Letters: Bully ruins week

Readers recall story of bully at City Hall and weigh in on changes to Canadian military ranks

Bully ruins week

Its been refreshing of sorts lately when reading the letters to the editor of this paper, as there seems to be a lot of positives arriving in some of them.

Having said this, I must share an experience that I encountered this past Friday at City Hall here in Penticton.

While inside I witnessed an event of sorts just around 11 a.m. involving a grey-haired man (I was going to use gentleman however not so much) who thrust a very poorly judged display of rudeness towards a defenseless city employee behind the front counter.

To said fellow in question: if your reading this letter, I would like to ask you a few very simple questions.

How would you like it if someone acted out in the behavior that you acted as such to your daughter or a loved one of yours?

As a person who has worked in the customer service industry for some 20 years I must say your display goes over the top for sure.

To you and others like you, a simple suggestion, before verbally attacking the unassuming front line staff, ask for a manager prior to laying on your bully-like  mentality that surely would be embarrassing for all whom are associated with you in any form.

What honestly gave you the right to do as you did?

I’m quite sure you ruined this totally professional city employee’s day if not week.

A great start I’m sure, is that what you were looking for? If so great mission accomplished, I guess.

As well a disclaimer of sorts, I’m not the husband, fellow employee, or relation of the verbally attacked young lady that you so victimized this past Friday.

Looking forward to a rebuttal with a signed name so everyone you call a friend or family member can be proud of you and your actions!

Kyle Sunderman



Proposed boycott nonsense

The idea of boycotting the Olympic Games in Sochi Russia, because  Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says he has a problem with gays, is nonsense.

Pope Francis, who is non-judgemental on the subject could hear President Putin’s confession and maybe lighten him up a bit.

Who knows if Putin or the Pope are gay or straight.

Who cares, it’s nobody’s business.

Don’t ask and don’t tell.

This is what the Olympic  Sochi-bound athletes should do and focus on the sport  and bring home a ton of medals.

Joe Schwarz



Laissez-faire approach fine for pot

(re: A little pot in pocket should be fine, Letters, Western News, Aug. 16)

I agree with the lady from Lantzville.

I have read the document of the little six-year-old whom was given pot to stop her seizures.

My opinion is that I believe this plant is not much different from most plants we inhale such as tobacco and natural medicines from the ground it grows in.

I believe pot will not hurt a human if taken cautiously although I do not smoke tobacco or pot.

I have resided in apartments where I have smelled the stinky stuff and it did not agree with my respiratory system.

So people, go ahead and do what you have to do, after all it is a free world.

Vivian Clark



Carriage horses just fine

(re: Carriage rides a nuisance, Letters, Western News, Aug. 2)

In her letter, Ms. Berg complains about the poor horse, or living creature, to haul a heavy load back and forth along a burning street in sweltering 30 – 40 C weather.

She obviously knows nothing about early Canadian history in the late 1800s, early 1900s.

Back then, if she knew anything about farming, she would know that the farmers used horses, pulling heavy implements to break the hard packed prairie soil.

The implements included discs, plows, harrows and other machinery used to break up the land.

How did she think the land got broken so farmers could plant their crops?

Did she think they broke the land by pick and shovel?

The next time she sees the horse pulling the carriage, Ms. Berg should take a good look at the animal’s feet and its overall size.

I’ll bet the animal is very well looked after at day’s end.  If there is something to gripe about, maybe she should think about the horses that have to be put down at the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races because the horse breaks a leg.

Now that’s a sport that should be banned.

Pat Schramm



Changes to uniform and insignia a matter of ego



The federal government’s recent changes to the rank structure and the rank insignia on the uniforms of the Canadian Army, has caused some debate.


The arguments for the changes are:

– A change in rank insignia and uniform colour restores the honour and pride of Canada’s  military past and improves the quality of training in the Canadian military.

– A change in the rank insignia will change and (thereby) improve the criteria used to promote potentially eligible candidates.

In 1992, when I joined the military, I saw the distinctive environment uniforms (or best dress uniforms) for air force personnel was light blue, the navy had navy blue uniforms and army personnel had dark green uniforms. The difference in colours was/is pretty distinct.

Combat uniforms, are a different story. For shipboard navy personnel, navy blue is a practical colour for camouflage.

If a ship is sunk and personnel are in the water, navy blue makes them less visible to enemy ships.

But how much ship versus ship combat are we going to see?

The last time we saw such combat was in the First World War.

As for the air force, there is a practical need for air combat personnel to wear camouflage.

Aircrew may find themselves downed in countries which may or may not be signatories to the Geneva Conventions or not adhere to, or even know, what the Geneva Conventions are.

For similar reasons, it goes without saying the combat uniform of the army must be of some camouflage pattern.

In fact, former Prime Minister Trudeau was ahead of his time. Since the early 1990s, the trend has been for NATO to standardize the equipment (including combat uniforms) of its member nations.

As for a change in the rank insignia and colour of the uniforms causing an improvement in the sense of pride and honour — are you serious? No changes made by Trudeau or Harper has done or may do, will change Canada’s military past.

As to whether one views with honour or pride (or not) Canada’s military past — this is entirely subjective and personal.

Now to the heart of the issue, namely, the quality of training and the nature of promotion in the Canadian military.

What happened was, members of the federal government at the time (the 1960s) looked at the composition of Canada’s military, especially its senior ranks, and noticed a disproportionate number of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant English-speaking males in these positions.

What they did was in effect, introduce an equal opportunity employment and promotion program to the military.

Training was improved to encourage and enable persons whose skin was a colour other than white, women, French-speakers and those for whom English was a second language, those whose religion was either Catholic, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim or other, and those whose culture was different from the traditional Canadian ones.

Heaven forbid if the Canadian military was to reflect the society it served.

I was in the Canadian military (not continuously) for 14 years.

I got out in 2010.

During the whole time, a person was promoted on the basis of a number of criteria: 1) time served, 2) skills, knowledge, competence, aptitude, ability and 3) recommendation from a review panel submitted to the commanding officer.

I’m sure this process has existed unbroken in one form or another in the Canadian military, dating back to at least the 1920s.

The significant change in the uniform rank insignia is the recent removal of the maple leaf from the sub ranks within the rank of General (army).

Within the rank of general, there are the sub ranks of brigadier (General), major (General), lieutenant (General) and (full) general. The U.S. army uses stars (e.g. four-star generals).

The U.K. army traditionally uses these square diamond-shaped things called “pips.” Canada finally came into its own in the 1960s when it used the symbol that has come to be seen as uniquely Canadian for some of its ranks — the maple leaf.

Why would Mr. Harper do something so regressive, financially wasteful, politically hazardous to his government and something seen as degrading to a majority of Canadians who have no particular love for the U.K. and its monarchy?

There are a number of reasons. One is our Little Napoleon in Ottawa’s (i.e. Mr. Harper) ego.

He wants to leave his stamp on Canada for years to come. Also, Harper unquestionably has a fetish for the British Empire, its (and Canada’s) colonial past, the British monarchy and all things military (and not in a good way.)

Just as Richard Nixon had a pathological paranoia toward the Kennedys, so too Stephen Harper has a pathological paranoia toward Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Harper just had to undo what P.E.T. did. Shows you what a petty, pathetic little man Harper is.

Although I am not a fan of the federal Liberals, I would consider it poetic justice if Mr. Harper’s pathological paranoia were to turn on him and bite him in the ass whereby his nemesis, Justin Trudeau (Pierre’s son), were to soundly defeat him in the 2015 election.

Paul Demetrick