Letters to the editor: August 16

Writers touch on Senate reform, marijuana legalization and salute a local boat renal company

Letter campaign could spur Senate reform

How many times have we heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke; don’t fix it?”

If I had a dinosaur penny for every time that I have heard this trite expression, I’d have a bundle of cash.

Our political system, although based on the British format, evolved to the point now where it appears to be broken, at least from the standpoint of the Senate.

This faction of government would appear to be the epitome of pork-barreling. We are feeding a money pit of gargantuan proportion for which there is little return on monies spent. First of all, most of these senators are appointed. They have been appointed by whatever party has been in power.

For the most part, they are political patronage appointments. Truly, the Peter Principle seems to be the order of the day here. Granted, there are some top-notch people involved as senators. However, the functionality of the senate comes into question here.

What is it that they actually do for the monies that members will collect until they are 75 and after that a fat pension? Very simply put, they rubber stamp bills before they become law. Big whoop.

We have elected our MP’s to do our bidding through due process. They, in theory, are responsible for addressing our constituent concerns, although as we all know, this does not always happen. As a consequence, shouldn’t they have the right to make decisions affecting the welfare of Canada without playing, “Mother may I?”

What makes things more right or wrong just because a body of would-be politicians says so? Why should we be subjected to the whim of a body of individuals whose time for usefulness has long since passed? If these individuals are so important why aren’t they held to account by the Prime Minister; his cabinet and the House as such?

We should have a say as to whether this group is needed or not as we are paying their salaries and expenses. What we get in return for payment is double talk and comments like, “I didn’t know,” from MPs. The government coffers are the responsibility of the governing party. To think that they didn’t know what was happening with the three or four controversial senators is ludicrous.

If the money in question had been the MPs in their personal account, they’d make very sure that each and every penny was accounted for at all times, you can rest assured of that! Why then, are they so frivolous with the taxpayer’s money? The answer quite simply is because they can because they are in power.

I feel that the time for a parliamentary wakeup call has long since passed. It is time for action. What can I do you might ask? The answer is quite simply, make yourself heard. Too often, it seems, that we seem to take the attitude of not being able to do anything.

This is wrong. Write your MP; the Prime Minister and any and all senators expressing your concerns regarding the Senate situation. Shower them with letters!

I can hear you now asking, “What’s the point, they won’t do anything and I’m just one person?” Unfortunately, there is too much of this type of thinking. This seems to be the reason that so little change has taken place. It’s time to take up the challenge and encourage friends and associates to do likewise.

In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. It’s the only thing that ever has.”

Ron Barillaro

Penticton,BC

*****

Correction to biography

(re: Andrews decides to run for councillor, Western News, Aug. 9)

Last week a newspaper article came out with a bio of me for the upcoming municipal election.

In this article it stated that I was the volunteer co-ordinator for both Kelowna General Hospital and Penticton Regional Hospital. Although I have worked at Penticton Regional Hospital for many years, I am not now, nor have I ever been the volunteer co-ordinator for that facility.

Over the years I have enjoyed the opportunity of working between facilities (Penticton, Kelowna and Oliver) and  I am presently working as a co-ordinator of volunteer services at Kelowna General Hospital.

I apologize for any inconvenience or misunderstanding this may have caused.

Should you require further clarification I can be reached at my personal  e-mail   glen2809@hotmail.com, or by cell phone, 250-809-1185.

Kevin Andrews

Penticton

*****

A little pot in pocket should be fine

(re: Legal pot paves road to disaster; Letters, Western News, August 14)

I feel compelled to respond to Andy Homan’s letter regarding the Sensible BC campaign. This letter is rife with misinformation that needs to be corrected, beginning with the reference to legalizing pot.

This is not what the campaign is about; cannabis would not be legalized.

The purpose is to direct B.C. police to stop using their resources to deal with charges of possession of small amounts of cannabis.

This will save the taxpayers money and avoid the criminalization of citizens for a victimless crime.

An 18-year-old who is laden with a criminal record for possessing one joint faces a lifetime of roadblocks in terms of employment, educational opportunities, and travel.

What benefit is there in the disenfranchisement of citizens for this heinous deed?

I completely agree with the statement that we need to do a lot of housekeeping if this poor, tired world is to sustain our grandchildren.  A positive step forward would be found in the successful implementation of the Sensible BC plan.

Signatures will be collected starting on Sept. 9.

Glenda Barr

Lantzville

*****

Canadian politics needs a good shake

The shady antics or maybe crimes committed by  shady Senators and  many elected  who steal and feast in all three levels of so- called democracy just blow my mind.

And some lovely people that couldn’t say the word “S” if they had a mouthful appear to adore these pigs, but hate the true definition of the slime via the “P” word.

Want to see a great exodus from all jails around the world then just give all the bank robbers etc  to pay back what they stole with the golden opportunity to continue enjoying the slop at the trough.

I wish  I could be the lone judge and jury handing down the sentence to these ongoing – growing – never ending pack of thieves to rot in their self-built pigpen.

Politics in this country need to be turned inside out, shaken and stirred with democracy re-installed or perhaps reinvented as Yule Schmidt reminded us, the word democracy means the people rule.

Translation today in my view  democracy means big joke. Just take a look around the world if you need a sad laugh  mixed with tears and fear.

The “P? word lives on  whether the minority like it or not, the “P” words describe to a T the way of todays management of the worlds Demo-piggeries.

Tom Isherwood

Olalla

*****

Hats off to Gallagher

On Thursday Aug. 8, a birthday party was held for Marielle Brule, which was to take place on one of the party boats rented from Penticton Watersports.

I was thrilled to have been invited and really looking forward to some relaxation and good company.

Through a series of events, one of which was the fact that I was not clear on where the boat left from I was told that I had missed the launch of the boat. I was devastated.

That is when Randy Gallagher of Penticton Boat Rentals told me that if I waited for a few minutes that he would take me out on one of the boats to join up with the group already on the water.

I could not believe my ears.

True to his word, after a short wait, Randy started up one of the boats and took me out to meet the group on the boat.

It was quite the entrance.

Something I know I will never forget.

Thanks to Randy, I was able to share in the celebration and had a wonderful evening.

Hats off to Randy Gallagher and Penticton Boat Rentals for literally going the extra mile in customer service.

I know who I will be recommending to all my guests and customers to give their boat rental business to.

Theresa Nolet

Penticton

O.A.T.S Horse Rescue

*****

Drugs don’t belong in sports

Is it any wonder that drug use is rampant in professional sports?

Players are paid according to their popularity, and if it takes drugs to make them better players and therefore more popular, then by all means take advantage of these modern miracles.

In sports, as in many businesses, it is not illegal to use drugs to enhance productivity, it is only illegal if they get caught.

Professional sports is big business, and while owners might not support drug use they will look the other way if this means higher attendance and more TV coverage.

They can look shocked and dismayed by such actions, but in the end it is the bottom line that is more important than the reputation of any player or the sport.

At this time it is professional baseball that is the centre of attention, but athletes in every sport, including amateur sports, have been found guilty of substance abuse and the basis of every athlete using drugs has been to enhance their performance in order to gain attention from the owners or the sponsors.

Even so-called amateur sports are basically big business, as sponsors pour in big money for advertisement.

Amateur athletes are not paid to perform, but it is quite legal for them to endorse any product they used in their individual competition and they get paid very handsomely for their endorsement.

Is there an answer to this problem?

Probably not just as long as the spectators understand that this is just another form of entertainment. and cannot be considered real competition.

Remember professional wrestling in the old days?

Donald E Thorsteinson

Oliver

*****

Education is key to pet waste

(re: Dog owners need to pick up, Letters, Western News, July 31)

I agree with Joe Schwarz, but, really, a pee bottle? How would you even do that manoeuvre ?

Policing costs money as far as fining everyone and are you implying that mother-in-laws are responsible, or was that a stab at mother-in-laws?  The answer is educating the public, simple enough, no?

Lyle Painchaud

Penticton