Dear editor: I, too, feel that the city planning department and the mayor and council are too keen to allow high-rise development in Kelowna, contrary to the official community plan (Re: “Kelowna City Hall leaves taxpayers on the hook,” Jan. 20). Further to the discussion, it is not just the costs associated with high-rise development, but the environmental impact of these buildings.
I could see no information on the city website regarding environmental requirements for building designs. Many enlightened cities are moving toward net-zero-carbon buildings. Vancouver, under its new climate emergency response plan, has pledged to have all new buildings constructed to net-zero-carbon standards. This includes all building types. This can be done by having better building envelopes (air tight), better building materials and better energy systems.
The technology exists, it only requires political will to make this happen. I hope the city’s hiring of a new environmental manager will impact the requirements of all new structures in the city.
Carol Millar, Kelowna
Inspired by federal pledge to plant trees
Dear Editor: Last year the Canadian government unveiled a climate action plan called A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. This is a positive move.
Of the many practical measures and spending targets is a $3.16 billion investment in trees, “to partner with provinces, territories, non government organizations, Indigenous communities, municipalities, private landowners, and others to plant two billion trees” over 10 years. This is a bold and inspiring plan.
Trees are a vital link in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, critical to combat climate change. Trees clean and cool the air and sequester tons of carbon in the ground, a natural way to reduce global warming. We are losing too many trees each year in B.C. to forestry, floods, and fires.
B.C. has both a strong foresty industry and tree-planting program. In 2020, tree planters in B.C. put 300 million seedlings in the ground, setting a new annual record, all while having no COVID cases.
Our city has lost many trees on local properties due to development, disease, or age. Our city is hotter each year and we’ve lost the cooling effect of trees.
Each of us can make our own personal commitment to planting trees at our homes, by joining a local conservation group to reforest and rehabilitate damaged areas, or by lobbying city council to work with the public to preserve and plant more trees.
We can all play a part in increasing the number of trees planted and get to 2 billion before the 10 year goal. I'll be planting this spring. Will you?
Lori Goldman, Penticton
Nova Scotia’s donation plan worth copying
Dear Editor: Beginning Monday in Nova Scotia, if you didn’t register your organ donation decision and you are eligible, you will be seen as having consented to organ and tissue donation after death.
This is called “deemed consent” under the new Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act. This means that when you die, your organs can be used to save other people’s lives unless you have declined to allow this in advance.
Many lives will be saved by this new measure and we believe that this same law should be enacted in British Columbia.
If you also believe this change would be beneficial in British Columbia then we urge you to write your local MLA and let your thoughts be known.
Bob and Rachel Whitehead, Kelowna
Boeing Max proof of failed leadership
Dear Editor: A Dec. 28, 2019, Globe and Mail report revealed Transport Canada had essentially been certifying Boeing aircraft flown by Canada’s airlines based on findings of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
Meanwhile, the FAA was basically acting as a rubber stamp for the giant Boeing corporation’s planes, including its flawed 737 Max (and who knows what other potential disasters before it?).
A common refrain prevails, especially among Western capitalist governments and corporate circles, that best business practices, including what's best for the consumers, are best decided by business decision makers.
Other than what's best for the bottom line, this was proven false by Boeing’s decision to keep its ill-fated 737 Max planes flying, regardless of warnings.
I fear that when it comes to the biggest of business and their lobbyists’ frightening influence over important government-body safety decisions, deadly reckless business decisions will be repeated, even ones enabling preventable jetliner crashes.
Frank Sterle Jr., White Rock