Letters: Church, management not respectful

Labour dispute at Naramata facility takes centre stage in letters to the editor

Employees at the United Church’s Naramata Centre, members of CUPE 608 are taking job action to protect jobs in the face of a management approach that has treated loyal and long-term employees in an uncaring manner.

We also fail to see how the approach the current management has taken will fix the monumental problems facing the centre.

When the centre first advised its employees last December that it intended to contract out at least half of the approximately 30 jobs at the centre, staff were devastated.

There had been no attempt to jointly solve problems. The management style has meant that unionized employees at the Centre were treated as the problem, not part of the solution.

The CUPE members who work at the centre care deeply about its future. They observe that in the past number of years it has been chronically understaffed, forcing excessive amounts of overtime and undermining guest services. There has also been a lack of a vigorous promotional plan, with the resulting stagnation and loss of revenue.

It is typical of the current management that despite having their employees off the job and a picket line up around the centre operations, they continue to say they can perform business as usual and attempt to convince themselves and others that they can avoid an impact on church centre guests.

The centre is now doing damage control claiming only some of the 30 employees will be affected in the first round of contracting out jobs. Let’s be clear, the centre is in a financial mess largely of its own making and has suffered from serious mismanagement, particularly in the past five years. The way the current centre management handled the proposed contracting out and bargaining only made a bad situation worse.

There are many partners in the centre, including the B.C. Conference of the United Church, which has provided significant financial assistance. All profess to be caring communities that pride themselves on treating everyone with respect. I can tell you that the employees of Naramata Centre feel disrespected and cast aside by the centre management and the United Church.

The problems facing the United Church Centre are real. But they will not be solved by the road we are on.

Brianne Hillson

President CUPE Local 608


Many reasons for relay

Relay For Life is an event that is emotional, powerful, and a life altering experience.   Your help is needed to volunteer or to participate as a team.

I relay for my grandma, who fought (and won) the fight against breast cancer like a pro.  I relay for my cousin, who was such an inspiration and she is missed, cancer took her so quickly. I relay for all the women in my family who have lost a piece of themselves to cancer.  I relay for my grandfather, my sister, my friends, and my co-workers.

But most importantly, I relay for my daughter.  I want for her to grow up in a world where cancer isn’t feared, a world where the words “it’s cancer” mean help, support and absolute survival.

I relay because I want to have hope.

To join me in this fight, you can find out more information at relayforlife.ca/penticton.

Jacqueline Salvino



Time to renew political parties

I am not a political person in the sense that I’m a card carrying Liberal, NDP or “thingamajig” but I have been political for much of my life. Sadly, we seem to have such poor politicians in Canada that more often than not, I am voting against them rather than for them.  One of the few exceptions was Chuck Cadman. He wasn’t a politician, but a human being who entered politics to make changes for the better.

I’m thoroughly opposed to the party machine politics we have in place in Canada and one of the best things to happen to Canada was when the Progressive Conservatives went down to a massive defeat.  Sadly though, the Liberals have never been a good party either before or since that time.  The NDP are unproven federally but provincially in B.C. they proved to be just as corrupt as the present day Liberal Party of B.C.

In my opinion, only one politician in B.C. deserves to be re-elected, Tom Siddon. In the past, I could never have voted for him and his P.C. party but as a candidate for local election, he at least is a palatable choice, especially given his efforts to help improve Okanagan Falls.

I believe every B.C. Liberal and every NDP MLA should be voted out of office and retired forever.  Especially the so-called leader Christy Clark.  All of the Conservative MPs should also be summarily rejected at election time and Stephen Harper should be sent packing into obscurity as with Justin Trudeau and his Liberal lackeys.

Patrick Longworth

Okanagan Falls


Harper feigns interest in reform

Prime Minister Harper has had ample opportunity to make the changes to the Supreme Court he may have wanted.

He wrote the Blue Book, the policy manual for the Reform Party of Canada, and was a vocal advocate for reforming our justice system.

He knows what is wrong with the system. Over the years it has evolved into a legal system where lawyers waste time and taxpayers money arguing points of law.

The judges are appointed by the prime minister of the day, not elected, and are accountable to absolutely nobody.

The courts have hijacked the justice system, and instead of enforcing the laws written by the people they have reinterpreted and rewritten them.

Harper’s pre-occupation with the Supreme Court is easily justified, but his contempt for parliamentary procedures and the democratic process has become an even bigger concern for millions of Canadians.

A justice system is rooted in a constitution, and a statute is not a constitution.

Our Constitution is about as phoney as a Canadian $3 bill.

Harper understands that intimately, and instead of picking a fight with the Supreme Court he should initiate the process of bringing resolution to this issue.

It’s time to sever our colonial ties with Britain and start building a sovereign democratic society where the constitution belongs to the people, not the government.

But that is obviously the last thing in the world Harper wants to get involved with.

Andy Thomsen



Sunscreen often wasted

I wonder how many people are aware they may be throwing away a considerable amount of the sun cream?

At the end of last summer I had a container of a well-known brand of sun cream which appeared to be nearly empty.  I stored it all winter upside down so that all remaining cream would collect near the nozzle.  When I went to use it this year, it only produced a small dollop of cream before refusing to eject any more despite much squeezing.

I could see there was still some cream inside, so I cut the container open using a hacksaw.  What I found amazed me!

There was about a teaspoonful of cream near the nozzle but there was a large quantity of cream at the bottom of the container which had not moved down to the bottom despite having been stood upside down for several months.  The total amount of cream remaining in the container was about 15 per cent of the original total contents.

This stuff is far from cheap.  How much of it are we throwing away simply because we can’t squeeze it out through the nozzle?

Brian Butler



Albas must protect our privacy

Dan Albas has to step up to the plate to stop the government from invading the privacy of its citizens. Our tax dollars are being used for the purpose to find the following information; financial status, to our medical history, our sexual orientation and even our religious and political beliefs. Did I leave anything out?

An independent inquiry recently found CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada) guilty of misusing public funds and “serious breaches” of values and ethics. Bill-13 must be killed. Harper has no right to stick his nose into anyone’s business through spying.

I encourage each and every Canadian to learn more about our right to privacy at OurPrivacy.ca.

Larry Gilliam