Regularly report C02 concentration

Dear Editor:

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna says that the climate change crisis is caused because mankind has put too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that the average CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in 2018 was 407.4 parts per million (ppm) plus or minus 0.1 ppm.

You would do well if you would regularly report the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to see if we are having any success in reducing the concentration.

Most lay people have no appreciation of what a ton of CO2 is but easily understand concentration expressed in parts per million.

If we find that we are not being able to reduce the concentration of CO2, then perhaps we need to concentrate on dealing with the consequences of inevitable climate change. 

Laird Stovel

Kelowna

Supports funding model for parks

Dear Editor:

Steve MacNaull’s article “New parks tax slammed” (Daily Courier, Sept. 18), reporting on the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Home Builders’ news conference, was one-sided and demonstrated the reporter appears not to have read the Parks Development Funding Program Report nor attended the Sept. 16 Kelowna city council meeting where the report was discussed by city council.

Both MacNaull and the Chamber’s news conference neglected to mention the City of Kelowna has lost millions of dollars that would have been collected for parks development and benefited the citizens of Kelowna over the past 34 years.

Development Cost Charges (DCCs) and the 5% Parkland Dedication at Subdivision have been available under the Local Government Act since 1985. Why is Kelowna one of only two municipalities in B.C. to not avail itself of the 5% land at subdivision and only one of three B.C. municipalities to not implement DCCs for park development?

The City of Kelowna’s parks planning staff has produced a comprehensive, evidence-based report and gave a detailed presentation to city council which showed the parks development funding gap; comparing Kelowna to other similar-sized cities where development charges are much higher.

Even with this change, Kelowna is just coming close to the average.

Coun. Luke Stack commented before council’s vote to proceed on this new DCC. He said DCCs were evaluated for change in 2011, but due to the 2008 downturn in the economy, the developers worried it would slow down their industry. Stack made the comment that if developer groups say it’s not a good time now, then when is it?

Many groups across the city, including neighbourhood/community associations and sports associations, strongly support the city’s proposed new funding model for parks development.

As the June 17 report to council from Robert Parlane states, “Parks and public spaces are the foundation of a dynamic, beautiful and livable City.”

The neighbourhoods KSAN and the KLO Neighbourhood Association represent are experiencing rapid redevelopment due to rezoning to higher density forms of housing. Residents are very concerned the livability of our blocks and neighbourhoods is in jeopardy. Neighbourhood parks, trees, playgrounds, safe bike paths and sidewalks are essential to a healthy environment for people of all ages.

Our city council has been brave to stand up to this lobby; they will leave a legacy for generations of citizens.

Paul Clark OD,

KLO Neighbourhood Association

Erica Bell-Lowther, PhD, President, Kelowna South Central Association of Neighbourhoods

Embrace this moral obligation

Dear Editor:

The consensus opinion of climate scientists is that we are in an era of rapid climate change, and that human emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, are the main cause. While some changes will have a positive impact in some regions, overall the impact of climate change is clearly negative.

As regards climate policy, the Paris Climate Agreement reflects an emerging consensus among nations.

Neither the Conservative nor People’s Party are part that of the policy consensus. Maxime Bernier is a denier and, although he pays lip service to the issue, Andrew Scheer is not seriously concerned about it. As Gary Mason put it — the climate policy of the Conservative Party is “nothing more than a sad joke” (Globe and Mail, June 26).

Are Scheer and Bernier right? Is climate change an issue we should ignore? No!

In my view, we have a moral obligation to do our part in the war on climate change.

Let me explain. Much has been made of the fact that Canada’s share of global emissions is small, something like 2%. This fact means that Canada and the world needs to curb and eventually eliminate emissions of CO2. by itself cannot solve the mitigation problem, or even make a big dent in it.

But, from a moral perspective, this fact is irrelevant. Since individual people make the decisions that lead to emissions, the moral obligation to act rests with individuals. The bigger the emission footprint of the individual, the bigger the obligation.

And on a per capita basis, Canadians are among the worst polluters — in a group with Saudi Arabians, Australians, Americans, and South Koreans. Our per capita emissions are almost 10 times those of the Indians, more than three times those of the French, and more than twice those of the Chinese and Britons. (I have relied on data for 2015, published online by The Union of Concerned Scientists.)

I want my government to embrace this moral obligation. In the coming election, that is my highest priority. Candidates of the Conservative and People’s Party parties will not. Candidates of the Green and NDP parties would, but that does me no good since in the Okanagan ridings they are unelectable.

Reversing 10 years of foot dragging and denial by the Stephen Harper government, the Liberal government has made real progress on climate change.

I will vote Liberal on Oct. 21.

Curt Eaton

Kelowna

Another highrise for the downtown

Dear Editor:

Re: Landmark 99 in downtown Kelowna

Another silly highrise, stuck in a gridlock zone of inadequate parking and poor road infrastructure — and why?

Because the land had an antiquated land use contract on it the owners took advantage of — causing untold grief in downtown Kelowna and now a traffic mess in the area. 

What an embarrassment. 

Marc Whittemore

Kelowna

Find more substantial issues

Dear Editor:

I usually agree with the columns Geoff Johnson occasionally writes, but never more so than his piece in Wednesday’s Kelowna Daily Courier.

Johnson puts the whole silly Trudeau “blackface” furor in perfect perspective in his anecdotal comparisons regarding his and other peoples’ marginal acts that they may have wished were best forgotten.

I was especially impressed with his closing paragraph in which he advises candidates to find more substantial issues on which to build their campaigns.

NDP candidate Joan Phillip, who has been bleating over the blackface “scandal” on radio and in the newspapers over the past weeks would do well to read and heed his advise.

Several letter writers have stated similar approaches to the non-issue; however, none have done it as brilliantly as Geoff Johnson.

Roderick MacIntosh

Peachland

Homeless require winter shelter

Dear Editor:

Winter is approaching and we are hearing nothing about concerns for the homeless in our city.

Since Inn From The Cold was forced to close, we are awaiting solutions from our city council and service organizations to provide emergency sites for those amongst us who will suffer.

Please do not permit a winter of misery because of lethargy and gutless indecision.

F. Wallace

Kelowna

More low-paying jobs on the way

Dear Editor:

So, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran is thrilled to see Rogers create 500 call centre jobs in Kelowna.

Does he realize these are not high-paying, high-tech jobs?

Rogers call centre workers make an average of $37,000 annually and take home only $1,275 every two weeks.

Rogers’ workers will be paying an average monthly rent of $1,340 for a studio apartment, which will gobble up more than half of their income.

Of course, if they want to eat, have a social life and raise kids, then things will cost much more.

Does Basran not realize these workers may never be able to save enough to own a home in Kelowna working for Rogers?

Basran needs to remove his rose-coloured glasses and take a hard look at reality.

He needs to stop up-zoning land to higher density uses and marketing Kelowna to high-rolling investors, tourists and real estate speculators. That behaviour simply raises land, housing, rental and taxation costs for all city residents.

Basran needs to solve Kelowna’s housing crisis — not make it worse.

He needs to lower housing costs, attract higher-paying jobs and move people out of poverty — not further into it.

Richard Drinnan

Kelowna

Housing program lacks support

Dear Editor:

Kelowna Coun. Loyal Wooldridge voices concerns about the lack of “supports” in place for supportive housing which is being built in Kelowna. 

Dr. Alina Turner, a consultant who helped get the Journey Home plan in place says: “The Journey Home plan clearly identifies the lack of supports. In Alberta, they have something called Integrated Capital and Programming Planning. If you’re putting a supportive housing project up, the ministry responsible for the construction has to negotiate ahead of time to ensure the supports are in place. From what I saw in Kelowna, that doesn’t happen.”

This “supportive housing” seems to support continued drug use and not rehabilitation of those using drugs. Wooldridge says that people in these buildings wishing to pursue rehabilitation face waits of “up to six months to get into a treatment bed” and “for youth there are no treatment beds available in Kelowna.”

Kelowna City Council is only now approaching the ministries required to provide the necessary supports. This should have been negotiated by BC Housing and been in place before construction began. Wooldridge seems to imply that Kelowna will be lucky if the supports are in place by the end of the five-year Journey Home plan. Meanwhile, every neighbourhood in which these buildings are placed will suffer from the insertion of drug- addicted populations into their midst with minimal “supports” and almost no possibility of rehabilitation of any residents.

The City indicates 500-plus people are on a waiting list for this housing. Housing on Agassiz, McIntosh and McCurdy will only accommodate 150, so another seven supportive housing buildings scattered around Kelowna in the next few years?

Why has Council allowed BC Housing to race ahead with Heath House, Hearthstone, Agassiz, McIntosh and McCurdy without requiring BC Housing to ensure that wrap around supports are in place first? Why have they disregarded the advice of their own consultant, Dr. Alina Turner, on this most important aspect of the Journey Home initiative?

They have virtually guaranteed the failure of these buildings and have ignored the legitimate concerns of the neighbourhoods where these buildings are being placed. They also put at risk the future success of residents of these buildings and are jeopardizing the health, safety and security of all of the citizens of the affected neighbourhoods.

This is a reckless disregard of the duty mayor and council owe to the residents of Kelowna to assure our safety and well-being.

Susan Herwig

Kelowna

Strong record of diversity

Dear Editor:

It seems that Justin Trudeau in his youth was outgoing, friendly, and a bit of a show-off. He loved costumes.

As he recently stated, his privileged upbringing brought with it a “blind spot” of insensitivity toward racial issues. But, he has never been uppity or mean.

And, he has never had racist intent.

Opposing politicians now accuse Trudeau of being secretly opposed to the very causes he stands for.

But, diversity and inclusion aren’t just slogans of the Trudeau government. He has supported them by real action.

In the 2015 election, the Liberals fielded far more female candidates than the Conservatives. Trudeau’s half-female Cabinet was the first in Canadian history. His Cabinet has always included a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. His support for the LGBTQ community has been unequivocal. His work to promote reconciliation with First Nations is unequaled except by Paul Martin, whose Kelowna Accord was scrapped by Stephen Harper.

No leader is without failings.

But, Trudeau’s government has a solid record of strengthening diversity and inclusion. Will some photos from twenty years ago blind us to that obvious fact?

Gary Willis

Kelowna