Conservatives support Trump

Dear Editor:

How many Canadian Conservatives are Donald Trump supporters? According to a recent Abacus Data poll (July 21), 46% of Conservatives, but only 15% of Liberals and 8% of NDPers are positive or neutral about Trump.

Again, according to a recent Angus Reid poll (July 30,), 42% of Conservative supporters in 2015 are positive about Trump, while just 35% of Conservatives are negative about him. By contrast, 84% of Liberals and 93% of NDP supporters are negative about Trump.

This isn’t to say that all Conservatives like Trump. What it does mean is that the Conservative party has become the natural home for those who would like Canada to become more like Trump’s America.

Why does this matter? Andrew Scheer has to keep his Conservative base to win ... and a big chunk of his base likes Trump.

He is already taking on the tactics that define Trump, particularly attack ads, innuendo and outright lies ... and don’t forget the yawning void where policy initiatives should be.

Scheer’s recent claims about the new NAFTA are a case in point. The title of CBC’s political fact-checking post on Aug 2 tells it all: “How the Conservatives are torquing the facts on the new NAFTA.”

Scheer deliberately twisted the findings of a C. D. Howe Institute report so that he could proclaim that Canada “got nothing” from the trade deal. That’s simply not true.

We can expect more of this kind of twisting of the facts — and the same failure to offer any alternative policies — over the coming weeks.

How can we keep Trumpian politics out of Canada? By making sure that we don’t split the vote and let the Conservatives squeak in. Regardless of our party affiliation — Liberal, NDP or Green — we need to decide which candidate has the best chance of defeating the Conservative candidate in our own ridings, and then vote for that candidate.

We’re lucky in Kelowna-Lake Country because the front-runner is MP Stephen Fuhr. He’s known and admired on Parliament Hill as “relentless” in securing major projects for our community. He’s helped bring safe drinking water to local communities in the Okanagan. He’s worked to get grants for both UBCO and Okanagan College and to secure funding for Rails-to Trails and Lake Country’s new multi-generational activity centre.

So he’s not a “hold-your-nose-and-vote” candidate. He’s getting the job done, and we’re all better off because of it.

Diane Eaton

Kelowna

Harm reduction is first aid

Dear Editor:

Contrary to Joe Fries’ editorial “Abstinence works best” (Courier, Aug. 16), Rhode Island treats addicted prison inmates with methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. Like methadone, buprenorphine is an opioid agonist, or replacement opioid. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks opioid receptors.

The benefits of opioid substitution therapy are well-established, in and out of prison. It reduces crime, prevents overdoses and the spread of infectious diseases, denies profits to criminal gangs, allows addicted individuals to function normally within their families, jobs, and communities, and gets them off the hamster wheel of raising money by hook or by crook to pay criminal gangs for illicit opioids of unknown potency and purity.

Drug users forced to go “cold turkey” are at greater risk of fatal overdose, having lost their “tolerance” without having overcome the conditions and trauma that lead to their addiction, nor their risk of relapse. Opioid replacement provides a tapered path to abstinence.

We allocate about 80% of our drug control budget to law enforcement, about 15% to treatment (of varying quality) and about 5% to harm reduction. Every dollar invested in harm reduction saves several dollars in downstream social costs; first responders, ER admissions, the treatment of blood-borne diseases, long-term care for the brain damaged, coroners, support for the bereaved and orphaned, etc.

If we do not provide harm reduction services, like syringe exchange, opioid replacement and supervised-injection sites, we will have less resources for treatment — abstinence-based, prison-based and otherwise — and fewer drug users seeking it.

It’s true that “you don’t treat a disease by feeding it,” but nor should we treat childhood trauma with punishment.

Harm reduction is first aid.

Matthew M. Elrod

Metchosin

Editorial stuck in wrong century

Dear Editor:

Re: “Abstinence works best” editorial (Courier, Aug. 16).

Wait a minute. .. this is 2019, right? We’re not in 1919? Are you sure?

Arthur Richards

Kelowna

Responsibility is city-wide

Dear Editor:

With a goal of seeing all neighbourhoods sharing in the supportive-housing responsibility, there are two large adjacent properties on Abbott Street (near Cadder Ave.) for sale which could be purchased for a supportive-housing development.

As a city, we can do more than just rezone properties for this purpose; we have an opportunity here to make a financial commitment to assist in the purchase of these properties by BC Housing.

Mayor Colin Basran and council, you have expressed profound empathy for, and commitment to the homeless, when allowing facilities to be built around town. Can you step up and allow the residents of Kelowna to pitch in and contribute financially to provide supportive housing in this neighbourhood which has not done so to date?

Don Henderson

Kelowna

Keep Ogopogo where he belongs

Dear Editor:

I have just read about Ogopogo in the “Okanagan History” column by Bob Hayes (Courier, Aug. 13).

Of course Ogopogo should remain in his current park at the foot of Bernard Avenue. To remove him would be a scandal.

We recently lost his counterpart inside City Park where children have enjoyed playing with him for many years. Apparently, the new water park for children would not allow Ogopogo to remain. Our civic leaders in their so-called wisdom chose to smash him to pieces.

Could they not have moved him to a nearby area where children could continue to play and exercise with dear old Ogie?

Yes, we are a growing city.

But, that does not mean that we should ignore or toss aside all that has gone before. We should retain and rejoice in the preservation of as much of our heritage assets as possible.

Please think before you destroy.

Margaret F. Wort

Kelowna

PMO puppets to big corporations

Dear Editor:

I have been on this earth for 87 years.   These years included living in London for six years of the Second World War, 48 years of full-time work, two years in the U.K. Armed Forces and then moving to Canada.  

During these events, I have come across many situations which have amazed me. I have never, however, been so very amazed as I am by the number of Canadian voters who are willing to support the present Liberal prime minister’s office.   

It is my opinion that this office is led by a puppet whose strings are pulled by a non- elected individual who, in turn, is directed by a rich and powerful consortium that wants to become even more rich and powerful.  

They hope to do this by having control of a PMO that has no integrity and is willing to lie, cheat and break the laws of Canada in favour of corrupt and graft ridden organizations. In addition to my amazement,

I am deeply concerned for Canada that this level of government can exist.    

It is almost like a dictatorship.

Derek Coyle

Peachland

Passenger safety is paramount

Dear Editor:

Apparently, some of our local Okanagan mayors are decrying the fact that ride-hailing (Uber, for example) will require a class 4 licence. They believe it will limit transportation options because it imposes another level of screening.

A class 4 licence focuses more on safety than a class 5 licence. I believe another level of screening, like this, is a good thing.

It takes a little effort to get one.

A written test that you should study for, and a road test you should prepare for. I’ve had one for three years or so.

If I can pass the test, I’m sure lots of others could, too.

If you can’t pass the test then you shouldn’t be charging people to drive them around.

Richard Knight

Kelowna

Question to ask your candidates

Dear Editor:

The core of the ethics case against the prime minister and his staff is that they crossed a law/politics line in urging on the Attorney General and director of public prosecutions to proceed with a deferred prosecution against SNC-Lavalin. Did the facts of the corruption allegations against the company meet the standards set out in the DPA, and was there a public policy interest in proceeding by DPA rather than by prosecution?

The prime minister and his staff say yes to the DPA and the wider public policy interest, the AG and DPP, and the ethics commissioner say the company’s private interest and the prime minister’s partisan interests pushed the case over a line.

When we have regained our breath after ventilating on these issues, let’s step back a bit and look at the DPA itself.

If there was no DPA, the line apparently crossed by the PMO and PCO would have been in a very different place and a much simpler decision: prosecute or don’t prosecute. The DPA provisions were put in place, apparently expressly for SNC to avoid prosecution on the corruption allegations claimed against it, buried in an omnibus budget bill after vigorous lobbying by SNC.

During the election, ask your candidates if they support letting companies side-step serious legal challenges in court through the instrument of the DPA and if instruments such as DPA in other countries achieve the public interest they should be expected to serve.

Ernie Keenes

Kelowna

Democrats must send in the clowns

Dear Editor:

What is it that binds U.S. Democrats together? Posters of Karl Marx on bedroom walls? No. Star-struck adulation for the buy-one-get-one-free Clintons? Uh-uh.

It is the manic urge to nominate a Democratic candidate that will dethrone President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election. Yet, there is nothing close to a consensus on who amongst the throng of contenders in the Democratic field will best be able to match wits and insults with the incumbent president.

Who can win the twitter war? Who might successfully challenge Trump’s assertion that the vigour of the U.S. economy over the past three years is entirely attributable to his policies? And most importantly, how will the Democratic nominee fare in the pivotal presidential debates?

Don’t forget how quickly Jeb Bush went from the leading Republican candidate to the forgotten man after being skewered by Trump in the 2015-16 debate cycle.

Here is my suggestion to the Democratic National Committee.

At the next candidate debate in September, hire Alec Baldwin. Bring in the “Saturday Night Live” make-up artists to turn him into Trump. Then place him at the centre-stage pulpit. No holds barred. Grant him free rein to pollute the air with a litany of schoolyard taunts like “Sleepy Joe,” “Crazy Bernie” and “Pocahontas.” And then study which members of the Democratic field are able to withstand the barrage and craft their own memorable sound bites.

It would be a ratings bonanza. Maybe the Democrats could score some additional points by donating the incremental TV

revenue to organizations lobbying for more gun control.

Ah, but the critics of this proposal will sagely shake their heads and say that one cannot turn the stoic, contemplative process of choosing the next leader of the free world into a three-ring circus. A noble sentiment, yes.

But it comes too late. Send in the clowns.

Tim Simard

West Kelowna

Rutland parent deeply concerned

Dear Editor:

Moving to Kelowna in 2004, my husband and I began looking to purchase a home. After looking at many areas, we chose Rutland.

I was adamant that this is where I wanted to raise a family. Some people may ask why, and my answer is simple. Large backyards for children to play in and so close to family oriented amenities.

The YMCA, Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, water park, schools ... and the list goes on. What a great place to raise a

family.

Fast forward to 2019 and now I am a mom to a 10 year old. I had looked forward to the day that he would have the independence to walk proudly to the corner store with friends.

The coming-of-age walk to school, I

pictured him walking and laughing with his friends as they made their way to school each day — something I remember doing as a child. But, then sadly things changed for the Rutland area of Kelowna.

We, unfortunately, voted in a city council that seems to have forgotten that feeling of young independence. They have chosen to take away that freedom. So now, as a mom, I ponder about my child.

How do I let him spread his wings without worry? How do I, as the time approaches, leave him to make his way to school on his own, without worrying about who might cross his path on a daily basis as he passes by these types of recovery facilities located so close to his now daily life?

Some reading this may say this is part of being a parent and I do agree it is. But, I will ask you how many of your children will have to walk by a recovery facility such as the one on McCurdy Road twice a day, every day?

It’s hard not knowing what your child may encounter on any given day. I really don’t like that I am a NIMBY person, but as a mom I am and it is not something I can change.

So I ask, please quit telling us parents that we shouldn’t be scared and concerned for our children. Because, we are and we can’t change that.

Yes, we agree that help is needed for those with addiction issues. But, a band-aid plan on this issue is not the answer.

And so I say please, not in my child’s backyard.

Krista Little

Rutland

Writer confuses the term Nazi

Dear Editor:

Re: “White supremacy is an oxymoron,” by Bernie Bates (Courier, Aug. 14).

In his insane rant, Bernie Bates equates those on the political right to Nazis, but does he even have a clue what the word means? 

The term Nazi refers to a member of the  Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party) which is no longer in

existence. Incidentally, that is the party that prevented Western European from falling under the Bolshevik yoke.

On the other side of the coin, based on Bates’s logic, everyone on the political left would be considered a communist, but not to worry as he states unequivocally that “the Nazis are coming to a town near you.”

Of course, editorial columnists are

expected to express their personal opinions, but presenting false news as fact has got to be a new low for an editorial page.

By so doing, Bates has exposed himself as being both dishonest and unethical which qualifies him a prime supporter of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party.

Fred B. Woodward

Kelowna

Shame on Canada for the Stampede

Dear Editor:

After reading Joellen Broughton’s recent letter about cruelty to horses at the Calgary Stampede (Courier, Aug. 7), I thought how little humans have changed since he days of Rome and the spectacles that the Roman mob thronged to the coliseum to see —

people and animals fighting and dying to satisfy the spectators. 

The politicians of the day, ensured their popularity with the mob by providing free food and entertainment, much, as today, when we have a Liberal government

hoping to garner votes for having legalized  cannabis and before long, probably legalizing other drugs too.

Although Broughton’s letter was about cruelty to horses in the wagon races, when I read about the calf and steer roping, I

realized how much all of the stamped events involve cruelty to animals.

It’s shocking to think that the Stampede is considered to be a Canadian tourist attraction, when it’s totally based on people terrifying animals, by doing things to them that do not happen on a real ranch.

Does anyone still feel themselves to be a proud Canadian after thinking about the abuse that happens to helpless animals at the Calgary Stampede?

Alan Cobden

Kelowna