Letters to the Editor: April 27

Gratitude to those who gave; Stay the Course; Federal Budget

Gratitude to those who gave

Military Ames would like to extend a big “thank you” to the Kimberley Elks Club, the Focus Group and the Kimberley Lions Club for their recent donations and also to the Kimberley Overwaitea for their ongoing support.

Because of these donations, Military Ames is currently funding local Equine Therapy for veterans with PTSD. We are also able to support social outings for the veterans. It’s wonderful that the community is stepping up and recognizing our military veterans.

Military Ames is a social/camaraderie veteran group that meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 18:30 hours, upstairs in the Kimberley Library. For more information or to chat with a veteran, call Cindy at 250 919-3137

Cindy Postnikoff/Kimberley

Stay the Course

Although I am of the opinion that it is my duty to vote, I have not made my personal views known. However, about two years ago I started to notice things going on in our city that concerned me. Some of these concerns were:

1). The fountain at the Fire Hall — I drive by the Fire Hall daily and I noticed that the construction of the fountain was taking forever, and I thought that this must be costing us a fortune. I then heard that the city workers were working on the fountain when they had nothing else to do, so we weren’t really incurring labour costs. I am sure that these workers were on the city payroll.

They were not working for free. If they had they had nothing else to do, and were being paid anyway, that raises a whole new batch of questions.

2). The next thing I noticed was another marathon project on 14th Avenue South, just below the Catholic Church. The end result of this is a weed and garbage filled ditch.

3). Then there were all the benches on 14th Avenue South. I have yet to see anyone sitting on these benches. Why not put some of these at some of the bus stops?

4). Next was the pile of rocks at the south entrance to town. I watched a rental crane sit there for days and days. The end result is a sign that you cannot read (day or night), contrary to one ex-councillor’s opinion. What did this project cost us?

5). Then I started hearing suggestions about dog parks and traffic circles and other grandiose schemes, including the old Fire Hall/CDAC issue. All the while our streets were getting worse and worse and our infrastructure was getting more fragile.

These activities really concerned me, and when I discovered there were citizens running against the incumbent mayor and council who shared my concerns, I volunteered to assist in an election campaign, something I had never done before. While I was out assisting this individual I discovered a very large number of people shared my concerns.

These citizens and I voted in a new council and mayor with approximately 65 per cent of the votes cast. The old guard was replaced en masse! What does this say about their ideas and policies? It says that the voters did not like the direction the city was going. I am not suggesting that the previous mayor and council were wrong in all their decisions, just that the voters wanted something different going forward. In fact, I applaud all those who put their name forward. It is a big commitment and I for one am appreciative of their efforts, whether I agree with them or not.

My final comments are directed towards our new mayor and council. The majority have spoken. Do not let a few dozen prolific letter writers sway you. Stay the course. Let’s get our city back on track.

Gary Doll/Cranbrook

What the numbers really tell us

When I went to university I majored in Science and minored in Economics for my first degree. Facts and numbers are important to me — you will often hear me responding to information with “Show me the science behind that statement.” I also have a real respect for history and believe it should help to inform the present. It is from that perspective that I was musing on yesterday’s federal budget.

There is much to be said for balancing budgets. When I was Mayor of Cranbrook we always balanced our budget – municipalities are bound by law to do so, which is why local government is often called the most fiscally responsible level of government.

When I look at last Tuesday’s balanced federal budget I couldn’t help but be a little cynical, which is not how I approach life in general. That cynicism is based on a couple of things.

How was the budget balanced? $2 billion comes from reducing the government’s contingency fund down to $1 billion. This is the money that governments put aside to cover the costs of natural disasters, or national crises. Another $3.3 billion comes from selling off shares in General Motors.

Let’s put these choices into a context we can all understand. This method of balancing the budget would be the same as you paying your bills using money you received by selling your car at a fire sale price and cashing in your RRSP’s. Your bills might be paid but there is little reason to celebrate!

My second concern with this budget comes from reviewing recent history. The Harper Conservatives ran deficit budgets every year from 2008 to 2014 ranging from a low of $6.1 billion dollars to a record high of $58.2 billion. In the last 9 years Stephen Harper has added $4400 in new debt for every man, woman and child in Canada.

With this record, it is remarkable that anyone in Canada still believes the spin that the Harper Conservatives are good fiscal managers.

Wayne Stetski/NDP Candidate for Kootenay Columbia

CARP Clarification

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) is opening a new chapter to cover the Kootenay region and will be holding an official launch set for Monday, May 4, 2015, at 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the College of the Rockies.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization that promotes social change to bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from age discrimination. Anyone interested in becoming a member is encouraged to attend the launch.