Prove your commitment

Dear Editor:

The marches around the world for climate change are fascinating. All the people participating are very serious in that they want governments to do something about global warming.

I say to them take initiative. Give up your cellphones, computers, TVs, no new clothes or shoes, no cars and walk to school, work and to your vacation destination. Doing that would certainly take them out of their comfort zone, but it would be a measure of their commitment.

I don’t think that will ever happen and our government’s solution is always more taxation, which never works. It should be noted that everything we own and do is dependent on oil and petroleum products. Removing fossil fuels would destroy our lifestyle.

Rudie Harder

Kelowna

Addressing major issue

Dear Editor:

Our local media is to be congratulated in the publication of fact-based opinion. Many good ‘kitchen table conversations’ have their origin in this column. Hopefully reason-based opinions will reflect in momentum for positive political action.

Susan Herwig’s letter (Courier, Sept. 28) is of particular note. It raises legitimate concerns about the government supportive housing with high risk ‘wet house’ accommodation for drug users while ignoring the rehabilitative needs of those seeking recovery assistance.  

As the media seems well behind in raising alarm bells, it may be time to publish and heed this urgent message.

The author quotes Dr. Alina Turner, consultant for the Journey Home plan: “The Journey Home plan clearly identifies the lack of supports… 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, this doesn’t happen.”

I echo the author’s further comments as an accurate reflection of many concerned citizens of this community. While paraphrased, the message deserves repeat and amplification, particularly:

“This ‘supportive housing’ seems to support continued drug use and not rehabilitation of those using drugs… 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. They also put at risk the future success of residents of those buildings and are jeopardizing the health, safety and security of all of the citizens of the affected neighbourhoods.”

At the moment, the bulk of the ‘wet-house’ problems may seem centred in Rutland but, like the ripples in a brook, they are of concern to all in the greater community.

Again, the key questions; Why has the provincial government misplaced priorities with our tax dollars, favouring continued drug use over treatment? Why have the interest of the greater community not been properly consulted or weighed before permanent implementation of such high risk/high impact experimental projects? Why has council been so complacent/complicit in such actions?

Hopefully our community will enjoy the efforts of more investigative journalism in pressing for answers.

Meanwhile, thanks to all concerned citizens who dare to speak out on such important matters.

Ian Royce Sisett

Kelowna

Think local, vote strategic

Dear Editor:

While many Canadians have significant reservations about both Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer, the case for re-electing Kelowna-Lake Country's incumbent MP, Steve Fuhr, is clear and compelling.

By any objective standard, Fuhr has been the most effective and productive MP that this riding has had in decades. He has served, represented and delivered for the riding brilliantly.

Polls indicate that Canadian voters will likely elect either a Liberal majority or a Liberal minority government. Why? Because both the Greens and the NDP appear unlikely to be any part of a Conservative-led minority government, and the odds that the Conservatives will win enough seats to form a majority government are slim to none.

At a local level, Kelowna-Lake Country stands to benefit much more by continuing to have an MP who is part of the government than a member of the opposition.

Given the above, thoughtful voters across the political spectrum will be focusing on the best interests of the riding.

For Kelowna-Lake Country that means voting for Stephen Fuhr.

Chris Fibiger

Kelowna

Unions, such as UNIFOR, are killing jobs

Dear Editor:

The strike at Western Forest Products is still going on. I can’t believe with the downward pressure for wood products this union would go on strike. What are they thinking?

Forrest Gump said it best: “stupid is what stupid does.” I hope they shut down the mill and fire them all. I do not believe in strikes. Cutting off money supply to their company is not the answer. Trying to get blood from a stone is also not the answer. I wonder who is funding the strike.

The UAW is striking at GM and Unifor is advertising against the Conservatives. Past Conservative governments saved thousands of auto worker jobs. However, they are scared to death that a Conservative government would require financial transparency for a bill that was passed into law but re-called and cancelled by our Liberal prime minister.

To Ford and Fiat Chrysler, I encourage you to shut down your plants to support GM. Your workers are not deserving of the pay they get now for the work they do. I hope I live long enough to read that a car is made entirely by robots. The unions are responsible for car companies moving their operations outside of Canada and the U.S..

Mike Polvere

Peachland

Misleading information

Dear Editor:

Hank Bryce misleads readers in his letter “Arctic ice is not disappearing,” (Courier, Oct. 1).

Based on data reported by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Bryce concludes Arctic sea ice loss has been negligible since 2007 and that the minimum summer sea ice extent appears to have stabilized.

The centre’s scientists do not appear to share that view.

To quote from an article published Sept. 23 on the centre’s website:

“The minimum ice extent (for 2019) was effectively tied for second lowest in the satellite record, along with 2007 and 2016, reinforcing the long-term downward trend in Arctic ice extent.”

The article further states that “the 13 lowest extents in the satellite era have all occurred in the last 13 years.”

That doesn’t sound like stability to me.

Ben Verkerk

Kelowna

Unlimited growth will kill communities

Dear Editor:

There are many proponents of growth who believe that growth in the Okanagan Valley will improve everyone’s lifestyle and therefore everything must be done to enhance growth.

To have blind faith in unlimited growth is not only illusionary, but dangerous. The reality is that Planet Earth is finite, or limited. Therefore, unlimited growth by humans is an impossibility, because to have endless growth is to eventually have extinction. Since, Planet Earth cannot sustain unlimited growth, then, contrary to the belief of the growth proponents, the Okanagan cannot survive endless growth. 

The most important factor in the equation of growth is carrying capacity. Carrying capacity is the balance point or equilibrium in maintaining life-sustaining, air, water, flora and fauna.         

Growth may appear to be a positive thing before it reaches carrying capacity. However, as growth exceeds carrying capacity or tipping point, there is a corresponding diminished quality of existence, with huge increasing costs and catastrophic consequences. 

Indeed, the rampant damage by growth and economic plunder of the environment could become so widespread that no amount of money or effort would restore our life-sustaining air, water, flora and fauna.

Therefore, for every decision regarding growth, carrying capacity must always be the most important factor, above all else. And should municipal, provincial and federal governments fail to adhere to this reality, without having a contingency plan to apply the brakes on growth to preserve carrying capacity, then, they are negligent and should be voted out.

It is destructive to the environment that the champions of growth such as the self-centred corporate business leaders remain obsessed and drunk on growth, profit and exploitive market system values. And, it is highly irresponsible for them to lead and propel the public on a growth trip faster and faster toward the barrier of carrying capacity, without having a contingency plan to apply the brakes on their growth binge before we all collide with reality.

Citizens, we must act now to ensure that uncontrolled growth doesn’t exceed carrying capacity, the tipping point of no return. Let it never be forgotten, that if you live for uncontrolled growth then you or your children could suffer and even die from it.

Robert Cichocki

Kelowna

Arthritis should be election issue

Dear Editor:

There are six million reasons why arthritis needs to be a healthcare focus during this federal election: that’s how many Canadians live with chronic pain, restricted mobility and fatigue from arthritis in their daily lives.

I’m joining the Arthritis Society in challenging each party to commit to the following:

• Ensure all Canadians have access to medicines they need by providing a national pharmacare program that gives equitable access to a broad range of medically necessary treatments at an affordable price, wherever you live in Canada.

• Stop taxing medical cannabis and make it available through pharmacies. Medical cannabis is medicine, and should be treated the same as other medications.

• Help reduce joint replacement wait times by increasing the Canada Health Transfer. Arthritis is the cause of most joint replacements. Provinces struggle to provide these surgeries in a timely fashion. Increasing the Canada Health Transfer will help provinces ensure people don’t have to wait in unnecessary pain.

By committing to these actions, the parties can show their support for Canadians living with arthritis.

To learn more visit: arthritis.ca/FedVote2019.

Bonnie-Lynne Nelligan

Kelowna