The best way to beat an addiction

Dear Editor:

We humans are addicted to fossil fuels, and this addiction threatens our future. That’s the message of climate science.

As we think about how to respond to the challenge, it is useful to look at similar addiction problems we have faced in the past. Tobacco addiction comes immediately to mind.

While much remains to be done, we have made huge progress in the last 40 years. A number of tools have been used and it is not entirely clear how effective each of them is. However, people who have carefully analyzed the data conclude that one tool has been undeniably effective — tobacco taxes. This makes a lot of sense to economists like me. In a market economy, if you want to get people to smoke less, make smoking more expensive. It probably makes a lot of sense to you, too. There is nothing magical here. This is common sense.

And it’s applicable to our fossil fuel addiction. Collectively, we humans are the source of this problem. If we are to win the war on climate change, we need to reduce our carbon footprints.

One way to tackle this addiction is to make it more expensive for us to consume fossil fuels and goods that are produced using a lot of fossil fuel. A carbon tax does this very nicely. What has worked for our tobacco addiction will work for our fossil fuel addiction.

Andrew Scheer rejects this common sense. In a recent speech he said this: “The carbon tax isn’t simply another Liberal tax grab. It is ... a classic Liberal bait and switch, promising Canadians a plan to lower emissions and protect the environment and instead delivering nothing but a tax to punish tax payers and pad government revenues.”

This is plain, old-fashioned baloney because the lion’s share of revenues generated by the federal carbon tax are returned to the taxpayers in the four affected provinces as a rebate on their tax returns, and the balance is returned to the provinces themselves. And that rebate — whether it's added to a refund from the Canada Revenue Agency or subtracted from the taxes owed — is money in their pockets. It can be spent on whatever those taxpayers choose to buy.

Curt Eaton

Kelowna

B.C. works better under the NDP

Dear Editor:

Re: “Health tax last straw for Valley employer,” (Daily Courier June 15).

Western Systems Control’s CEO Dennis Hostland threatens to move his business out of B.C. over health tax. You may as well shut down and move now, Mr. Hostland because if you — or anyone else — thinks the BC Liberals are going to win the next provincial election, you are all dreamers.

It will be the biggest defeat that the right wing Liberals ever suffered. John Hogan's NDP government will win a big majority no doubt in my mind. BC is working good for everyone since they got in power "Notice" the Okanagan is building like I've never seen before everywhere.

They say that death and taxes are here forever no matter where you go, some hidden some not. They also say the pasture always looks greener on the other side of the fence. So, Mr. Hostland if you believe MLA Steve Thomson and the Liberals will become your saviour from taxes, you're dreaming also.

My prediction for the next provincial election is the NDP will win a big majority and Thomson will step down before the election to avoid losing his riding to the NDP.

B.C. is working much better now for everyone — not only the rich.

Mel Gauthier

West Kelowna

Scheer unworthy of being a leader

Dear Editor:

I must record my dismay at your coverage of Andrew Scheer’s visit (Courier, July 3).

Your front page report ran the headline “Tories hopeful Gray will retake riding.” There is nothing in your article about how they would achieve this. Did your reporter ask the question? Or did Scheer and Gray not say anything on the subject?

Perhaps the Conservatives just do not know what to do against a very hard working, capable and successful Stephen Fuhr. In just over three years Stephen Fuhr has secured commitments of $150 million for a number of projects including $50 million for UBCO, $1.8 million for the rail trail,

$31 million for clean water and waste water improvements and $22 million for flood protection. Your readers should also be aware that when the Conservatives were in power, Dan Albas and Ron Cannan did not deliver anything remotely resembling this for their ridings.

As regards Scheer’s criticism of Fuhr on the small business tax, it is worth noting that Fuhr was one of the first Liberal MPs to speak out against the original proposal and, in finance minister Bill Morneau’s own words when he visited Kelowna, Fuhr played an important role on ensuring that the proposals were changed.

Rather disturbingly, your correspondent did not even bother to seek a comment from Fuhr on the criticisms. A very lamentable lack of fairness toward such a committed and hardworking MP.

To quote from Marc Miller on Twitter “Scheer’s new schtick of showing up in a particular riding and bad mouthing the local MP is not only unclassy and awkward, it’s unworthy of a party leader.”

John Bailey

Kelowna

Tax money should go to BC-SPCA

Dear Editor:

The BC-SPCA has put up a large notice at the entrance to the Mission library branch, reminding car owners of the danger of

leaving a pet in a parked car, because of the way that heat can build up in a car even on a moderately warm day.

The sign gives information that would be helpful in the case of need and also the SPCA number to call for help and the RCMP number to call in the case of an emergency.

No mention of the Regional District of Central Okanagan, although that is the organization to which we have paid over a $1,000 during our 40 years in Kelowna. But, I forgot, the RDCO animal control is devoted to finding people or their dogs in the act of committing an offence so that they can be fined. 

So why on earth, are we paying tax money each year to support the RDCO dog control organization? In my opinion, they don't do anything beneficial for either owners or pets, whereas the BC-SPCA does good works for both.

So, next time that you see an RDCO animal control officer, even though that will probably be very rarely, remember that you are paying for that smart uniform, and the car he drives around in.

Alan Cobden

Kelowna

Mine’s bigger than yours

Dear Editor:

Two little boys sitting in a bush, one spits at the other, and the other gives him a push.

“Listen little man. I’ll give you a punch if you don’t smarten up and throw all your rocks away,” Donny taunts.

Kimmy throws a few rocks into the street to show intent.

“There, you big bully, I’ve done it. Now, what’re you gonna do for me?”

“We gotta meet again and then I’ll tell you.”

“Na, na, na I’ve got more than you,”

“Oh, yeah well mine’re more powerful than yours.”

“Mine’s bigger than yours.”

“No, it ain’t.”

“I’ll show you; I’ll get mine out and show you.”

“I’ll fire mine at you and you won’t be able to show me, so there.”

Like two little boys, two madmen stand with their fingers on the button of destruction, taunting each other to the brink of obliteration. With the fate of the world in their hands, they play juvenile games of bullying… playing the games hundreds of madmen have played with the fate of humankind over the centuries — the difference? They really do hold the fate of this planet and perhaps the universe in their pudgy, egotistical little hands.

With hands shaking, fingers poised over the red button……… “Well, I'll show you,” they shout in unison.

BOOM!

The end.

Bill Peckham

Kelowna

Share the good news of the gospel

Dear Editor:

The Catholic Women’s League ICC a Parish held its June meeting with two featured speakers. Father Cerlouis Jimenez gave thanks to the CWL for all its good works for the parish and beyond. Receptions for family celebrations or for funerals are capably catered to by CWL members.

Our 60-year-old church is undergoing several changes to the interior. The altar again has the Tabernacle as a central feature. Statues have been repainted and former candelabra has been restored to the altar. All this work has been accomplished by special donations. The gardens surrounding the church have undergone a dramatic change. Floral beds, reflections on stone, a cross of meditation, and more are being designed by a creative green thumb.

Later, Father presented pins to members for 10 years to 40 years in the league. Four new members were also welcomed.

As we give an annual gift to Catholic Christian Outreach, it was our pleasure to receive a report from Gabrielle Raymond. She gave several examples of her efforts and success of evangelization. There is so much joy upon sharing a conversation whether it is at a university in Canada or in the Cameroon, where she visited recently. She urged us all to share the good news of the gospel. Continue to be close to friends and family. Each person will reach out for guidance when they are ready for their own conversion.

The meeting concluded with a pot luncheon. It was a time of friendly visiting and a delicious repast. There will be a summer vacation, but President Roberta Strangward reminded us to be ready for our September meeting. We have several projects on hold for the coming year.

Till then, do enjoy our blessings in this beautiful Okanagan.

Margaret F. Wort

CWL-ICC

Kelowna

Read the Dan Albas column

Dear Editor

To NDP Premier John Horgan and others fussing over the high cost of gasoline in B.C., I would suggest that you read and heed the excellent analysis “From The Hill” by Dan Albas, published in Wednesday’s Daily Courier. It quantifies the inexorable truth behind the lofty costs to operate a vehicle in beautiful British Columbia. Of course, ICBC also adds to the equation.

Paul Crossley

Penticton

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