City councillors have a love for highrises

Dear Editor:

Re: Laura Doncom’s concerns about city councillors voting to give up the old RCMP detachment property on Doyle Avenue to a developer for a highrise condominium building before the Cultural Facilities Master Plan has been completed. (It’s not too late to save Doyle for arts centre, Sept. 24):

We are allowed to speculate they don’t have the intellectual capacity to appreciate the importance of maintaining and promoting a vibrant culture and heritage community in our city, let alone what it is.

Our councillors have an obvious fetish for tall buildings — highrises, skyscrapers, you name it — and the taller, the better.

Their infatuation seems insatiable and serves their one and only ambition well, to grow our city bigger (and uglier) and the sooner the better.

There is also a total disconnect from social needs like parks and playgrounds. We all desperately need open spaces to create and maintain peaceful and tranquil environments to balance a increasingly challenging and stressful socio-economic environment.

Our city’s official community plan (OCP) on how our city should grow and develop in an orderly fashion and longer term has instead become a public record of how our city is building and growing without any direction, and should be re-named “as it happens.”

We also have a unique noise culture in Kelowna, thanks to a city council that insists there is nothing they can do about it.

An increasing number of motor vehicles with flow-through mufflers, modified to produce extremely high noise levels now represent a serious invasion of our privacy and has become an incredible impediment on our quality of life.

The cultural deficit at city hall is now so severe that if we were to replace The Sails with something more reflective of our current tone-deaf city councillor’s sensitivities, it would have to be a set of chrome-plated flow-through mufflers.

Andy Thomsen, Kelowna

Little Vancouver not a good look for Kelowna

Dear Editor:

I recently read letters about the destruction of Kelowna. I totally agree as I live in West Kelowna and it must be contagious.

They are building similar little square boxes here. We dread going downtown because of all the noise, crazy drivers, no parking and crazy little boxes for living accommodation with tiny little balconies.

There are not many creative architects around or they don’t want to spend the money to give residents adequate space to live in.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and his developer buddies have built a little Vancouver here with all its flaws, and they leave the mess for next generation to cope with.

I live on Gellatly Road South. We have three three-storey rental building beside us and across the road a full development. We have Glenrosa traffic using Gellatly instead of Highway 97 and many noisy, deafening, speeding motorcycles speeding up the road. 

Because of the development beside us, the deer pathway to Powers Creek for water is obstructed. The other day, a young deer got stuck in our front gate trying to get to the creek. He had injuries and the conservation officer shot it.

We can hardly drive down Gellatly to the bay because parked SUVs with large boat trailers don’t allow us to meet vehicles coming towards us. I am so glad they have all gone.

My question is where is all the water coming from to supply this housing and who is going to treat all the sewage. 

What are we leaving for the nest generation to do cope with? Councillors need to read Collapse by Jeremy Diamond.

Elaine Bunge, West Kelowna          

Following good advice, NDP keeping us safe

Dear Editor:

A B.C. election in three and a half years instead of four. What a scandal. It is the NDP’s support of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that has protected the health of B.C. citizens.

Contrast that with Ontario where large fines are levied due to group gatherings, but 60 children can be contained per school bus and if a class size is small, it is collapsed and amalgamated with another to create larger class sizes.

Keep in mind it was B.C.’s pseudo-Liberals who initiated the Site C dam, to the point of no return, who “gave” us the tax-grab carbon tax, who made us the last province in Canada with an MSP premium, who turned their back on the safe delivery of long-term care, and whose parliamentary staff were “loaned” by the Harper Conservatives.

All this and more before the global COVID-19 pandemic. “

Pure” pseudo-Liberal political opportunism? You bet. Elaine Lawrence, Kelowna

Pharmacare program has taken too long

Dear Editor:

The Throne Speech’s mention of accelerating Canada’s development of a national pharmacare plan, along with other progressive measures, is likely in exchange for needed NDP support of the shaky Liberal minority government.   

Liberal and Conservative governments have consistently allowed us to remain the world’s sole country that has universal healthcare but does not similarly cover prescribed medication, however necessary. 

Assuming it’s not just another hollow promise of universal medication coverage, why has it taken so long for a Canadian federal government to implement one? 

(And considering it’s a potential life-and-death issue, why has our news media not pursued it far more than it has?) 

Not only does this make medication affordability much harder, but many low-income outpatients who cannot afford to fill their prescriptions end up back in the hospital system thus costing far more than if their generic-brand medication was covered. 

Logic says, we cannot afford to maintain such an absurdity that costs Canada billions extra annually.  

It’s not coincidental that the absence of universal medication coverage also keeps the pharmaceutical industry’s profits soaring.  

Undoubtedly its lobbyists in Ottawa are well worth their bloated salaries.                             

Frank Sterle Jr., White Rock

Learning doesn’t always make you smart

Dear Editor:

Whatever happened to words like “education,” “students,” “teaching,” “studying?”

When, and why did there get to be a

general agreement among those in charge to use only the apparently addictive words: “learning,” “learners?”

CBC Radio: “in class learning;” why not in-class teaching? There can be little learning without teaching somewhere along the line, even digitally.

Also, think of mathematics, for example: how many “learners” traditionally have not learned much at all in that area. Not all scholars are learners.

Is it somehow hoped that changing nomenclature will change outcomes?

Joy Lang, Penticton