Letter writer’s claims are untrue

Dear editor:

Readers of a letter by Richard Drinnan (Daily Courier, Feb. 6), criticizing the decision to accelerate construction of South Perimeter Road (SPR) should be aware that it contains incorrect information.

The biggest error is Drinnan’s claim that the city will provide the developer behind this project with a 28 per cent Development Cost Charges (DCC) subsidy “to offset any road, park, sewer and water servicing costs needed by his subdivision project.”

This is simply not true.

Under the proposed agreement, a third-party developer will finance and construct SPR along with an extension of Gordon Drive for no more than $9.263 million. While the city will compensate the developer with DCC revenue collected in the Southwest Mission, this does not exempt the developer from paying DCCs related to any of its own projects it may have in the benefitting area. The developer is not getting a subsidy, rather they are being paid for constructing the road, as would any other third-party contractor that does work for the city.

It is anticipated to take five to seven years to completely pay for this construction. The 35-year period mentioned by Mr. Drinnan is the maximum amount of time allowed for repayment, not the amount of time it is actually expected to take.

Mr. Drinnan also accuses Kelowna’s mayor and city council of ignoring taxpayers with this decision and diverting funds away from “much-needed and long-sought after road upgrades to Lakeshore Road.” On the contrary, before proceeding with this project, the City of Kelowna sought extensive community input on the impact of accelerating SPR on other planned road projects in the Mission area, including Lakeshore Road. The results showed that there is strong support for proceeding with SPR.

More than 300 residents attended an open house and in exit surveys, 62.5 per cent of respondents indicated they support accelerating construction of SPR. This was backed up by a statistically valid survey of 300 randomly selected Mission area residents. It found that 64 per cent of residents support the accelerated construction.

In addition, proceeding with SPR does not mean the city will be unable to go ahead with other road work. We are intentionally retaining 20 per cent of DCC revenues to make sure we have the flexibility to accommodate critical projects that need to be completed before SPR is repaid.

Ultimately, residents will have the final say on this project through the alternate approval process. And while it’s a good thing for residents to debate the merits of the project before making a final decision, we believe it is important to ensure the dialogue is based on facts.

Johannes Säufferer

Real Estate Services Manager

City of Kelowna

Greyhound was not involved

Dear editor:

I would like to bring your attention to a recent letter published by Donald Smithyman. In his letter Mr. Smithyman wrongfully states that a Greyhound bus was involved in a recent accident that took place on Sunday February 4, on the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt.

Although Mr. Smithyman states he watched the accident on the news it is imperative to correct that a Greyhound bus was not involved. It was, in fact, a tour operator with no connection whatsoever to our business.

Just like many of us who watched the news, I was relieved to see that no casualties or major injuries were reported. I do agree with Mr. Smithyman that all drivers should use caution when on our nation’s roadways, which is why at Greyhound we ensure that the safety of our customers and those we share the road with is infused in our operations every single day.

Indeed, safety is the cornerstone of Greyhound. We are proud to hold an Excellent Audited carrier safety record and are active participants in government and industry safety associations.

With these facts in mind, I hope readers continue to consider our service as a safe, reliable, and affordable transportation option for traveling the Coquihalla Highway.

Stuart Kendrick

Senior Vice President

Greyhound Canada

Correction, apology on letter to the editor

Dear editor:

Re: My letter, “Speed a mitigating factor,” (Daily Courier, Feb. 7).

I am told that I have made a bad mistake in my letter to the editor about a bus accident on the Coquihalla highway on Sunday.

It was not a Greyhound bus, but a different tour bus company. For this I humbly apologize to the Greyhound bus company and all their staff.

Don Smithyman

Oliver

Manitoba rink deserved better story placement

Dear editor:

We love hockey, but why would the Manitoba six-time Scotties winner and now representing Canada at the worlds get second page coverage in the Feb. 3 sports section, and the Rockets and Warriors, who both lost their games, had front-page coverage?

Gayle Macaulay

West Kelowna

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the Rockets and Warriors are local teams. Jennifer Jones was featured in the lead photo on Page 1 of the Feb. 2 Okanagan Weekend.

Bad record on the environment

Dear editor:

Thanks to Ben Stewart, West Kelowna and Westbank has been without an MLA for four years, because Christy Clark, who said she was going to reside in the constituency, never showed up for work as promised.

In the meantime, Stewart left the constituency to spend four years in Asia, on a fat salary and benefits.

While he was gone, his buddy Liberals continued the destruction of ICBC, and are now building roads and sidewalks with our insurance premiums, hoping to pick up a few votes.

Site C is another disaster. It was given a green light before performing a complete and comprehensive geological valuation to make sure it would be a safe and solid structure, and now it may not even be built, wasting billions of dollars the province does not have.

Combine that with former premier Gordon Campbell’s run-of-the-river mini hydro installations on our pristine rivers and streams, BC Hydro is also going broke, buying that power for many times more money than it is selling it for.

BC LNG was going to pay off the provincial debt, but Clark was too busy catering to special-interest groups and some obscure Malaysian energy company, and the window of opportunity has been closed.

To stop the corruption, we desperately need an electoral system that will put an end to those dictator-style fake majority governments that represents less than one third of the popular vote.

We need an electoral system that will produce governments that represent all the parties fairly in our provincial Legislature, an electoral system that will put the political power into the hands of the people. 

The BC Liberals, like their federal cousins, absolutely hate democratic governments. That is why they have declared war on proportional representation.

To make sure we get to vote on the referendum for electoral reform it’s imperative we vote for the parties that are committed to giving us some form of proportional representation.

Andy Thomsen

Peachland

Recognition to postal worker

Dear editor:

I am writing to praise an exemplary citizen by the name of Dave Brown. 

I was curling this past Sunday and when I came out to drive home, I found my passenger side window had been smashed in and noticed all my papers, a camera, phone, and GPS (all stowed away out of site) were strewn about. 

The culprit must have been startled as these items normally would have been taken. I was unsure if anything was missing, but two days later I received a call from Mr. Brown, who happens to be a letter carrier for Canada Post. On his walkabout his astute attention to detail allowed him to notice my military record of service card, my VA Blue Cross card, my Parkinson ID and two other documents. 

He not only retrieved the stated items, but also took it upon himself to track me down, make contact, and personally deliver the items to my home address. 

Kelowna is a better place with citizens such as Mr. Brown among us and Canada Post should be grateful he is within their employ. 

The world needs more Dave Browns.

David Carter, CD

Capt Ret’d

Kelowna

Supporting local NDP candidate

Dear editor:

In Shelley Cook, the NDP have found a candidate who offers the constituents of Kelowna West a viable option to add to the team that presently forms the government.

Shelley is obviously one who embraces a challenge, given that she is running in a so-called safe riding for the Liberals, but she is not to be taken lightly.

Although new to the political arena, her skill set is consistent with those required of a successful representative and strong voice for her constituents. She is passionate about representing residents in her riding, listening to their concerns and perspective and striving for what is best for the majority.

She has proven to be a tireless worker, and committed to proving herself worthy of our trust and support.

Shelley is creative, innovative, entrepreneurial, and has a reputation of promoting progressive change. She is open to engage in dialogue that provides the environment that fosters support for business, a strong economy, meeting the varied needs of families and supports for the most vulnerable in our community.

Shelley is confident, forthright and has the dedication and passion to take on the often complicated agenda of a MLA.

Bill Downie

Kelowna

Statues for West Kelowna council

Dear editor:

Some of the current West Kelowna city council will not be running for re-election this coming October. We are taking up a collection to hopefully hire some consultants to come up with a list of potential concept designers who will then be reviewed by a delegation of consultants who will select an artistic designer and construction consultant to develop bronze statues of all council members enshrining their images in historical permanent beauty.

It is our hope that we can collect enough donations to fund the first $650,000 of the above cost. It is our hope that the city will eliminate a lot of future city projects and come up with a further $3.5 million to complete the project. We believe that at least 1,300 citizens will enjoy seeing this statue, however we need to take the $3.5 million from 34,000 citizens who will never see it.

Of course, the above is a satirical parody but; it worked for the proposed soccer dome. The soccer association played the city council and won.

What did they win?

A $3 plus million, three-quarter size dome that will only be up for around four months of the year. The dome is next to a full size (multi use) soccer field.

One has to wonder if the other non-soccer citizens and future city council know that this council has raided the 10-year capital plan to help justify the payment for the soccer dome.

Projects eliminated are:

2021: CNB washrooms/concession, $340,000, gone

2021: soccer field lighting : $267,000, gone

2022: New multi-user fields, $485,000, gone

2022: Memorial Park, stage, pathways and grove, $748,000 , gone

2023: Kinsmen Park construction, $850,000, gone

2023: New field development, $915,000, gone

Are we non-soccer citizens losing out? I for one would have liked to see more at Memorial Park and a few new multi-use fields rather than one expensive soccer dome. I guess the city council only pays attention to developers, businesses, and special-interest groups instead of all of us citizens. Is it time for change?

Winston Churchill stated: “There is nothing government can give you that it hasn’t taken from you in the first place.”

How True

Charles Edward

West Kelowna

The other side of B.C. casinos

Dear editor:

I see both our local newspapers recently ran half-page ads with the aforementioned headline and went on to say, “The City of Kelowna spends its share of provincial gaming revenue to support the local RCMP.”

How nice. But what about the allegation that B.C. casinos have, for years, knowingly allowed suspected criminals to use B.C. casinos to launder their drug money and other ill-gotten gains.

I have no doubt that BCLC and the Government of British Columbia have looked the other way for years because of greed and short-sightedness.

Peter Chmiel

Kelowna

Peachlanders may want to move to Summerland

Dear editor:

Peachland residents may want to move to Summerland where the council listens to the citizens. Bring cash.

John Dorn

Summerland

Horgan confused by geography

Dear editor:

The last time I looked at a map British Columbia was part of Canada. Premier John Horgan seems to have forgotten that. It is high time that we rejoined Confederation and reject the selfish ideas of the B.C. Communist Party.

Barry Cochrane

Kelowna

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