Letters to the Editor: August 14

Palestine/Israel; Chickens, et al; Municipal Affairs

Israel/Palestine

I like to think of myself as a proud Canadian, but I was ashamed of my citizenship when six Canadian Parliamentarians flew to Israel recently to show solidarity for Israel’s terrible slaughter of Palestinian women and children.

The Canadian politicians — three Harper Conservative MPs, two Trudeau Liberal MPs and a Liberal Senator — attended a “Canada-Israel Solidarity Rally” at a Jerusaleum hotel recently.

It was shameful that these politicians purported to represent Canadians. I want it known that they do not represent me nor do they represent Canadian values.

When it came time to toast Canada-Israel solidarity at that hotel gala, I wonder what they found to toast with? The blood of Palestinian children?

Peter Moody/Kimberley

Chickens, et al

Kudos to the four young girls who wrote letters to City Council asking for a bylaw to allow the raising of chickens within City limits.

It was nice of Council members to be so gracious and supportive about their initiative to write these letters.  That is not the issue!

There have been newspaper articles in cities such as Calgary and Vancouver, which confirm the social problems created by the raising of chickens in backyards.  There is continual bickering and fighting between neighbours.

These cities do not have the wild animal populations which create additional problems here.  Cougars, coyotes, skunks and other predators are already within Cranbrook city limits to prey on cats and deer.  How can you even entertain the idea of adding chickens to their diets?  The local SPCA is dealing with abandoned dogs and cats which people thought they wanted. How are they going to deal with the chickens when they are handed over or caught running loose in the City?

The research has already been done and does not warrant anything further by City Council.  Retire this issue and get on with the more pressing business you should be dealing regarding various City matters. Our roads are in a deplorable state and you budget only $123,000 for pothole repair?   City Council has  budgeted and is spending approximately $126,000 for removal of asbestos from the old Fire Hall; $200,000 for re-doing the Clocktower Square.  They already spent $74,000 on eleven benches on the five streets along 14th Avenue South.  That 14th Avenue development has narrow intersections, an unwarranted pathway overrun with  weeds and an ugly bio-swale system which was uneffective and did not function properly during the big rainstorms in May.  These are only some of the examples of the poor ideas presented and accepted by our City Council that are costing many dollars.

I must remind this City Council that they were elected by the residents and taxpayers of Cranbrook to represent them and vote on what best serves the interests of that majority.  They should not be voting for their own personal preferences or their own special interest groups.

Lee Pratt/Cranbrook

Municipal Affairs

When I first became involved in municipal government the direction from the Province to the municipalities came from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.  This situation existed for many years.

The municipalities and regional districts, in order to have their voice heard in Victoria, formed the Union of BC Municipalities.  This organization was designed to do much of the lobbying on behalf of the municipalities and regional districts.

During the past several years the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has quietly been downsized to the point of practically not existing and the job of giving out services normally performed by the Ministry is now performed by the UBCM.

The result of this is that the UBCM has lost its clout because rather than primarily representing the municipalities and regional districts the UBCM is now representing the Province.

Last year the municipalities and regional districts in BC paid $1,136,096 to the UBCM in membership fees.  This is a lot of money to pay to an organization which represents the province more than it represents the municipalities and regional districts.

Angus Davis/Councillor, City of Cranbrook