Letters to the Editor: February 3

Taxes and taxpayers; Site C Dam; Response to letter: Misrepresentation

Taxes

The other day I was returning from the Casino as it was pension cheques at the end of the month time, when I noticed a city sign by Black Bear Bridge, “Smile, you’re here. We’re happy!” Very surprising sign as most tax payers I have talked to are frowning. Water, sewer, garbage increases, tax increases, huge management structure, and major cost overruns like the flume.

Our mayor comments last fall that a $200,000 overrun on flume phase II was’t bad. Our city needs to understand that every tax dollar is vital and should be spent wisely.

I really think the taxpayers need a committee to ensure that our Council and management get the most from our taxes. We need to keep our taxes and costs low to remain competitive in a competitive world.

Michael Jones/Kimberley

Site C Dam

This is in reference to Norm Macdonald’s article in the Kimberley Bulletin of January 15, 2016. I have read Mr. Macdonald’s letter with great interest and I have come to the conclusion that he is on the right track.

Our present B.C. government has been promoting LNG pipelines and projects for a number of years but we have not seen any tangible result. Export of natural gas through th sport of Kitimat or Prince Rupert is a pipe dream and would take many years and million for even billions of dollars to realize.

Site C Dam has been in the news for the last 20 years or more and th opposition to this project has grown year after year. Yet our provincial government is pushing ahead with this insane project. Ranchers, native people, conservationists and people at large are against this mega project which would cost billions of dollars.

But would you know our B.C. Liberal provincial government is totally deaf to this opposition and insists that this is what B.C. needs.

B.C. does not need Site C dam as we have enough electric energy to supply all of the province. Most of th generated power would most likely be exported to the United States and it would be doubtful if we ever get paid for it. We have examples of the opposite.

The area around Site C is a wonderful farming and ranching area with great potential for agriculture and I cannot see why we have to destroy this great area.

Mr. Macdonald mentioned that the money could be spent much better and would create a lot more jobs when we could improve Highway Number One from Alberta to the coast. This would create jobs for many years and it would improve our transportation system throughout the mountains.

However Site C is approved and only a number of committed protesters are in the way for this boondoggle to go ahead.

We hope that somebody sees the light and cancels this insane project.

H. B. Lademann/Kimberley

A myopic reading

A rebuttal to Jennifer Long letter to the editor January 28, 2016

“Long on passion, short on facts.”

Jennifer Long’s myopic reading of our January 15th letter, as expressed in her January 28th response, misses the point.

We had expressed our expectation that Mr. Pratt, as Mayor of Cranbrook, should conduct himself in a manner that is in the best interests of the City.  He affirmed in his Oath of Office that he would “not allow any private interests to influence his conduct in public matters”. This includes partisan and personality preferences.  We said that his public remarks dissing Mr. Stetski following the federal election were injudicious.

We don’t care if they like each other.  We said that it is the duty of mayors to work with elected officials, rather than bemoaning the results of elections and criticizing voters for returning the “wrong” result.  Ms Long proposes the Mayor “work with [MLA] Bill Bennett”.  We agree.  However, it would be a clear demonstration of ideological short-sightedness if this was the extent of what the Mayor was prepared to do for Cranbrook. He must also work with Wayne Stetski.  Each politician has a role to play in relation to the City.  We note that there is federal infrastructure money to be spent soon. Mr. Stetski is the point of contact with the federal government on this.

Ms Long suggests Mr. Stetski is a “lame duck”.  This is incorrect.  The term refers to a politician whose term is ending and who will not seek re-election.  Mr. Stetski is just beginning a four-year term, and every MP elected has a job to do for constituents, regardless of whether his or her party forms government.  As for Ms. Long’s anticipation of different results next time around, predicting the next election is a bit of a challenge, even to someone with her political pedigree.

Finally, Ms Long’s unsubstantiated assertion about Wayne Stetski’s term as mayor is not worth discussion.  Excessive partisanship as expressed by Ms Long produces a real inability to accept political reality.

Joyce Green and Jim Johnson/Cranbrook

Misrepresentation

If a duly elected body or any members of it are found to have acted in a clandestine, non-transparent manner leading the voters to believe one thing while carrying out a very controversial action behind the scenes, is this grounds for recall?

Is telling half-truths a form of sneakiness? Is sneakiness a form of dishonesty? What about lack of integrity and trust?   How about misrepresentation?  Is it deflection to suggest that if the voters, themselves  were not paying enough attention or hadn’t studied the issues clearly and kept abreast of them that it isn’t then the elected officials at all to be held to account, but the voters for their ignorance.

What then about misrepresenting a situation.  According to the dictionary, misrepresentation refers to having given a description of something falsely in an attempt to deceive, or giving someone a false idea about something.  In other words, were people led to believe one thing while something else quite the opposite was occurring?

Hmm …. has this occurred recently in Cranbrook politics?  I will leave you to make those links; draw those conclusions.

So, what can voters do in such circumstances?  Vote the people in question out.  Yes, but how long will that take?   Perhaps we should revisit this notion of recall?   But I shall  leave that to you to ponder.

Melodie Hull/Cranbrook