Kids won’t save world - at least not this generation

Dear Editor:

I grew up in Central Alberta and went to school during the 1950s and 1960s. In junior high, we walked 3 kilometres to school each way and in high school we walked five kilometres each way. The only kids that were bused to school were those who lived on farms.

I never missed a single day of school due to snow or cold, and in those days, girls were required to wear skirts.

We had one telephone, which was in our kitchen. We eventually got a television, which was allowed on for two hours after supper. Never would our parents ever allow us to sit for hours in front of a television. I went to my first movie at age 14. For entertainment, we played outside or read a book.

We had a washing machine and our clothes dryer was the clothesline — summer and winter, as was the same for all of our neighbours. In the summer, we put up with the heat without an air conditioner or even a fan. As a family of seven, we could have hung all of our clothes in one small closet and one dresser.

We took our lunch to school, usually a homemade sandwich and a piece of fruit. We had one car, again as did the majority of our neighbours. The seven of us lived in a 1,000 square foot home, with one bathroom and had a bath once a week, as did the majority of our friends and neighbours.

Today’s children are the most pampered and spoiled in history. There is a television in every room of the house, with an adjunct DVD player. Central air, 24 hours a day. The latest in Smartphones, watches, tablets and computers. Schools are completely computerized. Kids are chauffeured to school regardless of how close they live. Their lunch hours are spent at the local fast food restaurant where they are served with throwaway cups and packaging. Most families own several cars, plus RVs, motorbikes and boats, as well a 3,000 square foot-plus homes with multiple bathrooms. Their closets are burgeoning with clothes, made in some sweat shop in Asia, and they live with every light in the house on.

Today no one uses a clothesline anymore, nor would you ever get one of our modern children to use one.

Our grandchildren have so many toys, they could literally open their own Toys ‘R Us.

The idea that these kids are going to save the world from so called “man-made” climate change is the biggest hoax of all.

M.C.R. Krien

Vernon

Reader mixes up the issues

Dear Editor:

Patrick MacDonald alleges that Andrew Scheer’s plan to introduce a tax credit of $1,000 per year for child fitness would cost about $12 billion per year (Courier, Sept. 12).

Either the total cost quoted is just one more Liberal lie to bamboozle voters who don’t take time to check the mathematics, or MacDonald doesn’t have a clue what a tax credit is.

As anyone brighter than Homer Simpson knows, a tax credit of $1,000 simply means that a parent doesn’t pay tax on that amount. It is not a rebate of $1,000. A total cost of $12 billion? Give me a break.

Perhaps MacDonald was thinking of the amount of raw sewage that Justin Trudeau allowed the City of Montreal to dump into the St. Lawrence River a few years ago, but $12 billion would be a bit high even for that environmental disgrace.

Fred B. Woodward

Kelowna

Greenhouse gas exporting

Dear Editor:

Refining bitumen in Alberta, close to where it is mined, is the most efficient way to capitalize on this resource. And, it will employ Albertans in high quality jobs.

But, it will generate high levels of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). This increase will surely violate Canada’s commitment made at the 2016 Paris Climate Accord to reduce our GHG emissions.

A convenient way to deal with this increase is to export bitumen to be refined in countries that have not signed on to the Accord or will simply flaunt any obligations to meet their commitments.

I think this is a significant motivator for the federal government and Alberta to promote the export of bitumen, with all the inherent inefficiencies of dilution with diluents (dilbit) and transportation through challenging B.C. terrain and fragile marine habitats.

I think this sucks.

Steve Burke

West Kelowna

The wrong ones to ask

Dear Editor:

I read with interest the quotes and summary of the presentation by Jeff Hudson of HM Commercial Group realty regarding the lack of affordable housing in Kelowna and his suggestions to overcome the dilemma. His list of causes and suggestions to overcome this shortage are nothing less than one would expect from a real estate person.

He cites several cities for their success in addressing this problem. Montreal has three-storey walk-ups, easy to build so modestly priced.  Most of these however were built 80-100 years ago and the few newer ones are in the older neighbourhoods where zoning remains unchanged. Density can be obtained in increments this way but it takes leadership.

As for Seattle, where my son lives, those developers turned to rentals a few years ago after they were being sued so often by stratas for any deficiency in the building, and  the condo market had also become overbuilt.

To cite Houston as an example of how to grow a city is to lose all credibility and contradict every serious analysis of that city’s development policy. Their lack of zoning has houses between dirty industrial businesses and the growth onto flood plains has allowed annual one in a hundred year floods to occur.

His solutions are predictable. Build on the ALR (fly in food), reduce Development Cost Charges (have taxpayer pay for their new infrastructure) and eliminate the speculation tax, which is not a factor in the development of rental housing for local residents.

The real problem is the lack of control coming from our in-house facilitator (a.k.a. mayor) and council. Developers had a hand in rezoning areas around the hospital and the north end. There, $300,000 houses were speculated up to the $700,000 range and units from $500,000-850,000 were built. The new development on Groves Ave. removes homes near the lake in the $700,000 range to be replaced by 22 upscale ‘’Bespoke Condominiums’’ starting at $1.1 million. If developers overpay for land, the city allows them to build to whatever height they need to cover that cost and take home the millions of dollars they seek in the project.

There is no civic leader to tell them otherwise.

Don Henderson

Kelowna

Reporting on non-issue

Dear Editor:

I am disgusted at the way the Globe and Mail, the CBC and The Daily Courier’s Sept. 20 editorial treated the “Blackface” incident.

Did you not read Sharron Simpson’s letter to the editor before you wrote your editorial? For the following, I am also borrowing from several comments I have heard from friends.

Simpson said, “Canada has learned and changed throughout history and so have our attitudes.” None of the political pundits mentioned above have come close to mentioning this fact. They can be seen as “Americanizing” Canadian journalism.

Street interviews of people by the CBC in Justin Trudeau’s and other ridings have been very positive and decried all the attention given to this older transgression.

The message these journalists are sending is we should choose our political leaders based on the costumes they wore at a gala 18 years ago. You can do better.

Peter Basham

Kelowna

Has no trust in Scheer

Dear Editor:

“Liar,” says Andrew Scheer, with the facial expression of someone who has just stepped in dog doo.

“He wants your money,” Scheer says.

This from a fellow who has been imbibing at the public trough since before his voice changed; now attempting his impersonation of a Churchill-Diefenbaker cross while hurling invective at the Liberals.

This directed at a Liberal government that inherited a fiscal nightmare and yet, in four short years has made it possible for more full-time jobs, higher wages, employment rates unequalled in 40 years, who reversed Harper’s cowardly announcement from Davos, no less, changing OAS eligibility, who raised GIS support, who improved CPP, restored veterans offices and benefits, increased defense spending by 70%, put in place a child benefit that actually benefits those who need the money, assisted small business and lowered tax rates for the middle class.

There is no sector of the population that actually needed assistance and have not in some way, received it.

Not only that, the Senate finally consists of individuals mostly capable of sober second thought. Isn’t that a novel idea?

“You can’t trust Trudeau,” says Scheer as he announces a “universal tax cut” with which — wait for it — what he calls a “typical” two-income family making more than $125,000 annually, will recoup $800 in taxes, while the rest of us experience cuts in all the services we can’t afford and will do without.

To put this in perspective, the entire budget for the fisheries and oceans department, including the Coast Guard is $2.5 billion for agriculture, which includes food safety, another $2.5 billion .

Scheer’s desperate $6 billion bid for election proposes to literally wipe out the equivalent of the budgets of at least two entire federal departments.

“Universal” means that 2% of nothing is still nothing, but 2% in the case of the well-to-do is substantial. It’s obvious whose pockets Scheer wants to put money in.

He resurrects Harper’s “child tax credits,” available only to those who can already afford those benefits for their children.

This is the Conservative game show trademark. And Scheer is Harper 2.0 — exactly as advertised.

The plan is not for a Conservative government that “lives within its means.” The Conservative plan is to live within our means.

Elaine Lawrence

Kelowna

So what will happen now?

Dear Editor:

There are no words to describe the bombshell that dropped last week when it was revealed how Justin Trudeau was out of line with his repeated use of blackface/brownface depictions — no two ways about it. 

How he and the Liberal hierarchy work things out remains to be seen.

In the meantime, there is still an election on, and the electorate will decide his and the party’s fate.

We here in Kelowna-Lake Country will also have that opportunity.

Regardless of how things will work out at the macro level, here at the micro level, in our constituency, in our asking the question, “Who will do best by us in Ottawa?,” my vote still rests firmly with Stephen Fuhr. 

Since being elected for the first time in 2015, Fuhr has worked tirelessly for the constituents of Kelowna-Lake Country, on an individual and wider level. This has included research funds for UBCO, assistance with Rails to Trails, water improvement in both Kelowna and West Kelowna, as well as countless individual cases handled by his office. 

Due to his persistence, a number of higher level Liberal meetings were held here, a boon to our conference and tourism business. He is known to be persistent and to work across party lines to build relationships. He has gained a vast amount of expertise and experience, and we would do well to return him to Ottawa, regardless of which party ends up governing. 

Vote Stephen Fuhr on Oct. 21.

Jane Morgan

Kelowna