Where's $10/day childcare?

B.C. implemented $10-a-day child care in 2018 across the province.

Four years later, and in spite of "best efforts", only 5% of the spaces in the province carry that price tag—and that is in an economically stable province with a “hardcore” NDP government in office.

As part of his election campaign in 2021, (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau promised that the average cost for child care will be $10 right across the country by 2025. Voters appeared to believe him.

Within a year, he has signed agreements with all 10 provinces and three territories, basically by promising he will give them bags of money in exchange for their signatures. That's his typical modus operandi, whether the topic is child care or carbon tax or health care.

If only implementation was as easy as making promises in the first place. Wouldn't that make (Trudeau’s) life so much simpler? But, as always, the devil is in the details.

We'll see if other provinces have more luck than B.C. What are the chances?

And if they don't? Is (Trudeau) going to take the money back?

Lloyd Vinish,Kelowna


Immigration 'gaslighting'?

“Gaslighting” has been chosen as (dictionary producer) Merriam-Webster’s word of the year, and is defined as : "the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage.”

It is derived from the 1944 movie, Gaslight, which was shown on TV a couple of weeks ago as a tribute to recenly-deceased Angela Lansbury. She won an Oscar nomination for playing a teenage maid, in just her second movie role.

Gaslighting seems to fit perfectly with how certain governments interact with the general population, and was quite evident on a radio talk-show recently.

The federal government of Canada announced on Nov. 1 immigration levels would be raised to 500,000 annually by 2025, to ease labour shortages. With current immigration in the 400,000 range, this plan brought responses from many sectors, questioning how new arrivals would manage with the homeless problem right across the country and with house prices and rents far beyond the reach of many.

Then there’s a shortage of family doctors and the over-burdened health care system, which appears to be coming apart at the seams despite the wonderful medical personnel who strive to keep things operating.

Many newspaper columns editorials have expressed these concerns and my favourite radio talk-show host had a prominent and well-respected immigration lawyer on as his Sunday guest.

The host’s opening remark was that 75% of Canadians responding to a poll are somewhat or very concerned about the proposed rise in immigration levels, for the aforementioned reasons, along with the cost-of-living inflation and other post-pandemic strains on our daily lives.

The lawyer, introduced as an advisor to provincial and federal governments, replied that none of the concerns were warranted. He explained the 500,000 immigrants would consist of temporary workers, students and others already living in the country who would get their current status upgraded to permeant residency, so there would not be a huge influx of new people looking for housing, medical services, etc,.

According to the lawyer, there are more than two million people in Canada who are classified as temporary residents, paying taxes and living in various accommodation, so the concerns being raised simply will not apply.

There will be an influx of a few thousand spouses and other family members when permanent residence is granted.

The veteran talk-show host was gobsmacked, and asked why the public had not been notified of these facts. The lawyer said he had done some media interviews, which apparently were not to publish.

The interview podcast is easily accessible online at The Roy Green Show, and the lawyer Richard Kurland has a very lengthy media presence on his website.

By the government misleading the public about actual new immigration numbers, it sounds like a classic case of Gaslighting.

Bernie Smith, Parksville

Government wants guns

(Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau’s obsession with getting all those guns has become irrational.

While our prime minister is fast-tracking the regulatory process by using orders-in-council, instead of orderly debates in our federal Parliament, to confiscate guns from vetted and licenced duck hunters and target shooters, gangsters and drug dealers are engaged in gang-wars on many of our city streets across the country, virtually un-opposed.

Trudeau’s obsessions with guns is not that difficult to understand, when reflecting on (what I feel is) his obsession with transforming Canada into a Cuban-style socialist dictatorship.

Confiscating our guns is a clear signal he does not want to face an armed society, challenging his longer-term political ambitions.

There are also a number of compelling reasons why attempting to confiscate all those firearms makes no sense.

He will never take them away from the Indigenous people for the simple reason they will insist they still need those firearms to secure part of their basic food supplies.

We are all equal under the same laws, meaning we can, and will, insist we all need those firearms for the same reasons, as well as personal safety when working or travelling in less populated areas.

He will never keep Canada gun-free. There is very likely more than a million guns buried all over Canada, firearms that government will never know about, let alone find and confiscate.

Illegal guns are crossing borders into Canada virtually any day of the year. Criminals will always have guns.

Future governments will always have the option to allow ownership of firearms of some sort – especially for hunting and recreational use.

At least five of our country's 13 provinces and territories are now making moves to halt the confiscation of firearms and not participate in any buybacks.

Why waste billions of tax dollars to pursue what most rational thinking people would consider virtually impossible, knowing any future government most likely would abandon such a ridiculous undertaking.

Andy Thomsen, Kelowna


Stop 'catch and release'

Re. Will more officers help? (Castanet, Nov. 30)

In my opinion, the problem isn’t because perpetrators are not arrested, it is because of the unbelievable “catch and release” idea.

Almost daily, we read on Castanet about repeat offenders not appearing again and again, but when caught again are released with conditions, which they ignore with impunity.

They are free to continue their jolly crime spree with no consequences whatsoever.

It is time we, (residents) of B.C., stand up to this ridiculous idea and push back. Until this stupid idea is quashed we will continue to be the laughing stock of Canada.

Robert Hepting, Kelowna

Repeal 'tied house' rules

Time to abolish the ‘tied house’ rules

Would it be the end of the world if one of B.C.’s big restaurant chains acquired, or invested in, a B.C. winery?

B.C.’s liquor regulators seem to think so. Under Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) continues to rigorously enforce arcane “tied house” rules to ensure liquor manufacturers do not acquire ownership or financial interests in restaurants and liquor stores and then uses that ownership or financial interest to limit consumer choice by preventing other manufacturers from entering the marketplace.

Any level of common ownership, even 2%, is enough to establish a “tied house” relationship as are family connections. When a “tied house” is identified, the LCRB prohibits the sale of the manufacturer’s products by the restaurant or retail store.

The “tied house” rules have outlived their usefulness and serve no useful purpose in B.C.’s ultra-competitive alcohol marketplace. Abolishing the “tied house” rules would open the door to permitting restaurant and hotel chains to invest in, or acquire, B.C. wineries.

Often, these chains have problems getting sufficient volumes of B.C. wines to supply all the restaurants in the chain. That problem could be eliminated if restaurants were allowed to establish affiliated “house” wineries.

Permitting restaurants to purchase or invest in wineries would increase the capital available to the wine industry and provide another exit alternative for retiring wine growers.

“Tied houses” have long been a fact in the U.K., where it is common for pubs to be owned by, or be under the financial influence of, one of the major breweries. But that has long been banned in most North American jurisdictions.

“Tied houses” have been banned in B.C. since 1952, when B.C.’s Liquor Inquiry Commission exposed the fact the the province’s larger breweries were making or guaranteeing significant loans to licensed hotels and beer parlours in return for the pub agreeing to only sell only the brewery’s product.

The commissioners determined local brewers exercise absolute control over numerous retail outlets. For a brewery, that ability to dictate the choice of product was a considerable asset as at the time provincial law allowed a pub to have only one beer draught line at a time.

The problem with regulation is that circumstances change but rules remain frozen in time. Laws that may have served a purpose at one time remain embedded in law, long after they have ceased to serve any useful purpose. This is certainly true of the “tied house” rules.

At one time, the beer industry in particular was dominated by a few players capable of using their dominant position to engage in abusive trade practices. This is no longer the case.

The modern consumer demands a plethora of choices. There are numerous players in both the manufacturing and hospitality sectors and the market for alcoholic beverages is highly competitive.The provincial regulation, tracing of ownership chains between wineries and restaurants is a cumbersome and time consuming process.

The LCRB is better off deploying its scarce resources policing under age drinking and over consumption.

Provincial “tied house” laws are not necessary because the Competition Act already provides regulation of abuses of dominant position and restrictive trade practices and is more than adequate to deal with any problems that arise.

The federal law is sophisticated, nuanced and administered by an expert economic tribunal capable of assessing the competitive impacts of improper behaviours. In comparison, the provincial law is frustratingly vague, over-reaching and poorly administered.

Over the past 70 years, there has been some relaxation of the “tied house” rules. Exemptions have been created for brewpubs and stadiums, and wineries are permitted to have on-site winery stores and restaurants.

In 2013, the “tied house” rules were amended to allow licensed small and medium manufacturers (annual production must not exceed 100,000 litres for a distillery, 750,000 litres for a winery and 300,000 litres for a brewery) to have an association with up to three licensed establishments located away from their manufacturing site, where their liquor may be sold.

The time has come to repeal the “tied house” rules completely.

Al Hudec, Oliver

Alberta act a 'joke'

(Alberta Premier) Danielle Smith’s Sovereignty with a united Canada Act is a joke.

You cannot have sovereignty if Alberta is still part of Canada. Quebec tried this ruse and failed.

Smith cannot just ignore federal laws she doesn't like, unless she wants to be punished by the federal government.

Whether she likes it not, Alberta is just one province in our country and she is not the Queen of Canada.

What laws does she want to ignore? Paying income tax? GST? Gun laws? Medical regulations? Not everyone likes these things but we follow them as citizens of this country. And if we don't like things our governments do, we vote against them in elections.

I live in B.C., so I am glad Smith is not my premier. I have never been a fan of the (B.C.) NDP either but I admit they have done a decent job running the province without too many stupid decisions like the ones Smith seems to come up with everyday since she took office.

Maybe the cold air in Alberta has frozen her brain.

A Gordon

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