Seniors unite on election day

Dear Editor:

We need British Columbia’s next provincial government to act on the concerns of our seniors.

The well-being of older adults in British Columbia will depend on the commitment of the provincial government to work with the federal government to implement a national seniors strategy.

Access to home care, improvements to long-term care facilities, reliable access to safe and appropriate prescription drugs and a greater focus on community building to combat social isolation are all issues that can no longer be ignored.

Programs must be put in place with national standards, and funding tied to accountability to meet these standards.

In British Columbia, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated long-standing issues with the level and quality of care in long-term care homes. While the B.C. government has taken steps to reduce the impact of this pandemic on the residents of these facilities, more needs to be done to improve their quality of life and the quality of life of their informal caregivers and support workers. Long-term care residents deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion.

As we enter the next phase of the pandemic, we will need to address additional health-care concerns, including backlogs for surgical and medical procedures, mental health impacts and the social effects of restrictive measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus.

B.C.’s next government needs to commit to tackle the changes needed by older adults in this province. Ask your local candidates and parties about their plan for integrated community and long-term care for older adults and a seniors strategy for B.C.

COVID-19 and this provincial election are opportunities to transform our health-care system and services for older adult for the better. We are all in this together.

Leonard Weber, Kelowna

Before voting, ask questions

Dear Editor:

In any election, voters need to ask some important questions.

Has the present government focused on citizen interests or on their own interest?

Has the present government been truthful and kept its promises? Will a new government serve citizens better? Here are some important facts every voter needs to consider in this election:

Has all the restrictions saved lives or not? Has it impacted small and medium size businesses, families, students unnecessarily? Just look at the unemployment rates, domestic violence, suicides, drug overdoses, alcohol consumption — they have all increased dramatically.

Why is there so much fear? Why the need to control people? Where are we being led? Is there a hidden agenda? Do we need to fear this virus? Do we need to fear a loss of our rights and responsibilities?

As Margaret Thatcher once quipped, “The problem with socialism is that you always run out of someone else’s money,” and the results are fatally disastrous. Socialism is recognized as the leading man-made cause of misery and death across human history.

We are at a crossroads and the future of the citizens of British Columbia is at stake in this election.

Vote for the party that will serve the citizens of British Columbia.

Brian E. McManus, Westbank

Virus no excuse for bad service

Dear Editor:

I have never seen so many monopolies like local governments, banks, credit unions, major chains and, of course, our post office provide such poor service and blame it on COVID-19.

Reduced hours and reduced staff, and our postal system now does not deliver mail if it’s too smoky.

Masks and distancing are not enough — reduced hours must be required.

Please, Andrew Wilkinson, sell the ICBC monopoly or at the least decertify its unions.

Stores have the right to make masks mandatory, but signs must be posted.

Mike Polvere, Peachland

Has questions for MP Albas

Re: “What are your priorities,” by MP Dan Albas, Oct. 9.

Dear Editor:

What an interesting advertisement! And at our expense, too! Dan Albas kindly offers to help. He wants to help with questions regarding Covid-19 federal programs.

Let’s see, who has introduced all the aid programs since this dreadful pandemic started? The federal Liberal government. Do we have questions about Old Age Security? Oh, wait, the Conservatives moved the age of eligibility to 67.

Fortunately, the Liberals moved OAS eligibility back to age 65 and increased the maximum.

Guaranteed Income Supplement available to vulnerable seniors: over $2,000 more, in fact, in benefits compared to what they would have received in 2015.

“Or any other federal government issues?” Like the Conservatives blocking the Disability Benefit, perhaps?

The student benefit?

What have the Conservatives offered but continuous personal slurs against “this Liberal government” and the Prime Minister in particular, delivered with the manner of someone who has just stepped in dog doo.

They aren’t forthcoming about just who they want to deny help during this crisis. Evidently they have no knowledge of history or economics , or they would be aware that without government assistance, enabling the public to spend, the economy of the country will grind to a ghastly and inexorable halt. Take note of how well that theory worked in the past.

You can’t be a little bit pregnant. When you don’t sanction “help,” do the right thing and admit it.

But therein lies the rub: Conservatives have no interest in helping those in need. No advantage to themselves in that: ergo, just a waste.

Elaine Lawrence, Kelowna

Conservatives miss the point

Dear Editor:

Will we have an election over redactions?

The Conservative Party’s fiercest maligner, finance critic Pierre Poilievre, employs a strategy of ridicule, suspicion and a verbal barrage of offensive character smears; like a yappy terrier with a bone, he will not let go.

The Liberals have already released 5,000 pages of documents and conducted days of public testimony. But Conservatives say that’s not enough.

They insist the redactions by the Privy Council are not non-partisan enough for Conservative liking and insist that the Liberals are hiding something.

Liberals side-stepped the attack by agreeing with the NDP to strike a special committee to study Covid-19 spending, including the contract with WE charity, which dilutes the Conservative bid for a separate focus.

What do we know? Forgetting to rescue in this case doesn’t rise to the level of conflict. That a son’s celebrity provided opportunity for his mother to advocate for mental health awareness in front of thousands of Canadian youth — only a conservative partisan would see this as a conflict. Demanding further documentation is partisan overkill.

Conservatives feign outrage that only resonates in the Ottawa bubble; the rest of Canada worries about the pandemic.

Liberals will focus on the pandemic and economy regardless of what the Conservatives do. Liberals don’t have a majority to block the Conservative’s endless partisanship attacks; this is the peril of a minority government and why less gets done.

Our parliamentary system was designed to operate best with a majority government; a lot more legislation gets done. Advocates say minority governments stimulate more collaborative input, but we mostly get partisan deadlock and little legislation. The next time you vote remember, a productive government needs a majority.

Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna

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