Opinion

Write: letters@ok.bc.ca

Letters may not exceed 400 words.

U.S. killing was declaration of war

Dear Editor:

Canada has long been on good terms with Cuba.

Suppose Prime Minister Trudeau invited Leopoldo Cintra Frías, a Cuban military and political leader, who is currently serving as the current minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, for talks in Ottawa.

Suppose that dingbat leader in the country south of us decided in his crazed head that he didn’t like Frias simply because he was a Cuban as well as minister of the Cuba’s Revolutionary Forces, and decided to target him while Frias was on Canadian soil. Would that not constitute a declaration of war not only against Cuba but Canada as well? I think it would.

I’m not conspiratorial enough to think that this might happen to Canada, but I would definitely be afraid if I was living in the Middle East or some of the South American countries which are on dingbat’s hate list.

This is a criminal act on the part of the U.S., and if it wasn’t for the fact that the United Nations members are afraid of losing the American funding for the UN, most of them would not hesitate to have the U.S. indicted at the Hague Criminal Court.

Shame on those voters in the States for supporting such a scandalous and immoral lawbreaker.

Frank Martens

Summerland

Can’t judge church by local attendance

Dear Editor:

Tom Keogh (Courier letters, Jan. 2) wrote re: James Miller’s “Editor’s Notebook,” Dec. 28, about the movie “Spotlight.”

Regarding the strength of faith and the numbers of people adhering to any such thing, remember when most of the world thought our globe was flat, and also, the Catholic Church was certain the sun rotated around the earth.

Simply judging a situation by the number of its current proponents in a tiny town doesn't make for a comprehensive assessment of the global Catholic faith.

Joy Lang

Penticton

Hovercraft would be ideal on lake

Dear Editor:

Have you ever travelled on a hovercraft? I have and it is amazing! When you look around the world as to getting from point A to B quick and efficient, hovercraft fills the gap perfectly. And could do so here on Okanagan Lake.

If you look at how we can utilize our expansive lake from one end to the other, the majority of our population of the Okanagan resides within close distance of it. Using it to connect our population areas could be efficient, dependable and unique.

A hovercraft service operated perhaps by BC Ferries, or a contract operator, might be perfect. Hovercraft can operate at much higher speeds than fast ferries, and generate little to no wake.

Hovercraft is safer for the environment, quieter and smoother than a boat: Hovercraft travel on a cushion of air above the water, so cannot harm anything below the surface.

Griffon HoverWork is a company in the UK that offers new or used craft for sale. They train the crews, provide movement of the vehicle worldwide, ongoing maintenance and ongoing crew training.

Considering the large number of tourists that visit this valley and us locals, many were inconvenienced by fires in past summers, accidents or landslides due to impassible roads, this would solve that problem.

This would also stimulate tourism in the valley, as how many people have ever travelled on a hovercraft? If there were two or three skimming the waters of Okanagan Lake, there could be express service between Kelowna and Penticton, and one doing the milk run to the smaller communities like Naramata, Summerland, Peachland, Westbank and the Mission. Perhaps even going up to the Vernon area.

Should the lake ice up, or be choppy, the hovercraft can handle it, either skimming over the ice or navigating up to two-metre seas, as they were designed for the North Sea. It would be there for lake rescues, or for any evacuations in extreme situations.

The new Hovercraft designs now operate at much lower noise levels than previous craft, and now are about 80 decibels, about the same level as city traffic from inside your vehicle. There is no extra need for special docks or harbours, as they come with ramps and stairs.

This to me seems a no-brainer. An investment in this service would give the Okanagan another level of reliable transportation service, a fast emergency vehicle, and a great stimulus to tourism.

Kim Hoath

Naramata

Hunting regulators should seek help

Dear Editor:

The B.C. government has set out changes to the hunting regulations for this year and asked for public input.

I hope you do not follow through with longer goat seasons that will turn into another kill-off like your stupid special Area E of the Cariboo a few years ago.

Remember that opening the cow calf season in first 10 days of December when there is five feet of snow in that area resulted in a 65% reduction in moose in a couple of years (your numbers after two flyover surveys).

When will you guys get it in your heads to bring in local hunters and fisher people to help make decisions? Most of you guys are book educated but lack commonsense.

Look at your management of the steelhead trout. Yet there are people still fishing them. Get real and close it down for a few years until they can make a comeback. Or, you could turn management of all wildlife to First Nations and go get a job with them!

Don Agnew

Penticton

Nuts are behind, not on, the wheels

Dear Editor:

Just when you think you've heard it all.

Driving while under the influence be it booze or drugs or reckless manner is a no-no, but yet a flag person can get run over by somebody with a mental condition and it’s AOK.

A study should be taken to find out if nuts behind the steering wheel outnumber the nuts attached to the wheels of vehicles.

Innocent drivers have enough to contend with — don’t you think?

Tom Isherwood

Olalla

Israel playing U.S. like a fiddle in Iran

Dear Editor:

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu finally found his Puffer Sucker in Trump, to suck America into getting trapped in a deadly proxy war against Iran.

Netanyahu is the real winner, if there is one.

Joe Schwarz

Penticton

Another example of the blame game

Dear Editor:

Re: “Fire staff at ICBC,” (Daily Courier editorial, Dec. 26).

The reports regarding ICBC and Const. Sarah Beckett brought back a similar process that I experienced when I was involved in a car accident almost 10 years ago.

It had been noted both on the RCMP report and witness statements that the oncoming vehicle had crossed the centre line and hit my car. On the RCMP report it was also noted that the other driver was driving under the influence of alcohol.

It was, therefore, a complete surprise when I received a letter from ICBC through my lawyer that stated that I was the one at fault.

This was fought and found in my favour.

I’m pleased that ICBC is reviewing its procedures, which given my experience have obviously been in place for some time.

It is little wonder that people turn to lawyers to be represented when dealing with ICBC. Maybe a change in procedure will decrease the cost overruns that ICBC is experiencing.

Bev Dobbyn

Colwood

Private health care not the way to go

Dear Editor:

Contrary to what was suggested, it is very unlikely a parallel private health system would complement the public system at no cost to government.

No one knows with certainty how our health system might be redesigned if Brian Day wins his court challenge. However, hybrid health systems in Europe and elsewhere suggest a rigid separation of public and private is not a given and, perhaps, not common.

In France and Germany, public and private patients can both be present in public hospitals and thus consume or compete for public resources.

Also, Germany recently found it necessary to increase public funding by as much as $1.1 billion Cdn to address a concern physicians give preferential access to private-pay patients when scheduling appointments.

In Australia, the very large network of private surgical hospitals is subsidized by government to the tune of $8.1 billion Cdn.

In New Zealand, and probably elsewhere, the public system provides a safety net for private hospitals as private-hospital patients with post-surgical complications are transferred to public hospitals.

Day might succeed in asserting our rights, but experience elsewhere suggests the benefit will accrue to a minority with additional costs likely accruing to all.

James Murtagh

Oak Bay

This police officer is one cool dude

Dear Editor:

My boys were riding their bikes down the street and noticed a Victoria police car driving slowly in the area. Five or so minutes later, the boys dropped their bikes for some basketball, using our wonderful neighbour’s hoop across the street from our house.

Returning to the scene was the police car. It pulled up and the officer got out. The reason he stopped was to thank the boys for wearing their bike helmets, and to have a quick game of basketball.

My neighbour, noticing the police car and being somewhat concerned, popped her head out and asked: “Is everything OK, officer?” He replied: “It would depend on the definition of OK … because I’m down by 11.”

Thanks, officer. You’re a cool dude.

John Shields

Esquimalt

How we can make 2020 a better year

Dear Editor:

It is now that time when we set goals for the coming year, generally designed to make us better people. I hereby resolve to:

1. Stop using the term “pre-plan.” That’s what a plan is, it’s “pre.”

2. Get over my fear of hurdles.

3. Stop insisting that cellophane is made from thinly sliced cellos.

4. Get some real furniture. (Though I might keep the curtains I’ve drawn.)

5. Stop eating frozen poultry. And I’m going to do it cold turkey.

6. Stop pronouncing “hamster” as though it had a P in it, and start pronouncing the Ls in salmon, almond and psalm.

That should do it. Happy new year!

Mike Erwin

Saanich