Beating poverty an act of justice

Dear Editor:

Re: “Great job locally by Stephen Fuhr” by Bill Rice (Daily Courier, Dec. 23).

You say, “on the unemployment front, those numbers are the lowest we’ve seen in a decade.”

There is a new record number of people at the food bank. Is it because the people that ran out of EI are no longer mentioned on the unemployment list anymore?

You say, “public healthcare, has lifted over 315,000 out of poverty.”

Please go to the food bank and ask them to give you their answer.

You say, “we have seen pension increases for single seniors.”

Did you forget how much rent went up? How much food has gone up? All this in the past 10 years and you make it sound as though seniors are now rich. We are in the same trench trying to find a way up.

Every time that someone uses a bank machine, they put people out work. Every time that people use scanning machines to pay for their groceries, they put people out of work. When people stop using machines, more people will be working. 

You say, “a new housing strategy for the homeless.”

Mr. Rice, you obviously do not know the street people very well.

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.

“Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” 

— Nelson Mandela

Joseph Hayes

Lake Country

Who approved Phoenix system?

Dear Editor:

How did the federal government get into such a mess? 

Did we not have a working payroll prior to the Phoenix system? How was the old system so flawed that we had to have a new system? Who recommended the Phoenix system to the government, was it a lobbyist — i.e. someone as could spread some dollars about the offices in Ottawa to facilitate the new system, Phoenix, to be purchased? Is this as bad a purchase as the four submarines from the UK? Many large companies have huge payroll systems, do they use Phoenix? 

How many more dollars will we have to add to this new system to put out the fire that is spreading? Is there no check and balance when we have to purchase something new for so many dollars? Who said that we needed to purchase four used submarines that the UK did not want to put into service? Who were the lobbyist or salesmen involved? Did they also have a Phoenix system to get rid of? 

We, as taxpayers, need to see the inside stories of who is lobbying and for what.  Too many expensive bad deals made behind closed doors — and no one is fired for making these deals. It is OK to steal or cheat the government — they have so much money? It is not really stealing or cheating as long as we do not get caught. Right, Brian Mulroney?

Jorgen Hansen

Kelowna

Hard to move on city’s sidewalks

Dear Editor:

Kelowna City Council should be commended for attempting to encourage people to get around by means other than private cars. Buses, taxis, car-pooling, bikes and walking are the main alternatives.

Unfortunately, the city’s plan falls apart in the winter, especially for walking. Only a small percentage of Kelowna sidewalks are cleared of ice and snow according to the terms of Bylaw No. 8120. Residents are required to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall. Survey almost any of our residential neighbourhoods and you’ll find the majority of sidewalks (and the roads) covered in hazardous ice and snow. Currently, the city’s answer to this anti-social, scofflaw behaviour is to require someone to report a particular sidewalk in an on-line service request or by phoning 250-469-8600. This is a slow, cumbersome, ineffective waste of everyone’s time.

The city knows it’s getting poor compliance to its well-intentioned snow and ice bylaw. If they start to actually enforce it, as I hope, I suggest they adopt a plan similar to the ones used in many other Canadian cities.

After the 24-hour period has elapsed, have contractors circulate through residential areas. If very snowy or icy sidewalks are found, the contractors clear them, then they arrange for the city to add the cost to the homeowner’s next property tax bill. “Before and after” photos could be shot.

The benefits of this plan include no cost to the city or to law-abiding taxpayers; increased compliance; sidewalks that can be safely walked on; and employment opportunities for local seasonal workers.

If you’d like to see the City of Kelowna adopt a policy similar to this, please email: mayorandcouncil@kelowna.ca

Christine Adhofer

Kelowna

Help locate missing neckpiece

Dear editor:

On Dec. 23, I was shopping at Save-On-Foods at Orchard Plaza in Kelowna. On my way to my car, I dropped a black fox neckpiece, which I did not notice until I was driving away in my car.

I did a U-turn within 10 minutes but alas, it was gone, nowhere to be found. I left my name and telephone number at customer service at Save-On-Foods.

So I am asking the person who picked it up to please return it to Save-On.

I would appreciate this immensely.

Katie Ferguson

Kelowna

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