Trudeau’s plans are just vague goals

Dear Editor:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau keeps telling us he has a new plan for dealing with issues, but in fact he only announces an aim or an objective.

The plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and the plan to plant two billion trees are aims or objectives, not plans.

To be a plan, we need to be able to answer who, what, where, when, why and how the objective will be achieved.

The promise to plant two billion trees should more accurately have been stated as planting two billion more trees than would have been achieved by natural regeneration and current provincial forestry plans.

To answer the what, we would indicate the type of trees we wanted to replace and the approximate quantities of each. For example, two million more fir trees, 10 million more spruce, 35 million more pine, etc.

To answer the where, we would need to specify the provinces and allocation per province. To answer the when, we would need to specify a time line.

To answer why is to simply state that it is to increase carbon capture.

To answer the who, we need to specify the human resources that will be allocated, including such things as who will be responsible for the detail of this program (provincial governments?).

Who will do the planting? The unemployed or students.

To answer the how, we need to specify how many dollars the federal government will allocate to the provinces to operate this program by fiscal year. How and where will the seeds be germinated and nurtured? How will the seedlings eventually be planted?

The same exercise can be applied to the aim to reduce GHG to net zero by 2050. All rational citizens can support this goal, but a great many cannot support the Liberal “tax-your-way-to-zero” approach. 

We need to support sequestration of GHG as much as we need to support the reduction in GHG. Sequestration can be done by reforestation as proposed, but it can also be done by underground sequestration.

Direct user taxation does not reduce my requirement to operate my vehicle. We need to increase the efficiency of what we have. To do that, we need to impose reduction targets on all industries.

Failure to achieve these targets over a five-year period would result in massive fines. Four per cent per year would see us reach net zero prior to 2050.   

We should announce a requirement to ban imported oil by 2026 by building Energy East and maximizing use of our Canadian resources while they are still required. 

Let’s quit with the rhetoric and get on with doing something. A government that promises future government action is simply blowing smoke.

Ken Klein, West Kelowna

Tories gutted EI, now Albas defends it

Dear Editor:

Re: Government won’t share financial information (column by MP Dan Albas, Nov. 17, page A7):

In 1997, former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, in a speech to right-wing U.S. Council for National Policy, called their movement “a light and an inspiration,” then referred to Canada as a “Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term.”

And yet, that “Northern Republican” managed to procure for himself a really good-paying job in that Northern European Welfare State. We paid him and his group, who hooted and jeered in Parliament on cue and parroted words written for them by the Prime Minister’s Office, very handsomely. In return, he proceeded, through repeated budget cuts, to ensure those Canadians who actually needed assistance would not receive it.

That government misrepresented the costing of the proposed F35 fighter jets by — not by a few million — but by $10 billion, or 40% higher than admitted publicly. This was one example of multiple subterfuge.

Albas referred to the “current balance of the EI account” and said “the EI account belongs to the workers.”

Albas has evidently had a Damascus Road experience since his time with Harper, as EI also became one of their targets. First, severely limiting the number of jobless eligible for employment benefits, they then created a new Social Security Tribunal designed to make it harder for those denied EI to challenge the decision. Of the tribunal’s full-time members, each projected to earn between $92,000 and $232,000 a year, a goodly number were failed Conservative candidates, local riding association heads and Conservative donors.

These “tribunal members” were no longer required to hear cases in person and in fact introduced “summary dismissal” with no hearings at all.

In 2013, the budget watchdog, who was unable to obtain information or funds and whose reports were maligned by the government, suggested the government was keeping the EI premiums unnecessarily high to achieve a balanced budget with the funds at election time in 2015. This was prophetic as they did exactly that. They emptied all coffers in 2015 as their ship took on water.

Why would we trust them now? We have a federal government that has come through for Canadians during a sequence of unbelievable crises. We have an opposition so desperate to appear relevant that they run along behind the government viciously snapping at their ankles.

Well, we sheep may have been born at night, Mr. Albas, but it was not last night.

Elaine Lawrence, Kelowna

Active people use porta-potties

Dear Editor:

Re: Morning joggers need porta-potties (letter to the editor, Nov. 27).

This letter is in response to Liz Borrett’s letter on porta-potties. Yes, she is right as Kelowna is a very active city. There are many runners, walkers, and cyclists out all hours of the day and evening. People have gotten more active since COVID-19 so access to public washrooms and porta-potties is a genuine need.

Our active lifestyles are very important to maintain for our mental and physical health. The weather does not stop us so just because it is winter we don’t hibernate. We will be out there around the city, the rail trails, the Greenway, Knox Mountain, wherever our feet or bikes take us.

Beryl Tremblay, Kelowna

Trudeau botches up everything

Dear Editor:

For many years, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has shown his ineptitude in handling crisis situations.

Examples are too many to list. Most of us are aware of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, followed by conflict of interest scandals and other fiascos created by the Liberal leader.

The Truth and Reconciliation Report. Ah, the pomp and circumstance and the speeches and emotional ceremonies by Indigenous chiefs, elders and other dignitaries in their magnificent regalia, and other symbolic images during the nationally televised coverage at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau , Que.

Trudeau was in his glory as he was (in his mind anyway) adored by all present and the Canadawide TV audience. The dramatic solemnity when the PM held the first copy of the report on his lap.  His carefully choreographed solemn facial and body language was meant to speak to all Canadians, that he would hold sacred the findings in the report and act upon them. 

But years later Canada is still waiting. 

Drinking water advisories in Canada. We’re a country that possesses the world’s greatest amount of natural fresh water resources. But, after five decades, there is still no fresh drinking water for over 40 First Nations communities. The Liberal leader is ensuring a terrible legacy — industrial pollution (mercury, etc) of rivers, lakes and streams — still exists in our supposedly great country. Birth defects and maladies are rampant.

After years of empty promises and patronizing platitudes during press briefings by Trudeau, things are still stagnant. What of the WE Charity scandal?  

And now, we have the PM’s questionable handling of the COVID-19 crisis. His vaccine announcements are unreliable at best and often conflicting with provincial announcements.

Is it any wonder public response to the PM’s COVID briefings are not taken more seriously? The truth is many Canadians don’t trust the PM based on his track record and lack of moral character and integrity over the past several years.

Why would Canadians heed the warnings of the PM during his personal PR sessions from his doorstep in Ottawa? If he was truly concerned about our safety and not his own image, he’d step aside and let a team of health care professionals and highly respected guest scientists such as David Suzuki, give the national COVID briefings on TV. 

A. Cabuche, Kelowna

Rules unfair to farm wineries

Dear Editor:

Farm-based wineries are prohibited from establishing tasting rooms in our local towns and cities.

This prohibition is imposed through agreements forced on land-based wineries by the Liquor Distribution Branch.

In other nearby jurisdictions, many small towns thrive on wine tourism. Tasting rooms are allowed to cluster in small rural communities, encouraging complementary businesses such as restaurants, tourist shops, artisan workshops and entertainment venues to do the same.

This attracts tourists looking for a complete experience that includes not only wine but also food, entertainment, shopping and accommodation.

Under current LDB rules, land-based wineries are required to locate their tasting rooms on agricultural land. Wineries looking to provide customers with a complete tourist experience are building restaurants, guest houses, wedding venues and concert amphitheatres on their vineyard properties while nearby rural towns are starving for economic development opportunities.

The law needs to change to allow more balanced growth of wineries and associated business in our local towns cities.

At some point, forcing development into the Agricultural Land Reserve begins to raise obvious concerns about the loss of cultivatable land, noise, high-traffic density and the dangers of tourists consuming alcohol and driving on country roads. Provincial laws distort sensible decision making by requiring tasting rooms to locate in vineyards.

We need to change the law to boost economic development in our communities and take the pressure off agricultural lands.

More generally, the provincial government needs to open up more sales channels for B.C. wine. Although B.C. is producing super premium products that are receiving recognition around the world, the share of BC VQA wine in its own local consumer market is only 18%.

Notably, Canada (B.C. included) is the only wine-growing area in the world whose citizens do not drink predominantly their own domestic wines.

Inter-provincial trade barriers have stunted the development of a national market for B.C. wines.

Current distribution channels for B.C. wines are inadequate. B.C. wineries need to be able to sell directly to consumers in urban tasting rooms.

B.C, wine is a premium value-added agricultural product and the key economic driver of our local tourist industry. We need to regulate it in a manner that ensures its success. This includes abolishing the LDB rule prohibiting farm-based wineries from clustering their tasting rooms in local communities.

Al Hudec, Oliver