Letters to the Editor: June 8

Truth, reconciliation and the Métis; Guiding anglers without a license; The Senate; Honest Cranbrook

Truth, reconciliation and the Métis

Firstly I want to thank Sophie Pierre. Her words as always have great impact and meaning for all Aboriginal people and all Canadians. This whole path towards a true reconciliation will be a long one and unfortunately I believe may never be realized in the lifetimes of many of the directly affected. It’s a sad state of affairs to read the comments of many of our fellow citizens with the “get over it” attitude. The scarier thing is that attitude permeates the halls of power too.

That said, I would like to bring to you attention the words of the Métis National President, Clem Chartier, in regards to the Métis’ being excluded from the TRC announcement. “For an Aboriginal people who have experienced decades of marginalization, many of whom attended Métis residential or boarding schools, this latest exclusion is inexcusable and demoralizing.”

Yes, one of the three Aboriginal peoples’ children are not fully recognized as being physically, mentally, sexually and culturally abused enough to merit inclusion in this process. After the initial “apology” the Métis have been blocked from presenting and giving testimony to the TRC in several ways. The Métis are often referred to as the forgotten people. Seems our truth and reconciliation will be forgotten too.

Marlin Ratch, President, Rocky Mountain Métis Association

Guiding anglers without a license

In 2014, I assisted anglers in Fernie, British Columbia, for a business based outside of British Columbia. I made a mistake, as I did so without a guiding license, and I want to help others to avoid making the same mistake.

The business provided clients with licensed guide days, as well as days without licensed guides, on rivers in the Fernie area. On the days without licensed guides, my duties included assisting anglers by transporting and showing them around Fernie, showing them what rivers to fish and providing any assistance they may have needed, including suggesting what area of the rivers to fish, what flies to use, and helping them with the netting of fish. The anglers I was assisting were paying clients of that business. I had previously been a client of the same business. In exchange for providing assistance to the anglers, I was provided with lodging, a rental vehicle and food.

During the trip I was arrested by a BC Conservation Officer on a river in the Fernie area for guiding without a license.

I write this letter as a cautionary tale to others. Do not assist anglers in B.C. for any form of compensation unless you have the required guiding license. I regret my actions and will certainly never again make the same mistake, and I caution those of you reading this to heed the same. Information and questions about when fishing guide licenses are required and how to acquire them can be obtained by calling ServiceBC at 1-800-663-7867, going to www.gov.bc.ca and searching for “fishing guide license,” and by calling the BC Conservation Office at 604-423-7551.

Ben Mohan, Portland, Oregon

The Senate

Good for Joyce Green — a thoughtful and common sense letter. Too bad we can’t send some of it to Ottawa, to our MPs and senators. Are they only interested in their concerns, their buddies and their pockets?

Over $21 million already spent on the senate scandal, 142 auditors to try to figure out who they will back, and now an arbitrator to complicate matters even more. Does anyone want to bet who the higher court will side with, if it goes that far? Senators are not elected people — they are appointed. They’ve been pampered for 150 years — that’s enough. They have too much power — they can overturn a government (especially when they’re a minority).

There are some 350 elected MPs. Come on, guys, what are you doing for us who voted you in? And now the Health Accord has not been signed. Our medical system is going down the drain. Shame on you. Are we living in a democracy? Some democracy! We were supposed to be our own boss when the constitution was brought home during the Pierre Elliot Trudeau era.

Let’s grow up and solve our problems, the biggest being the Senate. They’re useless.

Drop a note to Mr. Wilks.

A Bouvier, Cranbrook

Honest Cranbrook

In an unusual departure of my bringing out things and people that tick me off, today I have something tipping the other end of the scales, and it shows the honesty of the people of Canada and in particular the people of Cranbrook.

Saturday afternoon my daughter brought the grandkids in from Wasa. It was time to pick up some groceries and the grandkids wanted to play in the Spray Park for a bit.

Us adults sat back and enjoyed the beginning of the current heat wave and the kids, along with a flock of other kids, enjoyed the numbing and cardiac inducing (to adults anyway) cold water of the spray park.

After they were so numb they couldn’t really tell just how hot it was getting, it was time to pack up and get back to life. So the kids got wrapped up, strapped in to their car seats, they went their way and my wife and I headed home.

Given an appropriate amount of time for my daughter to get home and the phone rings. “Dad, do you guys have my cell phone?” Well, we didn’t so she was now officially in a panic. Not only her cell phone, but her ID, some cash and some cards were not where they were supposed to be.

So I told her I would run back down and see if I could find it. When I got there, a whole group of people were in the throws of setting something up, families having picnics and a lot of people running and sitting around.

I checked first where she had parked, maybe she dropped it there. Nope, not there. Then I headed for where we had been sitting and judging by the amount of people running about I wasn’t holding my breath.

Other picnic tables now full of people and people of all ages milling about. There, all by itself sitting on top of the table we had been at, was a lone cell phone. What a surprise.

All the other tables were in use, families setting up and the grass, and because of one lonely cell phone, sitting there by itself no one moved in and claimed that table.

We had to wonder how long would it have taken for someone to clean out her bank account, had we been in the States?

Even being here, in Cranbrook, in Canada, I hadn’t really expected it to be there. Bad me, doubting the nice people of Cranbrook.

So, a big thank you to the honesty of the people of this great little city, and a big hug for everyone who could have very easily grabbed that phone and no one would have been the wiser.

So we hope you all enjoy your summer, knowing the Big Blue Bird of Happiness has smiled down upon you all.

Thank you all from Laura, the kids and Jane and I.

Tom Haverko, Cranbrook