Letters to the Editor: October 16

Chamber politically impartial; Canal Flats; TPP again

Politically impartial

Re: “Ugly Stain” letter in October 15 edition of The Daily Townsman

As the President of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce I am deeply offended by Mr. Warner’s assertion that our organization would engage in partisan politics.

To be clear; by design, statute, and practice the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce is politically impartial.

We have a very comprehensive Conflict of Interest policy for staff and directors, and I can confidently state that Mr. Gallyamov has not violated the spirt or intent of this policy.

I can assure you the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce had no part what so ever in the drafting or distribution of Mr. Gallyamov’s letter.

The comments reflect his own personal views, which he is as entitled to express as any other individual.

Surely Mr. Warner, a former member of the media, is not questioning an individual’s right to free speech simply because they happen to be a volunteer director of an organization or association!

The Chamber encourages all Canadians to be actively engaged in the democratic process. Please vote on October 19, regardless of your personal political affiliation!

Dave Struthers, President, Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce 2015

Tabloid fare

The baseless accusations  of ex-journalist Gerry Warner are more suited for tabloid paper considering the record during his tenure on the City Council was as dismal as Mr. Stetski’s.

Hand in hand they trotted down the merry path to massive tax hikes and frivolous spending.

The fired Mayor’s blatant disregard for the business community is the reason I wanted to get involved. Mr. Warner’s giddy, baseless attack on me, frivolously linked back to the Chamber, is not surprising considering his ex-journalist status.

I stand behind my statements as they are a true reflection of the state of Cranbrook’s affairs when Mr. Warner and Mr. Stetski were voted out of office.

I think its past time for Mr. Warner to put down his tabloid pen.

Igor Gallyamov, Cranbrook

Canal Flats

On Wednesday, David Wilks made a statement defending his record as an MP, and his handling of the Canal Flats mill closure. In his letter, he claimed that I have misrepresented his 4.5 years as MP, that I have attacked him personally, and made unfounded accusations about him.

I am happy to restate exactly what I said about his response to the closure of the mill in Canal Flats. I said that when it was announced that Canfor was closing this operation, a serious blow to the village of Canal Flats, and significant loss of employment in the region, the first thing that I would have done as MP would be to pick up the phone and call the Mayor to show my support for the community.

Mr. Wilks has yet to contact Mayor Juras to talk to her about the mill closing. He has not indicated to her any action that he has taken to support the community, nor has he expressed sympathy with the community’s plight.

In contrast, the first thing I did when I heard that news was to call Mayor Juras, because I believe that Kootenay politicians need to work together and support each other.

In his letter, Mr. Wilks claimed that he has handled every request for assistance that his office has received efficiently and without delay. I say that the voters of Kootenay Columbia will be the judge of that.

I stand by my words. And I promise, unreservedly, that I will be the kind of Member of Parliament who picks up the phone, who is present in the community in good times and bad, and who supports political leadership in every community.

On October 19th, voters in Kootenay Columbia have a clear choice to make. Do they want 4 more years of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, or are they ready for change?

Wayne Stetski, NDP Candidate for Kootenay Columbia

TPP again

Of course Canada is a trading nation and depends on exports to support its economy. Of course Canada must negotiate international trade agreements. Those points were never in dispute, Mr. Abbott.

Where you and I seem to differ is whether the agreements should be fair and of overall benefit to the future economy of Canada, and whether our decisions should be based on facts rather than misinformation.

I also fully understand the importance of the Elk Valley coal industry, having worked very hard on the plan to ensure our local coal industry can co-exist with clean water, healthy fish populations and thriving aquatic ecosystems.

The recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership may be a “giant benefit” to Canada as you claim. But neither I nor other Canadians can make an informed assessment without knowing exactly what this latest trade agreement entails.

All the more reason for the Conservative government to release the full details of the TPP before we go to the polls on Monday.

Do you expect us to buy a pig in a poke?

Bill Green, Green Party Candidate, Kootenay Columbia