Letter to the editor: Thrift Shop donations

Letter to the editor: Thrift Shop donations

Thrift Shop Donations

Dear Editor,

I was made aware a couple of weeks ago that donations to the Kimberley Thrift Shop have seriously been decreasing. It’s taken me a long time to get my thoughts on paper but the citizens of Kimberley have every right to know what’s going on.

I have noticed at least three Diabetes Canada donation bins around Kimberley and today I saw one in Cranbrook and I am sure there are more that I haven’t seen.

Having run a national disabled sports office for 27 years I am more than aware of trying to raise funds on a national basis but I don’t believe in coming into small towns asking for donations via steel boxes because Vancouver will not allow these in their city.

Our Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop has just reopened after doing some much needed renovations on the building their volunteers work their hearts out for Kimberley and the Cranbrook hospital. To their dismay, the Diabetes Canada donation boxes have taken a great deal of the clothing donations they would normally get. I volunteered to write this letter for them.

Who allows the boxes to be placed where they are? I am not against raising funds for Diabetes but who made the decision to put the boxes in Kimberley and Cranbrook? Raising funds any way you can is okay to a point but when you know that all the contents of the donation bins go to Value Village and not one cent stays in Kimberley or Cranbrook, what is wrong with this picture?

If some of our citizens do not realize it, please be advised that our Thrift Shop is run by many volunteers only and nobody makes a wage for time spent servicing the shop in many ways. Value Village is a business and pays wages. The Kimberley and Marysville Thrift Shops have given thousands of dollars to our communities each year and very many people who need our Thrift Shops to buy clothes for themselves and their kids are not getting the choices they would normally because of these Diabetes Canada donation bins.

It’s everyone’s choice as to who they give to of course, but small towns don’t have the populations that Vancouver has to give donations to whoever they choose to.

Please think again before you give to a blue steel box that our Thrift Shop also needs your donations for Kimberley and Cranbrook related items and services they donate to but if you donate to Vancouver, know Kimberley and Cranbrook loose out in the end.

Thanks for donating to Kimberley Thrift Shops.

Annie Johnston


Respect and Best Wishes

Hats off to the fans of the Kootenay Ice during what has been a trying year for their beloved WHL franchise. As we all know the continued future of the franchise became clear during the early stages of this season. Once the ownership group finally came clean on their pending move many Ice fans had to come to terms with the finality of the Kootenay Ice in the WHL.

The fans did this in a most respectful manner toward the players , their families and the billet families. Volunteers did not abandon ship and continued their duties under trying circumstances out of respect for the players.

On Sunday afternoon it was evident during the game the respect the fans had for the players. The players returned that respect with a spirited effort. The player’s salute to the fans at the end of the game was emotional and sincere! It was evident the players enjoyed their time in Cranbrook and will have lasting memories of their time here.

It was one last chance for the players and the fans to come together and enjoy each other. The good people of Cranbrook and area will now move forward knowing they were good hosts for many fine players who donned the Kootenay Ice uniform. Great memories were formed over twenty one seasons . That will continue on in the hearts of many players and fans over the years in Cranbrook.

To the players on this Ice team, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, thanks for entertaining us. You have been great ambassadors for Cranbrook and area.

John Hudak


Kootenay East Constituents,

I am responding to Agriculture Minister Lana Popham’s explanation, from her base in Victoria, as to why the Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act 2019 (Bill 15) is so good for us here in the Kootenays.

It’s probably important to explain to the NDP that we have a very different geography, soil type and growing season than the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island.

The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), created by the NDP in the early 1970’s, was done hastily in our region. Lines were drawn at the foot of the Rocky and the Purcell Mountains and everything inside those lines was put into the ALR. The idea was to protect land that was good for agriculture – something we all agree on.

Much of the land inside the ALR boundaries is not fit for agriculture here in the Kootenays. Ranchers and rural home owners have had to apply to the regional Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to use land that is very often not suitable for agriculture. The BC Liberals made improvements in their last term of government, but those improvements were just tossed aside by the NDP.

The previous government created local panels to make decisions. The NDP fired those local volunteers, reduced local input and relegated decision-making to Burnaby, a far cry from my constituency.

Previously, a land owner could apply for “non-farm” use on their land, or for a subdivision or an exclusion from the ALR. The process wasn’t cheap and it wasn’t easy, but at least there was a process for residents to apply.

If Bill 15 is passed, land owners inside the ALR no longer have the right to apply for changes to their land. The changes in Bill 15 redefine the term “person,” making local governments, First Nations or the Province the only ones allowed to apply for changes in the ALR. Farmers, and land owners, no longer have the right to advocate for themselves or their land. So much for the NDP being the party of the people. An attack on the basic rights of land ownership is something I would expect in communist Russia, not British Columbia.

The fact of the matter is that much of the land inside the ALR in the Kootenays is rocky, has thin and poor quality soil and virtually non-existent water for irrigation. For that type of land, given our short growing season, a land owner ought to be able to apply to use the land in a way that will help their family and sustain the agriculture that can grow on it. The NDP have removed the right to even apply.

Let’s be clear. We all want food security for the Province and we all want to protect our agriculture and the productive land that sustains it. However I am not talking about mega-mansions in Surrey. I am talking about sustainable farms in places like Wycliffe, Newgate, and Grasmere. There is a major difference with our agricultural land here and this NDP government needs to recognize this.

The notion that “one size fits all” across our province underlines exactly how out of touch this NDP government is, and this infringement on personal land rights also begs the question, what will the NDP come for next?

Tom Shypitka

MLA for Kootenay East