Letters to the Editor: Oct. 16

Councillor's pillars; Response to "Oil protest a slippery slope for cities"

Cross’s pillars

Thanks to Mr. Matheson for his October 6th letter regarding my article, which clearly stated that I was addressing one of the Four Pillars (Social Wellbeing) of the community’s Cranbrook Connected document, as experienced through my volunteerism.

Here’s a brief comment on my work on another Pillar — the Economy:

• Active recruitment of physicians creating an environment for people to relocate here;

• Attend Downtown Business Association, and Chamber meetings to stay informed on issues and ideas; attended webinar on economic recovery after a storm event;

• Actively pursuing a greenhouse industry for a secure, local food source, and employment opportunities;

• Supported the downtown business revitalization tax exemption bylaw;

• Support local Arts & Cultural events, which contributed $50 billion to the Canadian GDP in 2009;

• Support Rails to Trails/Gran Fondo/Orienteering events, and Trans Canada Trails, which boost our local economy.  Sports contributed $4.8 billion to the Canadian GDP in 2009;

This Council has created an ‘open for business’ climate demonstrated through:

• Business licenses issued in 2013 = 69; 2014 = 98;

• Building permits. Total new construction in 2013 = $8,569,207; in 2014 = $27,941,888;

• Single family dwellings real estate sales in 2013 = 132; in 2014 = 177 (increase of 34 per cent).

I was a past member of Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook. “CLC provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.”

It’s important to deal with facts. People are welcome to phone me at 250-489-4412 for clarification on any matter.

Sharon Cross, Councillor/City of Cranbrook

Response to Fletcher

Re: Oil protest a slippery slope for cities (B.C. Views, Oct. 7).

Tom Fletcher took a snide swipe at local politicians and municipal councils that declared their jurisdictions to be nuclear weapons-free zones. “Did they really think we’re that stupid?” he asks.

Fletcher should know better than to denigrate the power of grassroots democracy and nowhere is it more powerful than at the local level. This was unquestionably demonstrated in New Zealand where, in the early 1980s, a dictatorial conservative Prime Minister named Rob Muldoon ignored the overwhelming public opinion that New Zealand should not host nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed foreign warships.

Ignoring the ever-louder public protest, Muldoon continued to invite U.S. warships to visit New Zealand harbours and used his majority National government to run rough-shod over the will of the people.

Kiwis turned to their local governments to give effect to their anti-nuclear principles. Municipality after municipality voted to become nuclear free and they posted signs on their municipal boundaries.

Labour Party leader David Lange was no fool. He read the writing on the signs and promised that if his party became the government, he would ban all nuclear-equipped warships from New Zealand waters.

In 1984 Labour swept into power in a landslide and followed through on Lange’s promise. New Zealand is a small peaceful country in the South Pacific but Kiwis stood up against the superpower bully tactics of Ronald Reagan and the U.S. military.

New Zealand took a beating economically but stood by its principle of opposing Cold War super-power nuclear alliances. To this day New Zealand proudly remains nuclear-free and an example to the world. The strategy may have been less successful in B.C. but there is nothing stupid about the effort nor the intent of the passionate British Columbians who tried.

Chris Conway/Invermere