Letters to the Editor: Aug. 8-10

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 8-10

“No Harm Done”

RE: Statement by Mr. Blackmore: “No harm was done by entering into plural marriages”.

A couple of years ago our family went canoeing at Mineral Lake. We saw two vans arriving and a large number of children and women poured out.

All children and some of the women went into the water just in their street clothing. We felt sorry for the children and I took them in pairs in my canoe. They told me they came from Creston. Within a short time, I was barraged with all sorts of questions: whether my spouse could swim, whether she was allowed to canoe. We felt that much was not asked.

I can add all sorts of arguments and question the validity of the statement by Mr. Blackmore but it all has been said before. However, the statement made by people that are involved, showed us how their life really is affected.

Antoine Beurskens/Cranbrook


Age-Friendly Cranbrook Survey

On behalf of the Cranbrook Age Friendly Advisory Committee, I would like to thank everyone who has completed our Cranbrook Age Friendly Survey.

We are a group of volunteers who believe in making Cranbrook a great place to live, for all ages now and into the coming future. Our first initiative is to consult with the community to determine Cranbrook’s age friendly needs. People are living longer, and Cranbrook is no exception. Help us plan with you. We need your voice. Let your voice be heard.

If you haven’t completed the survey, it is not too late. There is still time. You can find the survey at www.cranbrookagefriendly.ca

Paper copies are available. Call 250 919-3244.

Thank you for your participation.

Charlene Sperling/Cranbrook Age Friendly Coordinator


Recreation Enthusiasts — get in on this early! (Satire Warning)

Rumor has it that the next great advance in exhilarating recreational activities in the East Kootenays will be, guess what? Heli-ATVing! This has been proposed after the latest craze to hit the area, heli-biking, has been enthusiastically welcomed in the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. After the warm reception for the latter, the next logical step is ATVing without requiring more roads in the wilderness. Permissions are being sought by the well-positioned planners to establish a number of heli-pads in the upper reaches of Maus Creek basin above the tarns (so as not to disturb the seasonal tadpoles). The heli-pad area will also accommodate up to 10 adjacent 10 RV lots (to be sold at auction). To entice buyers, a “clothing optional” swimming pool is also on the books as a future addition, along with a children’s zip-line.

A second area being surveyed for a similar venture is in the Wild Horse Valley, at what is known as “Nine Basins”. This area has the advantage of being near Sparkle Lake to serve as the swimming facility, to avoid construction costs. Plans are to install environmentally-approved geothermal heat generators to maintain the lake at optimal swimming temperature (24°C).

At both areas the investing recreationists will have their RVs (maximum length 10 m) transported to the pre-purchased lots, utilizing the U.S Army’s workhorse CH-47 Chinook ‘copters’ that are available on standby from the armed forces when not needed in military maneuvers in Iran or elsewhere.

In order to mitigate the concern of environmentalists by working closely with wildlife biologists, the current plan is to generate ultra-high frequency soundwaves from nearby mountain tops to warn wildlife to clear the area prior to the incredible noise generated by each of the numerous helicopter forays. As well as transporting the ATVs, numerous preliminary flights will be required to establish the RV lots and ancillary structures such as restrooms, small scale “bistro-type” food venues and a bar. When completed, the entire venture will require precisely coordinated communication from a central “Heli-base” so that flights and ATVers will not encroach upon, or interfere with the other well established heli-sports ongoing in the region (heli-skiing, heli-hiking, heli-biking).

As a recreationally inclined district, to attract and extract maximum usage fees for this project, we citizens, the RDEK and ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations must work together and give this exciting venture full support. If sufficient start-up funds cannot be guaranteed before 2020, the Canadian Federal Government will be given the opportunity to purchase the entire operation to guarantee that it succeeds in a timely fashion.

Stay tuned.

Jack Loeppky/Cranbrook


We need a system where everyone can have a voice

Towards the end of this year we shall all have the opportunity to vote in a referendum to decide whether or not to change our voting system in B.C.

Mr. Shypitka, our local MLA, recently outlined in a letter to the Editor what he feels are the reasons we should not change the system we have of “First Past the Post”(FPP). His argument was replete with terms such as “bogus referendum,” “forced on the general public,” “appease a backroom deal,” and “stacked deck in a rigged game,” but at no point did he consider that there might be a better system than FPP which we, along with many other ex-British Empire countries inherited from Britain.

It might be worth noting that over a dozen countries worldwide currently use some form of proportional representation, without total collapse! What we have in the current FPP system is government by a party which very rarely has the support of even 50 per cent of the populace, yet Mr. Shypitka is appalled that the referendum might be decided by a simple majority of 50 per cent plus one.

Most of the time our province and country is governed by a party whom six out of every ten people don’t want. Many voters live their lives without ever having a member of their party in the legislature able to address their concerns, and while many keep on voting many others just quit as they see no hope of ever having their voice heard.

Mr. Shypitka makes a further claim that proportional representation would “open doors for extreme one-issue parties” with the “exponential” power that would give them. If for example the Flat Earth Party can muster one per cent of us to vote for them, and thereby get one per cent of the membership in the legislature, are we really to fear that this would upend the system and cause chaos?

We need a system where everyone can have a voice that is heard and a vote that counts and this might encourage more citizens to stay involved in the process.

And then to have a legislature where cooperation and compromise are needed and expected might be a nice improvement over the constant confrontational atmosphere we have now. I think we can do better than what we are doing now and I hope we take this chance.

Roger Granville-Martin/Cranbrook


Downtown Cranbrook Revitalization

When I was a kid, I remember our downtown as such a bright, interesting, and vibrant place. It had appeal. And it was in walking distance!

Over the years something happened to our lovely downtown. Esthetically, was part of the reason due to the tearing down of heritage buildings like the Court House and Post Office? Was it because empty buildings were allowed to stay empty ad infinitum and affect the tone ambiance? Or was it the effort made to commercialize along the strip (an area that is not a walkable distance for most of us)? Maybe it was just a combination of many things. But let’s bring it back! Let’s get our creative thinking caps on and work hard to develop a new, revitalized, welcoming downtown! We’ve seen it can be done – just look at the draw of the Farmer’s Markets and the success of the Summer Sounds in Rotary Park! Each is a wonderful example of ‘community’ alive in the heart of Cranbrook. This shows us that people do want to come downtown, they just need a reason.

I’m a lover of heritage buildings. Lots of people are. Cranbrook Community Theatre (CCT) keeps the heritage building the Studio/Stage Door in excellent condition as its stewards for the City. It is well-visited and photographed. I am keenly in favour of more attention to restoring, renovating and re-imagining uses for other heritage buildings downtown such as they’ve done at Firehall Kitchen & Tap. Just like CCT, the building itself is part of the draw. Let’s put our creative thinking caps on and find more innovative uses for these iconic structures and really make our downtown something amazing to experience: and a place where locals and visitors want to spend more time.

Newer, architecturally interesting buildings are also contributors to downtown ambiance and draw. We need these, too. Examples are buildings like the Heid Out, Grand Floor Co-working Space and others. Very attractive.

Finally, diversity of building use is important. The right combination of arts & entertainment, restaurants, stores, pubs & clubs, banks, businesses and services contribute to a vibrant downtown as we all know. But what about housing? As we continue to revitalize the downtown, I wonder if the building owners could be encouraged to turn at least some of their upstairs space into loft apartments for rent? Affordable, nice loft apartments? I wonder what that would take?

Melodie Hull/Cranbrook


Don’t leave your junk

To whoever left their rotten old camper at the pullout by Camp Stone with the sign on it saying “FREE CAMPER”, come pickup your garbage and take it to the Wasa dump where it belongs! How ignorant can people be!!

Morgan Granger/Kimberley


AED Now in Service at the Kimbrook Manor

Thank you to the entire community of Kimberley and especially the wonderful patrons of the Kimbrook Pub “The Brook” for raising $1,200 to purchase an AED for the seniors of Kimbrook Manor. Well done! This is now in service at the manor – ready when needed. Thanks again to this tremendous group of people, your generosity and caring is unmatched!

Mark Steele/Kimberley


National Peacekeeper’s Day

Canada has deployed police officers to peace missions around the world since 1989. Almost 4,000 Canadian police officers have been to over 33 countries, including Sudan, Kosovo, West Bank, Haiti and Afghanistan. They help rebuild or strengthen police services in countries experiencing conflict or upheaval. Through police participation in these missions, Canada commits to building a more secure world.

Serving on a mission is a unique opportunity for police officers to contribute to public safety in unstable countries. It also allows them to improve their leadership, and problem-solving and intercultural skills. This benefits their police services and the communities they serve at home.

Corporal Mitch Mercier of the Cranbrook RCMP Detachment is currently deployed in the Ukraine in support of International Peace Operations.

We are all very proud of Mitch and what he is contributing to this International Peace Operation in the Ukraine. He will be returning soon and we look forward to hearing about his experience.

Staff Sergeant Hector Lee/Cranbrook RCMP


The Existing System vs. Pro Rep

I would like to respond to the mischaracterizations MLA Tom Shytpika presents in his recent letter to the editor regarding the upcoming electoral reform referendum.

Complaining about the referendum’s simple majority threshold is a bit rich from anyone who supports sticking with our current First Past The Post system. Our existing electoral system awards majority rule to a minority party most voters did not vote for.

Our MLA indicates that this referendum is being “forced on the general public”. Again, a bit rich from someone who is participating in the special-interest effort to try to thwart the general public from having a say both in the upcoming referendum, and at the general election ballot box … remember, Tom is supporting our existing minority-rule system.

Our MLA speaks of a “stacked deck in a rigged game”. Surely he must be speaking of our existing electoral system, where a single party gains total power with 39 per cent of the vote? That is what the federal Liberals scored to “win” their current majority government. No wonder they also dropped their electoral reform promise.

With respect to extreme candidates and parties gaining power, again, our MLA surely speaks of our existing system? Under First Past the Post, an extremist like Donald Trump took power after losing the popular vote, and Doug Ford took power in Ontario with only 40 per cent of the popular vote.

Proportional representation has kept extremists out of power in western Europe for decades, even in instances where extremist parties became the largest single player. It’s called cooperation and compromise by reasonable parties representing the majority of the electorate – it works, and has a proven track record.

As far as maintaining your local voice, your best bet is with proportional representation. Your vote counts no matter where you are in the province. Under our existing whacky system, most votes go into the proverbial trash bin.

Harold Boomkarahke/Cranbrook

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