Big parties not only choice

I have had countless questions about ‘wasting a vote’. Voting who you truly want to is never a waste and if we stopped voting ‘strategically’ and with our hearts and conscience we would all be better off.

New Zealand just had their General Election last weekend. The ACT party (a very similar party to ours) went from 0.5% popular vote to 8% and now has 10 seats. Diversity in our politics is very important. If we continue to only elect people from large parties, we will never have a truly independent voice. I truly value free thinking.  I believe every human being should be free to pursue their vision of a better life, as long as they never harm another person while doing so. Many people read this as individualistic and selfish. I read it as inspiring. I’m very selfish! I want the community, province and country I live in to be the best it can be so that it continues to be an amazing place to live for myself and my two boys. 

That is why I led a massive community initiative inspiring thousands in Penticton.That is why I became President of the Okanagan School of the Arts to try and save the Shatford Centre so the community could continue to enjoy it. That is why I opened the Westside’s first Coworking Space so there is a place for individuals and businesses to work, collaborate and do great things. For me, not using my talents and knowledge to help as many people as possible is hurting them, so I continue to spend countless hours helping the communities I live and work in.

Choosing to vote for a smaller party is difficult. The way our political system is designed it may feel like you are wasting your vote, or that you are helping a candidate you don’t like by not voting who you truly want to vote for.  Nothing can be further from the truth. We have an opportunity this election to show the politicians that we are craving something different. That we are tired of political promises that only happen during an election. That we are tired of the divisive politics that is so prevalent in our society today.  This is our opportunity to show them that we are no longer willing to be manipulated by marketing.  We can stand up and say, “We want to truly be heard!”.

Thank you to everyone for an inspiring campaign.

Keith MacIntyre, Penticton Libertarian candidate

In support of Toni Boot

Dan Ashton sure is spending a heap of money on negative advertising. Why isn't he instead running on his party's platform? Why is he still talking about only projects from 5, 7, and 10 years ago? It is simple - he hasn't found his way in opposition and he hasn't been able to be effective in the past three and a half years.

Dan and the BC Liberals have no idea how to solve problems around housing, the opioid crisis, or affordability that they helped create through negligence. John Horgan's team has kept us safe through the pandemic and are working to ensure that everyone can benefit through our recovery, not just those at the top. 

We can't have an MLA that is focused on negativity, and with Dan, that's all we've heard for the past three years. Critique from an opposition backbencher with no real power in government will be about as useful to our region as a concrete parachute, or an ejection seat on a helicopter. We need someone who can champion solutions for our region, someone with an influential seat at the table alongside John Horgan.

Toni Boot has the experience to get things done for our region. Penticton hasn't had representation in cabinet in over 30 years. Toni has the ear of John Horgan and will be a serious contender for a cabinet post. That is worlds better than electing a pen without ink. 

Tina Lee, Penticton NDP

COVID vs. overdoses

Re: Highest-ever overdose rate

Once again, overdoses hit the news of Castanet. This time to tell us B.C. is hitting numbers it has never seen in overdose death counts. The numbers?  1,202 have died this year of overdose.  If you factor that out over 10 months, that's 133 people a month.  PER MONTH.  

COVID numbers? 253 people have died in B.C. from COVID. If you factor that out over 6 months, since the pandemic was declared, that's 42 people per month. Just to be clear, if you factored this year's overdose deaths over 6 months, since the pandemic started, that's 200 people a month. Four times as many.

You tell me, what pandemic are we actually fighting? Let's be straight, our government sees the answer to fighting overdose as 'safe injection sites'. Which is actually adding deaths through free needles and locations to overdose.

It sees fighting COVID is vaccination, quarantine camps, lockdowns and isolation, mandatory mask wearing and hand washing, telling you your business needs to shut down, your kids can't go to school, people of faith can't attend their places of worship, telling us we can't travel or cross borders. Pretty extreme measures for such small numbers.

I'm ready, fight me with your responses about how all these regulations 'save lives'. How many lives? I don't know, but if we were really interested in saving lives, why don't we turn the COVID quarantine camps into rehab centres, safe injection sites money into mental health assistance and mandatory vaccination and mask wearing into mandatory housing for the homeless.

Shonah Nykiforuk


Big brother burgers

Re: Nationalize school lunch?

In a recent article, Debbie Field co- ordinator for the Coalition for Healthy School Food discusses the importance of the school food programs. What I was reading seemed to make sense, and I thought the “farm to fork” initiative interesting with many potential benefits.

However when I read the statement “there needs to be a universal approach to everybody eating together” I had an Orwellian 1984 shiver down my spine. How could this even work, everybody eating together would put a real restriction on the menu given religious beliefs, allergies, and personal likes and dislikes.   

Freedom of speech is being subjugated by political correctness and now it appears freedom of food choices may also be under attack. I had better go bite into that burger before big brother comes take it away.

Peter Kane

Preserving pictographs

The recent defacing with graffiti of a pictograph east of Osoyoos Lake is unfortunately one of many occurrences across Canada. According to Dagmara Zawadzka, a researcher in archeology, at the university de Montreal-Quebec, pictograph sightings in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and BC are in danger of being wiped out by vandals. The more accessible the location, the greater the likelihood they will become vandalized.

On October 2013, it was discovered that someone had blasted paintball pellets at an ancient pictograph near Nelson BC.

In 2017 CBC news reported that close to 100 sacred pictographs in Matinenda Provincial Park near Elliot Lake Ontario, had been spray painted with graffiti.

Although pictographs, known and unknown, are found on both private and public lands, they are protected under the Heritage Conservation Act. Researchers however claim the government hasn’t allotted enough resources in protecting these sites, which are usually found in open areas.

This does not bode well for the pictograph that is located in the hills above the 880 Naramata Road property, where a new road is slated for construction, in order to connect Naramata road with Canadian Horizons’ proposed 328 lot development located on Spiller road. The bird image depicted on rock represents an ancient past. No one knows whom the artist is, although it inevitably has a story, spiritual significance and holds a cultural history with local Indigenous people. Allowing access into this area will only increase the likelihood of it becoming damaged or even destroyed.

Possibly, this is one more reason for the citizens of Penticton to oppose any hillside development along the Naramata Bench. Such features as natural habitats and archeological treasures should be preserved and protected, at all cost.

Rita Laven, Penticton

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