Letters to the Editor

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

Firefighters save the day in Penticton

Dear Editor:

A huge thank you and shout out to the Penticton fire department, the B.C. Wildfire Service and the RCMP for their rapid response and control of Thursday’s fire on the KVR trail right below our log house.

Thank you also to the helicopter bucketing pilot. Their work was phenomenal We are eternally grateful.

Cathy Rublee

and the Stathers family

Penticon

Get ready, minority government coming

Dear Editor:

Canada’s televised federal leadership debate was a genuine display of Canada’s diverse citizenry for telling another enviable minority government.

Joe Schwarz

Penticton

Rhinoceros Party outlived its purpose

Dear Editor:

Remember the Rhinoceros Party?

We thought they were a group of chemically, laid-back folks dedicated to mixing up the political scene, man.

While they had a great platform, our concern was their motivation, qualifications and, last but not least, the attention span of the clowns.

“Clowns” being their term for candidate.

Things have changed on the political front since the 1980s, it is way less funny and way more urgent to pick the right candidate.

As I see it in South Okanagan-West Kootenay, the Greens have fielded a great candidate, but the party is so weak and divided ever since Elizabeth May stepped down, it has no chance of making a substantial difference.

But we need the values of the Greens. We also need a candidate who can beat the big party money.

Richard Cannings has the right qualifications, motivation and speaks up for people.

Our country desperately needs a candidate with knowledge of environmental issues, someone to promote public safety and health, a lifetime biologist working for the good of all creatures and one who can navigate parliamentary procedure. Boots on the ground now.

The time really is now.

I wholeheartedly support Richard Cannings and encourage you to mark your X by his name on Sept. 20th.

Lynn Crassweller

Penticton

Vax cards need to specify ‘COVID’

Dear Editor:

Let me make it perfectly clear that I support the introduction of the B.C. vaccine card. I’ve already downloaded mine.

But I’m confused how it specifically identifies one as being fully vaccinated against COVID-19?

COVID-19 is not mentioned on the thing at all.

I appreciate that it will likely be understood in B.C. that one is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but how about elsewhere in Canada or the U.S. or Europe? This is important if we are going down the road of requiring unambiguous proof of COVID-19 vaccination (as the Liberals are proposing) to get on planes or trains, or attend large public events such concerts or professional sport arenas in any other jurisdiction.

I think the B.C. vaccine card needs to explicitly say “fully-vaccinated against COVID-19” on it or words to that effect.

Gordon Swaters

West Kelowna

Objectors need to do a little bit of research

Dear Editor:

Nothing in the current cacophony about “rights” tells me that the protesters have studied the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, have any understanding of how civil rights are protected in Canada, or understand the legal issues related to vaccine passports.

In Section One, the Charter grants federal and provincial governments the authority to limit rights “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

When a Charter challenge to vaccine passports occurs, the government will call many well qualified individuals to support their actions. They will probably pass the Oakes Test. (Look it up.)

The “rights” people have few, if any, credible authorities to testify against the effectiveness of vaccines.

One opinion states, “a person who chooses not to get vaccinated as a matter of personal preference—especially where that choice is based on misinformation or misunderstandings of scientific information—does not have grounds for a human rights complaint…”

I doubt protesters have researched what legal experts say about this issue. Much legal discussion relates to privacy and protecting religious beliefs and medical conditions.

A joint statement by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Privacy Commissioners, provides one of many comprehensive analyses of the problem.

Without a government vaccine passport, different institutions will establish independent policies. Some have already done so.

In Canada, some provinces have required proof of immunization for school entry for years. For years, different countries have required proof of vaccination before visitors can enter. Businesses have the right to restrict access to their premises, (barring discrimination against Charter-protected groups.)

No shoes, no shirt, no service — completely legal.

In B.C., smokers’ indoors rights were extinguished years ago and the public right to clean air took precedence. Legally. The few cases in Canadian Case Law “reflect a clear tendency for courts to defer to the government’s determination of the need to limit individual right for the sake of public health.”

In the event that new, solid evidence shows a different approach Is needed, this all becomes moot.

Nothing to date convinces me that the “rights” protesters understand the situation. Chicken Little has screamed, “The sky is falling,” and they are running alongside her, hurting people as they do so.”

Linda Pedy

Penticton

Candidate backing Trudeau’s pipeline

Dear Editor:

Recently I listened to an interview with Sarah Eves, the federal Liberal candidate for Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. When asked about the Liberal purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, she talked about how pipelines are safer than trains to transport oil from Alberta through B.C. to the Lower Mainland.

She doesn’t get it. This is not oil; it’s bitumen. It’s full of sand and toxins and must be diluted with light end oils to be able to go through pipelines. We still don’t know how to clean up bitumen spills.

Eves lives in the Merritt area so should be acutely aware of this issue. Is she playing the ignorant card to cave into Justin Trudeau’s pipeline fantasies? Or is she simply ignorant?

Bitumen is not oil. Refine it in Alberta to turn it into oil then talk about transporting oil in pipelines.

The NDP has a higher understanding of this issue and, with Joan Phillip, a candidate that gets it. First Nations water supply is at risk in the Merritt area due to TMX, as is the Fraser/Thompson watershed. 

On Sept. 20 vote for the Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola candidate that gets it.

Steve Burke

West Kelowna

I take British kings for $200, Alex

Dear Editor:

Your “Today in History” column stated that William the Conqueror was “England’s first King”.

That is incorrect.

The first King of England was King Egbert who reigned from 827 to 839. He was King of Wessex but, in 827, he conquered the Kingdom of Mercia which made him King of all England south of the River Humber. He later added Northumberland and North Wales to his kingdom.

William the Conqueror was the first Norman king of England having been Duke of Normandy when he defeated the army of King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Brian Butler

Penticton

Voting for change in South Okanagan

Dear Editor:

We need a change of government in Ottawa as it’s increasingly clear that our country cannot survive another Liberal government under Justin Trudeau.

I have been following the local candidates’ platforms here in the South Okanagan- West Kootenay and I am very impressed with the Conservative candidate Helena Konanz.

She is tuned in to what is happening locally and she will be a strong voice for us. Current MP Richard Cannings has had two disappointing terms and come up short both times.

It’s time for a change. I will be voting for Helena Konanz on Sept. 20.

Merle Gmiterek

Oliver

Respect, support front-line workers

Dear Editor:

What freedoms do we enjoy?

From the time we were old enough to understand what freedoms we, as Canadians, enjoy, and why we enjoy them through the sacrifice of others, we sometimes lose sight as to what they are.

Sometimes we have a tendency to over-emphasize them to make a case for ourselves. By way of quick review let’s revisit the fundamental freedoms.

The following list is a list of fundamental freedoms:

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

• Freedom of conscience and religion;

• Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

• Freedom of peaceful assembly; and

• Freedom of association

The COVID pandemic appears to be viewed as an over-emphasized freedom at this time. There seems to be some conflicting views as to the science factor and the perceived reality factor.

On the one hand, there are people who have followed the protocols of science and received one or both vaccinations. On the other, there are those who want nothing to do with science and the covid vaccine scenario.

Recently there have been several protests as to vaccinating and mandating of masks … again! Many people take umbrage as to governmental COVID regulation. For those who may find themselves in this situation, your right to peacefully protest is guaranteed under freedoms.

However, you do not have the right to infringe upon the rights of others. Your choice to not be vaccinated is truly your choice.

However, by not being vaccinated, you are infringing on the rights of friends, family and others by possibly unknowingly passing the covid virus on to them.

The latest protests seem to be at hospitals against front-line workers. Keep in mind that these front-end workers are there to treat and care for COVID patients.

They are not the “bad guys” here.

For you non-vaxxers, think of it this way. By not getting a vaccination, you may possibly get the virus and lo and behold end up in hospital. Who’s going to be looking after your well being? Wow! Wouldn’t you know it… front-line workers that you are venting your spleen against.

As for the upcoming COVID certificate requirement, think of it as an insurance policy that could very well protect you, your non-vaxxer friends and family and not as an infringement on your rights and freedoms.

Moral of the story: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

Ron Barillaro

Penticton

Tories taking heart in biblical parables

Dear Editor:

It’s interesting to see how fervently and literally those of the Conservative Official Opposition persuasion take to heart the biblical parable of the talents.

For, in truth, they “reap where they have not sown, and gather where they have scattered no seed, yet require the proceeds , with interest.”

The premise, as in the parable, is that to everyone who has, more will be given, and they will have an abundance.

But from he who has not, even what he has will be taken away, as befits such an individual.

Comforting, isn’t it.

Elaine Lawrence

Kelowna

Harper slashed service, Trudeau looks after people

Dear Editor:

When Erin O’Toole began his campaign, he said that if Canada had produced our own vaccines at the start of the pandemic, we would have had them sooner and cheaper.

Obviously, he wasn’t aware it was Stephen Harper who closed the labs and “laid off" the scientists (who probably got good jobs in the United States) to save money — just like John Diefenbaker in the 1950s shut down production of the Avro Arrow jet, leading top Canadian scientists, engineers and other brilliant people to move stateside.

As for Justin Trudeau and the Liberals, who have spent so much money — really? Maybe they care more about the citizens of Canada than how much money they save. 

That’s our money for our benefit.  When the pandemic hit, a lot of people lost their jobs. They had no money for rent, food, electricity, heat, etc.

The last two years, they’ve been buying vaccines trying to keep the people healthy. That is what is important now, not how much money in the bank.

I notice the NDP promising an awful lot when they get into power — lower housing prices, cheaper child care. Tax everyone to the max.

Overtaxed people with money will just move to a more conducive environment.

I was so disappointed by the actions of Canadians on their reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. I really thought we were smarter and better educated, but these gullible idiots will believe some unknown, faceless something on the internet rather than experienced, educated people coming up with solutions to save our lives.

I think they're just too chicken to get a shot, but they make it worse for so many others — just dragging this whole thing out. Selfish.

Dale Raymond

West Kelowna

Fear mongering by pro-vaxxers

Dear Editor:

I am an 84-year-old woman who is unvaccinated and has had COVID-19. I chose not be vaccinated, at this point and I live to tell my story.

I had no idea that I would be reading articles of hate and blame such as the letter to the editor in Wednesday’s Courier by Tim Simard of West Kelowna, “End all COVID-19 health coverage for anti-vaxxers.”

I also could never imagine that I would be accused of being “arrogant, selfish and uncaring” from my fellow human beings. I can’t wrap my head around all the hate and divisiveness.

Why do those who have been vaccinated seem scared and angry?

It baffles logic and my confidence in the vaccine being effective, if those who are vaccinated can still get it.

If it is safe and good, then why am I hearing of people dying after taking the vaccine?

Why am I hearing about people who are unable to walk after the shot? Why does my niece’s boyfriend have a paralyzed arm after taken the shot and my grandson’s friend is on heart medication indefinitely?

I don’t understand those who are intolerant of those who want to stop and ask questions and choose what is best for them and their own bodies.

In August, we had a family gathering where my family was exposed to COVID, 12 of us. Nine of us got COVID, four were vaccinated, four were not and one partially vaccinated. Three did not get COVID. Out of those, three, two were unvaccinated and one was vaccinated. So tell me how do you make sense of it? You can’t.

Do the health experts really know if and how it all works? My guess they are doing their best, trying on things and if that is the case then perhaps common sense, tolerance and more research is needed before we take away freedom of choice for taking the vaccine or not, and the rest of Canadians.

Victoria Shipowick

Kelowna

Vax passports: further divide

Dear Editor:

British Columbia recently introduced vaccination passports to access non-essential services such as gyms, bars, and restaurants. 

The federal government and other provinces may not be far behind. Technically, vaccine passports do not make vaccines mandatory, but in practice they virtually do. For all intent and purposes vaccine passports are a soft mandate.

Under Section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Charter rights are subject to “reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

Do vaccine passports violate Section 7 of the Charter, the right to life, liberty and the security of the person, or Section 2(a) freedom of conscience or religion?

Vaccine passports may also violate Section 8 addressing privacy rights and Section 15 which deals with equality rights. 

Do Canadians believe, or have they forgotten their right to provide informed consent to medical procedures? Do vaccine passports breach these rights? 

It seems that young people who have a risk of severe outcomes from COVID that is almost nil are being coerced/pressured to get a vaccine that they may not want or personally feel necessary for their own health in order to enjoy a normal life. 

Are the governments achieving indirectly what might not be able to achieve directly? 

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is supposed to protect Canadians from unjustified state intrusion. The government has the burden of justifying this intrusion and must balance the harms. 

If vaccines are only effective at reducing the likelihood of severe outcomes in those who take them and do not fully stop transmission to other people, then vaccine passports serve no rational connection to their stated purpose other than the punitive targeting of those who have chosen not to take the vaccine. 

Our political leaders should also understand that vaccine passports will serve to further divide an already polarized society that may lead to increased hostilities that could result in actual conflict.

Bill Shumborski

Kelowna

Laws can’t stop the opioid crisis

Dear Editor:

I would like to offer my opinion after reading “Herald forum sparks some lively debate, thoughtful discussion,” (Herald, Sept. 10).

The debate carried on with the usual chatter but what stuck out like a sore thumb, was the dumb answer by all five candidates who were in favour of “de-criminalizing possession of personal-use amounts of hard drugs.”

How would this stupid idea stop people from ODing, pray tell?

Credit to People’s Party candidate Sean Taylor who said, “Laws aren’t going to solve the problem,” which I totally agree.

Stopping the flow of drugs, illegal firepower are just two examples telling of years of failure.

Perhaps stop access to needles at least with no point. It might help stop the flow of dangerous drugs.

On the other hand, it’s becoming harder to help a person who can’t simply say “no” to danger and possible death. There are many sick, innocent people to care about who can’t get the help they need now — not one of the tomorrows.

Tom Isherwood

Olalla

Criminalize the anti-vaxxers

Dear Editor:

After this, the most despicable, disgusting, degrading and demeaning display of anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers in front of places that must be kept free from deliberately-spread germs, there should be one new law implemented: make being unvaccinated a serious criminal offence. 

If you are not vaccinated, you should be punished to the fullest extent of the law as you are literally committing germ warfare upon the rest of society. 

You should be, not only severely fined, but forced to be fitted with a wrist or ankle cuff by the RCMP and be placed under permanent house arrest until you agree to receive both vaccines.

The cuff would also prevent you from getting within a certain distance from any door or window in your house so that you cannot spread germs to anyone indirectly.

This is going from madness to insanity. There are more rights and freedoms of others than just their own selfish desires.

Make the call, B.C. Criminalize anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers!

Greta Fader

Kelowna

Criminals with guns run amok

Dear Editor:

I would like to make one small correction to Doug Tarbet’s “ letter to the editor, “Military assault rifles banned in 1977” (Herald, Sept. 8).

Tarbet refers to the Colt AR-15 which in 1977 became not banned but a restricted firearm (I know because I owned one). At that time all owners of the AR-15 had to register their individual firearms.

Handguns in Canada have been registered since, I believe, the mid 1930s. Once the AR-15 was registered, it meant that it could no longer be used for hunting. It could only be transported with an ATF (authorization to transport) to a licenced shooting range for target shooting only.

This did not restrict the sales of AR-15s and they could legally still be bought, sold and owned.

What Trudeau did with his “Order in Council” was not only to ban the AR-15, but myriads of other firearms that even looked like an AR-15 including several very popular hunting rifles.

In fact, with his 20mm muzzle diameter that could even ban 12 or 10 gauge shotguns.

The list of banned firearms is quite extensive and can be found on the RCMP’s website:

There is, presently, an amnesty program which expires in 2022.

After the expiree date all previously legal gun owners will become felons if any banned firearm is still in his or her possession.

Meanwhile, the criminals with their illegally-obtained guns run amok across Canada.

Except for Trudeau’s political ambitions there is absolutely no reason why legal gun owners who use their firearms for hunting or target shooting should be punished.

Cliff Young

Penticton

Time to get back a seat at the table

Dear Editor:

Never has there been a clearer choice for voters in the riding of South Okanagan-West Kootenay. The Trudeau Liberals and their parliamentary lackeys the NDP have proven themselves to be both ethically challenged and morally bankrupt.

Our riding has languished under the representation of Richard Cannings, an MP at the back of the House with neither influence, aside from propping up embattled Liberal confidence motions, nor power to bring important federal dollars into our region.

Instead of focusing on helping Canadians with immediate issues like work, security and real time health issues, Cannings prefers to continue preaching his doomsday science and attacks on workers in energy sectors.

Yes, climate change is real, but so is putting food on the table and providing for young families, right now!

Dissatisfaction with Justin Trudeau and those who support him is rampant. Indeed, in the last federal election, they lost the popular vote to the Conservatives by more than 200,000 votes and current polls suggest the same will happen this time.

It’s time our riding had a seat at the table. Helena Konanz and the Conservatives under the leadership of Erin O’Toole have offered up a solid platform to get our region and the country up and working again.

A vote for Cannings and the NDP is a de facto vote for the Trudeau Liberals. Let’s not spend another four years forgotten and unaided by an elitist central government.

Please vote for Helena Konanz.

Ron Klaassen

Penticton

Three criteria for voting day

Dear Editor:

We all have different criteria when it comes to election time. Here are three basic filters I consider before making my choice: person, policy, performance.

First comes person. It is essential to identify a candidate who is honest, knowledgeable about the community, listens well and has values compatible with service to the community and responsive to the big challenges of the day.

I don’t look for someone who tries to please everyone because that path often leads to false promises. We should take every opportunity to meet candidates personally and form our own character assessment.If candidates seem honest we can select or deselect them based upon what they say are their goals.

Second is policy. Each party has its own policies and it is not hard to differentiate them. We need to identify a few policies that are important to us personally. I am interested in climate change, child care, affordable housing, pharmaceutical costs, immigration, relations with China and, very importantly, a responsible scientific approach to fighting the pandemic.

If I look at a party’s website and don’t see policies I’m interested in or, worse, see climate change denial, anti-vaccination or wild conspiracy theories, I quickly rule out that party and its candidate.

Third comes performance. What is the track record of the party and the candidate? Does it look like they can achieve their policy goals and influence meaningful change?

Good. Has the party previously dropped some of its election promises soon after being elected? Not so much.

Has the candidate had a successful career, achieved much and worked collaboratively in the House or elsewhere to get useful legislation passed? Good.

I hope that using these filters may be helpful to some who are still undecided. In my own case I have chosen a candidate who is honest as the day is long, very caring, knowledgeable about the community, responsive to questions and who has collaboratively influenced decisions of the present government — useful if we end up with another minority government.

His party also has a charismatic leader in Jagmeet Singh who appeals to young and old Canadians. I will be voting for Richard Cannings and the NDP.

Paul Makosz

Penticton

Vote for NDP, vote for Trudeau

Dear Editor:

The NDP isn’t shy about their big spending plans for pharmacare, dental care, 500,000 housing units and big environmental ideas.

But things get fuzzy when it comes to paying for it.

Ultimately, it means more taxes; unless big spending cuts are on the table. Everything oozes more government, more spending and more dependency. Most believe they’re better at spending their money instead of letting government do it for them.

The NDP solution is to tax the rich, whoever they are. It would be good to know the NDP definition of “the rich”, because people should understand where they are in the food chain. When home equity is included in net worth, many may be surprised to find themselves elevated to the ranks of the rich; even though they don’t feel rich.

The more people are taxed, the more they’ll look for ways to protect their assets. Instead of demonizing and wanting to loot “the rich”, the NDP might consider engaging with them.

But the politics of envy prevents that.

Incentives to keep wealth circulating in our economy, instead of somebody else’s, are a worthwhile idea. Contrary to some beliefs, private enterprise, not government spending, built this country and has provided jobs for Canadians throughout our history.

We don’t hear much about NDP job creation plans, other than redeploying ex-oil workers to more environmentally-worthy jobs, like solar panel installers. That has a certain Stalinesque ring to it, which may not sit well with those selected for redeployment.

185,000 people work in the oil and gas industry; even after six years of NDP and Liberal assaults on them.

Fossil fuels continue to be our major export commodity and are a big revenue generator for us, while providing well paying jobs. What is the NDP proposing as a replacement?

Instead of a Robin Hood system of wealth redistribution, which doesn’t create any more wealth, we should be focussing on ways of encouraging free enterprise and creating more opportunities for employment and prosperity.

Tax cuts for businesses don’t require wasteful government subsidies for ideologically and politically preferred activities.

The NDP has no possibility of forming government, so they can promise the moon.

But they can continue propping up a Liberal minority in return for scraps from Trudeau’s table.

A vote for Richard Cannings is a vote for more Justin Trudeau. A vote for Helena Konanz is vote for something better.

John Thompson

Kaleden