Basran at home with developers
This is the first time I have written a letter to the editor, but now I feel I must after reading an article about Brett Wilson.
Wilson, a prominent Calgary developer and TV celebrity, has announced his support for Mayor Colin Basran’s re-election.
This of course shouldn’t be shocking; a developer endorsing a mayor with his current track record of saying ‘yes’ to every single development with no regard for traffic, the environment, park land, infrastructure, or the Official Community Plan.
But what was most interesting and telling about the endorsement was that Wilson couldn’t even finish his endorsement without bringing attention to the 70 acres of land he owns in the ALR within Kelowna – land that he says,
“I may decide to do something with that, I may sell it, I may give it back to the city.” There it is!
He owns 70 acres of land in the ALR that he would like to develop, sell to the city, or do some sort of land swap.
News outlets have previously reported Basran rents a home in the upscale Abbott Street neighbourhood from land developer and Vancouver Canucks owners, the Aquilinis.
Once again, it’s become even more clear this mayor enjoys the company of out-of-town developers.
It’s time the citizens of Kelowna vote in a new city council and mayor.
I hear many long-time and new citizens complain about the direction this council is taking with respect to development but doing nothing about crime, traffic, and homeless camps.
Kelowna has the highest crime rate in Canada.
Basran has had eight years to correct the crime problem, but when interviewed he said he was shocked to hear this news report even though the RCMP had warned council previously of the serious crime rate in Kelowna.
Wake up citizens of Kelowna. It’s not too late to clean up our city and make it the beautiful welcoming city it once was.
Make your voice heard Oct. 15.
Vote for a new mayor and council.
A. Dalsvaag, Kelowna
Lack of mayoral leadership shows
In the B.C. government list of responsibilities for mayors and councillors, the first two words for a mayor are to “provide leadership.” Kelowna mayor Colin Basran has failed miserably.
I have selected just a few examples of his passive approach.
Firstly, the development strategy in town comes from developers, as we were told by the town planning manager at a neighbourhood association meeting four years ago. Their demands continually contravene the Official Community Plan, including the one devised under the guidance of the mayor and council only this year, yet they merely need to present their plans for the mayor and councillors’ blessing.
Secondly, and characteristic of Basran’s casual approach, was the critical need for an additional psychiatric nurse on the RCMP staff for cases where the police need their expertise in sensitive situations. Basran sent a letter informing Interior Health of the need, and then a year later he sent another one. When considerable time passed with no response it was his responsibility, as leader, to grab a copy, walk a block to the IH building and demand action. He did nothing, and we saw the results.
Thirdly, when his indifference is exposed and he is in a quandary, as above, Basran never takes responsibility, but merely says more levels of government need to get involved. He has used that phrase several times, which shows a lack of willingness to accept where the buck stops.
Finally, Basran is the only official I have known of who uses tourist numbers to rate crime levels, saying if so many visitors come to Kelowna, crime can’t be too bad. Using that guideline, the police of Chicago, a city with 30 million visitors annually, would be sitting with their feet on their desks, rather than trying to solve the 836 homicides last year.
Basran is not in touch with peoples’ concerns.
Being mayor has served Basran very well, but it has been a disservice to the residents of Kelowna.
Don Henderson, Kelowna
Term limits would keep things fresh
I have followed civic politics in Kelowna for a long time. We have had some good mayors and council, and some not that good. It is too bad that so few people vote in the municipal elections or show an interest in who is running. Perhaps that is why we get basically the same council every time, who unfortunately do not all respond to the needs and voice of the community.
This why we need to have term limits as others have suggested so we get new councillors with fresh ideas who hopefully listen to their electorate a bit more. We also need the ward system so that the councillors know their areas and truly try and help the citizens living in these areas.
We also need a balance on council and not like the current one, who mostly listen to developers over the people they represent.
Charlie Hodge is one person who listens and responds to the people.
Also why does the mayor and some council encourage more growth (and highrises) to bring more people here.
The mayor has said that he wants 50,000 more residents here. People can choose to live anywhere in Canada they want to and some really good people move here;
but why does he want us to be a mini-Vancouver, especially since we do not have the infrastructure and health resources to accomodate that many more people. I have been waiting since February for a test at Kelowna General Hospital (as have many others) and am still waiting due to lack of health resources to handle our growing population.
The uncontrolled growth also means more crime.
I also do not understand why the mayor kicked candidate Ron Cannan out of his announcement meeting. It sounds like Cannan just came to offer his co-operation if he is elected and the mayor asked him to leave. I don’t always agree with Cannan’s policies, but he is a good and honourable man who has served our community well for years. Why did the mayor have a closed meeting anyway? Doesn’t he want to announce he running again in front of all residents, not a select few? Then he would not have to kick anyone out.
Tim Bayliss, Kelowna
Does a leopard change its spots?
So Pierre Poilievre has been anointed leader of the Conservatives. No big surprise. What is a surprise is the number of people who think he represents the labour force of this country. The facts say otherwise.
In his acceptance speech he states that people who work hard will be rewarded.
What does that mean? Does that really indicate the destruction of our social safety nets for the less-fortunate. Conservatives have a history of doing this.
Does a leopard change its spots? Remember, as Harper’s attack dog and minister of employment and social development, he did everything in his power to bust workers’ unions and implemented the four-and-four rule for immigrants (a national disgrace). Yet he claims workers’ support – nonsense.
Poilievre also announced “no new taxes.” What does this mean? When Trudeau was elected he announced a new tax bracket for earnings over $200,000 – from 29% to 33%. Trudeau has now introduced a luxury tax on the wealthy. What is Poilievre’s intention?
Remember, it was the Conservatives who introduced a parliamentary motion for no tax increases and it was Andrew Scheer’s plan to reduce employers’ share of CPP contributions. Trudeau has improved the CPP by increasing contributions to CPP.
Harper reduced the Corporate tax from 22% to 15% – benefiting wealthy shareholders. He also reduced the GST from 7% to 5%. Again, benefiting those with more disposable income.
Harper’s tax breaks for the wealthy cost the Federal Government $45 billion each and every year. How did Harper attempt to offset this revenue reduction? By slashing social programs and veterans support.
No, I don’t believe the Poilievre, who was a staunch supporter of the foregoing advantages for the wealthy, has the ability to change. Nor do I believe that the Conservative Party now intends inclusivity and compassion.
This is not the Progressive Conservatives of John Diefenbaker – this is, and always will be, the party of Stephen Harper.
Patrick MacDonald, Kelowna
Why sideline staff during shortage?
I just wanted to respond to your article titled “Staff shortages taking toll across Interior Health” (The Daily Courier,
It is super frustrating to read these articles about our failing medical system, and not see any mention of the thousands of care aides, nurses and doctors who lost their jobs due to the vaccine mandate.
I am pretty sure that the public have no idea that our health-care workers are still mandated. So many healthy people are unable to work in their fields, and would happily be doing their part to relive some of the burnout, but are sadly unable to.
What’s even more frustrating is that in this particular article it mentions the staff being off sick with COVID-19. This is so infuriating as all these amazing, healthy, unvaccinated workers were fired with no access to EI because they were such a threat to everyone’s health and could bring COVID into facilities – yet the double to quadruple vaccinated are still bringing COVID into the facilities.
At this point they are just punishing people for not complying.
The mandates need to stop and the media should be talking about this instead of everyone silently allowing our healthcare system to collapse.
Lindsay Taylor, Kelowna
Treated by strangers on 57th anniversary
On Sept. 11, my wife and I celebrated out 57th wedding anniversary, and in the early evening had a very enjoyable dinner at Zia’s Restaurant in Summerland. While there, we briefly chatted to a younger couple who sat across an aisle from us. We learned they were from the Glenrosa area of West Kelowna and had been in Summerland to play golf at the Summerland Golf Club.
Recognizing that we were celebrating a special occasion, we told them of our anniversary, and they, in turn told us how they’d had their anniversary on Sept. 1, though we didn’t learn how many years they’d been married. The lady is a nurse at Kelowna General Hospital, but we did not hear what her husband does for a living.
They finished their meal, and left before we had quite finished our dinners. When we asked our waitress for the bill, she told us that the other couple had paid our bill in full. This was such a surprise and almost unbelievable. As we’d not wanted to have dessert, the waitress then brought us a boxed piece of chocolate cake which we could enjoy later that evening.
We were unable to get the names and address of the couple who so kindly paid for our special dinner, but through this letter, we want them and your readers to know that we fully intend to “pay it forward.” We will endeavour to buy meals for those who appear to be less fortunate than we ourselves are and who we see on the streets in Summerland, Penticton, Peachland and West Kelowna.
Bob and Annette Mason, Summerland