Knox Mountain

Knox Mountain is pictured in a recent file photo by the Kelowna Daily Courier.

The last “ism” to be tackled in our society

Dear Editor:

I’ve just heard that there is a debate in Kelowna about cars returning to Knox Mountain.

As a senior, I would like to say that this debate is more evidence of the last “ism” to be tackled in our society.

Ageism.

I, and many others born in the 1940s and earlier, are able to walk still but have limited energy. Who are the spandex people to say that this is now their mountain and their road?

Although they are at present able to run, climb and skateboard their way to the top, this won’t always be the case in spite of their best efforts. If society doesn’t learn to respect all ages, and all people, they too will have their pleasures cast aside eventually. They too will be pushed aside by those who think that with close attention paid to their bodies they can defy aging and death.

Get over yourselves

Susanne Cooper

Summerland

Grocery cart roundup should be next

Dear Editor:

So Penticton council concluded it has the public’s support to sue the province. It is sort of like a store suing its supplier, bad for both of them from a publicity angle.

I argue that the premier, mayor, and their colleagues have publicly displayed their incompetence, lack of wisdom, and unworthiness of being re-elected.

Perhaps the city could go after other bad neighbours like local grocery stores that have lost control of their grocery carts.

Especially American-invader Walmart which allows littering, overnight camping, pays low wages and discards jobs through automation of cashier positions.

Some homeowners, especially on Green Avenue West are guilty of unlawful possession of shopping carts.

Patrick Longworth

Penticton

Biden’s portrait of forgotten decency

Dear Editor:

U.S. President Joe Biden’s Congressional Speech is a portrait of forgotten decency and hope revived since shedding the mesmerizing grip of deceit by the Evil One.

Joe Schwarz

Penticton

Wanting it both ways on sovereignty

Dear Editor:

Canada has a legal grey area because Section 35 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms stipulates federal, provincial and territorial governments. It does not mention Aboriginal governments.

There are three schools of thoughts: the first is, the Charter ought to apply to First Nations as it does for other levels of governments.

The second is the Charter should not apply to First Nations, because the imposition of Western liberal values limits their self-governing authority; — the Crown’s recognition of Aboriginal treaties already allows First Nations to maintain and develop their own practices.

The third is, the Charter should apply, but with caveats consistent with Aboriginal traditions and rights.

In an op-ed about Bill C-15, Jody Wilson Raybould reminds us the Bill only starts the process to identify and align the principles within the Untied Nations Declaration of the Indigenous Peoples with Canadian policy and judicial practice.

She considers it a small step, because there’s much more work is left to do. She claims, Canada’s entire system of laws and policies colonize and criminalize many aspects of First Bations and Inuit culture and self-governance, she wants to transform Canada’s colonial relations into one based on full nation to nation relations.

She is unclear about what that means, but I get the sense she is not talking about some type of junior-level Aboriginal provincial government, rather she wants an Indigenous nation with all the juridical bells and whistles of a self-governing country, separate from Canada.

Sovereignty with economic association echoes both the Quebec and Western separatists; — they too want it both ways, as do the Indigenous separatists.

Jon Peter Christoff

West Kelowna

City needs Pathways now more than ever

Dear Editor:

In March, there was some very sad news about our partners at Pathways Addictions Resource Centre in Penticton.

Interior Health is reconfiguring its mental health and addiction services and had decided not to continue to fund Pathways for those services, but rather to offer those services itself.

This means that Pathways has now lost 90% of its funding to provide those services to the residents of the South Okanagan and beyond.

For over 40 years, Pathways has been providing addictions counselling to our community members — not only to addicts, but to their families, employers and the community at large. They have been a valued, trusted and loved resource in our community and a respected partner of Access.

We at Access hear and share the concerns (and sadness) of our clients, co-workers and the community at large in response to this change. While we recognize the right of Interior Health to spend its money as it sees fit and wish them success in their work to provide services in our community, we do have concerns about the consequences of these changes.

While Interior Health will provide counselling services we wonder who will provide the other services provided by Pathways: providing prevention education in schools, assessments for parents who are working to have children returned from Ministry Care, working with corrections and probation and providing service 24/7 when needed.

In addition, we know that it will take time for the community to transfer the trust that Pathways has earned over the last 45 years to a government agency. We know that there will be needy people who will fall through the cracks and who will not be served for a variety of potential reasons and therefore that the need for Pathways’ services will not disappear.

This is especially true now, when Penticton is struggling to cope with the needs of a growing homeless population, many of whom need mental health and addiction services.

We at Access believe that Pathways' services need to continue and that they need support in their search for new sources of funding to enable them to continue to provide those valuable services.

We urge our supporters to extend their support to Pathways in any way possible: by visiting Pathways’ website (pathwaysaddictions.ca), by signing the petition at Change.org (change.org/p/interior-health-help-save-pathways-addictions-resource-centre), by writing letters of support to the newspaper and their elected officials, or by making a donation (donations directly to Pathways or through Canada Helps will get you a tax receipt, those made through Go Fund Me do not).

Please support this amazing organization that has brought healing and hope to so many in this community over the last 45 years.

Elmie Saaltink

Penticton and Area Access Society

Women and children were left behind

Dear Editor:

As department heads of Family Practice and Obstetrics at Penticton Regional Hospital, we have felt many emotions while navigating the COVID pandemic — fear, hope, frustration, sadness, but today we are feeling completely disillusioned.

We are disillusioned that the team that planned and executed the beautiful David Kampe Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital did not include women and children in their planning.

They did not include a labour and delivery ward, post partum ward, gynecology ward or pediatric ward in their plans. Though they gave the impression that renovating these wards would happen in the next phase, we were informed today that this is not the case and in fact may not happen for many years, if at all.

While we round on other patients in brand new, large, single-patient rooms with private bathrooms and showers, overlooking the beautiful Penticton mountains and lakes, our women and children sit in rooms that have not been changed since the 1950s — barely big enough for the patient bed let alone a support person and bassinet, windows so small there is hardly any natural light, no private shower and with asbestos in the walls.

The rooms both in labour and delivery and the women’s and children’s ward are so small that they have created safety concerns for both patients and staff as they try to navigate within the constraints of the rooms.

If you have a C-section or other surgery, you will get a glimpse of the beauty of our new, state of the art, large operating rooms only to be plunged into the darkness of the women’s and children’s ward for your recovery.

A decision was made at some point in the planning to make an idyllic new patient care tower, but quietly leave women and children behind.

We are saying loudly that this is unacceptable. Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in your life and we have amazing staff that want to make that experience everything you want it to be.

If you have stayed with us and have comments about the accommodations, please reach out to the Interior Health Patient Care Quality Office with your experience:

By phone: 1-877-442-2001

By email: interiorhealth.ca/YourCare/ PatientCareQualityOffice/Pages/PCQOForm.aspx

By mail: Patient Care Quality Office; 5th Floor; 505 Doyle Ave; Kelowna, V1Y OC5

Dr. Jennifer Begin

Dr. Julie Ryckman

Penticton

Liberals supporting working Canadians

Dear Editor:

The Liberal Party unveiled their 2021 budget this month. I believe that it is an investment in all of Canada, for all Canadians and our collective futures.

For families, the budget announced that Ottawa expects to fund half the cost of $10-a-day national child care and early learning programs. This will help ensure both parents are able to work, if they chose, and further stimulate the economy.

The Liberals are increasing OAS payments by 10% to the current 3.3 million recipients aged 75 or older. They can also expect a one time $500 payment this August. As well, there is $3 billion earmarked to establish support to help ensure quality long-term-care homes for seniors.

The budget continues pandemic support for workers, plus small and medium size businesses — it proposes to extend the wage subsidy, rent subsidy, and lockdown support until Sept. 25, 2021, for an estimated total of $12.1 billion in additional support.

To support low income families federally- regulated industries will have a $15 minimum wage, sending a strong signal to provinces to boost minimum wages across the country.

The government is investing $18 billion in Indigenous communities, including $6 billion to help close infrastructure gaps and $2.2 billion for actions to end the national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

On a local level, the Liberals are investing $101 million in our wineries to help them adapt to ongoing and emerging challenges defined by local industry.

The Liberal Party team has done an incredible job leading us through the pandemic. Our strong economic fundamentals and the hearty resilience of individual Canadians will allow us to move forward and build back better. This inclusive budget will continue to ensure economic prosperity for all.

Sarah Eves

Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola Liberal candidate

Merrit

Freedom rally was happy, festive time

Dear Editor:

Re: “Police, municipalities need to enforce rules,” by Terry Bridges (Herald letters, April 29).

If people like Terry Bridges stopped asking for these draconian measures, the government would not have the gall to impose such anti-freedom policies and there would be no reason for a freedom rally.

I can assure you, there was no anti-semitism nor racism, nor any other isms going on at the freedom rally last Thursday.

It was a party atmosphere in a crowd of like-minded people who want nothing more than to just be left alone to live our lives in the freedom we all grew up with.

There was no hate, there was no bad vibes, there was only love and friendship present. Nothing like the hate-filled vitriol contained in his letter.

Terry, if you are so scared of catching a cold, I suggest you stay home with a mask on under your covers ordering Skip the Dishes and watching Rachel Maddow all day, flattening the curve.

I am going to continue to advocate for my children’s rights to breathe free and play sports.

Jeff Frank

Kelowna

B.C.’s two-tiered medical system

Dear Editor:

We have, for years, had a two-tiered medical system — one for those fortunate enough to have a family doctor and one for those who, through no fault of their own, do not.

The difference in health care between the two tiers is enormous. Your family doctor knows you, will schedule you for appointments, keeps track of your health and records, makes informed decisions and can, if need be, advocate for you.

If you have no family doctor, it is up to you to try to find a walk-in clinic and try to get an appointment with a doctor who, most likely, only wants to address an urgent need. They don’t know you and there is no follow through.

My dog has a wonderful vet and I have a very good dentist. These are services I pay for and I would be happy to pay to have a family doctor.

Premier John Horgan didn’t mention this health crisis in discussing the budget. I guess he has a family doctor.

I don’t know how to fix this but the few government clinics they have opened to address the problem are over-subscribed. They won’t even take you on a waiting list. And the walk-in clinics are full right after they open.

Really?

I’m supposed to have terrible health care because my family doctor retired a decade ago?

Jeanne Shoemaker

Victoria