Great value in neighbourhoods

Dear Editor:

You can’t fight city hall. Many have tried and many have not succeeded, especially in regards to development in Kelowna.

I follow the many cases where a proposed development has gone through even though many residents of the affected neighbourhood have concerns and are opposed to the development. It is great that the public can have their say, be part of the democratic process and have input into how their neighbourhood is developed.

Unfortunately this rarely happens.

On May 7, I attended one of these public meetings at council for the first time because it concerned a proposed development and rezoning in my neighbourhood right across the street on the corner of Ethel and Laurier (also another one on Laurier.)

Many from our neighbourhood attended and made sensible comments on how this development would affect us and change our neighbourhood in a negative way. Our concerns included: density of the building (very high with a rooftop patio affecting our privacy); lane access (negatively affecting the neighbour next to the building); lack of green space; parking and traffic issues; taking down a beautiful old tree; and the appearance of both buildings, which do not fit in with the heritage and character homes in our neighbourhood.

Council heard all of our concerns and, with little debate, approved the rezoning. It apparently fit with the city’s plan to create high-density housing, even if the building is not appropriate for our area.

The residents were heard, but did council really care how this development would negatively affect our neighbourhood?

Sharron J. Simpson’s letter to the editor (Courier, May 21) stated that we should support our mayor in regards to online threats. I agree with that. What I don’t agree is when she said, "none of us agrees with every decision council makes.”

Council’s decisions must reflect the well-being of our whole community — not just your street, my neighbourhood or our view.

Our neighbourhoods are where we live every day and our view is that these two proposed developments are not appropriate and do not fit into our neighbourhood. The whole community is made up of neighbourhoods and residents who care about them. The well-being of our city depends on how it’s developed and if it is appropriate for the area.

The majority of council who allow these developments need to consider the needs of the residents more than needs of developers.

Tim Bayliss

Kelowna

A little pot might help a lot

Dear Editor:

Canada’s Competition Bureau promotes truth in advertising. the Competition Act contains criminal and civil provisions to address false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices. 

The business of campaigning for the privilege of running our federal government should also conform to these rules, in other words, unfulfilled political promises should retroactively be considered misleading and deceptive advertising.

Any politician who reneges on a campaign promise needs to be held to account.  The first suitable punishment that popped into mind was the following. 

A first-time offender would be chained to a parking lot lamppost for a day and bushels of rotten tomatoes would be made available so disgruntled voters could physically, as well as verbally, express their frustrations after realizing they had been purposely deceived. 

Repeat offenders would be humiliated for progressively longer and longer periods of time.

It wouldn’t take long for liars and blowhards to scurry out of the political arena, and thereby, make room for honourable individuals who would quickly earn our trust and respect.

Oh dear, I’d better chill out or I’ll be fit to be tied. Does anyone know where I can find one of those government-approved dope shops? 

A little pot might help a lot.

Lloyd Atkins

Vernon

Little attention paid to our deficit

Dear Editor:

We all know about no-smoking zones and scent-free zones. I want to introduce you to fact-free zones.

These zones will vastly expand over the next six months until the federal election. The zones are inhabited by politicians who will tell us, promise, what they think we want to hear, with “more details to be supplied later” labels.

One example will be “a coast-to-coast energy corridor,” in a country where provinces cannot even agree on the movement of wine and beer between provinces.

Another example is “no more importing of foreign oil” where Canada does not have enough refining capacity to supply Canada and a new refinery would take five years to build and cost $7 billion.

We will hear about the U.S.-versus- Canada price of gas and citizens know best how to manage money. This will be coupled with “lower taxes, freezing spending on programs and balancing the budget.”

I am not sure how government can lower income taxes, spend the same money on programs and have more money at the end of the year to pay down a deficit. America’s lower taxes result in an annual deficit of $1,200 billion or 4% of their GDP while Canada’s deficit is $17 billion or 1% of our GDP. Canada’s household debt is around 170 per cent of disposable income, the highest in the G7.

It will be up to the media, and you and I, to take each of these promises and put them to the smell test. Demand answers to how, when, where, how much and who will pay? I believe that all the fact-free zones must include no-parking of baseless idea zones and lots of defogging equipment.

David Perron

West Kelowna

Not sympathetic for Mayor Colin Basran

Dear Editor:

I completely agree with James Miller’s Editor’s Notebook addressing “What do his kids have to do with anything?,” in reference to Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran bringing his family to a press conference.  

Sympathy with the kids present, I do not think so. Did this take the pressure off of the real issue of mayoral privilege? I do not think so.

The question is, “Why did Mayor Basran use his mayoral privilege to bring back a six-storey condo unit, which seemed inconsequential?” 

He undermined his council colleagues to the greatest extent.

Stephen Degane

Kelowna

Give more coverage to Memorial Cup

Dear Editor:

I noticed that in Tuesday’s Daily Courier, there is no coverage of the Memorial Cup, except for what was published in the sports scoreboard.

Since this is the only Canadian hockey presently being played in Canada, there is a lot of interest among hockey fans.

With the Cup being hosted next year in Kelowna, I hope you will show more

interest.

David Scott

Kelowna

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