LETTERS: Tsilhqot’in decision another lesson

Governing through litigation to costly in terms of dollars spent and emotional strain

There are many lessons to be learned from the recent Supreme Court of Canada’s recognition of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s claim to aboriginal title, but none more important than the message to our provincial government. Governing through litigation is costly both in terms of dollars and in the emotional strain of those seeking justice.

I can only imagine the anguish in which the Tsilhqot’in people have gone through for generations over the monetary and emotional costs these cases have generated.

Governing through litigation was never mandated by the public.

This Supreme Court ruling is only one of many in recent years in which governments throughout Canada have had to be taught a lesson on choosing legislation that has within it a blatant disregard for constitutional and human rights.

A deep sense of gratitude must be made to Chief Roger William, who spent 25 years to bring this case through the justice system and to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Chief William was able to not only set a precedent with regard to aboriginal title, but he has brought to the forefront an example of a successful challenge to governments who dare infringe upon the rights enshrined in the Constitution,  a success story that is inspirational and far-reaching for both native and non-native peoples of Canada.

Why does our current government choose to listen to legal opinions that promote legislation that contains ambiguity and misinterpretation of our Constitution? How is this a benefit to our province? What a waste of time and public money. Shame on you.

For politicians who refuse to recognize the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, who refuse to listen to legal authority on questions of judicial authority, I ask you to reconsider being a member of government. Yes, you manage very well to get enough votes to be elected, but success at the voting booth in no way gives you license to dismiss our history, to dismiss our inherent rights, and to violate the judiciary under which our democracy exists.

And to our premier, Christy Clark, I want to remind you that governing requires immense integrity and a deep respect for the laws of our land. The legacy your government is leaving is nothing to be proud of, it is a legacy of human rights violations that required the Supreme Court of Canada’s intervention. Because some lawyers are able to twist our laws in certain ways does not make disobeying our Constitution right.

Shadow politics has no place in Canada and this ruling has brought another shadow into our light. Thank goodness for people like Chief William who had the fortitude and the faith to see justice through.  How many more times shall we have to do this?

Congratulations to all human rights advocates, letter writers, support groups, union members, sign makers, etc. Bless you all and keep fighting because Chief William has shown us that justice can and will prevail.

Vicki Lightfoot



Interior Health Wounderful

I would sincerely like to thank all of the nurses at the Interior Health wound clinic (C.A.T. clinic), Cora, Cheryl, Jenna, Tracy and their home care team of Kathleen and Sharon.

In my case, pressure sores on each heel were exacerbated into full blown bed sores after an extended stay at the Penticton hospital, and a sore on one big toe dating back over one year, have been diligently and dedicatedly nursed back to almost complete health by the C.A.T. clinics’ highly trained and specialized team.

The Interior Health occupational therapist, Jackie Jones, has also been instrumental in assisting to hasten my recovery from this nasty streak of illness.

We in Penticton are truly blessed to have the services of Interior Health so readily available in a time when the medical profession is overbooked and at times totally inaccessible.

In conclusion I would like to once again thank the Interior Health and the C.A.T. clinic wound-care specialists for their ongoing care and compassion.  Highest regards.

Brenda Graham



Thanks for the party

I feel I want to share this with everyone.  I was recently the object of great Okanagan fun.

The presence of so many in the arts community, plus the imaginative talent of Kate Kimberly and the Tumbleweed Gallery artists, Prema Harris, and many others, helped pull me through my 90th birthday.

It was a packed gathering at my old home, the Leir House, now converted to a cultural centre, a come and go party with music by Jack Godwin and a hilarious skit with artist Jan Little taking the lively lead role.

The Boyfriends, or A Heavy Date, was penned by me in my student nursing days.  To see it performed came as total surprise.  Artist Carol Muntro was an excellent emcee and kept the party moving along.

Of course there were delicious rerfreshments and a huge cake with a perfect copy of my own watercolour painting done in icing, arranged by artist Dona Smithson.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the people of Penticton and district, on behalf of all the Leirs, for looking after and using the old home so creatively.

I also have many beautiful 90th greeting cards tucked away in my heart.

Thank you.

Jill Leir Salter

Okanagan Falls


Parade nothing to be proud of

Allow me to ask the question that perhaps thousands of other rational senior citizens are asking, “What has happened to our once God-fearing Canada?”

I am referring to the Pride parade held in Toronto.  Evidently a number of our government officials consider the spectable a great thing for our country and meets their approval.

I for one am deeply ashamed of the demoralization that has taken place in the country I made my home in the early 1950s.

How can we possibly be proud of our mostly youth painted up, half naked and guys kissing guys, not to mention the lifestyle that thankfully we don’t see described in detail in our newspapers.

Have we become so blind and complacent that we can’t see the evil of it all?

How long will a righteous God in heaven who condemns this behaviour and lifestyle allow this to continue before He intervenes and bring retribution for our gross national sins?

He has done it in the past, he will do it again.  History has proved it.

Carl. L Osterberg



Dollars over safety

The pundits at City Hall seem to have shot themselves in the foot again. All of a sudden what might, in reference to the Lakeside Project, be a paltry sum for peace of mind and safety, is not important and too costly?

The monies, more than $2 million, got the job done. The project has appeal and comments from visitors have been favorable. However, they don’t live here and they don’t pay for these projects.

The city has sold us a vehicle with all of the trimmings. However, now that there are safety issues, it seems the recall of about $30,000 is too high a price to pay for something that should have been identified before the project was completed. What’s the cost for safety? What about accidents as a result of an oversight? Is there enough insurance to deal with any accident claims?

The logical answer would seem to indicate that spending additional funds, the city seems so reluctant to spend, might be likened to the old adage: An ounce of medicine is worth a pound of cure.

Ron Barillaro



Food bank not for teachers

I have heard that the foodback has opened its doors to the striking teachers.

I find this appalling, as teachers average wage is around $70,000  per year and they still need the food bank. The food bank and the teachers are taking the food out of the mouths of people who really need it, there are thousands of people who earn $7,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet.

If this is the mandate of the food bank I will no longer support it, and until they get rid of these people and get some people in there to run it for what it was meant to do I and a lot of people I know will not give to the food bank anymore

William Stacey

Oakanagan Falls


Where are the union pickets?

I do support many of the concerns expressed by the teachers union, class size and  support for special needs children in the classroom. I was in the union for 15 years including being a local president for five years.  I went through many strikes and manned the picket lines until the strike was over.

The teachers union said they will be on strike all summer, the strike is for the children.  Fine, then where are the pickets? I drive past the schools but do not see any union workers on the picket line.  In fact, there are no pickets. If it is for the kids I would think the union would picket and not go on vacation.

Maybe I am wrong and they are not on strike, but it bothers me that any union would not show up for picket duty during a strike.  You cannot be union one day and professionals non-union on vacation the next day.

This is not solidarity forever.

Bob Otway