West Kelowna council

During an webcast meeting, West Kelowna city councillors are shown voting in favour of sending plans for a cannabis production facility on Kyle Road to a public hearing despite the challenge of staging such a gathering due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Only 1 business day to respond

Dear Editor:

The City of West Kelowna mayor and council called for a public hearing May 26 regarding zoning amendment bylaw No. 0154.88 for a 225,000-sq.-ft. cannabis production facility.

This public hearing was announced on Thursday, May 14, by newspaper advertisement and by post office delivery of a notice to affected property owners the same day. The date for submissions to council for inclusion with the agenda to council was 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 19.

That gave only one business day to research, analyze, and draft a response or objection, review and deliver any submission on this matter to be included with council’s agenda package.

Saturday to Monday was the first three-day long weekend of the summer, and the first days of leaving the COVID-19 self-isolation to join in with a small family gatherings. Why is there such a rush and such a short notice time to hold a public hearing?

Further the council itself will not attend the public hearing in person, but will be at home on social media. The affected residential property owners reside in a 55-plus community with an average age of 70 or higher, the most vulnerable community age group to this pandemic. But they are asked to attend a large gathering, in a small council chamber, if they wish to speak to council via Skype on this matter.

Why is council risking the very lives of residents by setting this up in such a setting, when other public hearings are held in larger places like the Lion’s Hall? Why is council defying B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s current orders on no large gatherings where physical distancing may be difficult and risk of infection is high?

Why is council itself not attending the hearings to face any opposition to this proposed amendment, to hear the tone of questions raised, to see the body language, and to be heard and seen in turn?

This council should postpone the public hearing until Dr. Henry sets out when they can be held, then provide full and complete information to all questions that abound with cannabis operations on more than one day’s notice!

Was this just a coincidence or an attempt to minimize negative responses and attendance in a face-to-face meeting between city council and angry residents?

Once again – shame on the council of the City of West Kelowna.

Doug Waines, West Kelowna

City’s OCP going to pot?

Dear Editor:

Why is West Kelowna council

altering a zoning bylaw for a possible cannabis grow operation in Kyle Court?

There is no grow-op applicant at this time. That there might be is moot, though likely. But why is the council so ready to bend its bylaws for an unknown future marijuana development?

Official Community Plans exist for a purpose: to be followed. Why do communities create them, only to go around them or nullify them or ignore them, especially when these distortions of the plan are not in the public interest, but rather in the interests of special interest groups or individuals who will increase their wealth as a result? Well, for the tax revenue, of course. And because these special interest people are friends of those who can change the bylaws to give their friends a special advantage.

This is no murky water. This a flat abrogation of responsibility. This is a clear violation of public trust and accountability. This is just plain wrong. It reminds us of the newly intended city hall, voted down in civic referendum not so long ago. This new edifice will arise, if it does, without public input. The council has discovered another way to circumvent public policy and its usual rules to again spit in the face of the voters, voters who will surely remove them from office, should their memories be long enough. One can only hope they will be.

The buildings which may house a new grow-op are already under construction. There will be six; any or all of which could be used by the grow operators, should they surface, even though, according to community rules, this should be a multi-tenanted site.

That it is nervously close to Brookhaven Care Home has been neatly taken care of by a spurious technicality.

Although the borders of each are within 110 metres of each other (150 metres being the legal minimum), the council is using the fact of the actual buildings being far enough away from the boundaries for the new site to be licit. And the fact that there are trees between the two sites is apparently a sufficient odour filter should the distancing still be prohibitive

West Kelowna voters should flood the media and the council with letters and emails and phone calls of protest against this egregious distortion of our bylaws.

Lee Karvonen, West Kelowna

Extra 78 deaths costs us our life

Dear Editor:

Please help me understand the following – who is controlling our destination, is it the news media or our politicians?

According to the Index Mundi death clock, normal death without any virus connection is about 600 persons per day here in Canada or 219,000 per year.

This is nowhere mentioned in the newscast or by politicians in any form.

Now since the first person died of the COVID-19 on March 9, 2020, we have 22 days in March, 30 days in April, plus 10 days in May for a total of 62 days (at the time of writing).

The total death to that date from the virus infection is 4,803 or broken down to about 78 virus deaths per day. In this same period, we had normal recorded death of about 37,200 persons or 600 persons per day

All of a sudden, we have to close down everything and lose jobs, maybe our homes and business. This was the idea of our politicians and news media.

We have to wear mask to not show our faces. For these extra 78 deaths a day, we have to lose our normal lifestyle.

Is this the right price to pay for us in this society? It must make these politicians feel very important to be the savers of us ordinary people who will be paying for this for years to come to pay off the national debt that these politicians incurred for their short stay in office.

Why is there total panic in our government and news media? Please come up with a valid answer on this.

H. Norel, Kelowna