Letters: Chief’s business sense bang on

Reader applauds Penticton Indian Band for moving ahead with residential development

Chief Kruger’s business sense bang on

(re: Land deal not a good deal, Letters, Western News, Oct. 25)

Brian Horejsi is a mile out of line. The Penticton Indian Band finally has a young chief and band council that understand business: He wants what the aboriginal chiefs in Osoyoos and West Bank have accomplished for their people. Why would he not want it?

Chief Clarence Louie from Osoyoos is famous for starting many businesses and how successful they are in employing aboriginals from 13 different reservations. He is also popular with First Nations across Canada for his blunt and brilliant addresses.

Three of his well known expressions are, “Your ancestors worked for their living you should too,  you can’t call yourself warriors if you fail to pay your child support, and you will be successful sooner by working at an honest job than by remaining on a government welfare cheque.”

The chief’s remarks would be welcome in any Canadian community. The Penticton Indian Band deserves the right to develop their business potential. The valley will not over heat in summer, in fact our spring weather seems to last longer than it did a few short years ago.

The Penticton band is doing things the proper way, building residential housing on the slopes and keeping the flat valley river basin available for business and industrial growth.

Previous Penticton band councils built walls between themselves and the non-aboriginal community, Chief Kruger and his people should be congratulated for doing what is right at a time where so many chiefs and bands across Canada are failing:

The recent prime example of failure is the Attawapiskat band in northern Ontario where Chief Theresa Spence and her band council cannot account for nearly half a billion dollars. How much is that number in English? Nearly $500,000 million. The missing money may be gone forever, 81 cheques written with no receipts to explain where the money went. Not all the missing money is taxpayer dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars from a diamond mine in royalty money is also missing. Source of this information is the Sun Media TV network host Ezra Levant: thesource@sunmedia.ca.

My suggestion Mr. Horesji should be kinder with his remarks. Chief Kruger and his band council should be admired for doing what is right for their people.

Ernie Slump

Penticton

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Homelessness a community issue

The South Okanagan and Similkameen Brain Injury Society (SOSBIS) is actively involved in working to eliminate homelessness and we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and show our appreciation to the many community partners and businesses that have joined efforts with our Homeless Outreach Program to help some of our most vulnerable community members who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.

This important program, which is funded by BC Housing, offers assistance with accessing shelter, food, clothing, obtaining identification, and applications for income assistance and housing assistance.

Our goal is to work with individuals to remove the barriers that exist in finding stable housing.

This program has provided assistance to over 100 homeless or at-risk clients this past year alone and we sincerely thank our landlords and community members that not only help to house our clients, but work collaboratively with us to help maintain housing.

An exciting development we are happy to report is that we were successful in opening the Gateway Resource Center in May of last year with the support of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Gateway is located in the church office behind St. Andrew’s on the corner of Wade and Martin and offers laundry and shower facilities to street homeless individuals in our community.

This endeavour has proved invaluable to those in need and is open Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and Fridays from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Gateway also has a small food cupboard available and gratefully accepts donations of food, seasonally appropriate clothing, toiletry and laundry items.

Those donations can be made at either the church or at the SOSBIS office at 2-996 Main Street.

If you or anyone you know is interested in either donating or looking for more information on the Homeless Outreach Program please inquire at 250-490-0613 ext. 202.

Once again, a heartfelt thank you to all our community partners for your efforts and all you do to help those most in need, it is truly appreciated!

On behalf of the SOSBIS Team,

Stacy Babyn, supervisor

South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society

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Bike lanes make for healthy community

The Penticton and Area Cycling Association (PACA) strongly supports a safe, usable and useful bike lane network.

PACA sees many important benefits of implementing this bike lane network. Investing in cycling lowers overall infrastructure costs, improves the health and quality of life in a community, and enhances the appeal of Penticton as the cycling destination it has become.

PACA endorses the city’s vision of a network that can be easily accessed, with east-west and north-south connections.

PACA recognizes there will be challenges in the implementation of this plan. There will be chances for compromise. There will also be opportunity for council to show progressive and strong leadership that will give us a world class cycling city.

PACA thanks the city’s engineering department and Council for all the work and public consultation that has already gone into the Cycling Network.

Aaron Barry, President

Penticton and Area Cycling Association

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City staff shouldn’t make motions

Why is council permitting staff members to make motions at council meetings?

Staff at the city do a great job.  But, it is fundamentally wrong, unethical, and unbelievable, that on Oct. 21, Penticton’s council allowed a staff member to make a motion to receive a quarterly report which was then seconded by a member of council.

It is up to council, on behalf of its citizens, to vet the information it receives from staff to be sure that the information is fair, reasonable and accurate before any action is taken.

Penticton has a council-manager form of government similar to many North American cities. Those are among the reasons that to the greatest extent possible, council-manager cities, towns and other political subdivisions separate the political nature of law and policy making from the apolitical nature of implementation.

Allowing staff to make motions is also unfair to the city manager and particularly the citizens of the city.  A practice like that blurs the roles that council and the city manager play in providing outstanding services to the citizens of the city.

The role of staff is not the same as an elected member of council and no staff member should have the power to propose a course of action other than providing information and recommendations to council as a whole.

All power and authority for setting direction and policy rests with the elected governing body. The role of the city manager is to be non-partisan and should only be delegated broad authority to run the city.

A motion to receive information and take action therefore falls to the elected members of council.

The manager only has a professional obligation to give complete and unbiased information to the council.

It is council’s responsibility to hold staff accountable including and through the city manager for implementing the council’s policies and directives.

It is unbelievable, unethical and fundamentally wrong to give a staff member any sort of power equivalent to an elected official.

Wayne Llewellyn

Penticton

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Cosmetic pesticides safe

(re: Silent spring, silent minister, Editorial, Western News, Oct. 11)

With regard to the government falling short with pesticide regulations, there needs to be some additional information. First of all your source is a third party media article, and their source is seven years old. If anything has been studied in the last seven years it is pesticides and new information is always forthcoming.

The evidence is mounting that the use of pesticides, including herbicides does not increase the risk of cancer, from leukemia and lymphomas to brain cancer, lung cancer or kidney cancer.

When your readers query the government Health Canada information note: Assessing Human Health Risks During Pesticide Review in Canada, they will find that children and pregnant women and the immune compromised are considered in the evaluation. When a pesticide says that the area is safe to re-enter when the spray has dried, these considerations are part of the calculation.

In the internet search bar type www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pest/faq-eng.php and there you will find Health Canada (also under www.hc-sc.gc.ca) with such listings as, Is it safe to use the herbicide 2,4-D on my lawn? the weed killer that works best on dandelion, and, Are my pets safe if they walk on a lawn that has been treated with pesticides?

In short, the government, after extensive deliberation has again made the correct decision to leave this issue of cosmetic pesticides alone.

Steven E. Boultbee, president

Boultbee Pest Control Ltd.

Penticton

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Square dancers grateful for support

The Penticton Square and Round Dance Club is very grateful to the Penticton Western News for voluntarily sponsoring our recent new dancer advertising campaign.  What a pleasant surprise!

We know that our social recreation offers a great experience and the task was to get the word out.  Kristi Patton’s Sept. 13 article, Penticton Squares spin fitness and fun into dance, cast a favourable and more accurate image of today’s square dancing.  Together with the ads and community events calendar listings, it attracted 17 new dancers.  Some are so eager to learn that they come to watch us dance on our regular Tuesday night dance at the South Main Drop-In Centre.  The Western News is welcome to drop by anytime for a social visit between 7 and 9 p.m.

Your support is greatly appreciated and thank you for helping us revitalize our dance club.

Diane Tucker

Penticton Squares