Letters to the Editor

Write: letters@ok.bc.ca, letters may not exceed 400 words. The Courier reserves the right to edit any letter for length, grammar/spelling, Canadian Press style, libel or overall good taste.

Wrong champion for free speech

Dear Editor:

Dan Ryder’s letter to the editor decrying the Kelowna Courier for gutter journalism is questionable (Courier, Oct. 30).

Ryder apparently is heading up a symposium on fake news and free speech in September.

I feel like Alice in Wonderland.

Ryder wants Ron Seymour fired so obviously Ryder believes only in selective free speech: Free speech censured by him that coincides with his opinions.

I was impressed with Seymour’s commentary (Courier, Oct. 23). I became an instant fan first because he had the guts to write it and second, from personal experience it had a ring of truth. My husband contacted Stephen Fuhr when he was first elected and, even at that early date, found him to be arrogant and unresponsive. Tossing Fuhr out was probably the best thing Kelowna-Lake Country ever did.

It is not easy to write the truth today because in this politically correct world anything that contradicts popular opinion is immediately decried by free speech detractors as hate speech or said to be conspiracy-driven and misrepresented into something that it is not and often accompanied by threats of boycotting the paper.

For that reason alone the Kelowna Courier and the Penticton Herald should be praised for giving the public the opportunity to read not canned rhetoric, but truth as seen through the eyes of journalist endeavour and spine. These papers give their readers the right to express their opinions upholding Canadian values including free speech. This policy cannot be easy to uphold when narrow-minded zealots come knocking at their door.

Seymour’s only mistake was in telling the truth about the insufferable arrogance of Fuhr and his elitist party affiliates who think that they are God’s gift to the voter.

Normally when a person writes a letter to the editor they sign their name. If they represent a company or agency, they add that designation. I was sorry to see that Ryder signed his name as an associate professor at UBCO. From that I understand that he is a spokesperson for the university and his letter represents the opinion and policy of UBCO. Too bad.

Ryder’s devious ethics were brought into question by Elections Canada during the 2015 election when he used his position as a Green Party agent to support Stephen Fuhr to defeat the Conservative incumbent Ron Cannan (Kelowna Capital News, May 14, 2018).

Ryder needs to do some serious thinking before he considers himself capable of holding symposiums on free speech and journalistic integrity.

Elvena Slump


Conservatives were sore losers

Dear Editor:

Re: “Measure of a man comes in a defeat,” by Alan Nichols (Courier, Oct. 29).

I absolutely agree that the measure of a man is magnanimity (defined as the refusal to be petty), in defeat.

I refer to the impassioned man who took time to count the words in Stephen Fuhr’s response. How many words in Ron Seymour’s excuse for a column?

I noted that there was nothing positive said by the Conservatives toward the Liberal candidate, the Liberal party, or the Liberal leader during the campaign; during the previous four years in fact. Their focus, instead, was a continuous unhealthy obsessive attack against Justin Trudeau.

The Conservative party during Stephen Harper times and since have never stooped to falsehood.

That must be why at least one of them was led away in chains, several “under the bus” — exiled and scapegoated — another weeping (for effect) in the House of Commons after his blatant disrespect for that institution, now Doug Ford’s “Speaker of the House” and the first Canadian prime minister ever, found in contempt of Parliament, whose staff included convicted felons.

And, of course, there would be no budget, cuts in order for Andrew Scheer to bring forward his $6 billion tax cut for the wealthiest. Why ever would there be? And it should be no surprise to learn unexpectedly, (purely because “Nobody asked” ) in the middle of a campaign that one of the aspiring leaders is also an American.

Goodness, no!

The important points the writer mentions: let’s see, a vacation, some sunglasses, the fallout from a truly unfortunate cabinet appointment, far outweigh the economic benefits to Canadians, of the past four years: unprecedented employment, a 40-year record in wage increases and full- time jobs, the children’s benefit, senior benefits, lower taxes on middle-class income earners, improvements to CPP, which actually provide future economic security, strides in rejuvenating long-neglected infrastructure, health transfers targeting mental health instead of an outright gift to the provinces. All these unimportant things are in no way equal to a $6 billion tax cut for the wealthy.

The remarkably friendly way Scheer has addressed the prime minister — with name calling and the disgusting demeanour of a schoolyard bully, certainly does display grace in defeat.

Now, let’s see. How many words is that?

Elaine Lawrence


Halloween ghost story for Kelowna

Dear Editor:

Father Pandosy was born in France and  was the first missionary to settle in the Okanagan Valley.

For years, a search was conducted trying to locate his bones and have them moved to the newly-created Pandosy Mission.

Among his other many accomplishments, Dr. Walter Anderson was a keen student and staunch supporter of the Kelowna Heritage Society, which led to the discovery of the sacred bones.

Now the Heritage Society commissioned a wonderful statue of Father Pandosy in the Mission. Having found his remains, of course they must be moved to the Pandosy Mission.

The Father Pandosy Halloween story unfolds.

It was on Halloween night, not so long ago (maybe 40- 50 years ), when Dr. Anderson and wife Catherine, long-time Kelowna residents, were relaxing sometime after the trickers and treaters had left when a knock came on the front door.

“The kids have been long gone,” exclaimed Catherine. “Who could that be?”

The rap got louder and Walter went to the door.

Standing before him was the replica of Father Pandosy, complete with Catholic adornment. A ghost in the night.

“What have you done with my bones?,” cried the ghost.

After a moment of shocked silence, the ghost disappeared.

If I am asked who could have done such an evil deed, I can assure you I have no idea, but apparently he was a well-known Kelowna bon vivant, scholar, eminent  athlete, MLA ... with a little Italian in him.                                                                                                                                            Walley Lightbody


Canadians are failing our veterans

Dear Editor:

Nov. 11 is a good time to remind ourselves that Canadians are failing veterans.

Our Liberal and Conservative governments refuse to do the right thing and pay veterans what they are owed. In this region, MPs from the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) have the power to fix this. But that isn’t going to happen unless CPC supporters stand up for veterans.

On Remembrance Day call your MP and tell them to do whatever it takes, including working with the Liberal government, to get veterans what they are owed.

Many Canadians sacrificed their lives, limbs and/or minds while serving this country. So it shouldn’t be too much to ask CPC supporters to take a few minutes to call their MP to remind them of this.

Barbara Cousins


So long, Alberta and good luck

Dear Editor:

I am fed up with the whining and complaining by Alberta, a “one-trick pony” that squandered its billion-dollar legacy fund and did nothing to reimagine a future without oil and gas revenues.

We have known for at least two decades that the oil and gas industry was heading for the ropes. They have done nothing about that reality except bellyache and complain.

They made billions while the sun shone and now they are trying to hoop the rest of Canada into their political bitterness, which is of their own making.

So, become a separate land-locked country and abandon all the infrastructure that you enjoy as part of Canada and try to funnel your oil to ports in the U.S. Good luck with that.

John Stevenson