LETTERS: Endurance needed to simply cast your vote

Penticton Western News letters to the editor for the Nov. 19, 2014 issue.

Endurance needed to simply cast your vote

At a time when the majority of constituencies worldwide are concerned with the apathy of very low voter participation, Penticton appears to stand alone.

As I have always felt it not only a right but a responsibility to attend and vote, whether it be a federal, provincial or municipal election, I went, list of selected candidates in hand, to the sole polling station for the City of Penticton. After some challenge in securing a parking space, I proceeded to the convention centre. Upon approaching the entrance there appeared to be a much larger crowd in the lobby area than I would have anticipated.

Once inside, the reason for this large crowd became sadly evident. Poor planning by whomever in the City bureaucracy was responsible for organizing the polling for this city election day. Too few registration tables was the apparent creator of this very large accumulation of citizens, in a line-up with a waiting time approaching two hours, wishing to take their responsibility and enter their vote.

I’m very sorry to have to say, that after assessing this situation, I reluctantly felt compelled to take my leave.

At a time when the City is pushing along with the spending of millions of taxpayer’s dollars on the prettying-up of merely two blocks of Main Street, just imagine what the effect of the spending of a few hundred dollars and better planning would have had on this inexcusable quagmire at the one ill-prepared polling location would have had on the lengthy inconvenience to the voting public.

At this time I am not aware of the percentage voter turnout there was in Penticton, but I feel compelled to commend those who actually endured this challenge and waited so long to be able to cast their ballot.

Tom Crawford

Penticton

 

SLAPP to the face

Canadians have been fortunate in their governments and the standards set by the civil service. Civil servants in a long-standing tradition are above politics. They run the many services, provide advice, research and information on the issues of the day. They provide a smooth transition to ‘the government of the people’ as governments change. Their service to our country should never be discounted or underestimated.

As most of you realize when something goes wrong in life, it usually starts with small things. Left unattended those small things develop into larger things and the next thing you know problems have developed a life of their own.

A recent case in point was the City refusing to divulge how much it has cost to send me a threatening letter quoting the secrecy of legal matters as the reason; despite the fact that they divulged the cost of the legal action of the Penticton Hospitality Association. The City has refused to divulge how many other citizens it has threatened and refused to provide a copy of those letters even with the names omitted.

Wikipedia says the definition of SLAPP lawsuits is: “A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.”

“The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate.”

I can tell you that being in receipt of these letters is a horrendous and challenging experience. Obviously other taxpayers have not been able to overcome this challenge or we would have heard about these other letters. It is cheaper just to shut up. In my case it appears the SLAPP suit was initiated by the civil service.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

 

Haunting fundraiser

We want to thank visitors to Mme Russaud’s Haunt on Toronto Avenue for their kind donations, totalling $149.06. Thanks also to our neighbours for their patience, to Jim and Linda Allen and Jackie Brockholm — we couldn’t do it without your help, Thanks to Mark Brett and Harpreet Sidhu at the Penticton Western News for letting people know about our little fundraiser. All proceeds have been passed along to the OSNS.

Dean Russell and Dawn Renaud

Penticton

 

Club blazing new trails

In late 2013 Weyerhaeuser contacted the Penticton Snowmobile Club with an offer to use a portion of licensed land west of Penticton. Weyerhaeuser offered the club full access to a 1,900 hectare parcel located near Apex Mountain Resort.

A total of 1,400 hectares is situated off Stray Horse Road and an additional 500 hectares on Nickel Plate Road. With a vision in mind and a team of volunteers the club swung into action and began clearing the area and establishing a trail system.

In addition, they refurbished an abandoned cabin located on the parcel. Now riders can enjoy approximately 80 kilometres of trails in an area that offers diverse terrain and spectacular scenery.

None of this would have been made possible without the generosity of various local businesses and dedicated club members.

Thank you to Argo Road Maintenance for clearing the parking area and continued snow removal, Westminster Equipment Rentals for donating a variety of equipment used to refurbish the cabin and clear the property, Mavco Plumbing and Heating for covering the cost of directional signage, Jafa Industries and of course a huge thanks goes out once again to Weyerhaeuser for allowing the Penticton Snowmobile Club the use of the land.

Also, thanks to all of the club members that have helped along the way.

The Penticton Snowmobile Club is always looking for new members and we encourage all outdoor enthusiasts, whether they ride or not, to join us as we prepare and maintain this trail system for many seasons to come.

We invite all snowmobile enthusiasts to attend our first meeting of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. at the old CPR Station, 216 Hastings Ave.

Sylvain Gagnon

President – Penticton Snowmobile Club

 

Thank you to all

We wish to thank everyone who attended our yearly silent auction/dinner which was held at St. John Vianney church hall on the eve of Oct. 25.  A thank you to the Knights of Columbus for preparing the wonderful roast beef dinner.  A thank you to all the various businesses that donated their beautiful gifts for the auction.  Too many to list each and everyone, but we wish for all to know, we had a very successful evening, as we raised $5,350.  We also wish to say thank you to all our fellow citizens that have donated over the years, and a thank you to all our volunteers.  For those of you reading this, and maybe wish to join us, you can find out more about us on the internet.

Thank you.

Joanne Martin,

President Canadian Food For Children