Letters to the Editor: September 29

Thank You from Cranbrook CDART

Cranbrook’s local CDART (Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team) would like to give a big thank you to all of the volunteers and generous donations (money, gas cards, food, animal crates, blankets) that helped us with our care of the animals affected by the fires.

We would also like to add an extra thank you to all of the local businesses who kindly donated items to help meet our unique specific needs from beds to sleep on while providing 24 hour animal care; to hay; to fencing for a play area for the dogs; to vet care; and a wide variety of small animal needs.

A heartfelt thank you to the Kinsmen Arena who generously allowed us to use their space as our small animal shelter and helped with all of our maintenance needs. In addition, they graciously postponed their ice-making and minor league hockey schedule a week until all of our animals were able to return to their homes.

As for our human daily food needs a big thanks to the Salvation Army for bringing us coffee, lunch and supper every day!

And finally, we would like to extend a special thank you to the RCMP for their wonderful collaboration and cooperation in escorting our CDART members into evacuated areas to feed and water or evacuate animals.

Robyn Skobalski

Cranbrook CDART Director

Kimberley Cenotaph

Recently, my husband and I walked around the new Kimberley Cenotaph and Memorial Garden.

What a wonderful transformation of the old Oakley garage site (my husband worked there as a teenager).

Cindy Postnikoff, you are to be applauded for your vision and seeing that vision come to life. That garden is an amazing reminder of all the military men and women who have fought for our freedom.

Go to Kimberley, take your family, old and young, walk the garden and appreciate the thought and work that went into this.

Thank you, Cindy Postnikoff for seeing this through.

Judith and Leonard Moody

Cranbrook

A Reply To Rhetoric

I read the article giving our Liberal MLA’s views on the legislation being brought forward to limit campaign donations in B.C. elections. I would encourage readers to look up the article written by Gary Mason in the Globe and Mail on this issue. The main points of the legislation are clearly outlined — easy to read and understand. They are as follows:

• it bans union and corporate donations and sets individual spending limits at $1,200

• a temporary subsidy will provide funding that is $2.50 per vote, an amount that declines slightly over the next four years (the funding is intended to help the parties transition to the new policies)

• after five years, it will be reviewed by an all-party committee of the legislature and ended at that time (this is precisely what happened at the federal level, after new campaign laws were brought in there, and is also being used in Ontario)

• under the new law, unions, corporations, and the wealthy won’t be allowed to play the outsized role in determining the outcome of elections the way they have in the past

• there are also strict new rules around fundraisers, particularly those attended by a party leader and members of cabinet

• there are new ceilings around leadership contests and third-party election advertising

• the bill reduces campaign spending by 25 per cent

• political parties will now be required to report fundraising events that will be published on Election BC’s website (in line with similar rules recently introduced federally and in Ontario in response to public criticism over the growth of cash-for-access fundraisers)

• many of these provisions have already been adopted by other provinces (B.C. has been a high-profile holdout- called the “wild west” of Canadian politics)

The Liberal Party reaction to the new rules has been a standard, and expected complaint that it gives the NDP an advantage over the BC Liberals. They had proposed capping donations at $5,000 per person instead, which would have actually seen B.C. adopt the highest limit on political donations in Canada.

Our past rules allowed the BC Liberals to collect well over $100 million dollars from corporations over the last decade, and those donors benefitted significantly from this system. The top 177 BC Liberal donors who gave $55 million to the party, received $15 billion in contracts, subsidies and other special favours from the BC Liberal Government over the same decade.

The new rules will also ban out-of-province donations; something that won’t suit the Liberals’ interests, considering they received over $1.2 million from foreign and out-of-province corporations in the lead-up to this year’s provincial election.

It is past time for the rules on donations to change (the Liberals had four terms to address it), and one that I’m happy to help institute temporarily as a taxpayer. I need to feel that our democracy applies equally to all citizens and is invested in equally by all- one that is not manipulated by big money through big donations.

Wendy Turner

Cranbrook

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