Letters to the Editor: October 31

Adolf Hitler; CSIS redundancy; Against fluoridation; Mobility scooters; Election 2014.

Adolf Hitler

So some Harry Potter-looking chowderhead decides to attend the Fort Steele Spooktacular dressed as who else but Adolf Hitler. What a downright tasteless and insensitive act, especially this close to Remembrance Day.

What saddens me more is not the fact that today’s youth are glib enough to write off the World War II era as yawnable ancient history — it saddens me more that the jerk who dressed up as Hitler was surrounded by locals who aren’t even giving him a second glance. No shocked facial expressions. No anger.

So, that means it’s socially acceptable in the East Kootenay to act like Keith Moon or Prince Harry and strut around public dressed as a human butcher?

Let’s take the time to remind people that even though we’re a decade and a half into the 21st century, Canadian civic identity still owes much to the lingering echoes of a World War II victory (ask any Dutch senior citizen), and there are many elder locals still alive and well who either served in battle against the Nazi threat or suffered the living hell of living in countries under Nazi occupation. And as long as those locals still draw breath, it is still too soon to attend Halloween parties dressed as a bloody Nazi.

Shame on you, you won — your costume provoked shock and anger and sadness. And shame on you, Friends of Fort Steele: if you’re alright with Adolf Hitler attending the annual Spooktacular (no one seemed too perturbed to challenge him at the entrance gates), then nobody should be offended if I attend next year’s Spooktacular (surrounded by little children) dressed as the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Ferdy Belland/Cranbrook

CSIS Redundant

Prior to the delivery of the report of the MacDonald Commission in 1981, security intelligence in Canada was gathered by the Canada’s national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. For 115 years, including the majority of the Cold War and two world wars, the RCMP handled Canada’s domestic counterintelligence. The RCMP played the Great Game against the KGB and the Nazis, to name its two most spectacular opponents.

Amid allegations of ill-defined inappropriate behaviour in the late 1970s, a commission headed by Mr. Justice MacDonald recommended that the security intelligence activities of the RCMP be transferred to a civilian agency, like the American CIA, and the Security Intelligence Review Committee be created to oversee the new agency. Specifically, this new agency would not have direct arrest authority, as the RCMP has always enjoyed, but would instead have to go through the judicial processes to obtain a warrant.

Foreign intelligence operatives — spies — and terrorists, primarily, in this day an age, radicalized Islam adherents, by their nature (the fact of their existence) break the laws of the country they are active within. Such is their raison d’etre. Former director of the CIA William Colby, in fact, defined the mission of the foreign operatives of the CIA as convincing others to break the laws of their countries. The investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of criminals within Canada is the specific charge of Canada’s police forces, primarily the RCMP. Put briefly, if you break Canada’s laws, you’re going to encounter the police.

The CSIS Act of 1984 created two agencies which impose a tax-burden, by way of funding, on Canadians, CSIS itself and it’s watchdog, the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC). Monies needed to keep CSIS and SIRC functioning are siphoned away from other agencies that need them, such as the RCMP and the military. Further, CSIS has no direct powers of arrest, or of other action. It has to turn to the RCMP and/or the military. The RCMP and/or the military could do the things CSIS asks them to anyway. Finally, the RCMP did the things CSIS now does, against much more capable opponents, for over a hundred years.

Does Canada need an agency which has demonstrated it’s “competency” over the last week, given that it’s duties can and have been done well by others?

Megan Madison/Cranbrook

Against Fluoridation

This letter is in reply to the local dentist and his great concern for the children who drink non-fluoridated water.

As a young adult who has grown up on well water in this area, I have to argue with your point. I feel the most important thing for children’s oral health is for parents, along with their dentists, to teach them how to properly take care of their teeth, making sure they have the proper equipment and techniques to do so.

To say that fluoridated water is the answer to oral health problems is an unrealistic solution. I believe that fluoride was brought in as a cheap quick fix, with no research or testing to properly back it as beneficial. If you believe full heartedly that fluoride is that important to oral health, especially for children, why aren’t you as a caring, concerned local dentist offering free fluoride treatments, instead of forcing people to ingest a drug against their will?

It should be up to us as individuals to decide whether or not we want to ingest fluoride. We choose to buy tooth paste, we choose to see dentists like yourself, why can’t I choose what’s in my water?

Maybe for the first time in over 40 years let’s see what happens when we cease water fluoridation and do some proper testing, not just go with biased observation.

Kaylee Coates/Cranbrook

Mobility Scooters

Tom, in response to your letter Oct. 28, I must have done a poor job of explaining my position on scooters at the last Council meeting.

My concern is that in an aging society like ours there’s going to be more scooters on the streets and sidewalks all the time and we’re going to need to establish some rules of the road.

A scooter doing 15 kph on a sidewalk is a danger to pedestrians and maybe to the senior driving it. The same scooter doing 15 kph on a street is an accident waiting to happen and it won’t be the vehicle driver most likely to be injured or killed. It will be the senior driving it — hence the need for regulations. But, as often is the case, most politicians don’t want to go near such a thorny issue.

Personally, I think scooters should be allowed on both sidewalks and streets, but only with strict regulations covering speed, allowable space to drive on and quite possibly the designation of special scooter lanes. I think seniors would appreciate  this as well as the physically disabled.

I hope this clears up any misunderstandings.

Gerry Warner/Cranbrook

Election 2014

Bravo, Cranbrook!

Having come to Cranbrook 61 years ago, I have never witnessed such interest in a municipal electin. Great! We should therefore have a very interesting election.

My thanks go to the councillors of the past and to the “hopefuls” for the future, for being willing to actively care for the well-being of their fellow citizens.

While giving out kudos, I want to take this opportunity to also extend my gratitude to the great number of volunteers, for so many organizations and cuases in our fair city.

To pass judgement on the past three years, I must say that I am well satisfied with the performance of our mayor Wayne Stetski. He has managed to follow his “bucket list” closely, and has proven his ability to fill his great responsibility for managing the affairs of our city, as well as respresenting the interests of Cranbrook on a provincial level. Appreciate his ready smile also.

With the apparent interest for Council, there could possibility of a completely new, “green” council being elected. In order to not waste some years for the newcomers, it is of the utmost importance to re-elect Mr. Stetski to continue his good work at the helm of our city, and follow up on his many projects in progress.

Karl Schultze/Cranbrook

Election 2014

In Monday’s article in the Bulletin — “McRae responds to McCormick’s economic development strategy” — our current mayor essentially says that Kimberley has been doing its best to move forward. What I see is that each year our taxes go up another five per cent while our roads develop more and more potholes. In my opinion, maintaining the status quo isn’t moving forward, it’s simply running in place.Don McCormick’s economic development strategy provides a solid platform for action on the many urgent issues facing Kimberley. First, Kimberley needs more well-paying jobs. How many new jobs have been created in the last three years?

Second, Kimberley needs new tax money, not tax increases. How much new tax revenue has been raised in the last three years? Third, we must start to succeed in winning more federal and provincial grants. What is the city’s success rate on grant applications?

On Nov.  15  we have a choice — keep on running in place with Ron, or help make Kimberley sustainable. For real action, I am voting Don McCormick.

Jim Boudreau/Kimberley