Tara Howse

Tara Howse is pictured in a still supplied by the riding association.

Final thoughts from local Green candidate

Dear Editor:

Thank you to everyone that participated and voted in the 2021 federal election. Turnout across the country was lower than average so I thank you for taking the time to engage.

Obviously, this election did not turn out how I wanted and I am disappointed and dismayed by the results.

I am concerned about the rising hate and division seen in this riding and the country. There is a continued erosion of trust in our institutions: political, health, and judicial. Racism, misogyny, and queer and transphobia were all too alive in my experiences as candidate and appeared inflamed during this last election cycle.

While I don’t have the answer to address all of this, I do feel it stems from fear, which perpetuates hate, and is caused by feelings of disempowerment.

One of the main issues that was brought up from this election is the need for electoral reform.

The continued pressure that voters feel to vote strategically has led to the election of candidates that don’t necessarily represent the values of the majority of constituents in our riding or the ridings across the country.

This is my request to Richard Cannings: make electoral reform a real priority. Without this change, fear will continue to divide this country as people feel obligated, bullied, and disempowered into one party or another or continue to generate apathy.

I’m not sure what my next steps are, where my role is within the Green Party, or whether politics remains in my future. I remain committed to ensuring climate, economic, and social justice are priorities for decision-makers. I do feel that we need to increase civic literacy and engagement and that starts with younger people.

Politics as a whole has to continue to increase its diversity but if we don't address the underlying fear and hate, it will never be a safe space for Indigenous peoples or equity-seeking groups.

I wish to say a huge thank you to the great efforts of my volunteers and the hours of time and energy they spent with me and this campaign.

And congratulations to Mr. Cannings. I look forward to the implementation of real change at the federal level and urge you to use your position of power to stand up for and address the systemic injustices that exist.

Tara Howse

Green Party candidate

South Okanagan-West Kootenay

Governments didn’t take immediate action

Dear Editor:

A statistic from the hospitality industry indicates that the revenue drop since the vaccine passport was implemented of 20 to 30% reveals the extent of COVID exposure the hospitality staff and vaccinated guests were exposed to prior to the restriction.

Almost every third customer in restaurants and bars was likely unvaccinated and based on unvaccinated cases now, 95% more likely to be either Asymptomatic or carrying COVID virus than the vaccinated patrons.

The vaccine passport has liberated nearly 80% of B.C. residents over 12 years old, while allowing those who choose to avoid vaccines to still enjoy their food and beverage with friends and family via takeout, delivered, or cooked at home.

The only people hurt, unfortunately as collateral damage, are the restaurant and bar owners and their employees, for whom we all have sympathy, as none of the restrictions are their fault — look to government and a poor national COVID response for allowing the pandemic to flourish too long before taking action.

Doug Waines

West Kelowna

Hard day’s election with touch of Seinfeld

Dear Editor:

Early in the federal election campaign, someone had labelled it a “Seinfeld election,” as it was an election about nothing.

When it mercifully ended, that proved to be absolutely true as the seat numbers each party won were almost identical to those held at the dissolution of Parliament.

A few seats changed hands, and a few government ministers were defeated. One television commentator called it a $610-million cabinet shuffle.

When MPs are sworn in, they must be made aware that they are to serve for four years until the next fixed election date, unless there is a “no confidence” vote.

The Governor General should outlaw snap elections in her next throne speech.

On a lighter musical note, watching party leaders’ speeches on election night, it was easy to link each of them with a Beatles’ song, playing on the Wurlitzer jukebox between my ears:

Annamie Paul, whose Green Party let her down so badly, definitely needed some cheering up, with the joyful calypso-flavoured Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Yves-François Blanchet of the Bloc Québécois was easy to satisfy with the Beatles’ French-language classic: Michelle.

Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party managed to split the Conservative vote, thus assisting his Liberal adversary, and was perfectly matched with Nowhere Man.

Jagmeet Singh of the New Democratic Party spent the entire campaign promising to tax millionaires and billionaires, and his song has to be Baby, You’re A Rich Man.

Erin O’Toole of the Conservatives certainly tried to unite the different wings of his party, and would often plead Come Together.

Justin Trudeau engineered this wasteful boondoggle Seinfeld election during the pandemic’s fourth wave, and deserves to repeatedly hear, “I Should Have Known Better.”

Of course, all the party leaders went to bed with a line from another early song ringing in their ears: “Money, that’s what I want.”

Bernie Smith

Parksville

Moving city forward in positive direction

Dear Editor:

I found it curious during the recent federal election how writers often would demean Helena Konanz for being “merely a city councillor” and that somehow federal politics is of higher stature than civic.

I find local politics to be much more important in our day-to-day lives than what goes on a federal level and I view the role our council provides with utmost respect.

I feel Ms. Konamz served us exceptionally well on council but currently it is Coun. Julius Bloomfield who is moving our city in a positive direction.

Case in point are Bloomfield’s motions around mental health in our community and healthy living through improvements to cycling infrastructure.

On mental health, I think it’s important to realize that hiring law enforcement officers alone will not do anything to make our town safer in the long run.

As Bloomfield points out, it is important to look at addiction treatment in order to curtail the crime before it happens.

Let’s treat addiction as a medical issue rather than criminal.

Pathways Addiction Centre is our key asset in dealing with addictions that affect mentally ill populations in our community and had its funding cut by IHA.

IHA thought Pathways would die but that hasn’t been the case. Hopefully council sees it is better to help Pathways survive than to let it go under and then have to recreate it the future when the flaws of IH’s strategy put the city in an untenable situation.

On cycling paths, Bloomfield is moving that the city fund the third leg of the path along Atkinson St. This will tie together two major shopping centres and tap into the active senior populations at Cherry Lane Towers.

By finishing this leg, cyclists will be able to connect to the South Main/Government Street path and get Lake-to-Lake.

I hope council supports Bloomfield’s motions on Oct. 5 which will makes us all safer and healthier, both physically and mentally.

Brian Hughes

Penticton

Relative newcomers enjoys our letters page

Dear Editor:

As relatively newcomers (retired) to Penticton, my wife and I really enjoy reading the Penticton Herald. We enjoy doing the puzzles, Super Quiz and testing our skills with the bridge hand.

Another interesting aspect of the newspaper is the letters to the editor.

Our favourite writers are Tom Isherwood and Patrick Longworth. Lots of wisdom in these two gentlemen. like any good math equation there must be a balance.

For the best hot air articles goes to John Thompson. Having read his hot air missives especially on climate change made us vote strategically in the last election. In his last letter to editor regarding the military which was a lot of writing about nothing.

Mr. Thompson this time we would like you to be serious and do some research on the idea that PM Boris Johnson of the UK is offering military hardware to Canada to defend the Arctic Ocean.

Is there a better way of handling perceived military problems at this time? This is where we have to be ahead of such problems with a calmness and a sense of responsibility. We all know the Military Industrial Complex is always happy with a good little war. It is said that it is good for the economy. Stay alert and smart my friend.

Frank Pellerine

Penticton

Another great year at Summerland market

Dear Editor:

Thank you to all of the vendors and organizations that made the Summerland Sunday Market such an amazing success this 2021 season.

In times of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions we have been pleasantly surprised by our attendance levels. The market ran every Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. with over 30 vendors and they had on an average 750 customers visiting their stalls. This past Sunday in partnership with the Summerland Fall Fair our vendor count rose to 51 and we counted well over 2,500 visitors to the market.

All in all, a success story due entirely to the perseverance of the vendors and the philosophy of many of our customers to “Support Local Business.”

I am grateful to be part of markets in the Okanagan Valley.

Linda Van Alphen, Market Manager

Summerland Sunday Farmers

and Crafters Market

Be more appreciative of our health system

Dear Editor:

At home today, after having had an endoscopic procedure (day service), I was inspired to write this letter.

The care I received from the health-care professionals in the endoscopy clinic at Victoria General Hospital was nothing short of amazing. From start to finish, I was treated with kindness, patience, respect and reassurance.

I think we all need to show support and appreciation for B.C.’s universal (and free) health care. Yes, wait times are very difficult for patients in pain while awaiting joint replacements, so there is more to be done; overall, however, we have so much to be thankful for.

Linda Grant

Victoria