Donation inspired by Taylor column

Dear Editor:

Re: “The gift of life for someone unknown,” column (July 3).

On Tuesday, I made my First Plasma donation at the Canadian Blood Services clinic in Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna.

A truly enjoyable experience from the wonderful volunteer greeting me to the staff/personnel attending to the necessary steps in a quick and efficient manner.

Having donated whole blood many years ago (135 times), I was a bit apprehensive in starting up again at my age (76), but was relieved to be given the green light and all went well.

Donating plasma is so very important, please make it a part of your “being kind” mantra as we go forward AC (After COVID).

Full credit goes to Jim Taylor for his July 3 column about his wife and donating plasma for the first time.

Jim Taylor was my inspiration for doing so and I thank him so very much for writing this timely column when I truly needed to give back to someone (or two or three) in need of this life giving substance. 

Jean Farina, West Kelowna

 Confessions and the media

Dear Editor:

Few professions have such a great influence on society as journalists. They lead how people interpret events. They are fundamental in a free and pluralistic society.

They must respect human dignity: “never saying or writing anything which you know in the depths of your hearts to be untrue or a half truth” (Pope Francis.)

Respect for human dignity is so important in the media. Criticism is legitimate and necessary; like denouncing evil, but it must always be done with respect for others and for their truth. Good journalism is a factor for the common good; not using a language or half truths that stir up the fire of divisions among people but instead encourages the culture of unity and bridge building, reminding us daily that there is no conflict that cannot be resolved by men and women of good will.

The media faces four pitfalls.

1. Disinformation. They publish part of things. This leads the reader to form an incorrect judgement about reality, only reading a biased part of the facts.

2. The second danger/pitfall is slander of other peoples reputation. Slander as the Barber of Saville has it is not a gentle breeze, it is a hurricane and leaves behind it destroyed reputations.

3. Defamation. People may have made mistakes in the past, then they may have asked for forgiveness, their behaviours may now be different. The danger is that the media in order to stamp their authority and to control the public discussion bring up the past again and again in new ways and that is defamation.

4. Wallowing and in the most brutal, voyeuristic stories. This is very sad, ugly, unpleasant and disagreeable. We are used to this in the media.

In my view, journalists must protect the dignity of persons and discuss what has happened without sullying it and distorting it. Journalists must confess their owns sins before they will treat other people with dignity.

Fr. Harry Clarke, Penticton

Councils always cater to cars

Dear Editor:

Does anyone want to have an actual conversation about transportation costs and safety?

By virtue of the letters in this paper, it sure doesn’t seem like it. Hot takes abound — the bike lanes are expensive and are not “safe” as people will die.

Just a quick reminder: people are dying crossing the street downtown now and nothing is being done. The solutions are known: fewer cars, slower speeds of said cars, and better and safer crossings.

Start with this basic idea: if there were no cars, no one would die these senseless deaths. A bike lane will transfer car trips to bike ones. In 2021, drivers killed one pedestrian at Nanaimo and Winnipeg, put another in critical condition on Main Street, and left a third on the asphalt after putting the pedestrian right over the hood of their car.

I’m sure almost all drivers go 30 kilometres per hour or less downtown, it’s just when I took a radar gun to Main Street just south of Eckhardt and took the speeds of 15 cars, there were precisely zero that did.

$5 million in taxpayer funds to remake an intersection on Galt Street. $1 million to park 20 private cars on the old Greyhound lot. Under-collected revenues for parking cost millions annually.

Demolishing housing for parking at the SOEC in the middle of a housing crisis. These things are totally fine. It’s not expensive if it’s for cars.

Property tax assessment infographics say we spend 20% more covering the costs of a 5,000-seat hockey arena than a baseline service like public transit. Surely the band Foreigner showing up once a quadrennial will more than make up for it in economic impact though.

It’s not like it’s 45 degrees out for multiple days in a row or forests are burning out of control or anything. Carry on.

We could have safety and fairness. Instead, we largely socialize parking and road consumption, grossly-underfund public transit, limit funds for sidewalks, and bundle parking costs with the costs of other goods.

So, people who don’t have cars pay more for rent and groceries.

The NIMBY lot frequently weaponize the OCP to keep more badly-needed housing from being built. This same colourful document prioritizes transportation investments to sidewalks, bike infrastructure, and public transit above private vehicles.

Thank you to this council for having the guts to carry it out.

Matthew Hopkins, Penticton

Trudeau is in pre-election mode

Dear Editor:

There is no doubt that Justin Trudeau plans on calling an election in the very near future.

As evidence, look at his recent promises to continue to borrow and spend in an effort to buy votes. Sadly, too many Canadians either don’t care or lack the intelligence to understand that all this debt will catch up with us down the road. Trudeau has offered no explanation or plan on how to fund all the “free” stuff that he is offering in exchange for votes.

He extended CERB into September which has hurt the reopening of businesses who now have to compete with the government trying to lure manpower from government-paid summer time off, but it surely bought some votes at taxpayer expense.

There is to be a $500 cheque/ bribe this August for every Canadian who will turn 75 by next July in an attempt to buy the senior vote.

To buy votes of the younger generation, Trudeau has promised to borrow and spend $30 billion over the next five years to fund $10-a-day childcare and then $9.2 billion per year going forward for this expensive program.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, look for more costly promises with each passing day as he jets across the country in pre-election mode.

Not to mention the burning of all that jet fuel is more than a bit hypocritical coming from a self- proclaimed leader of the fight against climate change.

His COVID updates were delivered via televised press

conferences, but now to hold onto power polluting via a taxpayer paid private jet is acceptable to him if it garners a few more votes.

At some point there will have to be massive tax increases and new taxes created to address this debt. He has already mentioned a tax to the seller when a home is sold. That won’t help with making home ownership more affordable and it will affect retirees selling their homes to downsize and fund their retirement, the family home is the largest asset of the vast majority of working families.

If Canada is to have a viable financial future, we need a leader who acts financially responsible and doesn’t think that the budget will balance itself as Trudeau has previously stated. We don’t need a leader who is willing to mortgage the future of the young and yet unborn generations in order to buy votes to satisfy his lust for power.

Beware of anyone who offers everything for free, you wouldn’t believe a door to door salesman or a telemarketer who made such offers of “free” wares so take time to assess the offers before committing to them or for supporting them with your vote. Free things always have strings attached.

Guy Bissonnette, Lake Country

Is Parliament supreme?

Dear Editor:

On June 21, a senior public servant was called to the bar in the House of Commons and was admonished by the Speaker for not releasing documents pursuant to a Parliamentary motion passed by the House.

The president of Public Health Agency of Canada, Iain Stewart refused to produce documents on the dismissal of two researchers from Winnipeg’s high security National Microbiology Laboratory. Stewart cited legal advice from the Justice department that disclosure to Parliamentarians who do not have the appropriate security clearance, could imperil national security and therefore he refused to hand over documents.

According to the Speaker, the Parliamentary motion take precedent; the courts have been asked to decide.

The unmentioned problem is that Conservatives on the Canada-China Relations committee continue to pursue the Wuhan-Lab conspiracy and doggedly follow the American lead, pointing  accusing fingers at China for hiding the severity of the virus outbreak in the early days.

This anti-China narrative of unproven allegations was initiated and pushed by the former Trump administration, partly based on the April 2020 U.S. intelligence statement on to origins of COVID-19, which said it was not manmade, nor was it genetically modified, — nor did it have any direct evidence, only three speculative hypothesis of events. This ambiguity conflated with Trump’s toxic-mix of lies, built up a public opinion campaign designed to blame China and distract from his own failure at leadership during the pandemic.

The motions request information about two federal scientists escorted from the Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg in July 2019 for national security reasons. Stewart said that “the firings had nothing to do with COVID-19, nor did the virus transfer with China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.” No charges were ever laid and the two have been released, but the RCMP continue to investigate.      

If there had been greater goodwill on the Canada-China Relations committee things may have been different. Now the two branches of government find themselves in court.

But regardless of this partisan predicament, I think Canadians can take some pride in the fact that our Parliament is standing up for what it believes, and that our public servant has the courage and conviction to stand before Parliament and defend his right to refuse.

Pretty good when you consider that in many places around the world democracy is under attack.

Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna