Letters to the Editor: September 3

Barry fire and fundraiser; Politics at its best? Or at its worst?

Barry Fire and Fundraiser

Tragically, a family home on acreage on St. Mary’s Lake Road burnt to the ground early a.m. on August 17. Kathleen Barry and her husband (Dave Barry, R.I.P. 2009) and children built this home which was lost to fire along with all contents, and six outbuildings. She and her family give deep gratitude for so many courageous people who came to their aid to put out the  fire and be there in their trials during this time.

The family is very thankful for emergency response from professionals as well as individuals. As with anything they are so very enormously grateful that no lives were lost.

Courageous neighbours, her sons and friends, worked long and hard to extinguish the fire which was outside town limits. Unfortunately the rural property restricts professional fire fighters from coming onto the property.

The emergency response was very swift; police, ambulance, follow-up hospital care, along with other such professionals managed to help in many ways for which the family extends great appreciation. Although there was no insurance, some larger garages and structures that held some lumber have been saved.

Many friends and neighbours are now pulling together to work hard at clearing burnt debris and preparation to rebuild. The family is very humbled and grateful at the outpouring of food, clothing and supplies as quick response to get them through the first week of challenges.

As with anything, thanking individuals at this time is difficult due to missing out some names, so for now, please know how grateful the family is for so much aid in their time of difficulty and see the hearts of so many when such trials take place.

For those who have been asking what they can do or how they can help. At this phase an online fund is being created listed below. Any funds contributed will go to the goal of building the new foundation of the home.

One can access this fundraiser through the website: wwwYoucaring.org – Title: Barry Family Fire, Loss of Home and Belongings https://www.youcaring.com/kathleen-barry-420369

Currently, family and some hard working friends are already excavating for the foundation of a new small cabin. Again, so much gratitude for safety of all and the many who have aided with time and energy and many, many prayers.

Barbara Sytko, On behalf of Kath Barry and Family

Politics at its best? Or politics at its worst?

With the official start of the federal election being called over the August long weekend, we also saw the start of political parties’ election sign campaigns. Now, love them, or hate them, they are part of the political tradition in Canada, and one of the most effective ways that candidates have to put their names forward to the public.

As the Campaign Manager for Wayne Stetski, I knew that people would quickly tire of seeing too many campaign signs on public property. So, our team has chosen to be judicious and sparing in our approach.

Every election in which I have participated in this area has had some level of mischief perpetrated on campaign signs, of all political stripes. Actions range from supposedly humorous slogans added to signs, to theft of hundreds of signs in a single night, to signs actually being burned.

But I have always chosen to believe that these were the actions of misguided pranksters. I have never believed that it was politically motivated or the targeted actions of another campaign.

This weekend, reports were made of widespread theft and damage of signs in communities across the riding, and a number of these incidents were severe enough to be reported to the RCMP.

Unfortunately, this weekend, some campaign supporters also decided to make this a partisan issue, and statements have been made accusing other campaigns of orchestrating the damage. This is not acceptable in my view.

Let me be absolutely clear. Vandalism and theft of campaign signs is a crime.  It cannot be tolerated, and it must be reported.

I choose to see the placement of campaign signs as politics at its best: individuals donating to buy campaign signs and hardworking volunteers taking the time to put the signs up and maintain them.

This is true for every campaign team in Kootenay Columbia. And I believe that we all need to respect this fact, and respect each other.

Joy Orr

Campaign Manager for Wayne Stetski

NDP Candidate for Kootenay Columbia