Letters to the Editor: October 8

Flowers Galore, and all sorts of commentary on the election campaign

Flowers Galore

Three cheers to the owners and staff at Flowers Galore who gave away 150 dozen roses on Kimberley’s Friendly Day, Oct. 1 Everyone who was lucky enough to give away a dozen as a reminder of their friendship was rewarded with a great feeling! Everyone who wore the shoes of a recipient, was rewarded by an even greater feeling! It was a great day for all.

On behalf of us rewarded people in Kimberley, a sincere thank you to Sue and Paddy. A wonderful way to promote Kimberley’s friendliness.

Myra Farquhar, Kimberley

David Wilks’ efforts

I am writing this letter on behalf of my father, John Parnell, who served the province of B.C. as an RCMP officer for more than 33 years. During his service he was hit by a car on duty, resulting in injuries that would lead to quadriplegia and ventilator dependence; to our knowledge the only case of a ventilator dependent quadriplegic that the Department of Veterans Affairs has had to help.

When we encountered seemingly unsurmountable difficulties accessing special equipment not normally dealt with by DVA, we turned to the Honorable Mr. Wilks.

He met personally with with my Dad and our family, did up a presentation for the Honorable Minister for Veterans Affairs Erin O’Toole, and advocated strongly and efficiently for Dad.

The result was action within a few days, and Dad is now in the process of getting critically needed support and equipment.

Not the first time we have had to ask for his help; he assisted us two years ago when we were trying to help one of our live-in nursing staff get a work permit during the Foreign Service Officers’ strike.

Much of what Mr. Wilks does to advocate for veterans is protected by privacy laws, but we wanted to publicly acknowledge his exceptional kindness and common sense, solutions-based approach to this complex issue, and we are forever grateful.

Dr. Tracey A. Parnell, for John and Roberta Parnell

Help him out

The good news is that, if he does not regain complete control, he will quit. We should help him do that!

While dismissing his opponents as “inexperienced” and “not ready,” Mr. Harper points proudly to his government’s performance and invites us to stay the course. But, of course, that performance has been disappointing to say the least … certainly nothing to brag about. And Mr. Harper must be painfully aware of that. Why else would he be so intent on erasing certain records by destroying information, deliberately deleting vital data, closing websites and shutting down scores of research stations, all of which contained heavy ammunition for his critics? It appears that many chunks of history have been removed — expunged! — and that researchers are now facing a blank where vital information once stood.

Of all the legislation passed by the Harper Government in the last 10 years, much of it smuggled through under cover of those abominable Omnibus bills, none seemed to be aimed at benefitting the average Canadian. Rather, it seemed intended to increase restrictions on the general population while relaxing, even removing, restrictions on big business.

Unfortunately, Mr. Harper is not happy with Democracy and freedom of speech; he detests the Canadian “welfare” state and derides our system of Governance (but is quick to take advantage of its shortcomings). He resents having to choose his ministers from among the elected MPs, as opposed to the American system which he, apparently, admires. He is quite prepared to defy Parliament and even tangle with the Supreme Court. Altogether, not an ideal fit for the job!

Of course, there are many fine and caring members in the present government but it is the Harper Government and Mr. Harper is scary. He has done serious damage to Canada and must not be allowed to do more.

Bud Abbott, Cranbrook

25,000 jobs

The Conservative Government has negotiated a Trans Pacific Partnership with 11 nations. The TPP creates a road map that establishes the basis of an international trading network in the Asia-Pacific.

The TPP will open privileged access to 800 million new customers for Canada with nearly $30 trillion economic activity. Considering that 50 per cent of Canada’s national economy comes from trade, the TPP is a gigantic achievement by the Conservative Government.

Leading up to the agreement the NDP strongly opposed Canada’s participation in the TPP negotiations. Before getting details of the treaty, Thomas Mulcair threatened to renounce any agreement if the NDP form a government after Oct. 19.

The NDP ignores reality. If we don’t partner in the TPP, American or Australian competitors will have tariff advantage over Canada. It could be game over for Canadian exports. Could the NDP political ploy put East Kootenay jobs and communities in peril?

Production of coal in the Elk Valley creates over 25,000 jobs in mining, transport, equipment and other related sectors. Our local economy, our communities, our jobs depend on coal exports.

In 2013, Japan, a charter member of the TPP, imported C$1.5 billion of Canadian coal. Coal generates over $3.2 billion in economic activity in B.C. each year and around $715 million in public revenues for all levels of government services like health care and education.

This election is about the survival of our Kootenay way of life.

The NDP have never formed a national government. Mulcair’s reckless posturing shows us why.

Jim Abbott, Senior Advisor, Re-elect David Wilks MP Committee, Wasa

Government as usual

All political parties play budgetary gamesmanship, as pointed by Tom Fletcher in his Sept. 22 column. When it comes to Government finance, it is really all about “creative financing”, such as running a big enough deficit last year, so they can have a surplus this year. Well, excuse me for being a bit cynical!

So, what are we going to do when we go to vote. The election result is really already decided by the time we go and vote here in the Kootenays, so it doesn’t really matter who we send to Ottawa, because they all have to “tow the party line”.

So here are our choices, do we want to support Steven Harper, Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau or Elisabeth May.

David Wilks was boisterous during the last election how he was NOT going to support a certain issue proposed by the party, and subsequently was called on the carpet and told what to do by Steven Harper’s people. How much of a voice was he for us? His response to Mr. Peter Moody’s letter regarding a dying veteran, who was to be recognized by the Government of Canada, was to hide behind the bureaucracy, making excuses. He could have instead been a good public servant and visit this war hero before he died.

Wayne Stetski was fired as Mayor by the voters of Cranbrook, I don’t know why, because I don’t live there, but I will let you think about that.

Don Johnston does the typical talking points he is given by the party. He points out that we need “a strong voice in Ottawa”, but I am not sure if he will be heard and I don’t know his qualifications to be my representative.

Bill Green is articulate and smart, as shown by every all candidate Q&A and candidate forums. He is a recognized scientist in the fisheries and represents a party that has never had a scandal of any kind. He represents an economic plan which makes sense. The Green Party will not form the government, but Bill Green would be an intelligent and thoughtful representative in the House of Commons.

So, if you are not sure who to vote for, vote for Bill Green and send a message to Ottawa, that we are sick of Government as usual.

Jori Adank, Kimberley

Strategic voting

On Monday there were a couple of Letters to the Editor encouraging us to vote strategically, or not to vote strategically.

I have to admire the principled position of the writer opposed to voting strategically, but he seems to be encouraging us to continue to tilt at windmills. It must be apparent to anyone who has been faithfully voting for the Green party for years that while they may be putting their vote where their true beliefs lie, they don’t have a snowball’s chance in Vegas of actually making any progress with their dreams. Until we have a system of government where all voices have the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process there will continue to be many Canadians who remain unheard.

Proportional Represention would allow all voters to be heard. Both the Liberals and the NDP have indicated intent to pursue such a system, while the Conservatives have shown no interest in anything other than the present system, where fully 60 per cent of the voting public is opposed to a Conservative government. It is in this climate where voting strategically becomes the only way where a future government may make changes which would allow every voter to have a real chance to effect how Canada moves forward.

Basically if I have to temporarily submerge my true Green/Liberal/NDP feelings in order to get a different government in power who will change the way things are done then maybe sometime in my lifetime I might truly feel that my voice can be heard. For this reason, vote strategically.

Roger Granville-Martin, Cranbrook