Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

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YWAM deserves kudos

My wife Linda and I would like to publicly thank the Youth With  a Mission (YWAM) organization and its young people for the unselfish assistance they have given us.

A team of young people came to our home, cleaned up all the leaves and brush and wood from our backyard and took it all away.

I am unable to help my wife with this work anymore, and try as she will, bless her heart, she is not up to the task either and we were just not sure how we were going to get this done.

This organization and its youth deserve to be publicly acknowledged for their Christian expression, asking nothing in return.

In this day and age it is so refreshing to be able to write about something other than disaster or inhumanity.

We would appreciate it if you could find  a spot in your paper to thank this organization and its youth on our behalf and all those others that they have touched.

 

Michael and Linda Dunbrook, Oliver

 

Ranching important too

MLA Linda Larson wants ranching and helicopter training to continue in the national park. We agree. Dan Ashton and Alex Atamanenko agree.

The province and Canada agreed in 2003 that the park would not proceed unless “existing land uses could be accommodated.”  The 2010 federal-provincial feasibility study agreed that ranching and cattle grazing, and HNZ’s flight training will continue in this national park. Ranching and HNZ are important businesses and we agree with Larson that they should not be harmed.

Now we need her support to bring the province and Canada back into talks to discuss other potential economic and job development opportunities that could result from the park.

What about a new interpretation centre in Okanagan Falls? Secure funding for the Grist Mill in Keremeos? Help with historic sites in Hedley, Greenwood and Grand Forks? Economic benefits and job training for First Nations?  Help protecting Spotted Lake? Extra help with wildfire and drought?  A centre for agriculture and wine in Oliver? Benefits like these can be negotiated when a national park is established.

If we could ensure that the park does not “affect anyone’s livelihood who currently lives and works in the area,” as Larson says, as well as get benefits for our communities, and make sure that the land does not get sold and developed, why not have those talks?

The feasibility study was just a study.  The province withdrew from the process before formal discussions about the study could take place. Larson can ask with confidence for the premier to re-engage in discussions with Canada because one of the potential outcomes of those negotiations is “no park” if they are unsatisfactory.

The national park is of significant importance to other communities and regions.  More international tourists coming through the Kelowna International Airport would support the hotels, motels, wineries, and

attractions in all communities including Kelowna, West Kelowna and Vernon. And a tourism corridor from the national park to Wells Grey International Geo Park is important to all TOTA members and the Central and North Okanagan Regional Districts.

The duly elected officers of three regional districts, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, TOTA, Chambers of Commerce, the BC Wine Institute, the ONA, and many others have asked the Province to find solutions and negotiate benefits for each of our communities and sectors.  We would hope and expect that our local MLA would do the same.

 

Doreen Olson, SOS National Park Network 

 

Dog owners need ethics

I am writing in response to the article regarding the Animal Control Bylaw that appeared in the Wednesday, Dec. 11 edition of your paper.

I am an animal lover and owner of an eight-year-old chihuahua who had been lead-trained since he was seven weeks old. He is not outdoors without his lead unless he is in the designated off-leash area of our community park.

I also carry a container on his leash with bags to pick up his droppings. It only takes a few minutes to clean up after your dog. There are containers throughout the park for disposal.

Dog owners must remember the following: Not everyone is a dog lover; an unleashed dog is not a controlled dog; the community park is for everyone, not just dog owners; and perhaps the duties of the bylaw officer should be reviewed.

Kathleen Ramshaw, Oliver

 

Dear Santa, from Abby

My name is Abby and I’m nine years old.

I don’t live close to the North Pole. I live in Oliver, BC.

I’m really excited for Christmas and your visit.

The nicest thing I did for my parents is doing my chores and really trying hard in school.

I have some things I want for Christmas: a Smartboard, a dog, basically anything, and an iPod 5 for my friend, Ava. She’s been really nice too.

I hope everything is going good this year. This year we’re putting out normal candy cane cookies and milk.

Your friend, Abby.

PS: Please bring lots of gifts for my family and friends.

I want a Yorkie terrier.

Abby, Tuc-el-Nuit school

 

MLA not listening to the majority in park debate

When I met with MLA Linda Larson on October 15 to discuss the national park and tourism, she told me without hesitation that she wasn’t prepared to “trade ranchers for tourists.”

I was somewhat exasperated by this statement as Larson seems to be in conflict with one of the BC Liberal’s party platforms to create jobs and economic growth.

Isn’t it about time that the BC Liberal government recognizes that there is “enough local support” for the South Okanagan Similkameen National Park, given by what has been demonstrated by numerous groups and organizations located in the very heart of the proposed park including: Oliver Tourism Association, Destination Osoyoos, Tourism Penticton, Okanagan Basin Water Board, the Chamber of Commerce for South Okanagan, Okanagan Nation Alliance, MP Alex Atamanenko, MLA Dan Ashton, Osoyoos Mayor Stu Wells, BC Wine Institute, etc.

Local people want this park. The only scientific poll carried out to date indicates about two-thirds of the people in the South Okanagan and Similkameen are in favour of the park, while only a quarter oppose it. In my personal experience, many opponents to the park plan are very misinformed about the size, placement and management of the proposed park, and are actually objecting to situations that were rectified through consultation years ago.

Local businesses want this park. Hotels, motels, restaurants and other tourism-based businesses would benefit directly from the extended visitor stays the park would promote. Wineries and other related businesses would similarly benefit.

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association has incorporated the park concept into their 10-year plan and obviously hoping it becomes a reality.

The feasibility study released by Parks Canada in January 2011 clearly states that grazing, and therefore ranching, will be allowed in the national park as well as helicopter training subject to environmental assessment. Despite this, these two opponent groups continue to say they have been excluded from access to the proposed park.

Finally, I would be completely surprised if Larson has been briefed about the economic benefits that a national park brings. According to a 2010 report “The Economic Value of Parks Canada” by the Outspan Group, the average national park in BC on an annual basis increases: provincial GDP by $37 million, labour revenue by $25 million, tax revenue by $3.5 million, spending by $49 million, and develops 20-25 new permanent park-related jobs and 570 new full-time jobs related to the establishment of the national park.

What kind of jobs does ranching create for the South Okanagan/Similkameen?

 

Greg Byron, Osoyoos

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