Trudeau not perfect, but he's looking after our needy

Dear Editor:

Andrew Scheer: Designed to deceive. Once again, the dual U.S./Canadian citizen and licence plate salesman for an insurance office is fooling his supporters. The reality is that, in keeping with Conservative policy, only the well-to-do benefit from Conservative tax policies.

Unlike the Liberals, who give an up-front tax-free allowance (Canada Child Benefit) to needy families, the Conservatives only give tax credits. And what does that do?

It only benefits the people who can afford to put their children in sports, fitness, and arts programs. Can’t afford to enrol your kids? Then you get nothing.

The only people who will benefit from real tax cuts by the Conservatives are wealthy shareholders. Conservative policy is, and always has been, to cut corporate taxes and slash social programs.

This is proven with past recurring corporate tax cuts at both federal and provincial levels of Conservative governments.

The Conservatives consistently support one of the biggest hoaxes of the 21st century — the benefit of “trickle-down” politics. A huge con (pun intended) job.

Impartial economists all agree money doesn’t “trickle down”. It gushes up.

Justin Trudeau is far from perfect, but his record shows his Liberal empathy and compassion, and I only wish that all members of our society had those noble traits. Examine Trudeau’s record in totality. Perfect? None of us are, but Trudeau’s record of looking after the most needy in our society speaks for itself.

Patrick MacDonald

West Kelowna

Dry or wet, it's not up to us

Dear Editor:

There has been much discussion recently regarding the supportive housing facilities planned for Rutland.

While I agree there should be more thought given to location and density of such facilities, they are needed. What I don’t understand is the debate over whether they should be dry or wet. No one tells me whether I can consume alcohol or drugs in my home.

That should not be a consideration for the administrators or agencies tasked with operating the facilities. It is up to law enforcement to deal with behaviour that is contrary to the law.

What is happening now is an erosion of public confidence in the will or ability of the police to enforce the law. That can be a dangerous situation. All three levels of government need to come up with a way to separate the people who are criminals because they suffer from the disease of addiction and those who are criminals because they are criminals.

The only way to do that is to give those that decide they want a better life the opportunity to pursue that goal.

That costs money. It would be a wise investment.

Ralph Perrich

Kelowna

Opioid crisis touches many

Dear Editor:

Re: “Do BC Liberals have a drug plan?,” editorial by Joe Fries (Daily Courier, Sept. 25).

The opioid crisis has touched British Columbians throughout every community in the province; especially areas outside of the Lower Mainland, such as Kelowna, that do not receive equal resources to help tackle the unending crisis.

Unfortunately, opioid-related deaths in 2019 are still forecast to remain higher than when the crisis was first declared in 2016 and actual overdoses remain at record high levels. It is clear the current NDP government approach, a seemingly insular harm-reduction strategy, is not working to end the cycle of addiction.

As BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson mentioned during his recent visit to Kelowna, addiction should be treated as a medical condition. Although harm reduction services are critical to saving lives, the end goal should be to work towards helping people into recovery to regain full and rich lives.

As the critic for Mental Health and Addictions, I have long advocated for the need for a full spectrum of care. A mental health system that would serve youth and adults equally, that would focus on early intervention and that would help those dealing with addiction into a treatment that will eventually lead to recovery. Continuing to pour more money into harm reduction services may help save lives today, but ultimately fails to break the cycle of addiction.

Every person who wants to access recovery should have the opportunity, but so many are limited by the high cost to do so. There are recovery beds available, yet without funding from government, they remain too expensive for many seeking treatment.

Last year, I introduced the Safe Care Act in the Legislature. If passed, it would allow for vulnerable children and youth whose situation places them or others at risk to be placed within a treatment facility that can respond to their trauma and high risk of harm. Over 20 youth in B.C. have since died from an overdose in the past year, while government continues to ignore other possible solutions to the crisis.

Health critic and MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country, Norm Letnick recognizes the serious gaps in care that need to be addressed if we are to reduce the revolving door frequently encountered by those seeking help. Supporting health authorities, primary care professionals, counsellors, school districts and staff is vital to provide solutions that assist these people beyond just a roof over their heads. A seamless continuum of care will ensure that those in need have the appropriate resources available to overcome their challenges and reintegrate themselves back into society as healthy and productive citizens.

The opioid crisis is an unmitigated and unprecedented situation which deserves the government’s full attention and demands more than one response. Only when a full continuum of care involving more resources for youth – including the adoption of the Safe Care Act – and more equitable access to treatment is implemented, can we hope to see an improvement in health outcomes and, in turn, save lives.

MLA Jane Thornthwaite

Official Opposition Critic for Mental Health and Addictions

Tremendous loss of Arctic ice

Dear Editor:

“Arctic ice is not disappearing,” by Hank Bryce (Courier letters, Oct. 1).

Indeed this reader was very surprised by your article of no ice loss especially since you are quoting from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre.

I too will use their data to refute your claim. The actual extend of surface ice is just one measurement of sea ice amount, to understand fully the loss of ice you have to take into account other parameters such as ice thickness and age as well as absolute amount. Sea ice has declined in thickness, from 3.64 meters in 1980 to 1.89 metres by 2008. Sea ice volume declined by 4,291 cubic kilometres at the end of summer and 1,479 cubic kilometres by the end of winter — years 2008 and 2011-12. Sea ice age: in 1987 57% of ice pack was at least five years old and 215% at least nine years old. By 2007 only 7% was five years old and virtually none was nine years old. It made a comeback in 2013 to 2014, but overall multiple- year ice continues to decline. The loss of ice in the Arctic is disappearing at an increasing speed.

The last year the earth was cooler than the 20th century average was 1976. Since then, there has been a steady increase in overall temperature of our planet (IPPC) not a hiatus. Oceans dominate our planet. NOAA, Hadley Centre, and Japanese Metrological Agency report that the ocean temperature has increased 0.12 C per decade from 1998. The previous decade has exhibited a global average temperature higher than they have been for at least 75% of the last 11,300 years.

In closing, You are correct in your statement of extent of sea ice, but give a rather incomplete picture of the true nature of what is truly happening. There is actually a tremendous loss of ice.

Barrie Pelland

Kelowna

Gun lobbyists don’t belong in Canada

Dear Editor:

Throughout September, you published an annoying attack ad on Justin Trudeau.

I did not see an approval by the Conservatives for this annoying ad. It was authorized by “The BCWF Political Action Group.” It sounded like an ultra-right action group from the U.S. with maybe some involvement by the National Rifle Association.

I hope this is not some involvement by a foreign agency in our political elections. We saw the results of that in our southern neighbour.

Can anyone put in a political ad or does it have to have an imprimatur of a political party? At a time when U.S. is “armed to the teeth” and thousands of deaths are attributed to guns, I hope this offensive ad does not find Canadian approval.

Ron Hamel

Kelowna