Letters to the Editor

Write: letters@ok.bc.ca

Doing right thing can be agonizing

Dear Editor:

Footsteps outside my bedroom interrupted my dream; the aura of pleasure immediately began to fade from my consciousness.

The two events left me with conflicting feelings, namely, impending dread of what was coming and regretful longing for what had vanished. I turned my back to the door and pulled the covers up and listened. 

The hinges on the door creaked and the dim light from the hallway silently invaded my pitch-black room. When the floor gave a faint squeak, I knew someone had entered. I struggled to slow down my breathing while pretending to be asleep. 

A few seconds later, the mattress sagged from the weight of someone sitting on the nearby edge. I knew what was coming next. I closed my eyes as tightly as I could and involuntarily pursed my lips. The instant I heard the click of my bedside lamp, my face was bathed in merciless bright artificial sunlight. 

A well-known voice said, “I know you’re only pretending to be asleep.”  

Then I heard the inevitable, devilish chuckle. I turned my head and squinted up into the face of my all-too-familiar tormentress. She said with a cheerful smile, “It’s time for our pre-breakfast walk.”

Lloyd Atkins


World confusion over an otter

Dear Editor:

Sometimes I just have to give my head a shake and here is one of those times.

With the entire world quite aware that climate change is real, with no guaranteed cure on the horizon, check this out.

The return of the otter to the Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver is dealing once again with the return of the otter that loves koi fish.

Trying to figure out how to stop or reverse world climate change must surely be an impossible dream when the brains can’t figure out how to protect their koi fish for a single hungry otter.

Strange but funny, isn’t it ? 

Maybe it’s time to call in the United States Marines.

Tom Isherwood


Greed is bad, but we make it happen

Dear Editor:

People say greed is the root of all evil. We claim greed is a vulgar, disgraceful human trait. Common-lawful greed practised by Canadians is a must to have economic well-being force.  

Signs of greed are met with spite, jealous anger, envy — its’ a never-ending battle of opposing characteristics. Greed is the major participant enabling and improving just  civilization attainments and the most-significant humanity force. It provides living standards, health delivery and optimum taxation. Greed ideology supports the many social programs, including pension schemes.

Oddly, we say we hate greed, but we demand our children get an education and work creating more and more greed, satisfying services and material objects.

Be reasonable in all things. Socrates wisdom. We cannot stop our traits causing stress and consternation. But, perhaps by accepting the reality of reasonable greed traits, our lives will not be as agitated.

 Bruce Alton McGillis


NDP, Greens are hypocritical

Dear Editor:

I have never voted for and never will vote for the NDP, but I herewith congratulate Richards Cannings on his recent win in the federal election (South Okanagan-West Kootenay). He was gracious in victory and was respectful of his opponents.

And now the civility ends.

News flash — the NDP did not win the election and after pandering to Quebec for most of the campaign, ended up with one seat there which is as many as they got in Alberta, the latter being a province the NDP leader avoided at all costs.

The downside for me of Cannings’ win is that I have to be subjected to four years of NDP rhetoric, vilifying the oil industry with his accusations of subsidizing the fossil fuel industry and promising hundreds of thousands of new jobs created by renewable energy.

The NDP and the Greens make these irresponsible statements because they don’t have to be responsible. And, they get away with it. No mention ever about the real culprits of pollution — the United States, Russia, China, India, etc.

To interject some facts, Cannings and other MPs get paid more than double the median Canadian household income. In addition, they are reimbursed for meals and accommodation when travelling and are paid for secondary housing and and additional expense for local office expenses.

MPs, like Cannings, can ride back and forth free on Via Rail and here’s the biggie — he gets 64 travel points, each point being a round trip airline ticket. He certainly does not ride his bike to Ottawa, so I suggest he flies back and forth on fossil fuel burning airplanes.

Elizabeth May admitted that she flies, but only in economy. Presumably sitting back with the masses consumes less fuel.

In an active oil industry, a worker on a drilling or service rig or construction crew or in the manufacturing industry or a geologist, engineer and accountant can earn $100,000 plus per year. Can the NDP provide these kinds of jobs in the renewable energy field? If so, what exactly are these jobs and their associated pay?

Cannings can afford to be magnanimous. He has a great life with an assured pension and benefits. Will these be available with the hundreds of thousands of jobs the NDP will create?

Finally, I am still waiting for any NDP or Green to make a comment on Montreal dumping eight-billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River and on raw sewage going into the Pacific Ocean, off Victoria. They spend their time accusing the oil industry of creating an oil spill from the shipment of bitumen through the Trans Mountain pipeline, which has not yet even occurred. The heights of hypocrisy.

Bob Sumner


Religion cost Scheer the election

Dear Editor:

Peter MacKay blaming Andrew Scheer for the Conservative party’s losses at the polls during the October election is grossly misplaced.

 The root cause is our so-called Constitution, that in reality is nothing but an Act of Parliament, and the preamble to the Charter section that, in part, states Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God.

We can only speculate about why our late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau included that as he arbitrarily adopted the British North American Act, but it’s a well-established fact that tyrants and dictators over the millennia have, and still are using, religion to con and control societies.

Pierre Trudeau’s close association with Cuba’s late leader and dictator Fidel Castro, and his admiration for Castro’s style of government allows us speculate Trudeau did not want Canada to become a democratic society.

Instead, he hijacked the BNA and rammed it through our Parliament as our Constitution, allowing him to retain the powers of a dictator, a condition former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and now Justin Trudeau absolutely do not want to change.

The problem is that the preamble to our Charter is a clear contradiction to one of our basic human rights to freedom of (and from) religion, a section that also defines us as a secular society.

However, that did not stop Harper from establishing a ministry of religion with an annual budget of $5 million, and Justin Trudeau supported the Aga Khan, a spiritual Muslim leader, perhaps to make sure Trudeau and family have a comfortable retreat to spend their vacations.

It’s also important to be reminded the reason gods are referred to as holy spirits, is because they are nothing but figments of some people’s imaginations.

That’s also why those gods could not be supreme over any duly elected government.

Scheer’s problem was, and still is, the Conservative party’s social-conservative culture, which he is obliged to represent and protect, while the people are turning away from religion, and churches are closing their doors.

Andy Thomsen


System is giving ex-cop a break

Dear Editor:

On Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Judge Geoff Barrow in Kelowna said “Guilty.”

The jury had taken only a few hours to reach the verdict. The judge then advised the murderer in the box that he was to serve 13 years of a life sentence before he would be eligible for any chance of parole.

That was then, this is now. Remember this is British Columbia, this is Canada… the land of the free!

Now let us move on only six years.

On Nov. 1, 2019, editor James Miller published his editorial incredulously asking how the murderer could now be out on supervised day outings after serving only six years of his sentence. Remember the judge’s decision for 13-years minimum?

How could this be? What has happened to the judge’s decision?

A tyrant named Keith Wiens shot his common-law partner, Lynn Kalmring, point- blank in her face with his 9-millimetre handgun.

The creep (a retired Mountie, working in Summerland as a school bus driver and living in Penticton) then placed a knife in his dead wife’s hand and fabricated his defence as ‘self-defence’ The jury and the judge didn’t buy it.

My question is who and what does Wiens know? Who does he know that has the power to circumvent the judge’s decision? Is it because he was a high-ranking member of the RCMP? Has his lawyer been able to call in some markers/favours because he’s an ex-cop? And why hasn’t the judge or prosecution voiced an objection within the legal fraternity and parole board? What the hell is going on here and how on earth can the Parole Board of Canada override a judge’s decision?

This is a travesty of injustice and heads should roll over this one. Wiens is living proof that we need a vigilant group in this province, one that will see justice done. How many other lives did this creep destroy on the day he pulled the trigger.

To the family and friends of Lynn Kalmring, please know that there are thousands of people out there who share your grief and support your family. It’s too bad that thousands of them will just shrug their shoulders and shake their heads and move on saying nothing.

Like Miller wrote in his editorial: “This has made a mockery of Lynn Kalmring’s life.”

Shame on our so-called justice system where if you know your way around it, you can circumvent it.

Don Smithyman


Electric cars are far from logical

Dear Editor:

Before we all jump on the electric vehicle bandwagon, we should consider what may have happened if half the California evacuees and Quebec residents affected by the long power outages were driving electric cars.

Surely some in California would still be in their burnt-out homes if their cars weren’t already charged and ready to go. A similar scenario would have occurred in Quebec, with residents unable to leave and no charging stations to go to. Power outages are not a rare phenomenon.

A recent study by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions states “B.C. needs to double its production of electricity to meet forecast load demands from electric vehicles”. It goes on to state “B.C.’s planned Site C project will provide 1.1 GW, but it just scratches the surface of potential increased power and energy need.”

B.C. would need to double the power available from 15.6 GW to 37GW to meet their targets. If the massive Site C will only provide 1.1GW, it seems unlikely that solar or wind generators could ever make up the balance.

There is much more to consider other than reducing emissions from petroleum powered vehicles.

 Gord Marshall


Pelosi, the first female president

Dear Editor:

Developing circumstances may have U.S. President Donald Trump displaced from office and Vice-President Mike Pence banished in disgrace, making House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the first female president of the United States of America. 

Joe Schwarz


Boorish behaviour ruins performance

Dear Editor:

Can we establish a standard of behaviour for theatre attendees?

My enjoyment of the performance of Ballet Rocks at the McPherson Playhouse in Victoria was ruined by the person sitting in the next seat. It started when she arrived, reeking of a particularly heavy scent, causing me to catch my breath and lean away.

So much has been said of the problems perfume causes people with allergies. Can we agree not to wear scent to the theatre where people sit in close proximity?

There were times during the first half of the Ballet Victoria program — the rock portion of the performance, upbeat, lively, fun numbers — when the audience shouted their appreciation. That was appropriate in that context.

The second half of the program opened with Belong, an intensely beautiful ballet performed exquisitely by Andrea Bayne and Luke Thompson.

They wove a magical web that riveted the audience. Our intense concentration on the performance was shattered, however, by a series of exclamations from the next seat: “Whoa! Amazing!” (three times). It was totally inappropriate in the context of the performance and almost provoked violence (from me).

A woman in a nearby seat arrived with a glass of white wine, and given her stumbling entry into her seat, it might not have been her first. Another glass of white wine was consumed during the second half.

Her lack of appreciation of the nuances of the dance were undoubtedly caused by her blood-alcohol level.

Is there any way of monitoring the amount of alcohol spectators consume in the theatre?

There was no point in addressing my complaints with the woman directly, because drunks are unable to hear what is being said.

Paula McGahon