In the June 25 print edition of The Daily Courier, a letter to the editor was published which contained misleading information regarding the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. The letter inferred the foundation solicits political donations on behalf of the Prime Minister of Canada.
In fact, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is a world-class, non-partisan, scholarship-granting organization with the mission of supporting doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences so they have meaningful impact in their communities and institutions through their research.
It in no way seeks donations on behalf of any government, political party, or individual.
The Courier regrets the error.
Former addict says thank you
I was recently featured by several media outlets as well as on the front cover of the Daily Courier twice on articles covering homelessness. The most recent story was to do with turning my life around.
I evolved into a severe alcoholic. I then traded my shopping cart and my harsh street life to being housed and sober. I recently got my driver’s license and a truck.
A lot happened in the background with several people involved, but without them, none of this would have been possible and I would like to thank them publicly.
They are Vince and Ammi Schaffler of Varberg, Sweden; Debbbie “Cheese” Porter and Pat Cantner; Laurence and Sarah East; Cindy and Tom Netzlaw. And a lawyer you can like, Joseph Gordon, who has helped me a lot over the years, and the whole gang at Metro Central.
Also, the three lovely ladies that took care of my dogs, Helena Pol, Romany Runnalls, and Helena Stuhlberg, all of Kelowna.
Paul, Cooper, Lou and myself thank you for all the love and care you provided. All that’s needed now is place to live with two of them to help me continue with sobriety.
Council doesn’t listen to Rutland
Re: the homeless addict housing the city approved for 130 McCurdy Road this month and “not-in-my-backyard” complainers.
Mayor Colin Basran actually said that people in Rutland needed to stop complaining. Yet, they pat themselves on the back for inviting community input.
Kelowna, under Basran’s leadership, isn't interested at all in community involvement and input.
A good example is the drug housing that he snuck through. Last year, a great number from Rutland’s community spoke out against a rehab facility in the same location, yet Basran still forced through a zoning change, which went completely against the city’s 20-year plan, in an effort to clean up the downtown by moving them out to Rutland.
When that fell apart due to a lack of funding, the mayor clearly had a hand in a quiet deal with BC Housing (that was kept very quiet) and forced through and even worse plan — “wet” housing for 49 homeless addicts.
This plan, which apparently breaks ground this week is less than one kilometre away from more than 2,700 school children and in the middle of a family-oriented residential neighbourhood.
Basran is sacrificing the safety, well-being, lives and futures of Rutland children all so he can look good by having “cleaned up” the downtown. Disgusting and shameful.
What's next for Rutland, which already has a highly disproportionate amount of similar housing than the rest of the city? Homeless shelters?
Last year, Basran actually tried to shame residents for voicing their concerns. We have been called NIMBYs for trying to protect our children and neighbourhoods from becoming something like what the downtown has been experiencing. It appears Basran and his ilk are the real NIMBYs here.
I certainly don't see them lobbying to put such housing in their residential areas, where their children will have to live around needles, people shooting up, constant theft, people who are tweaked out of their mind, fights, human waste, break-ins, vehicle damage, and all the other great things they bring to the areas in which they live.
And yet they say the city is interested in input from the community. So I must ask, which communities are they interested in hearing the input from? Because actions speak louder than lip service and they certainly haven't listened to the Rutland community. Shame on them all.
MLA experienced with the homeless
I would like to thank Karen Krout for sending me a letter, which was published Tuesday, enlisting my support for the most vulnerable.
In my letter to the housing minister, I believe my support, and that of my constituents, for more housing was clear, but please allow me to reiterate that support to you here. Indeed I’ve advocated and volunteered for the homeless for nearly two decades including the liquidation of all my savings to purchase a fourplex in Kelowna. It was operated by the Welcome Inn Society as a transitional home from addiction and homelessness.
I learned firsthand through that experience and many years of volunteering at Inn From the Cold how important neighbourhood acceptance is for long-term success.
Due to my experience from my time on city council when we approved four facilities distributed throughout Kelowna, through to today, I believe there is a better path forward that can see the implementation of the Journey Home strategy goals with little to no disruption to the quality of life and safety of the people within whose neighbourhoods they are proposed to be housed.
I believe to maintain social license, BC Housing needs to find a way to do so without concentrating them in any single community like Rutland, to effectively address existing neighbourhood issues before proposing new structures, and to work with the ministry of health on increasing access to treatment options.
Speaking on behalf of my constituents as their voice in Victoria, including the homeless, it is my job to share their feelings and my recommendations with the provincial government. I look forward to continued dialogue in our community as we work together to help the hardest to house while respecting existing neighbourhoods.
Norm Letnick, MLA
Trudeau represents Canadian values
So, what has Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals accomplished in the last four-and-a-half years?
Over 1-million new jobs have been created and we have the lowest unemployment rate in over four decades. The Trans provincial pipeline has been bought, re-approved, and will be built by a Crown corporation.
NAFTA has been re-negotiated and tariffs reduced.
A new child benefit (tax free) is the most lucrative in history, benefitting the neediest. Meanwhile, 850,000 Canadians have been lifted out of poverty, including 278,000 children.
The Canada Pension Plan has been enhanced and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (G.I.S.) has been increased by $78 per month — tax free.
The retirement age has been returned to 65.
An independent study has been conducted on missing and murdered indigenous women and recommendations are being implemented. The water advisories on reserves are now 75% less than four years ago.
The life-long pensions for our veterans have been reinstated and nine veterans’ affairs offices have been re-opened (plus one more).
The Kitsilano coast guard station has been re-opened, with new boats and equipment.
Recreational use of marijuana has been approved and criminal records for simple possession are being expunged. People now have the right to choose medically-assisted death.
Whales and dolphins can no longer kept in captivity.
Air passengers now have rights.
Gender balance in a Liberal cabinet is now a foregone conclusion.
Trudeau is the only PM who raised taxes on the wealthy and lowered taxes for the middle class. There are many other significant new benefits to our society due to our Liberal government.
But no matter how much good is accomplished, some people will look at a field of roses and only see the thorns.
Justin Trudeau is far from perfect, but he is a humanitarian and represents, more than any other political leader, the Canadian values that I knew in my youth.