Design true intersection

Dear Editor:

Thanks for letter of the day of July 24 regarding the intersection of Trepanier Beach Road with Highway 97 in Peachland. Let us not forget us living along Huston Road.

Where Huston Road connects to Highway 97 — an intersection with Buchanan Road — sometimes we wait five to 10 minutes to access the highway.

An intersection can be defined as “a point of potential vehicle conflict.” There is not a reduced speed limit for this intersection. There is no proper exit lane from the north.

Why should we have to wait for a fatality to occur to have our government design it as a true intersection?

Art Basham


Conservative dangers

Dear Editor:

Some of us have been accused of “preaching.” If that’s your opinion, you are welcome to pull up a pew.

In the U.S., because of the high cost of health care, something as simple as a broken arm can bankrupt a family. Despite the cost, the  quality of health care is such that women are three times more likely to die in child birth than in Canada. Yet, Stephen Harper, the messiah of the Conservative party, derogatively described Canada as a “welfare state.”

He has been quoted as saying that when he was done with Canada, it would be unrecognizable.

Ominous words.

Under the Conservative tenure, transfer payments eroded; their place taken by downloading through levels of government, the burden falling ultimately on the shoulders of the individual.

Current leader Andrew Scheer tells us he’ll change Canada’s food rules, remove clean fuel standards, eliminate gun controls, “tax the polluter” — in other words deregulation, which translates in real-speak to survival of the fittest.

Lac Megantic occurred as a result of deregulation. Walkerton, Ont. and XL Foods were the result of starving the funding of the Food Inspection Agency.

Lest you think that Scheer has any plausibility regarding the Chinese situation, I suggest you read the former Canadian ambassador, Guy Saint-Jacques’ account of the execution in early 2015 of a Canadian  who was detained in China.

After all, what is Scheer going to say when as of now, unemployment rates are the lowest in 40 years, more Canadians are being assisted in a meaningful way and the economy is the strongest in decades.

The present federal government  has spent the past four years valiantly struggling against the odds of the empty treasury left to them and the magnitude of Harper-era garbage to clean up. A prime example being the Phoenix pay system.

As to the “great unwashed”... what an interesting concept.

Shall we gather at the river?

Elaine Lawrence


Tone Broke home grown

Dear Editor:

On July 23, Oklahoma-owned and Churchill Downs-based, Tone Broke won the second jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown of horse racing at the beautiful Fort Erie racetrack, near Niagara Falls.

Masterfully ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Tone Broke overcame Canada’s top two-year of last year, Avie’s Platter and front running Queen’s Plate winner, One Bad Boy to pull away in the stretch run of this $400,000, mile and three-sixteenth mile race.

Purchased for US$40,000, at a Kentucky yearling sale in 2017, Tone Broke, who had finished third in this year’s Queen’s Plate, negated the winner of that race from having a chance of cashing in on a $500,000 Ontario Lottery Association bonus offer.

If he had won this race and the upcoming, Aug. 17, mile-and-one half Breeder’s Stakes, on the turf, at Woodbine, he would have achieved Canada’s Triple Crown. The last horse to win Canada’s Triple Crown was Wando in 2009.

Since the Queen’s Plate winner, One Bad Boy had been purchased by San Fransisco owners for US$65,000 at a Kentucky sale. It marks the first time the first two jewels of Canada’s Triple Crown have been won by Canadian-bred, American-owned runners. 

Canadian commentators, Jim Bannon and Lloyd Robertson noted that Tone Broke, while finishing third in this year’s 14-horse field Queen’s Plate, had been carried wide on two turns and in the five-horse Prince of Wales Stakes race had a perfect trip. They also mentioned that they thought the fact that Tone Broke had benefited by going back to the dirt-based track at Churchill Downs to train for the Prince of Wales rather than to train of Woodbine’s synthetic (tapeta) surface. 

Leo “Puckshot” Jacques


American news overkill

Dear Editor:

For the second time this year, both the CTV and CBC national news channels, along with the American CNN, placed the full coverage of the Robert Mueller affair over all other national and international news.

This time, however, it was on from the time I turned on the TV at 7:10 a.m. and it was still playing when I left at about 9:15 a.m.

The first time even the local B.C. TV news stations covered Mueller’s entire scripted speech.

To their credit, the BBC mostly stuck with their own British news during the same time period.

My frustratedly bewildered question is: Considering that the basic cable package I receive includes all three news stations, why should either, let alone both, of Canada’s two national news stations feel so compelled to copy CNN’s lead by placing U.S. news ahead of all others, especially our own?

Why cannot the Canadians wanting to view hours of the Trump/ anti-Trump concern watch it on one of the American news channels?

If I didn’t know better, I’d wonder whether CTV and CBC have their own unspoken beef with Trump thus hoping to further publicly expose (via live coverage of Mueller grilling) his compromised integrity, especially with Trump’s public denouncing of the journalistic profession’s integrity.

The last time I checked, Canada was not just another American state. Well, technically not, anyway.

Frank Sterle Jr.

White Rock

How much is collected?

Dear Editor:

Saturday’s edition of the Okanagan Weekend had an article in which Carole James stated that the province has a $1.5-billion surplus. Not bad.

My understanding of the carbon tax in B.C. is that none is returned to the taxpayers of B.C., unlike the federal carbon tax and other provinces that have a carbon tax.

I have heard that the province of B.C. brings in with the carbon tax $1.5 billion. I also have been told that this money goes into general revenue.

I really do not have a problem with the tax dollars not being returned via rebate, a stupid booking mess that cost us so much money. Take it from us then give it back? With setting up a new section to collect then return the same money. How stupid.

If the carbon tax in B.C. is needed and is being used properly then that makes sense, but I do protest if the minister has included this tax money in her assessment that we have a $1.5-billion surplus without stating so.

Is there any way we the taxpayer can get the information on just how much is collected via the carbon tax and, just as important, how is it spent and on what?

Bob Otway


Stop taking from ICBC

Dear Editor:

I see in the news that Premier John Horgan is boasting a $1.5-billion surplus in this year’s budget.

Maybe $1.4 billion of that should go back into the ICBC coffers to replace the money that Christy Clark took from them to balance her last budget. That way ICBC can forget about “soft tissue injury caps.”

The budget will still be balanced, with a small surplus. A win-win situation.

Mark Billesberger


Spend our tax money here

Dear Editor:

The federal government is wasting our tax dollars on foreign aid. In 2018, the federal government paid out $6.1 billion in foreign aid, and in 2017, $5.6 billion in foreign aid.

Canada gives foreign aid to more than 80 countries. Some examples are for the year 2018, $254,028,156 to Afghanistan, $106,255,020 to Iraq, $101,478,283 to South Sudan, $74,488,348 to Yemen, and $64,817,243 to India.

Canada has serious problems, whether it’s the decline of our middle class, our mistreated veterans, seniors living in poverty, not to mention health-care system deficiencies, crime, crumbling infrastructures, and a Canadawide homeless population.

$6.1 billion could go a long way toward improving each of those problems. That is what taxpayer money is supposed to be for.

We don’t pay taxes to give money away to other countries. We pay taxes for our own country.

The money we spend on foreign aid should instead be spent on the Canadian people. It is time to put Canadian taxpayers first.

Joe Sawchuk