiciary.

Judges are expected to base their conclusions and actions on evidence. The best available evidence on the efficacy of carbon taxes in reducing carbon emissions can be found right here in B.C. where we’ve been paying carbon taxes for 13 years. Some hold this up as a shining example, but it’s a mirage.

Based on government figures, carbon taxes have made no measurable difference in reducing emissions from 2008 through 2019. During the same period, vehicle registrations have increased from 3.152 million to 3.914 million, and there’s been an increase in gasoline and diesel consumption. That’s pretty compelling evidence for anyone who cares to look.

Carbon tax is a punitive instrument which is intended to force people to change their behaviour by making fossil fuels cost prohibitive. Judges can impose financial penalties as punishment, but that’s only for people convicted of crime.

Heating one’s home and travelling for personal business, or even pleasure, isn’t a crime. It’s a necessity and a lifestyle choice. Everyone who’s driving less or turning down the heat because of carbon tax, please raise your hand.

Coercion by government policy is a feature of dictatorships, not democracies. Did the Justices examine available alternatives for heating and transportation before arriving at their conclusions? Did they consider the feasibility and costs of alternative energy choices? Did they consider the environmental impact of the alternatives, or the impact of their decisions on the lifestyles of Canadians?

The Supreme Court is expected to be a forum of reason and fairness, not an echo chamber for activism and ideology. If we believe that climate change is real, shouldn’t we insist on real solutions? Carbon tax isn’t a real solution.

The mandate of the Supreme Court concerns the interpretation of laws, not the propagation of unproven ideology or fraudulent legislation. This is too important to let nine judges determine our destiny. Carbon tax needs to be an election issue.

John Thompson


Horgan uninterested in saving Sickle Point

Dear Editor:

I am very disheartened that the B.C. government has not responded to pleas for help with saving the Sickle Point wetlands from development.

I see two important issues: firstly, obstruction of the Kettle Valley Railway trail and secondly, destruction of the Sickle Point wetlands, a historically important area.

The KVR trail which was intended to be a walking and cycling path, would become an active driveway for vehicles as the designated easement to Sickle Point. Can you imagine walking with small children, bird watching or riding your bike, and suddenly a car drives past you or a truck goes by pulling a trailer, or what about a large RV?

Any development at Sickle Point would mean there would be motorized traffic on the KVR trail. How come the B.C. government does not seem concerned about this safety issue?

The historic KVR, part of the Great Canadian Trail, formally the Trans Canada Trail, is one of the gems of the area. In Kaleden, homes have recently been built the original KVR trail, which has diverted cyclists and walkers onto the roadway. It is a slippery slope before more areas of the KVR become unsafe to walk and cycle along.

Sickle Point is the last intact wetland and riparian ecosystem remaining on Skaha Lake. It is home to Red Listed and Species at Risk, plants and birds including the endangered Yellow-breasted Chat. The South Okanagan Similkameen Biodiversity Conservation Strategy has given its highest ranking for ecological values to Sickle Point. Also, the hydrological study (February 2020) by the Okanagan Basin Water Board concluded that flooding of Skaha Lake is likely to increase significantly as climate change continues.

Can you believe there is a 15% chance that the noted area will be flooded within the next 30 years? Considering wetlands act like giant sponges and help reduce floods and ease the worst effects of drought, why doesn’t the government want to protect these last remaining riparian wetlands?

A recently n article stated that the “Penticton Indian Band, syilx Nation … does not consent to development at Sickle Point. Sickle Point has been utilized by the people of snpink’tn, syilx Nation, for hundreds of generations” (Herald, Feb. 20).

Why is the B.C. government is not listening to the snpink’tn, Syilx Nation?

I have recently moved here and enjoy the trail. I was shocked when I learned about this from locals and also from the Kaleden Association website, where there is more information about this unique place I have chosen to live: kaledencommunity.com /sicklepoint.

Shira Newell-Wallace


Wording of question creates questions

Dear Editor:

The belief that democracy is government for the people, by the people, of the people has apparently lost some of its original meaning in Penticton.

While it is true that the one tenet of government of the people is still relevant, it would seem that the remaining tenets have, for some reason, fallen by the wayside.

I am, of course, referring to the ongoing issue of Skaha Park. It would appear that council, in its “unlimited benevolence,” would have us believe that the proposed ballot addresses all park issues and concerns of the electorate in an open and honest way. It would seem that through some form of subterfuge we are being sold the sole proprietorship of “the Brooklyn Bridge, so to speak!”

It would appear that wording of the format of the proposed ballot is designed to address any and all issues of the voting public in that “yes” or “no” responses will take care of any concerns of the public. It seems to smack of the “one size fits all” idea.

Twenty-five year lease arrangements are not feasible in principle, let alone being set to a “Yay” or “Nay” response. Unless I missed an explanation, no conditions of a 25-year lease have been fully and satisfactorily explained or elaborated on.

I would like to suggest the following analogy. Think of old shoes that are very comfortable but might be showing their age. On examination of the shoes one can see that heels and soles are satisfactory, although there might be some signs showing that heel or sole replacement would add to the shoes’ life. These items will be monitored. The outside of the shoes might look a little tired.

Hence, the thought of cleaning and or polishing will make the shoes new again. This is where the owner of the shoes has to make a careful decision. What will be done and when.

In our case of the park, it is very old, however, it wasn’t until 2009 that it got official city recognition through the “Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act.” In that short time, there has been a myriad of issues, large and small, that the park has experienced and is now facing some issues again.

Like the shoes, the park will endure depending on the type of care and degree of care involved. The owner of the shoes will determine, through careful consideration, to what degree this care will be given. It would seem to make sense that the owners of the park be “totally involved” in repairing, upgrading or maintaining the park.

If what appears to be taking place now, this is only a pipe dream.

Ron Barillaro


COVID-19 deniers extremely dangerous

Dear Editor:

So there’s another ignorant, defiant writhing body of revellers, once again at a ski hill (Big White). Hard to fault John Horgan about “young ones” this time.

However, there are plenty of old ones to go around, too — all “those middle-aged and up anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers rallies. One guy, about 60, gave a shy, disdainful little wave, presumably to all of us who care about the health of our society.

I wonder if those ralliers think all the bodies from the Spanish Flu were also hoaxes, and whether they would even invite Typhoid Mary to their groups, because she, of course, was also a hoax.

There are the American-influenced defiant ones (“you can’t tell me what to do”), then there are the hoaxy, conspiratorial ones, and most annoying of all (at least to me) the magical thinkers.

The Pope, on his recent COVID-defying trip to Iraq, inspiring masses of the great unmasked, said everything would be all right, as he’d prayed hard; so no one would get sick. Maybe we could get him to pray for us in Canada. Oh, wait, we don’t need him; we can ask that mid-aged woman in Abbotsford, saying that full-body worship at those three disputed churches was safe, as God wouldn’t let Covid happen.

Though we now have several new varieties of the virus, it seems we still have the same old varieties of dangerous flaunters and deniers.

Joy Lang


We love our animals, but why not our babies?

Dear Editor:

This letter is to the environmentalist, the humanitarian and all who love their family.

Michelle Oakley is a wild life veterinarian who lives and works in the Yukon and Alaska. She has three young daughters who also love animals and who are learning to be vets. like their Mom. I too love animals and all the other creatures our Heavenly Father has created. There are five or six other vets on TV who do similar work as Dr. Oakley.

That work is good and necessary. My concern though is that the human race seems to be expendable to many people who love animals. The example I give is the 62 million babies in North America who have been systematically disposed of by doctors who take the Hippocratic Oath to do all they can to save human life. In the United States, the abortion clinics actually sell the parts of the unborn. Is this an example of love?

Something is very wrong with the human race when we accept such barbaric behaviour as normal.

Gary Young


COVID guidelines becoming ridiculous

Dear Editor:

Sometimes things go from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I have a friend who teaches first aid. It is his own business. The other day going to work I saw him walking his dog so I waved and stoped and we chatted

He told me he still had to use dummies for his students to work on because they are not allowed to touch anyone. That is ridiculus. I had my Level 1 and worked in remote rig sites. How do you teach a student to prepare a large person for transport using a dummy or know how it feels to stabilize a c-spine injury?

My friend told me that if I came to him with a cut, he’s required to put his bag on the table and instruct me how to treat myself.

What do you do if you are in the bush and the patient is seriously hurt?

The people who make these rules do not have a clue about real life.

Gary Kuse


Nothing positive comes from a casino

Dear Editor:

Do not put a casino in Saanich. This remains a cash-cow leading to nothing positive, healthy, educational or recreational, in my opinion.

Have we learned nothing from the illegal and unhealthy lifestyle this leads to?

Saanich residents need to speak up, please.

Cheryl Robinson