Letters to the Editor: May 8

With Gratitude; Elizabeth Lake; Bitumen transport: Daffodils

With gratitude

We would like to extend our deepest and sincerest gratitude to all of the doctors, nurses and staff of East Kootenay Regional Hospital, including Drs. Davis, Wik and Sawatsky, Dr. Meyers, Lisa Douglas and Sandra of the hepatology unit in Calgary; all of whom displayed professionalism, dedication and compassionate care in helping our mother and wife, Carmela Rossi.

Furthermore, we would also like to extend our appreciation to all of the visitors, volunteers from the Catholic Church, Colombo Lodge, Cranbrook Hospice Society, especially our friend Pina, for the joy they brought to our mother and wife, while she was ill.

To all of our mother’s friends and relatives, both in Canada, and in Italy, we would like you to know how much your love and support have helped our family through this difficult time. Words cannot express how much your acts of kindness have touched us. We would also like to extend our gratitude to our Zia Mela Batti, our aunt, who has helped our mother and father, our dear friends Comare Maria Ammaturo and Anna Maria and Giacomo Scavo; thank you.

Antonio Rossi and daughters, Josephine, Silvana, Toni-Lynn and Jennifer

Lake flooding

Just what is happening with Elizabeth Lake?

When I left for a trip to the UK two weeks ago the lake was already experiencing some major flooding issues. On my return two days ago I had anticipated seeing this problem solved. I was very surprised to see things were no better and now the level was at a height equal to, or greater than, when I had left. I also made the wrong assumption that the City would have put a notice in the Townsman letting the citizens know what was going on and what the plan was to solve the problem. A check of the two weeks’ worth of papers quickly showed no information had been released by the City. A check of the City webpage also showed that the City hadn’t used their own media to let us know what is going on.

On my visit to the flooded area I found three large pumps attempting to get some of the water past a culvert under Wattsville Street. I am not an engineer but it was very clear to me that the level of water on the southern end of the culvert was considerably higher than the level of water on the northern end. Science tells me that if there is free flow of water between the two ends of the culvert then the water levels should be equal. To my uneducated eye it certainly appears that the culvert is not doing its job successfully and this has led to the rise in water in Elizabeth Lake. It appears that this culvert is causing a bottleneck to the flow of water by being plugged, being partially plugged, being collapsed or just plain undersized. It looks as though the City agrees with this theory as they are attempting to pump down the lake water, bypassing this culvert in the process.

I imagine the citizens are putting good tax money into the fuelilng and renting of these three large pumps which appear to be somewhat ineffectual at attaining their intended result. I have to ask the questions … what is the problem with this particular culvert, and what long-term plan does the city have to solve this problem? If the solution is to clean or replace the culvert, why has the City not chosen to do it now when it would be most beneficial? The road is already closed to traffic and a fix could prevent further flooding scenarios in the future.

The historic record shows that Smith Creek followed a path above ground from the area of Elizabeth Lake to join Joseph Creek and in the process virtually cut the town in half. In 1929 the City Fathers recognized it was a problem and purchased a pipe-making machine, set it up in the skating rink, and went on to produce a total of 4,900 feet of 30 inch concrete pipe and thus moved the creek underground. If the City in 1929 is able to achieve this major feat, surely we should be able to solve a few metres of culvert problem under Wattsville Street?

What is perhaps more important was that the Council in the 1930s kept the citizens well informed as to the piping process. Our present Council appears unwilling to let us know what is going on. The locals living by the lake tell me they warned the city that there appeared to be a problem with this culvert WELL before there was actually any flooding taking place.

So please tell us what’s going on and what solution the City plans on putting into place.

David Humphrey, Cranbrook

Transport system can handle bitumen

Re: Columns by David Black, ‘The greatest threat to the B.C. environment in our lifetime’ (April 22) and ‘The Kitimat refinery proposal: safe pipelines, light fuels and B.C. jobs’ (April 23).

Continued safe marine and pipeline transport of hydrocarbons is in everybody’s interest so Canadians can realize value for resources and oil producers can continue to deliver jobs and economic benefits. No one wants a spill of any product at any time.

The performance track record over the past 50 years is good, but even still, work is ongoing to improve prevention and ensure producers, transportation companies and spill-responders have the best information available to manage products safely and make the best plans possible for response, containment and clean-up in the event of an incident.

Black’s articles incorrectly suggested the Canadian oil industry is not interested in the proposed refinery project and that transporting diluted bitumen is more risky than transporting other types of oil because of its chemical properties.

Fact is, oil producers are seeking increased access to existing and new markets – in Canada, the United States and internationally – to satisfy market demand for increasing Canadian oil production. All options to achieve that goal are worthy of study.

And diluted bitumen – oil sands bitumen diluted with natural gas liquids that allow it to flow – is no more dangerous than other types of crude oil.

Chemically, there’s nothing about diluted bitumen the transportation system cannot be prepared to manage. Whether it moves by pipelines or tankers, diluted bitumen meets all the same specifications and behaves the same as other crude oils.

Oil floats on water if it has an API gravity above water’s 10 degree API gravity. Diluted bitumen has an API gravity of 20-22 degrees. Any type of oil spilled in water, eventually “weathers” and can be driven below the surface by waves or currents. Diluted bitumen behaves the same way.

There have been several scientific studies completed on diluted bitumen. Earlier this year, the federal government released a research study that demonstrated diluted bitumen floats on salt water – even after evaporation and exposure to light.

The study was commissioned by Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Natural Resources Canada as part of the government’s plan to implement a world-class prevention, preparedness and response regime for marine transportation. Results of the study will be used to inform spill responders and help guide more research.

Our industry is focused on responsible development of Canada’s resources. We welcome transparency on our safety and environmental performance, based on sound science.

As producers, we transport oil with care and attention at all times. We expect all transportation providers to deliver safe services in a responsible manner.

Greg Stringham, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Calgary

Daffodils

On behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society, I would like to thank the community of Kimberley, Ta Ta Creek and Wasa for supporting Daffodil Month during April.

Every three minutes, another Canadian is faced with a cancer battle. It’s likely the disease has affected almost everyone in this area, be it a personal diagnosis or that of a loved one. By wearing the daffodil pin in April, residents of Kimberley collectively stood together to show people living with cancer they are not alone in the fight.

With the support of our volunteers, donors and community partners, the Canadian Cancer Society is leading the charge in the fight against all cancers – of which there are more than 200 different types. Each and every day, we are working hard to accomplish our mission of eradicating cancer and enhancing the quality of life of those living with the disease.

We do this by funding the most promising cancer research, offering vital support to those living with cancer, and trying to prevent cancer in the first place by educating Canadians about early detection and advocating for healthy public policies.

Thanks to the generosity of donors and volunteers, we anticipate the Daffodil Month has raised almost $1,500. In BC this initiative will raise $5 million, which will have a substantial and important impact in our fight for life.

The Canadian Cancer Society’s continued impact in the fight for life would not be possible without the generosity of our volunteers, donors and community partners in Kimberley, Ta Ta Creek and Wasa.

We are very grateful for your support and wish to thank you for joining us in the fight for life. Together, we can change cancer forever.

Dona Bannenberg, Volunteer, Canadian Cancer Society