Letters: Money saved could fund firefighters

Short-staffed Vernon fire department forced to summon help from public, something that could happen here in Penticton too

Relay needs volunteers

Penticton’s 10th Anniversary of Relay of Life takes place at the Pen-Hi Track on June 14 and 15.  Relay for Life is a community-based fundraiser helping the Canadian Cancer Society in its fight to eradicate cancer and support research, prevention and cancer support services.  The event is fun, family friendly and through the support of many local musicians, dancers and entertainers, the 12-hour relay promises to be a source of self-reward, recognition of cancer survivors, and a Luminary Ceremony in memory of those who lost their valiant fight against cancer.

The many relay teams and participants have dedicated their time and efforts in raising funds and committing their time to the 12 hour Relay for Life.  To ensure the success of this event a large number of volunteers are required for many activities including:  registration, organizing games, and assisting survivors.

If you wish to join in the fight against cancer and contribute to the success of this community event either as a volunteer or as a participant, please contact the Relay for Life coordinator Chantel Reems at 250-462-0724. You can also get more information at www.relayforlife.ca or  www.facebook.com/relayforlifepenticton.

Chantel Reems



Money saved could fund firefighters

The City of Vernon has a reduction in firemen similar to Penticton. Recently there was a fire and due to the manpower restriction only two men were available to respond to a raging and devastating fire in a residence. Civilians off the street had to assist the firemen and thankfully they were both there and willing to respond.

Here in Penticton we are still short two firemen, and it is only a matter of time before the occurrence in Vernon happens here. We can only hope that the outcome will be the same. The budgetary shortfall that the fire department is dealing with for these two men is $120,000 and I believe that we have this money.

While recognizing the impossibility of preserving capital, I have tried to place this in its true setting. I am careful to avoid so far as I can in throwing blame on individuals. The job of a city councillor is one of work and a lack of appreciation.

If we look at last year’s expenditures, we will not be spending $30,000 to inform the downtown merchants of a change of some kind, there will not be $78,000 spent in legal fees for a land deal gone wrong, and the next council will surely cut $100,000 that was to go to supporting a multi-million dollar airline company. That brings the funds available for firemen to $208,000.

Steve Boultbee



Do we need more development?

Windridge properties is proposing another Tim Horton’s and another fuel outlet. The proposal has been made such that the Lee property has lain dormant for so long that this proposal would make use of the property now and improve the geographic scenery.

While Tim Horton’s in the city (all three) provide quality products; good service and pleasing surroundings for both locals and tourists alike, what justifies the need for another outlet as well as a fuel outlet?

The convenience food/fuel service pie, if you will, is diminishing in size month by month it seems. We have many fast food outlets that strive to get their share of whatever market is present.

Given that this proposal is accepted by the city, we will see an improvement in scenery but face the same issues that a dozen or so liquor sales outlets must be facing. The market share gets smaller as more outlets pop up.

This scenario might fit Kelowna (population base 4 to 5 times that of Penticton) much better. Kelowna’s convenience food service pie is both larger and deeper. As a result, when additional food outlets emerge, the impact isn’t quite so great.

The proposal makes me wonder as to the thought put into it. Some questions come to mind. One of these being, “How would another Tim’s location in close proximity affect the one a short distance away? Would volumes in both be level? Would one suffer at the expense of the other?”

Regarding fuel service, “In light of the closure of the Save-On fuel site, what makes a new fuel site (across the street) more viable?”

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-economic development. However, I question the idea that some use is better than no use at all.  I just wonder if the end game here is viewed as being  pragmatic or is it just to feather the business nest of developers at the expense of entrepreneurs?

Ron Barillaro



Pipelines safer than railway

The grain farmers are feeling the pain regarding the shortage of railcars that carry their produce to market.

Because the grain cars are being replaced by oil cars there is a glut of grain in storage and the farmers will not be paid until the grain is transported to the buyers. This is 2013’s crop and now there is a question whether to plant for 2014.

With all of the grain resting in silos or in the grain elevators how much need is there for this years crop? It appears that oil transport has overtaken grain shipment by rail and this is the major problem. I don’t understand why the grain farmers are not crying foul and putting their support behind the oil and gas pipelines.

It is no secret that I support the idea of transporting oil by way of a pipeline and not because I have a vested interest in the oil industry, but I do have a vested interest in protecting our environment, and wildlife conservation as well.

There is far more danger from oil spills utilizing rail as the railways must take advantage of near flat terrain such as river valleys where most cities are located, and lake coastlines that support recreational communities, whereas pipelines can be situated in barren lands far from human habitat.

Yes, there would be initial scarring of the land, but you cannot stop nature and before long the pipeline corridors would be once again lush with vegetation and the animals would have easier migration paths.

Providing pipelines would free up the railways and provide answers to the transportation problems for many years to come.

I wish to thank Jeff Bedard for correcting me regarding my assumption that the CBC executives were to blame for the cancellation of CBC’s contract concerning the telecast of Hockey Night in Canada. I should have known better and should not have let my feelings get in the way of the facts. Thanks again Jeff.

Donald E Thorsteinson



Mining industry supports teachers

I was amazed to learn that the average job in B.C.’s coal industry pays $107,000 per year. That’s a living wage that a person can really sink their teeth into and build a solid life around. If you calculate it on a 40 hour work week, across a 52 week year, that’s more than $50 an hour, or five times the minimum wage. And that’s just what the average coal industry job pays.

Rather than putting precious resources into training more teachers just to add to the glut of teachers that already exists in B.C., why not put the emphasis on training people for jobs in the mining industry. Mining is high tech these days and the people needed to fill those jobs need high tech skills and training.

Besides which, if we’re ever going to have the financial resources to support and employ all those people graduating with teaching certificates we’re going to need the revenues that a healthy mining sector contributes to the province’s bottom line.

Donald Leung



Temporary foreign workers not needed

This government program was set up to help companies find skilled labour when none is available. Businesses have to explore all avenues up to and include raising the wage to obtain Canadian workers. With a six per cent unemployment rate, and a 13 per cent unemployment of our youth, no restaurant should be hiring temporary foreign workers.

Check out ntfw.ca, this website has a map showing all the businesses in Canada that have hired temporary foreign workers. Our local Dairy Queen is listed, I have never seen them advertising for help so why hire foreign workers? Is our government giving them some incentive?

I will not be shopping/eating at any business listed using temporary foreign workers.

Richard vanRyswyk

Naramata, BC


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