Hospital wrong place to protest

Dear Editor:

Re: Demonstration in front of the Kelowna General Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

I was in a traffic accident on Sunday, Aug. 29, and as a result I spent six hours in the hospital. The hospital staff, including the doctors, nurses, X-ray technicians, cleaning personnel, etc. were working under horrendous conditions, all the while having to do their work wearing masks, gowns, gloves, you name it.

They put their lives at risk every day and have been doing so for the past 18 months.

The demonstration/protest in front of the hospital on Wednesday was absolutely wrong, wrong, wrong, as was the similar protest in front of Vancouver General Hospital.

Instead of demonstrating, those protesters should have been thanking all those hard-working people inside the hospital for the essential services they provide. I am absolutely horrified and ashamed of their conduct and hope they someday look themselves in the mirror and reconsider their actions.

In closing, while I support the right to peaceful protest, if these people feel the need to protest, they should protest in front of the institutions that make the laws, not the hospital where the staff inside are doing their very best to help those who need it, be they vaccinated or not.

E.R. (Ted) Grimwood, Kelowna

Liberals have best plan for climate change

Dear Editor:

There appears to be a broad consensus that climate change is a pressing issue in this election. What has happened this summer, and indeed in four out of the last five summers is, in all likelihood, a taste of things to come.

This will be bad for business, the tourism industry and the film industry, which has been touted as a potential growth industry in Kelowna.

A recent study by Professor Mark Jaccard of Simon Fraser University looked at the plans of the four main parties, including the economic cost of implementing the plan, how effective that plan would be in reducing emissions and then rated the plans overall.

The study concluded that the Liberal have the most effective and affordable plan. The Conservative plan was “possibly effective and affordable,” the Green Party “somewhat effective and very costly” and the NDP plan “largely ineffective and very costly”.

Overall out of 10 the Liberals scored 8, The Conservatives 5, the Greens 4 and the NDP 2.

It is worth remembering a few months ago the Conservative Party could not even agree that climate change was an issue and the party position on guns keeps changing.

So there is a good and valid reason skeptical about whether they will, if elected, actually do what they say.

Andrew Weaver, an accomplished climate change academic and former leader of the BC Green Party said the Liberal climate policy was “bold and thoughtful.” He was silent on the Green Party policy but is on record as having doubts about the party’s highly theoretical and unrealistic approach.

Thomas Mulcair, the former leader of the NDP, described the Liberal plan as “marvellous.”

One important point Jaccard makes is, “It's misleading to tell Canadians we can magically eliminate 50 per cent and more of our GHG emissions in just nine years, without enormous cost and disruption. The NDP score even lower than the Greens on climate sincerity because it is not credible that they would destroy Canadian industries as the means to achieve their target. Even social democratic governments in Scandinavia do not implement the policies the federal NDP are proposing.”

To all progressive minded voters who are concerned about climate change the message is clear. Vote for the Liberals and Tim Krupa in Kelowna-Lake Country.

John Bailey, Kelowna

NDP called pandemic election in B.C.

Dear Editor:

I will not reveal what party I am in favour of but I cannot understand what the politicians in the running think, we the public, are.

It bothers me to hear, for example, Jagmeet Singh, in this Saturday's paper, was criticizing Justin Trudeau for calling a selfish summer election and also during the pandemic.

Didn’t the premier of our province who happens to be of the same party do just that same thing some months earlier.

Maybe he just forgot or was hoping the voters forgot about that. Stop criticizing each other and just tell us what you are going to do — not what one did or didn't do. We all know about that already.

Gloria Basham, Peachland

Liberals more serious about climate change

Dear Editor:

With the extreme weather this summer as manifest by temperatures in the 40s, widespread wildfires, droughts in the prairies, more frequent and severe hurricanes, and other extreme weather events worldwide, it is not difficult for any layman to agree with the climate scientists that we are indeed in the grips of serious worldwide climate change.

It is therefore discouraging to see that the Conservative Party of Canada at a recent convention could not endorse a resolution that climate change is real. Climate change is indeed the most serious issue of our times, and it is therefore prudent to examine the climate policies of the two main parties in this election and how they propose to tackle the issue.

Most economists agree some form of carbon pricing is a viable approach. The purpose is to gradually raise the price of fossil fuels to encourage a shift to renewable energy, whether on our next car purchase of an electric vehicle, to heat our homes wherever possible with a heat pump or for industry to improve their energy efficiency.

The Liberals have a significant escalating price on carbon, which will be offset with a direct refund to the consumer, resulting in a near net zero cost to the consumer.

The escalating price of the fossil fuel is still there, visible as an incentive to switch.

The Conservatives, on the other hand, propose a very small increase in the price of carbon but want to implement something along the lines of a loyalty program, whereby the more fossil fuels you buy, the more loyalty points you earn, ostensibly to spend on something green — in essence you’re encouraged to spend more on fossil fuels and put more carbon into the atmosphere, quite the opposite of what is needed.

The Liberals also propose a continued cash incentive for buying EVs and a phasing out of all new internal combustion engine (ICE) sales by 2035, a timeline that coincides with many car manufacturers phasing out of ICEs altogether.

The Conservatives on the other hand propose only a 30% EV sales target by 2030.

The Liberals, but not the Conservatives, have committed to installing a large EV charging network.

It should be mentioned that in the process of moving to renewable energy, new jobs are being created that replace those in the fossil fuel sector. Renewables are not a job killer.

The Conservative approach is not nearly ambitious enough and will not prevent temperatures from rising less than 1.5-2.0 C, a target that the global community has committed to.

Many other issues in this election also need addressing, but to me the existential issue of our times is climate change. The world is being adversely altered by it to the detriment of our children’s and grandchildren’s generations, so to me the only party that has a reasonable program to address it is the Liberal Party of Canada.

Jan Conradi, Kelowna

Classrooms put teachers, students at risk

Dear Editor:

Okanagan College and all other institutions must allow educators the right to protect themselves and their families. Cases in Kelowna are worse than last year during the current outbreak yet educators are being forced to teach in classrooms instead of online. This is inexcusable and unethical.

By current provincial health officer orders, vaccination passports are required in OC campus residences and certain areas on campus — yet classrooms are considered exempt from this order.

Some classrooms are too small and poorly ventilated and do not allow for physical distancing, meaning the virus will easily spread. This goes against public health guidelines and will put educators, students, and their families at great risk.

This is wrong and must be rectified immediately.

Tracey Davis, Kelowna

Cast ballot strategically in Kelowna

Dear Editor:

In the current election, in every riding, there are evident losers — candidates who definitely will not win the election — and there are potential winners — candidates who might win the election.

Strategic voters ignore the evident losers and vote for one of the potential winners.

If everyone votes strategically, the winner is preferred by a majority to every other candidate.

In this sense, the result is democratic. But, if many people vote for the evident losers, it may not be. I like strategic voting because it produces a democratic result.

The naming of Thunder Bay provides an example of what can go wrong. The city was created in 1970, and the name was chosen in an election with three options – Thunder Bay, Lakehead, and The Lakehead. Thunder Bay got 40% of the vote, Lakehead 39%, and The Lakehead 21%. No doubt the people who voted for the evident loser, The Lakehead, preferred Lakehead to Thunder Bay, so the result was undemocratic.

Something similar may have happened in Kelowna-Lake Country in the 2019 election. The Conservative and Liberal candidates were the potential winners, and the NDP, Green, and PPC candidates the evident losers.

The Conservative candidate, Tracy Gray, won with 46% of the vote, ahead of the Liberal candidate with 33%.

The evident losers got 21% — 12% NDP, 7% Green, and 2% PPC. Had the people who voted NDP and Green instead voted Liberal, the Liberal candidate would have won.

We will never know whether the outcome of that election really was undemocratic. That depends on what the second choices of the people who voted NDP, Green and PPC were.

However, it seems unlikely that NDP and Green voters wanted an MP like Gray, who voted against the extension of Medical Assistance in Dying (Bill C-7), against banning conversion therapy (Bill C-6), against endorsing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Bill C-15), who only recently came to the view that climate change is real and caused by human activity, and who has done nothing to encourage people in our community to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

In this election, the situation in Kelowna-Lake Country is much the same. There are three evident losers and two potential winners, Tim Krupa and Gray. I urge you to vote for the potential winner who best represents your views.

In politics, it is only right that we let each other know where we stand. I will vote for Krupa.

Curtis Eaton, Kelowna

Protest was about rights, not vaccines

Dear Editor:

I read your Friday, Sept. 3 paper, and was surprised by all of the letters and articles about health passports, protests, and "anti-vaxxers.”

Considering the number of people involved in the protests in Kelowna, as well as all over Canada, I have to wonder why no one from the “ignorant” rebels had anything to say?

As a nurse and the mother of nurses, I would like to fill in a few blanks.

First, many of the protesters were, vaccinated. Many more were not against vaccines. And you may be surprised to know that in many cases, nurses are organizing these protests. Having them near hospitals made it possible for them  to join in, during their breaks. 

Why would educated and vaccinated people be protesting? I have a copy of Canada's Charter of Rights and am familiar with the Nuremberg code. 

I’ve had all of my vaccines and so have my children, voluntarily. The problem is mandating that anyone must take an experimental or unproven immunization, in order to pursue life, liberty or happiness, violates both of these documents. 

Is no one else concerned that we’re willing to violate Canadian and international law, because of a virus that is 98% survivable or that we’re prepared to demonize a huge group of people, including nurses, doctors, immunologists, and scientists.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there will be no exemptions. Does anyone else have questions about this? 

Valerie Garding, Lake Country

Unvaccinated are victims of hatred

Dear Editor:

I am becoming dismayed at recent letters to the editor that spew venom at those who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19.

These writers advocate cutting off all medical care and even starving these recalcitrants to death. Their compassion is stunning.

If we choose to go that route, then we need to add the following people to the list.

— All smokers, drinkers and the obese, as they have many more health issues than the rest of us self-righteous taxpayers

— All those who participate in risky activities such as skiing and riding on motorcycles. Let them pay for their own self-inflicted  injuries

As for addicts, no more rehab. The homeless ones should be rounded up and placed in internment camps to live on bread and water.

Why should the taxpayers fund their needles, needle pickup, safe injections sites, Naxolone, housing and meals?

Maybe we should mandate that all family physicians re-evaluate all their patients yearly to see if they still deserve health care.

If this is the path we want to take, shame on us!

Lynne Greig, Kelowna

Anti-vaxxers don’t care who they may harm

Dear Editor:

Kelowna, a lovely city in a beautiful part of our province, is coming under considerable national scrutiny, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to throw curve balls at us.

Considering the instability of the health situation, and the prolonged state of uncertainty and disruption in which too many Canadians find themselves due to the viral pandemic, I am puzzled by the rationale of anti-vaxxers.

While they vehemently maintain their rights to deny public health orders and common sense protocols, they seem to have completely missed the universal point that individual rights must be balanced by responsibility to others.

Do they realize, or care, that with their intransigent refusal to wear masks and be vaccinated, they are putting many fellow citizens at serious risk of hospitalization, long-term ill health, or death?

Not to mention the risk to others requiring life-saving hospital care, who will not receive it because of the rising numbers of anti-vaxxers who are contracting COVID-19 and requiring emergency and ICU care.

From their study of their rights to not conform to provincial health regulations, they must also know that the rights of the few must not impinge upon the rights of the majority, in particular to safety and health.

D. Hanson, Kimberley