Letters: Channel cleanup a Coyote responsibility

Writer says local governments should get a cut of the action if they're helping pay for cleanup that will benefit a local business

Channel clean up a Coyote responsibility

(re: Channel trail deal done, Western News, July 5)

A few months ago Coyote Cruises wanted to charge $2 per person for people that float the channel.

After some negative comments, Coyote Cruises asked the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen and Penticton’s city council to fund one third of the costs reported to be $42,000 per year.

The RDOS eventually approved $14,000 in subsidies and it would be truly unfortunate if Penticton’s city council did the same.

Penticton’’s city council should not be in business to subsidize a private business that is not even located in the city of Penticton.  There are also many other reasons why Coyote Cruises should not directly get any funding from Penticton.

For example, Coyote Cruises does not pay any property or other taxes to the city of Penticton.

Also, Penticton already does its part and is responsible for the area where most people choose to launch their floating craft.

The park area is maintained very well by the City of Penticton with no subsidies from the RDOS or Coyote Cruises and that area is far more attractive than the exit area.

The exit for the canal is not in an area that Penticton is responsible for and it is better left to the Penticton Indian Band.

If it is a serious regional issue, the matter should be dealt with the same way as the KVR issue in Kaleden with involvement from the provincial or perhaps federal governments.

Other than Coyote Cruises, the only real financial beneficiaries in Penticton are the hotel, motel and campground operators.  The residents of Penticton do not benefit financially and I am sure the hospitality businesses are very capable of conducting their own cost benefit analysis without assistance from Penticton’s city council.

If the condition of the canal is creating an image issue, I’d suggest there are many far more serious issues that Penticton’s city council should address such as the brown fields, visual pollution from unsightly billboards, lowering residential property taxes and so on.

If Penticton is going to spend $14,000 a year, it is only prudent business practice to see that Pentictonites get at least $14,000 back in revenue from Coyote and there should be guarantees from Coyote that that will happen.  After all, that would be a true partnership. I think the real root of the channel clean-up issue is that Coyote simply wants someone else to pay the costs but is not willing to share the financial benefits.

With that in mind, Coyote Cruises should better educate itself on corporate social responsibility and the contributions it should be making for the privilege of being able to conduct business as freely as it does.

Wayne Llewellyn



No need to worry: Trudeau will outlast foes

Ron has nothing to worry about Justin Trudeau.

When the 2015 federal election rolls around, the three present party leaders will all be running on behalf of their political parties.

In the 2015 federal election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will once again win a majority government, and Thomas Mulcair will once again take the NDP party back to a third party status. Justin Trudeau will become the official Leader of the Opposition at an age of 43 years old.

In the 2019, federal election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will step down and retire and let a new leader take over the Conservative party of Canada. Justin Trudeau, would be then 47 years old.

Presently from 2013 to 2019, he will have gained a lot of practice to complete his apprenticeship and then watch out.

He could just once again bring the Liberal party of Canada back to government, in the 2019 federal election. Thomas Mulcair will also be history in the 2019 federal election taking a life of retirement

In summary, come 2019, Justin Trudeau will still be here, but Harper and Mulcair will not.

Joe Sawchuk



Thank you to good samaritans

On the morning of Sept. 2, I headed out for a bike ride.  Two minutes into that ride I slipped off the side of the road and flew off the bike, impacting on the gravel.

I briefly lost consciousness but when I opened my eyes a woman was kneeling over me asking me if I was alright. When she discovered that I could not move my arm,  or the rest of me, she immediately  called for an ambulance.

This woman, who’s name I discovered to be Tarra Pedersen, stayed with me and offered me comfort.

Meanwhile others had stopped, and two young men in a pick up took my bike to my house and went off to find my husband who was riding in another direction along Highway 97.

Tarra stayed with me until the ambulance arrived, and the men in the pick up brought my husband first to where I had fallen (but the ambulance had already got me) and then to our house where my husband  was able get to our car and head into Penticton to the hospital.

The ambulance staff, Cathy and the nurses  in emergency, Dr. Timothy Bell and his team in the operating room and the staff on the ward were all exemplary, an indication of just how good our people are here in the Penticton hospital.

Thank you to all.

But most of all, thank you, to you Tarra , and to the men in the pick-up – for taking the time to help and care for both me and my husband.

My arm, broken in four places ,is healing, the road rash gradually diminishing and the bruises fading, but the memory of your kindness will last forever.

Cheryl Halsted



Syrian situation serious

Syria. If the situation weren’t so awful it would be funny.

Like an episode from the Keystone Cops, all are about to fly off into oblivion against the frantic pleas of one hapless traffic warden. The U.S over-armed, incompetent and morally befuddled, sputtering and floundering amidst chaos.

The modern Middle East drama was birthed in the map rooms and antechambers at Versailles where in 1922 the European imperial powers carved up the Ottoman Empire after nearly 1,000 years of caliphates ruling  Persia, Algeria, Somalia, Hungary and all parts within, including the states of Israel, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Revolutionary Russia was out of play at Versailles. Today’s Russia is re-engaged around Syria but in 1922 was busy birthing the Soviet experiment.

Also not participating in 1922, a now-emergent China calculates a safety zone around this tricky residue of the European civil war (1914-1918).

It somehow continues to be about oil – and religion.  These and, as always, money. Suffering, inevitably of the innocent, has been the continuing the legacy of this Middle Eastern debacle.

Syria is one part of the tangled wickedness that grew out of the war to end all wars.  Tragically, the present mess in Syria may give us just that.

Dave Cursons



Market should listen

(re: Market needs new rules, Letters, Western News, Sept. 11)

I agree entirely with Norma Painter’s comments regarding dogs in the farmers’ market and inconsiderate bikers and skateboarders.

Unfortunately, the market does not have the authority to take action; it’s the city that needs to take action, at least for the dogs.

And in case anyone is worried that this will turn off customers who have dogs, the Kelowna Farmers’ Market, where there isn’t a dog in sight, was jammed when I was there recently.

When I was president in the 1990s, we tried our best to have dogs kept out of the Penticton Farmers’ Market for all the reasons Norma Painter lists, but got nowhere.

Our understanding at the time was that there was a bylaw that could be applied, but wasn’t, but I no longer recall the details.

The best we could do was to ask people have dogs leashed; one creative manager a few years ago had a prominent sign thanking the dogs for keeping their owners on a leash!

I suggest to the market board and anyone else concerned about this issue that they write to the city asking that dogs be kept out of the market with a copy to the local health officer.

Having bike racks in or behind the 100 block would help greatly; it’s much easier to shop without the bike too.

Harder to park skateboards, but a sign asking skateboarders to carry their board might help, or even just some polite requests from customers to both bikers and skateboarders to be more considerate.

Eva Durance



Bad Company good

I took my 16-year-old son, and an exchange student from France, and we all loved it.

The guitarist was Mick Ralphs who formed Bad Company with Paul Rodgers back in 1973.

Previous to BC, Ralphs was with Mott the Hoople, All the Young Dudes being one of their better known hits.

Paul Hirschfield



Fortis locks out wrong employees

FortisBC locked out its workers but it’s the managers who should be locked out.

The financial difference between the union and the company in the failed negotiations is $300,000.

That may sound like a lot but that’s for a small increase in wages for over 225 employees. Compare that to just one FortisBC CEO who makes $1.4 million, far more than the $531,000 BC Hydro’s CEO makes.

FortisBC’s boss makes almost three times as much as BC Hydro’s, yet FortisBC is a fraction of BC Hydro’s size. FortisBC (Gas & Electric) only has 2,200 employees, 1.1 million customers, and a net revenue of $187 million, whereas BC Hydro has over 6100 employees, 1.9 million customers, and $558 million in net income.

On top of being a much smaller company FortisBC charges customers 20 per cent more than BC Hydro.

FortisBC, as a monopoly, is guaranteed a profit by the BC Utilities Commission and in 2012 this was 9.9 per cent drastically higher than the 7.75 per cent Stats Canada reports as the industry average for utilities. And for all of this, facing no competition, FortisBC pays its CEO almost 300 per cent more than the CEO of the largest utility in BC and decides to lock out 225 workers and their families.

FortisBC workers don’t deserve to be locked out and it’s the extreme wages of FortisBC executives that need to be locked down.

Scott Ross