Letters to the Editor

Letters: Northern Gateway good for Enbridge, not us

Northern Gateway good for Enbridge, not for us

Before the citizens of Kitimat vote on whether or not to approve the Northern Gateway Pipeline (NGP), consider this: the revenue from the pipeline over 30 years would not be enough to fund healthcare and education in B.C. for one hour a year.

That’s right; one hour.

Healthcare and education in B.C. costs $22 billion a year. With increases over 30 years, costs will rise to approximately $675 billion. According to Enbridge’s own figures, the province’s tax revenue generated from the NGP over 30 years will total $1.2 billion. Sounds like a lot of money? It isn’t.

Contrast our healthcare and education costs over 30 years – $675 billion – with the total tax revenue from the Northern Gateway Pipeline over 30 years – $1.2 billion – and we begin to realize the risks just aren’t worth the monetary gain. Are we being sold a bill of goods?

As usual, corporations stand to make billions but B.C. would only get the crumbs from the table.

Currently, much of the crude oil shipped to the U.S. is discounted $10-$40 a barrel. At some point, will the projected 525,000 barrels of oil flowing through the NGP for export overseas be discounted, and will B.C. refineries get that discount?  The pipeline will affect all of B.C. but the impact will be greatest in Kitimat. Yes, the project will create jobs – a projected $4.3 billion in labour-related income over 30 years, or $143 million per year.

This meagre amount of revenue still does not justify the risks of pipeline leaks or tanker accidents fouling the shores.

One accident and the pipeline could end up costing us more than we would ever collect. Enbridge’s track record is not stellar; some 600 leaks and breaks of various sizes over ten years gives one pause to think what could happen over 30 years.

In addition to environmental risks, there are social risks to consider. Will tanker traffic disrupt other industries in B.C., such as fishing or tourism?

Will the cost of living increase in Kitimat? Will taxes rise? Will real estate prices go beyond the reach of minimum-wage earners and families hoping to move into the area?

We can’t be afraid of progress, but is the Northern Gateway pipeline project really progress?

Ultimately, we need to wake up to the fact that natural gas will soon be overtaking oil as the world’s dominant energy source, so will there be a future demand for our oil beyond 2020?

Paul McCavour

Osoyoos

*****

Deer cull waste of money

I, as a taxpayer, did not vote on spending $15,000 to have Penticton deer relocated.

We should not be messing with the natural balance of nature.

I too get the occasional deer in my yard, but that is the beauty of living in the Okanagan. Some people worry too much about having the perfectly manicured yard.

I believe living amongst nature in this area is a lot more important. Taking the deer to the outskirts of the city is not the answer as they will be hunted right away as aboriginals can hunt year round.

It will be like taking them to the slaughterhouse.

Laura Pede

Penticton

*****

No complaints with help from Veteran’s Affairs centre

(re: Treatment of veterans appalling, Letters, Western News, Jan. 31)

I would like to know how many veterans this lady has talked to? She has not talked to me. I am a veteran with 26 years service with a disability. I have been dealing with VAC for some 30 years now and have nothing but praise for the treatment I have received.

I am not saying I agree with all VAC policies or that there are no  issues with the VAC, I have never had any.

I also have not always lived in an area with a VAC office and when the need arose I simply called a 1-800 number and always had the issue dealt with in a satisfactory manner.

In the past 14 years of residing in Penticton I have only had four or five face-to-face meetings with a VAC agent and one was in my home.

When I retired I was issued what is referred to as a K Card which stipulates what disability benefits I am entitled to. Should the need arise for medical treatment, prescriptions, eye glasses or other needs you simply present this card and VAC covers the costs.

There is also a program called the VIP program. Under this program veterans who are unable to maintain their household needs, lawn and other yard work are afforded an allowance to cover these costs.

I am not sure what the issues are with the veterans that were protesting in Ottawa other than what they stated, which was having to travel longer distances to a VAC office.

However, I find it rather odd that some were able to travel from Nova Scotia to Ottawa to protest. From what I have been lead to believe this was financed by the union.

In closing I would like to state that as veteran I am onside with all veterans knowing very well what military life can be for members and their families, however, we must put some effort into receiving and maintaining the benefits afforded us.

Roy Becker

Penticton

*****

Fletcher wrong, editor right

(re: The facts are alarming, Editorial, Western News, Jan. 29)

OK, so I’ve written more than my share of letters recently, but some comment needs to be made about Tim Fletcher’s columns.

We know that both sides of a story have to be told, but anyone who reads Fletcher’s tirades will be reminded of the propaganda that is a prominent feature of any war – and this is a war we are fighting, the war against climate change – and Fletcher is a denier.

Fletcher is the most loose-lipped reporter from our legislature ever. Unless all of our MLAs have become as balmy as he, Fletcher can’t possibly be reporting the news from Victoria. His garbage is an incessant right-wing drivel suited more for the Fraser Institute, and I wouldn’t doubt that he works for them.

The Western News editor was perfectly right in castigating Fletcher for “muddying the waters” in a recent column in which Fletcher took singer Neil Young to task for his outspoken comments about Alberta’s tar sands.

Dr. Schindler who has spent years researching the oil industry in Alberta, agrees with Young’s assessment, and is far and above the best person to know what is happening in that area.  Fletcher is just mouthing the right wing (Liberal?) views of Christie Clark, who would have us believe that she knows best for all of us.

I’m surprised that the Western News editor accepts Fletcher’s columns.  Usually the paper pays the columnist, not the other way around.

Frank Martens

Summerland

*****

Warm and fuzzy thank you

The staff at Valley First Insurance, Cherry Lane Branch, would like to send out a huge thank you to all that donated clothing and supplies to SOWINS during our Warm & Fuzzy campaign that is running from Jan. 1 through Feb. 14.

Without the community’s generous support, the overwhelming success of this year’s fundraiser would not have occurred.

Your donations have gone to a very worthy cause, and are greatly appreciated.

Thank you also to the staff at the Penticton Herald, SunFM and CKOR AM800 for helping us with getting the word out to the community.

The staff at Valley First Insurance

Penticton

 

 

 

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