Surprised to see city council do the right thing

Dear Editor:

I was pleasantly surprised to see our Kelowna city council vote down giving more money to Tourism Kelowna. Coun. Gail Given is on the board of Tourism Kelowna and should have recused herself — not surprised she didn’t.

Mayor Colin Basran has always been very cosy with Tourism Kelowna, pushing to give them the sweetheart deal on waterfront property for their new building. No surprise they voted in favour.

A win for the city for a change.

Gord Marshall, Kelowna

Banks too cheap to give good customer service

Dear Editor:

Recently I have been attempting to settle an estate by phone calls and visits to banks.

I have spent hours on the phone waiting and listening to bank ads and excuses like “we are experiencing an unusually high number of calls lately so please wait and someone will be with you shortly.

Bulls—t. They just won’t hire enough people to service their customers promptly.

Now I know that hiring more workers would cut down on the billions of dollars in profits the banks make, but what is more important — satisfied customers or million dollar bonuses for the CEOs.

Our unemployment is high right now so banks can easily hire more people and ease the burden.

Ken Lonquist, West Kelowna

We already know Trudeau’s guilty again

Dear Editor:

Why bother having Prime Minister Justin Trudeau investigated for ethics violations when he has already been found guilty of violating ethics rules previously with no consequences or change in his behaviour.

He has proven to either be too stupid to understand what is and is not appropriate or he is so arrogant that he considers himself above the law. Which is it?

In this latest gaffe, he must surely have known that his mother and brother received significant sums of money from WE for speaking engagements and if not then, stupid would be the answer to my previous question.

If the wealthy Trudeau family feels so strongly about the charitable WE organization, why did they not simply provide their time speaking for free instead of taking monetary payments that could have otherwise been used for charitable purposes?

Most Canadians who become involved with charitable organizations donate their time and take no compensation.

This latest issue has a bad smell to it and Trudeau will likely be found in violation of ethic rules again.

It would seem that for the most part Western Canadians have seen through our PM as evidenced from the last election results.

Trudeau gained his wins in Eastern Canada and it makes one wonder what it will take for them to become disillusioned with his continuous corrupt and inappropriate ways and reflect it at the polls.

Expect another apology with the same old worn-out promise to do better until the next time he†gets caught†flaunting ethics rules while lining the pockets of the Trudeau family and friends.

Guy Bissonnette, Lake Country

MacKay best qualified to be Tory leader

Dear Editor:

I was pleased to read James Miller’s column urging Conservatives to choose Peter MacKay as the “best person to lead the Tories” (The Okanagan Weekend, July 11).

I know from a lengthy acquaintance that Mr. Miller is not a partisan advocate for any political party.

But on the question of future governance for Canada, and our search for a wise, experienced and sensible successor to Justin Trudeau, Peter MacKay and the Conservatives offer the best hope of putting our nation back on an even keel, given the massive accumulation of COVID-19 debt that Trudeau has left for our children and their children to pay off.

When I was first elected to Parliament in 1978, Justin’s father, Pierre Trudeau, had saddled Canada with a $30-billion annual deficit for several years running.

Now, only six months into the year 2020, Justin has added more than 10 times that amount, at least $300 billion to our national debt.

And not a word about how Canadians will ever pay this back.

Personally, I have known MacKay for more than 20 years and was a cabinet colleague of his father, Elmer MacKay.

Peter was first elected to the Parliament of Canada in 1997, and was re-elected on five separate occasions from 2000 to 2011.

In 2003, Peter was co-founder of the modern Conservative party with Stephen Harper. Peter served in the Harper government as Minister of Foreign Affairs, (2006-07), Minister of National Defence (2007-13) and as Minister of Justice and Attorney General (2013-15).

During his earlier and later years, MacKay practised as a lawyer and Crown prosecutor.

For all of his outstanding attributes, as enumerated in Miller’s column, MacKay is clearly the best qualified among the four candidates running for the Conservative party leadership, which will be decided on Aug. 21.

By contrast, his closest rival, Erin O’Toole, MP was elected to Parliament on only three occasions and served very briefly as Minister of Veterans Affairs in 2015.

The other two candidates Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan have little political experience.

MacKay is a big tent, broadly experienced, and well-proven candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

In my opinion, MacKay is Canada’s best-qualified replacement for our current prime minister, during this unprecedented period of COVID uncertainty.

Tom Siddon, Kaleden

Tories trying to bring sponsorship scandal back

Dear Editor:

Everyone falls down. The decision to use the WE charity may have had good intentions, but the people around the prime minister should’ve known the optics were bad.

Maybe because it involves family members, it is always harder to see clearly? But still even bruised, the PM continues to say the right things and act with integrity.

The Conservative party wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to testify before a parliamentary committee about why his government made a controversial decision to enlist WE Charity to administer a $900-million student volunteer program.

However, the decision to use the charity was rightfully reversed; so Conservative questions are moot. Still, Conservatives see opportunity.

Conservative pitbull finance critic Pierre Poilievre pounding his lectern and demanding Liberal cabinet ministers explain is populist political theatre in full regalia.

Conservatives are searching for another sponsorship scandal that ensnared Jean Chretien and brought down the Martin government to catapult Stephen Harper into his first 2006 minority government.

In 2011, Conservatives finally pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the 2006 “in and out” scandal that exceeded Election Canada’s advertising limits.

Because the Conservative were so anxious to bludgeon Liberals over the sponsorship scandal they overspent to flood TV airwaves with nasty negative political ads. So much so the Liberals did get smeared, but Canadians only gave Harper a minority government.

With the Harper playbook in hand, Conservatives are attempting to repeat past success. But on this they have missed the target. This is a tempest in a teapot.

Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna