Letters to the editor: April 15

Champ with the War Amps; Women of the Year; ALR changes

Champs

I was born with a partial left hand and was enrolled in The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program when I was six months old. I have been a “Champ” ever since.

On a recent weekend, I had the opportunity to attend The War Amps 2014 BC CHAMP Seminar in Victoria as a Junior Counsellor.

Junior Counsellors are representatives of The War Amps and role models for younger Champs as they too grow up in the CHAMP Program. I was able to help out with the Seminar during the many sessions and talk to the parents of new child amputees.

As a younger Champ, I always looked up to the Junior Counsellors, and I knew I wanted to be one as soon as I was old enough. They helped teach me everything from tying my shoes and putting up my hair to being proud of my amputation. This year was my second year as a Junior Counsellor and I had so much fun! Being a Junior Counsellor is a great way for me to give back to CHAMP for the years of support they’ve given me.

Growing up with CHAMP has helped me overcome obstacles, such as bullying, and helped me set the bar high by providing devices that let me take part in my favourite activities.

As someone who has benefitted locally, I would like to thank all of you who support The War Amps Key Tag Service, which has made these programs possible for young amputees like me.

Nicole Byford, Age 15, CHAMP Junior Counsellor, Cranbrook

 

Women of the Year

Further to the submitted article, printed on March 14 in the Cranbrook Daily Townsman, ‘School Board honours fellow Trustee Woman of the Year’, the School District 5 (SD5) Board wishes to acknowledge all past SD5 employees who have achieved this distinction.

SD5 is proud of the acomplishments of Julie Roberts (1984), Jan Levang (1986), Sheilah Moore (1991), Pat Townshend (1993), Mary Phillips (1996), Daphne Hayden (2000), Flo Reid (2002), Linda Abbott (2004) as well as Sandy Zeznick (2010) and Jenny Humphrey (2013) in their past recognition as Cranbrook Woman of the Year.

In our original media submission, only the two most recent award winners, Ms. Zeznick and Ms. Humphrey, were acknowledged. We would be most grateful if you could print this letter, allowing us to honour all ten of our past Woman of the Year award recipients along with Trustee Gail Brown.

Frank Lento, Board Chair; Trina Ayling, Media Communications Chair

 

ALR changes

I am concerned with the negative reaction that seems to be catching most of the press interest in the proposed changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve. I am a fourth generation rancher and am very proud of our agriculture industry. I am also the President of the Kootenay Livestock Association, which is a regional association representing most of the ranchers in the East Kootenay region.

I want to go on record and be perfectly clear that these changes to the ALR were requested of our MLA, Bill Bennett, several years ago. We felt then and still feel that unless changes are made to the ALR there will be no agriculture industry in the future simply because very few young people are willing to put in the hours and capital necessary to operate a farm or ranch under the economic and operation pressures we are facing. The truth is that most of those involved in farming and ranching operations are over 50 years old with few of their children prepared to continue the operation unless changes are made.

The current ALR legislation is too restrictive in terms of supplemental activities that can be conducted on ALR land which could add needed revenue to support the ranching operation. The real truth is that the vast majority of farms and ranches are being supported or sustained by off-farm income. The absolute best way to ensure we will have a successful agriculture industry in the future is to make it profitable.

There is no doubt that food is important, and being self-sufficient in providing food for our province is certainly ideal, but it is not real until ordinary citizens and government understand it takes more than talk to sustain an agriculture industry.

Mr. Bennett is only doing what he was asked to do, and I know that there was a great deal of consultation with our ranching industry in the East Kootenay over the past couple years. Certainly there are individuals who will not agree and there are also ranchers who aren’t involved in local organizations who are quite vocal about what they want, but our industry has had a great deal of input into the proposed changes.

What I find especially troubling is when cities like Nelson pass a motion opposing the changes to the ALR because they want to support local food supply. Such total ignorance of what it takes to have a successful agriculture industry should disqualify such responses.

If you really want a sustainable agriculture industry you must listen to those involved in the day to day work and challenges of this great and important industry.

Trying to score political points will not feed anyone.

Randy Reay, Reay Ranch