Letters to the Editor

Email your letters to the editor to: letters@ok.bc.ca. Include a phone number for verification. Letters may not exceed 400 words.

SIR failed to live up to its promise

Dear Editor:

Melissa Tesche, reported Ron Seymour, says the codling moth is making a “bit of a comeback” in Okanagan orchards (Courier, Oct. 16).

This is both an understatement and misleading. According to SIR’s (Sterile Insect Release program) trap counts, reports of field workers and direct observation of farmers there has been significant resurgence of codling moth in many areas including the Similkameen and Oliver/Osoyoos, which were thought to be moth free. Penticton/Naramata/ Summerland have never been free of the pest.

By suggesting the reasons for this problem are the negligence of small farmers, climate change, infested trees allowed to remain in unkempt orchards etc., SIR is obfuscating a primary factor allowing the continued presence of problematic levels of codling moth: SIR’s bungling.

The level and frequency of treated moth releases has been inadequate for year according to all research I have read. SIR has been informed, but until now has not acted on it. Meanwhile, they have been selling treated moths into other jurisdictions.

Who is supposed to be monitoring codling moth in abandoned orchards? Not small farmers who are being required to strip their fruit, hard prune to no fruit for two years or to remove trees, rather SIR itself. These orders never seem to be given to larger orchards.

The bylaw states that these orders can be given for properties that are infested or are expected to become infested, no definition of these terms.

I fear that these orders are given for SIR to be seen to be doing something.

The budget of SIR is about $3 million per year.

Sixty per cent comes from urban and non- farm properties, which, if they have pome fruit trees, receive no “benefit” from SIR, only harassment and bylaw enforcement.

It seems SIR is making some effort to improve its performance, there has of late been a new and respectful tone in their communication with me and other farmers.

Nevertheless I ask this:

After 25 years and tens of millions of dollars spent, is it time for SIR to be called to account for its failure to fulfil its promise?

Anyone wishing for a glimpse of the complexity of the Sterile Insect Technique and the sophistication of thought which might be required to make it work would benefit from reading a recently published study: “Twenty five Years of Research Experience with the Sterile Insect Technique and Area Wide Management of Codling Moth,” Cydia Pomella (L.) in Canada by Howard Thistlewood and Gary Judd.

Michael Welsh


The operative word is “change”

Dear Editor:

Today we hear a lot about climate change and many people, like that disrespectful girl from Sweden, are demanding it be stopped.   

So, how long has it been around and how do we stop it?  

The earth was formed a billion or so years ago. What causes the climate to change?   Well, not one of the climatologists or scientists have been able to give us a proven list of those causes. They say that is human-created carbon that causes it, but has that been conclusively proven? If it is, what has caused climate change over the past billion years, long before humans were around?  In fact, if any scientists were to clear carbon from the atmosphere, all life forms on Earth, including humans, would be dead. 

Most of the forecasts of future climate activity have come from computer models built by scientists, usually entering known or theorized data and assuming that the present warming trend will remain constant.

Several years ago, a climatologist did a study on the effect of climate change on the Caribbean. Her findings, which were widely reported in the media, gave grim warning of intense heat coming to the region over the next few years. She reported as an example that Kingston, Jamaica would, over the next year or less, become too hot for human habitation. Looking at Kingston today, obviously her computer model was wrong.  

Probably garbage in, garbage out.  

More recently, that obnoxious girl has encouraged many thousands of climate protesters to block roads and bridges.   This of course has caused many traffic jams with vehicles spewing more pollution into the atmosphere. I don’t think that helps the air pollution one little bit.

Please remember that we are talking about climate change. The operative word being change.   

The only thing constant about climate is change. Over the eons, it has had many  trends, some hot, some cold and everything in between. There is much evidence of the effects of these changes throughout the earth which will prove that climate change is a natural occurrence and not something caused by modern man.   

Tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, or sometime, the climate will change its trend. Either hotter or colder and humans will just have deal with the effects.

I believe that only human arrogance will let us think we can ever control the climate.   

Derek Coyle


Gray skipped several forums

Dear Editor:

I also can’t believe Ron Seymour audacity in his most recent column (Courier, Oct. 23). His candidate, Tracy Gray, skipped many of the forums. The next time her Conservative handlers should run a fence post.

Jack Westenberg


Sad ugliness in Seymour column

Dear Editor:

Fie and for shame, Ron Seymour, fie and for shame, for your mean-spirited and ugly column wherein you picked apart Stephen Fuhr’s comments in a post-election interview (Courier, Oct. 23).

The campaign is over. The election is over. Tracy Gray won by the most votes.  Point taken. Why then the need to rub Stephen Fuhr’s nose in it like an overblown school yard bully?

It seems that with the dispensing of the name “Progressive”, the Conservatives have also lost their manners and any semblance of class they may have had.

The voters have spoken, yes, but so has Fuhr’s record. No matter what you might say about him or the Liberals, his hard work speaks for itself. He did not spend his time “talking, planning, judging and expecting gratitude;” he got down to business and took care of many tangible needs of his constituency, something his predecessor did not seem to be able to do in all his nine years in office, including four in majority.

So, people of Kelowna and environs, enjoy your rail trails, enjoy your research funding at UBCO, enjoy your improved water (even in Rose Valley), and give thanks for a hard-working, rookie MP who figured it out and delivered.

Thank you, Stephen, thank you.

Jane Morgan


Out-of-touch with younger voters

Dear Editor:

Ron Seymour’s insult-riddled column about Stephen Fuhr demonstrates how out of touch he is with a large segment of younger, local voters (Courier, Oct. 23).

Gray won the election, but collectively the NDP, Greens, and Liberals gathered more votes, revealing the appetite for progressive “insufferable liberal” policies is indeed greater than a return to the simplistic one dimensional small-c policies Gray promoted during her campaign.

I am a 35-year-old, visible minority who currently works in the public sector. I support small businesses, I shop exclusively local, and we always hire small, locally-owned companies for work in our home.

But, in addition to representation for small business interests, I want a candidate with informed positions on geopolitical strategy, macroeconomic financial policies, big business, climate change, health care; someone who respects the important role the public sector also plays in improving the lives all citizens.

My concerns about income inequality and support for social programs, affordable housing, and universal health and pharmacare does not come from “liberal elitism,” it comes from my own experience with rural poverty.

I spent my childhood in a rural part of Glenrosa and lived in Joe Rich as a teen. In my 20s, I was part of a small local farm and I continue to purchase directly from local producers. I found Fuhr more understanding and receptive of my questions than Gray.

Fuhr discussed with me in person and online, whereas Gray did not respond to a single question I messaged her.

Who is more elitist?

Someone who only engages with upper middle class business owners that fit their narrative of what Kelowna needs, or someone willing to spend time talking to someone from a very different background, with very different opinions?

Like it or not, millennials like me will soon be the voting majority in Kelowna, Mr. Seymour. Perhaps we would purchase subscriptions to your paper if your editorials were not so tone deaf and out of touch with the realities we face.

Amanda Poon


We don’t want to become another Vancouver

Dear Editor:

I would like to put my two bits in about the letter, “Kelowna needs to clean house,” Alan M. Cobden (Okanagan Weekend, Oct. 26).

I most certainly agree wholehearted with his opinion. I have lived in Kelowna all my life (84 years) and have never known such a poor council. All they can think about is building highrises to make our wonderful city look like Vancouver.

Also, no thought at all is given to where people are to park. No parking for shopping or visiting the folks who live in these ugly dwellings.

I hope people will remember at the next city voting who voted at council for all this mess, even though it will be too late to amend. And I am in horror of all the money (our tax dollars) that gets spent on out-of- town trips, for what?

Charlie Hodge is the only person on council who really cares about our city and our people.

Dorothy Thomson


Training can't prevent a human error

Dear Editor:

Re: “Anger joins grief for stepmom of victim in Broncos tragedy” (Okanagan Weekend, Oct. 26).

First, please let me attest that I intend no disrespect to the women cited in this article nor any other persons finding themselves in similar circumstances.

Nor am I against good training in, and for, any occupation.

We are hearing this refrain repeatedly regards training and experience in the trucking industry, but even the most intensive training is in no way going to provide a silver bullet in resolving or preventing these types of horrendous accidents.

Wherein a driver, truck driver or driver of any other vehicle totally ignores the signage that is in place for the safety of all persons on the road, more of these deadly consequences are all but assured.

I find that I am in disagreement with their definition of “accident.”

Tom Crawford


Common sense will protect bears

Dear editor:

“Garbage bears killed in Penticton,” (pentictonherald.ca, Oct. 25).

That is really a depressing story.

Would we kill five hungry people the same way?

What is the matter with those who refuse to clean up their mess and so attract bears to their deaths?

I hope they are prosecuted and punished.

Dan Overmyer


Remove Seymour column, UBCO professor demands

Dear Editor:

I’m not sure you realize how much damage (Ron) Seymour’s column has done to your newspaper (Courier, Oct. 23). It’s the talk of the town, which you might think is a good thing, but it isn’t: the general opinion is that this is one of the worst examples of gutter journalism we have ever seen locally.

No doubt it will get discussed in the Fake News & Free Speech symposium I am organizing for September.

I don’t know who made the call to run this piece,but it was a catastrophic error in judgement.

Personally I will not be reading another word in The Daily Courier until I have heard that Seymour has been removed from its pages.

Dan Ryder

Associate Professor

UBC Philosophy