Is it a Dictatorship Disguised as Democracy?
from B.C., Canada
Community Comment Form
LAST UPDATE January 26, 2015
Click on your refresh button in the top menu, to be sure you see any updates.
People should be government, not politicians!!
Get out and vote, democracy is not a spectator sport!!
DICTATORSHIP DISGUISED AS DEMOCRACY, OR NOT?
Give businesses back the vote
Vernon Morning Star - April 10, 2010
Up until 1993, B.C. small businesses could vote in municipal
elections. This ability to vote recognized the contribution small
and medium-sized businesses make to the economy and to our
communities. The decision to rescind the business vote was an
historic mistake that must be corrected.
HST weighs on B.C. Liberals
Kelowna Daily Courier Staff - 2009-12-17
A recent poll conducted by Innovative Research Group for the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association shows the B.C. Liberal party support is collapsing under the weight of the proposed harmonized sales tax.
The poll, conducted Nov. 14 to 19, shows the NDP leading with 25 per cent approval, with the B.C. Liberals at 22 per cent. The B.C. Conservative Party has 14 per cent support.
The poll also showed a majority or 54 per cent of British Columbians believe B.C. is on the wrong track.
Wayne McGrath said the poll is much more reflective of what he is hearing on the street from ordinary British Columbians.
“This is exciting news,” said the B.C. Conservative Party president, who makes his home in Vernon.
“If an election were held today, there would be a minority government in B.C. with the B.C. Conservatives holding the balance of power. We would be able to hold the government to account and help kill the HST,” McGrath said.
“Many people in B.C. have had enough of the Liberals, but fear the emergence of the NDP. With a strong B.C. Conservative Party as an alternative, we would be able to stop the NDP from getting a majority. Without a strong third party like us, Liberal voters will stay home and the NDP would get a majority. The B.C. Conservatives are not prepared to let this happen,” said McGrath.
Voter disenchantment is widespread and deep, according to McGrath, beyond just the introduction of an unpopular tax to a myriad of issues that affect British Columbians. He gets the sense that more and more people think they are being dictated to rather than served by their provincial government.
The party will hold a policy development convention in May, followed by a leadership convention to elect a new leader in the fall.
Democracy, honesty, integrity are missing from economic picture
Kelowna Capital News - Letters - Published: January 24, 2009
To the editor:
Robert Cichocki’s letter (Case Against Capitalism Grows As World Economies Continue To Tank, Jan. 16 Capital News) was right on regarding the number one enemy of our economy and the standard of living of citizens of this country and of the United States.
Greed-infested monopoly capitalism does lead to the destruction of democracy and eventually to oligarchy. The erosion of democracy, as it was established, has been allowed and in many ways selfishly promoted by our political system at all levels over recent years.
I was outraged when I read an article from The Canadian Press, Jan. 16 that said prices are rising while crude prices are falling—what gives?
“With crude oil prices falling, motorists may wonder why gasoline prices are heading in the other direction. The average Canadian pump price has risen to around 81.4 cents per litre—about 3 cents more than a week ago. Meanwhile, the Feb. contract for crude oil has fallen to under US$35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down from more than $50 US a barrel a week ago.
“Economist Todd Hirsch says crude oil is a major cost in the production of gasoline but there are other factors as well. He says companies that make gasoline have to account for transportation and other expenses—not to mention taxes.
“Hirsch also notes energy companies have to make as much profit as possible for their shareholders and will charge as much for gasoline as the market will bear.”
Is this not a prime example of greed? Does Big Oil think Canadians are stupid? Energy company shareholders should take their lumps the same as shareholders with other investments.
We must realize that in Canada absolutely everything we use or consume is transported at some point and in most cases, long distances by truck. As the cost of fuel rises, so does the price of all consumer goods, including food.
Could it be greed that does now allow prices to drop with any decline in fuel costs? Many energy companies have policies designed to make excessive profits and pay obscene salaries, benefits and multi-million dollar bonuses to executive personnel.
Federal and provincial governments could “stimulate” the economy by cutting and capping the excessive taxes on diesel and gasoline and spending the money where it was originally intended. The carbon tax is nothing but a tax grab.
The economy will not be rescued by bailouts which are actually a reward for bad management.
Wake up Canada and stop complaining about the system you are responsible for. It has been decades in the making so now is the time to start bringing back democracy, honesty and integrity, moral values, responsibility and common sense.
Below are 3 letters articles that people wrote to the Vernon Morningstar regarding dictatorship. If you think these are good articles, you can download the image below here, and forward it to your friends,
[SBC 2003] CHAPTER 26
Part 4 — Public Participation and Council Accountability
Division 1 — Elections, Petitions and Community Opinion
Council may seek community opinion
83 (1) A council may seek community opinion on a question that the council believes affects the municipality, by voting or any other process the council considers appropriate.
(2) The results of a process under this section are not binding on the council.
By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star - Published: September 04, 2008
Respect used to given
freely. Now it’s tossed aside with the morning trash.
Vernon Morning Star - Letters - Published: September 05, 2008
Do you ever get the feeling that
everything you say, falls on deaf ears? Especially with government?
Guess what......we allow this to happen.
Crowd demands answers to loss of fire chief
By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star - Published: September 09, 2008
Despite being banned from
bringing up the firing of Coldstream’s fire chief, a few residents
managed to wedge their opinions through at Monday’s council meeting.
Vernon Morning Star - Letters - Published: September 09, 2008
So the roundabout is a done deal huh! Glad to see democracy in action! Glad to see that there is a deadline on democracy! I just have a few questions?
Since when is Pleasant Valley Road and 32nd Ave. such a high accident area? I have lived in the East Hill area most of my life and don't remember many accidents at this intersection. If this is the reason for the roundabout, perhaps 43rd ave and 20th St. might be a better locale. Of course, 43rd and 20th is not where several city councilors live, and gosh knows all this traffic flowing through PV and 32nd Ave. disturbs their idyllic lifestyle! I would think that numerous accidents, some of which were fatal, would warrant something a little more extreme at 43rd and 20th, as opposed to moving the stop signs further out, and narrowing the lanes!
Councilor Beardsell dismissed the petition from Dr. Denk's office, since it was signed by people who "do not live on the East Hill." Since when was this a prerequisite for signing a petition? Don't many people use this intersection, to transit the area, but may not actually live in the vicinity of this intersection. Ya gotta love democracy! The City of Vernon dictates to owners of heritage houses, what improvements they can and can't do, including which trees can be removed etc. Yet suddenly this same City of Vernon can arbitrarily decimate these heritage properties at their whim. Seems like a double standard to me.
I am not against the concept of roundabouts. What I am against is council spending taxpayers dollars where it is not needed! If we must spend this money, perhaps it could be spent on something we need, say perhaps paving 32nd Ave to start. Perhaps a roundabout should be put at 43rd and 20th as something more drastic needs to be done there. Let's see democracy actually work.
Rules get ratepayers riled up
By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star - Published: September 05, 2008
The Coldstream Ratepayers
Association says democracy is being muzzled.
Democracy shoved aside
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - Published: September 02, 2008
For anyone who ever sat
through a political science class, lessons about democracy always
got back to a basic point — that rank-and-file citizens have a right
to have their voices heard by elected officials. But I'm getting the
feeling that the powers-that-be in Coldstream failed the course
Road closures draw criticism
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - Published: August 26, 2008
A Vernon politician believes
construction could lead to traffic gridlock.
Citizens demand chief’s reinstatement
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - Published: August 22, 2008
Demands are growing to have
Coldstream’s longtime fire chief back on the job.
Departments face changes
By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star - Published: August 19, 2008
A fire department’s
opposition to council’s orders is supposed to remain private in
Mayor just doesn't get it
Vernon Morning Star - Opinion - Published: August 15, 2008
It's increasingly obvious that Coldstream Mayor Gary Corner doesn't understand the severity of firing the community's volunteer fire chief.
Corner has stated that he's more than willing to discuss the matter with the firefighters if he is asked to, but why is he putting the onus on them? It was Corner and his council that dismissed Leo Lecavalier as chief, a position he was elected to by the rank-and-file membership. It should be Corner and his council going to the department and explaining why the decision was made.
Corner also likes to point out that staffing is handled by the chief administrative officer, but it was a decision of council to fire Lecavalier. Politicians can't walk away from something they are ultimately responsible for.
Corner also doesn't expect the municipality to provide any details on the dismissal to the public because personnel matters are confidential under provincial legislation. But while that may be true, it's convenient to hide behind the rules when you know your actions have caused a lot of harm and upset people.
On the other hand, Coun. Bill Firman is showing leadership when he says he will make a motion to disclose how individual council members voted on firing Lecavalier. One would hope the rest of council will support Firman in his attempt to shed some light on the secretive, back-room issue.
What may ultimately get council to provide some transparency is public pressure, and that is expected to begin Thursday when the Coldstream Ratepayers Association holds a town hall meeting on Lecavalier's dismissal.
We would encourage Corner and the rest of council to attend the meeting and hear directly from those they represent.
David and goliath
June 29, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star - Letters - Page A9
We, the people of B.C., have a governmental structure foundation with which to best run our country. We call it democracy. We have elected people in the governments and councils to operate this governmental structure for us, the people, but these bureaucrats became Goliaths and we the people, Davids. It's such a shame to have the people in such bondage.
I own a piece of land in the BX area and I am willing to give it up to help our senior citizens‚ with accommodations on it. But that dude, better known as NDP Dave Barrett, with a stroke of a pen, brought in a bylaw to freeze land in B.C. We call it the ALR.
My question is how is it that these pieces of land that are in the ALR have been pulled out are currently being pulled out, and will continue to be pulled out with construction buildings all over these parcels of land? Is this equality or is this discrimination? Is this justice?
How is it that one person can get his land out of the freeze and another to fight the system, against the Goliaths, and is at the mercy of some of these absent minded heroes? Is this really the land of the free? All they are doing is exercising dictatorship. What we, the people, got ourselves into.
Communism and dictatorship were better in the U.S.S.R. At least the people knew. But here we are in the "land of the free." Sure, free to do what the bureaucrats tell us to do. What a farce. What hypocrisy. You Goliaths that oppose, you too will soon be on the waiting list to get into a place to live out your later years.
The North Okanagan Regional District board has admitted we are at least five years behind with senior citizens accommodations. It looks like if we do not do something soon that you too will be on the waiting list or join the homeless and sleep on some cardboard boxes on the streets.
Surely we would not want to do this to our seniors. What a shame and what a mess our bureaucracy got us, the people, into Canada the "land of the free." Think about this is David against Goliath.
Laws imposed on people
May 07, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star - Letters
I am against the IHA smoking ban, or for that matter any ban that is imposed upon us all in the name of good health. I did not ask, or elect these authorities to be judge and jury regarding my health, nor did they ask me for my opinion.
I was very upset to see the news cast on CHBC regarding the elderly lady having to go out to the street for a cigarette. I have seen situations in health care centres where a resident not being allowed a cigarette was very bad for their health.
Often it is not an option to take them out to the street. Health is not just physical, it is emotional, social, and spiritual. Why do we allow IHA, WCB or any health authority to impose laws and fines on people all in the name of good health? We all know smoking is bad. We all know trans fats are bad. We all know obesity is bad. I say that if a person wants to smoke, or eat bacon and eggs every morning - let them.
It’s their choice. Not yours, not mine, not government. We do not need to be "ruled" into the same slot!
IHA should instead be providing safe, warm, well-lit smoking areas. Away from non smokers so they are safe.
And, non-smokers should be rallying for these same things if all we as a people cherish our right to free choice. I know you will say all smokers will soon be obsolete anyway, so who cares. But what may happen then? There will soon be rules or laws that dictate some other aspect of health.
Let the restaurant owner use trans fat if he or she chooses. Leave the snack machines in schools and let the children have their choices. Health authorities should be providing care, education, and interventions.
They always defend themselves by telling us it’s all for better health for everyone, which of course is very popular and they win all the support.
But rules and laws that are not democratically chosen are very dangerous. Good health will come from a society that embraces the right to individual choice.
Good health comes from being accepted and respected for our personal choices with a health care system and a society that provides education and caring interventions – not judgement and control.
Association claims shot down by city
By Tyler Olsen - Vernon Morning Star - April 20, 2008
Vernon city hall is refuting claims that residents were misled during the civic complex referendum.
The Vernon Taxpayers Association has alleged that the city knew that it would not get three major grants for the civic complex but continued to lead residents to believe that alternate funding was being pursued in January.
“It’s not true at all. They don’t understand the process,” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.
In a release, the association states that the city had applied for $2.8 million in grants and that one Spirit of B.C. grant had been cancelled while two $1 million grants were denied Dec. 18 — weeks before the Jan. 26 referendum on borrowing up to $30 million for the complex.
“Were the taxpayers misled? Did the proposal to use millions of dollars of taxpayer funds adhere to the requirement of integrity, prudence and probity in the use of public funds?” states the release.
“With this being an election year, these questions must be addressed.”
Tony Stamboulieh, association spokesman, stands behind the group’s concerns about the city.
“They knew the grants had been declined. What kind of government is that?” he said.
But Lippert says that even if the grants were denied, they were for 2007, and any referendum advertising referring to the search for funds would have been for 2008.
“We are always looking for grants. It’s an annual thing,” he said.
A majority of voters opposed the borrowing of money during the referendum and the city has made no decisions on the future of civic facilities.
Kevin Bertles, finance manager, says the city only became aware of the applications being denied when staff phoned the government agencies this month.
“Most granting organizations have policies not to inform applicants that they aren’t providing grants,” he said, adding that the city still doesn’t have formal confirmation.
Lippert isn’t surprised that the two grants, worth $1 million each, were refused.
“The grants were turned down because of the successful grant for Duteau Creek (water upgrades). There is only money in grants available and the government looks to see what each area gets,” he said.
This article below is one of the best articles we've read on the subject.
April 16, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star
It has recently come to my attention that the province is in the process of instituting additional laws regarding tobacco consumption. These “improvements” seem to have gone by without widespread public discussion, despite directly affecting 10 to 20 per cent of British Columbians, as well indirectly affecting thousands of businesses.
The sweeping new laws prohibit virtually any establishment from choosing to allow smoking indoors, regardless of ventilation or separate rooms, as well creating an arbitrary three-metre radius to smoke from a door, even at a privately owned business. This is said to be for the health of the people of B.C.
Well that may well be true. There are however, numerous activities that many people engage in that are not just unhealthy and dangerous for themselves, but for everyone. Driving a vehicle, particularly a sports car, is a perfect example of this. Sports cars are relatively inefficient, pollute the air that everyone breathes, and encourage dangerous and excessive speed. The thousands of tons of pollutants motor vehicles pump out in one year is millions of times worse for the collective health than every gram of tobacco that has been smoked since the colonization of the new world.
So, let’s finish the metaphor, obviously smoking hasn’t been completely banned yet, just heavily restricted, so let’s restrict all cars that aren’t emission free to sealed, ventilated tracks.
One can drive emission-free cars everywhere where one can chew nicotine gum. Sure, one doesn’t “need” to smoke, nor does one “need” to drive a vehicle bigger than a sedan with a four-cylinder in many, many cases. I don’t smoke cigarettes, and I don’t intend to. but I’m tired of this nanny state concept that has crept up from nagging taxpayer-funded commercials, now to the law of the land. This concept isn’t new, but I’m going to take a shot in the dark here, most of the people supporting this kind of control don’t know much about history.
“For the common good,” especially when it comes to health, was one war cry for the fascist movement in Nazi Germany. Yes the comparison is a bit extreme, but when smokers are compared to the fascists, is it really a stretch? What’s really wrong here isn’t that people care about their health, that’s fine, the problem is government forcing its way into the common dialect and function of the people.
Don’t like smoke in a restaurant? Don’t frequent that establishment. Find one of the many locations that currently, and will continue to offer a smoke-free environment regardless of legislation. If someone is smoking in your vicinity, and you happen to be allergic, or it’s just bothering you, try asking them to put it out, or move. If they say no, it’s like any other issue like this. Count the person off as a jerk, move, and treat them accordingly in the future. This same argument could be made for cologne, perfume, bad breath, a nearby racetrack.
Legislating away everything that offends you regardless of common sense, or respect for what happens historically when the many or the loud decide to clamp down on the few, is a sad effort, and I hope that this is rectified before it gets out of control. When you see bans on chips and salsa, food heavy in salt or fat, cars that can go fast, or requiring a special permit to drive a gas guzzling 4x4, you’ll know it’s too late to go back, because we’ve come too far, and you’ll realize most regulation of this nature should have stopped at food safety, freedom and disclosure of information, real environmental protection, productions standards, economic and corporate stewardship in general.
City Off Base
Vernon Morning Star - Letters - April 13, 2008 page A9
It seems that our venerable city council is disappointed with the response level to their transportation survey.
I will tell you I am very interested in this subject and I checked to see when the meetings were.
I penciled in my calendar the only time I was not working and I went to the venue, no meeting at that time.
OK, so I went to where the info was displayed and found it to be of such poor quality and non-informative, that I just put the survey down and walked away in disgust.
This council needs to learn that the people of our city will be holding them accountable. I was one of the people who voted against your last referendum.
The proposal did not reflect the money to be spent. We need to remember the community has wealthy and poor and folks in between sharing these costs and we need to make the best choices for all of these people.
Until the information is put forward properly to all of us, I will continue to vote against any initiatives this council puts forward.
There will be an election soon and one can only hope the next mayor and councillors are more interested in the community than their own agendas.
city presents Vernon's western bypass facts for costs, route,
overpasses or no overpasses and allows citizens to make the
decisions, instead of council treating everyone like they are a
child that does not know any better, maybe then the city could trust
citizens to make the decision that is best for citizens.
But while Elliman and fellow protesters argued that most Canadians
support prohibition of marijuana, Mayes said the people of Canada spoke when
they elected the Conservatives.
Snippet from article below "Protestors target MP's office" found in the Vernon Morning Star Wednesday, December 12, 2007 pg A8 regarding mandatory minimum sentencing of 6 months in jail for growing one marijuana plant, even though most Canadians don't support prohibition of marijuana.
According to a recent poll by the Toronto-based Strategic Counsel, 56 per cent of British Columbians want marijuana use decriminalized.
There is a better way and every study from the 1970s Le Dain Commission onward has urged change and legalization.
So in other words this means that Colin Mayes thinks it doesn't matter what the people really want, its whatever the Conservatives decide because people voted for the Conservatives?? Dictatorship or not??
Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers - Drug offences accounted for 37% of all tips taken in 2007, with most providing information about trafficking and marijuana growing operations. Source RDCO 2007 Annual Report page 28
eNDProhibition, the anti-prohibition wing of Canada's New Democratic Party. We are New Democrats united in our opposition to the failed "war on drugs." We do not believe that waging war is the right approach to solving health and social problems.
A little history on the North Westside Road de facto government.
Planning for the future
This article below refers to the letter by Eileen and Ian Kilpatrick (Vice President of the North Westside Communities Association) above. This article below was published in the Vernon Morning Star January 04, 2008 page A9 letters section.
Article from the Vernon Morning Star January 04, 2008 page A9 letters section
In response to Mr and Mrs. Kilpatrick’s letter published in The
Morning Star, I do not recall an election on North Westside road
that elected a community association as our de facto government. The
claim by this association of some
300 people claiming to
represent 2,100 by their own say so is nothing
short of sheer arrogance.
Electors Report claims 2099 electors for the year 2007-2008 election for Central
Okanagan West Director
Mr. Kilpatrick claims a minimal amount of five cents per one thousand dollars
was asked for, when, in fact, three times that amount was asked for on Jan. 8,
2007. Further, this association asked the alternative approval process to be
used to facilitate this tax.
This is a copy of above article from the Vernon Morning Star January 04, 2008
page A9 letters section
Letter written by Eileen and
(Vice President of the North Westside Communities Association) that we found on the local
bulletin board regarding "Community Hall process flawed" article
(above) published in
the Vernon Morning Star.
(click letter to read larger print)
375 plus members of the North Westside Communities Association have been acting as de facto government for the whole community of the North Westside Road area from Westshore Estates to LaCasa Lakeside Cottage Resort/Yacht Club for some time now.
2099 eligible electors in the North Westside, from Westshore Estates to LaCasa.
This letter was published in the Vernon Morning Star
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 page A9
click letter to read larger print
They also don't like to listen to their constituents as once again we are heading to another referendum on the decisions they make.
Its time to obliterate all existing forms of governance and take the phoenix approach and establish the new City of Kalamalka from the ashes of the old.
It should be structured on a ward basis whereby the politicians must live in the ward they represent and be accountable to the residents of the ward.
Public input comes first
Vernon Morning Star letters article Jan 16, 2008 pg A9
click article to read larger print
Public Meetings are where the plans should start, with good discussion about needs and options, before the planning begins.
The city staff appear to have public meetings just as a matter of form. People do not feel listened to, nor do they see their ideas considered as part of the final plans.
Good planners would go to the public first and say, we have a need, or we have a chance to buy a piece of land, and we want your input about how it should be developed to benefit the community.
Then, there might be trust and respected leadership!!
Public Participation and Accountability - Local governments have a
relationship with their citizens that can take many forms. In some cases, local
governments have a legislated requirement to involve citizens in their
decision-making; in other cases local governments
involve their citizens as a part of good governance.
Separate from participating in local elections, citizens have other opportunities to be involved with their local governments. Local governments often seek citizen views on possible courses of action, through various forms of non-binding information collection. Tools used to seek community opinion include surveys, holding opinion polls (using the formal elector provisions) or hosting community forums. Alternatively, citizens may initiate requests for action through a petition to their local government. (**Note** Petitions and referendums are also not binding on council)
Let the residents decide
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - March 12, 2008
The actions of Vernon city council Monday likely reinforced the view of many Silver Star residents that their lives are not their own.
Within just a few minutes, council decided that it could not support the prospect of a municipality at the resort community at this time.
And really that should come as no surprise as many councillors fundamentally disagree with multiple jurisdictions and believe that bigger — namely Vernon — is better.
They argue that Silver Star has too small a tax base to handle services, and that Greater Vernon relations are already a mess without adding another council to the mix.
Perhaps the outcome of the request would have been different had the Silver Star Property Owners Association posed a different question.
Instead of asking the city to endorse its bid for municipal status, the association should have asked for support of a review of all governance options, whether it is forming a municipality, joining Vernon or remaining as part of Area C in the North Okanagan Regional District.
Because quite frankly, a review is the next logical step if the Ministry of Community Services agrees governance should be scrutinized further. Such a study would give residents a detailed explanation of the possible options and the costs involved.
But that aside, I wonder why the association felt the urge to specifically ask the city for support for a process it wants to pursue. Except for being part of NORD, the city has no authority over the resort and it is located miles away from Silver Star. They might as well have gone before Lumby and Armstrong councils too.
There certainly is merit to city comments that the resources of a Silver Star municipality would be limited because of a small population/tax base. But, ultimately, how their money is spent should be the call of Silver Star property owners. If they want to fork cash over to politicians and bureaucrats, that is their business. It won’t cost the city a penny.
On the other hand, having Silver Star placed into Vernon’s boundaries would come with a price. City taxpayers would become responsible for roads and services up there.
City officials also insist that a new municipality would only complicate an already complicated situation in Greater Vernon. And while that case can be made, keep in mind that most of the squabbling has more to do with personalities than boundaries, and the city isn’t just a wallflower when it comes to these fights.
City officials are assuming that a Silver Star council would be combative. It may be that a new council would actually provide the city with a valuable ally.
The bottom line is that many Silver Star property owners don’t feel that NORD is sufficiently representing their interests, and they are not convinced handing over power to a distant Vernon city hall will be any better.
“If we get dragged into the city, we don’t want to be treated just as we have under NORD,” said Ted Pleavin, president of the Silver Star Property Owners Association.
Obviously the City of Vernon should show interest in things that happen outside of its boundary, but it shouldn’t purposely get in the way of the aspirations of other communities.
In the end, forming a municipality may not be a viable option for Silver Star, but it should be a choice that only property owners there make.
NORD turfs expansion
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - March 07, 2008
A proposed expansion of the North Okanagan Regional District office has been halted at least for now.
A weighted vote (based on population) resulted in $3 million for a building expansion being removed from the 2008 budget, which was adopted by directors Wednesday.
“The likelihood of us commencing something in 2008 is less than zero,” said chairman Jerry Oglow.
Proponents of removing the $3 million pointed to valley-wide governance talks and that the basic structure of NORD may change as a result of that process.
“That will to a large degree dictate what we do with the building,” said Eric Foster, Lumby director.
The expansion would partially accommodate Greater Vernon Services Committee staff who are in a rental office in downtown Vernon right now.
But Wayne Lippert, Vernon director, indicated that the city may withdraw from GVSC’s water utility, and Areas B and C may leave the economic development function.
“We don’t know if those people (staff) will be staying with the regional district or going to the city or Coldstream,” he said.
There is also the reality that a referendum on borrowing $3 million wouldn’t likely be held until November, with construction not starting until spring 2009.
But keeping the $3 million in the budget had its advocates.
“We’ve been stalling things long enough,” said Rick Fairbairn, rural Lumby director.
“We had a plan to move all employees from downtown to out here.”
With expansion money removed, directors agreed to add $68,000 to the budget for maintenance work to the NORD office on Aberdeen Road in Coldstream.
The 2008 NORD budget includes a seven per cent overall tax requisition for the entire region.
But each community is requisitioned based on the services it receives from NORD, and that varies.
In fact, the budget impact can change from neighbourhood to neighbourhood depending on what services are in place such as street lights and recycling.
At least one politician doesn’t believe the budget process has been transparent enough.
“I don’t see any process for real public input into the budget,” said Barry Beardsell, alternate Vernon director.
“Where does the public come along and give any input?”
Maybe there’s a hidden agenda in councillor’s silly aside
By Jennifer Smith - Kelowna Capital News - February 29, 2008
If the Okanagan is to Canada what Californian is to the United States, then we’re about to make this country’s fun-in-the-sun party place, unbearably “PG.”
This area may be known for our beaches, our wine and an embarrassing image of Stockwell Day Jet Skiing around a beautiful lake; but thanks to Kelowna city council, we’re also now inscribed in the nation’s top newspaper as the town trying to close down the bars by your 12-year-old’s bedtime.
Hopefully, the off-the-cuff gaff which produced this image looks to outsiders like ridiculous political huffing and puffing, yet for those of us who live here, I worry it foreshadows an underlying plot.
If you really analyze the string of rap-your-knuckle complaints coming from the true blue Conservative crowd these days, it seems our fearless leaders are morbidly scared of anything and everything that goes bump in the night.
I’m betting a few fuddy-duddy city councillors are actually preparing to take this ban on fun all they way and institute a ban on sex.
Far fetched though the solution might seem, it would prevent the headache of banishing successful events like Wakefest. No need to send promoters packing if you can simply ban drunken teenage attraction.
Bikinis, no need. Terrible beer, yep that’s gone too. Oh, and clearly the loud music used to cover their tracks could finally drop down a decibel or two.
It’s the perfect solution to the contentious affordable housing debate.
With a simple ban on sex, couples could be neatly chained to reasonable mortgages, sized to fit the office cubicle-sized condos they could expect to afford.
There would be no need for second or third bedrooms because the whole concept of reproducing would be out.
Then again, the price of land might drop off a little as, well, once word of the new town rules got out there would be no need for school taxes, day cares or the elevator music designed to keep youth from milling about.
The screaming little monsters who shatter the peace in the doctor’s office—yep gone. Oh, and you wouldn’t have to worry about why the wading pools at the YMCA were so warm either.
As for the bar fights which started this week’s round of complaints. Well without sex, beer or testosterone, the bars could foreseeably fold up shop and host the Friday night Canasta tournaments instead.
Heck, even the city’s latest ban on pesticides might see more compliance. Why bother with Weed-N-Feed when you can vent a little pent up frustration ripping the heads off dandelions or gutting fields of non-native bramble. Oh no, wait a minute, that’s prickly. Guess that’s out.
Life might feel as dead as a doornail, to anyone under 70 or 80, but without anything sexy or youthful, it would really just be a long, slow march to the final hoorah anyway. And by hoorah, I naturally mean something slightly more exuberant than a yawn. Something in line with closing the bars at eleven o’clock.
Of course it’s all complete lunacy, as Coun. Carol Gran and her main supporter, Barrie Clark, should know.
Sex, drugs and rock’n roll…I thought it was their generation that invented this stuff.
Process raises concerns
Vernon Morning Star letters article February 29, 2008
Regarding the proposed valley wide governance restructuring, I have several concerns. When I first was made aware of this initiative through the local media, statements were made that the "status quo" was not an option. NORD chairman Jerry Oglow was quoted as saying that was the directive from government and community services minister Ida Chong. No reason was given why a change was required. Also, quite concerning to me was that a quick time line was required to have a report on how changes could be made to accommodate this directive.
It seems to me that cabinet ministers and government in general are elected representatives of the people and have no business dictating what should or should not be done by local government. Giving reasons for change and some direction to accomplish this over a period of time, not by March 31 of this year, would seem to be much more reasonable.
The general public appears to not be part of this process. I attended a so-called "open to the public" meeting in Vernon at the Best Western Lodge on Jan. 11. While we were allowed into the meeting, those of us who were the "general public" sat at the back and could observe only.
In his address to the working group, MLA Tom Christensen was careful to not say the current governance model was not an option, but his message was pretty clear.
It was also clear to me that the chair of the committee formed to deal with this matter, the mayor of Kelowna and Oglow all have an agenda that is leading for wholesale change. None have given valid reasons why.
For those of us who live in the rural areas, it is easy to envision our issues and concerns being pretty small potatoes to many city folks and their representatives. There was no information on how this may impact our property taxes.
Mayor Shephard of Kelowna and some other local representatives are obviously pushing for a valley wide severe restriction on open burning and wood stove usage which is a huge issue for many rural residents, ranchers, farmers and owners of acreages.
Touting the availability of chipping, free land fill dumping at certain times is not a viable option for any amount of woody debris.
Pushing for commonalities for public transit using road, air and water as briefly discussed at the meeting is of course something to look at.
However, living in rural Enderby or Lumby, how is water transport for the Okanagan any kind of viable alternative? As far as public transit, there isn't going to be any outside of the cities, so one's own vehicle will still be the main option.
Commonalities regarding our water supply is an issue certainly, but for those of us in the Shuswap drainage, we're not a part of the Okanagan water basin.
I was pleased to see a letter in the media from our rural NORD directors voicing concerns. Why Oglow would express "disappointment", saying it was pre-mature is beyond me.
He perhaps needs to reflect that a message is being sent his way. No doubt some restructuring, better communication and some efficiencies should be reviewed, I don't have an argument with that. But, let’s stand up if you do not agree with the way this review is being conducted.
We don't have to bow and say "yes sir" just because someone said so.
Government won't disclose hospital's names
The B.C. Government wants hospitals to start competing with each other for patients, but it refused to participate in the Fraser Institute's effort to rank their performance.
The Vancouver free-market think tank's school rankings have become familiar to parents, and a target of criticism from teachers. But when the institute tried to rank B.C. hospitals using patient mortality and other statistics, the health ministry refused to identify which of the province's 95 hospitals is which.
The study uses data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, showing such things as death due to stroke or foreign objects left inside surgical patients.
"As health care consumers, patients have a right to know how their hospital compares to other hospitals," said Nadeem Esmail, the Fraser Institutes health specialist. "Are they more likely to get an infection? Is there a higher rate of mortality for conditions where mortality is rare?"
NDP health critic Adrian Dix found himself agreeing with the Fraser Institute, although he called their school rankings "lazy work" that uses only skills assessment test results.
"The minister of health says, 'well we can't give them access to information because they might be critical,'" Dix said.
"Well, no kidding. I don't agree with the Fraser Institute, but they have every right to participate in the public debate, and I find it offensive that this government in health care engages in a policy of secrecy that affects everybody."
Health Minister George Abbott said ministry staff discussed the issue with the Fraser Institute last year and didn't reach agreement on a fair way to compare one hospital to another.
The Canadian Centre for Health Information did a mortality study but was careful not to compare facilities, because some serve populations with more elderly patients, he said.
The statistics can be compared from one year to another to see if quality of care is getting better or worse at a health care facility, and the government is interested in that.
"It is richly ironic for NDP to complain about transparency, when in the 1990's there was not a single food audit done, not a single cleanliness audit done," Abbott said.
"We started doing these in the early 2000's, but we don't have any audits to compare it to."
In the Fraser Institute's "hospital mortality index," which it called the key measurement, B.C.'s top-ranked hospital scored 83.5 out of 100 while the worst hospital scored 68.8. The most improved hospital went from 75.9 to 81.5, while the worst drop was roughly the reverse.
One low-ranked hospital had a heart attack rate more than four times a high as the top-rated facility.
Dix said the B.C. Liberal government has a record of secrecy that extends to private cleaning contracts and other services.
A freedom of information request shows Vancouver Coastal Health Region shows a 15 per cent cut in cleaning hours, NDP leader Carole James said.
No reason for secret meeting
March 05, 2008 From the Vernon Morning Star
If one were to go back to the last municipal elections in 2005, it’s likely promises were made of more open, transparent government.
But that promise was cast aside Monday as members of Vernon and Coldstream councils met behind closed doors.
And such action is highly questionable when you consider that the topic was the city’s decision to withdraw from the Greater Vernon water utility. That decision and all of the reasoning had already been the focus of a press release late last week.
Also consider that a number of politicians were willing to discuss the issue in length Tuesday. If they legitimately felt that the meeting should be in-camera under provincial legislation, they wouldn’t take the chance and provide details later.
It’s been suggested by some politicians that the meeting needed to private because of the possible legal and labour implications of the city leaving the utility. And there may be some merit to that argument, but only those aspects should have been held in-camera then, and not the entire session.
The public has a right to know what is going on with the water utility, especially when millions of dollars have been invested not only in infrastructure but in establishing a single water utility for all of Greater Vernon.
When the Greater Vernon Services Committee was formed in 2001, the politicians of the day assured residents that it would be a more effective form of governance and providing service. Now that it’s going sideways, those same taxpayers need to know what went wrong.
Coldstream and Vernon councils dropped the ball Monday, and reinforced the common perception that the public isn’t supposed to be seen or heard.
Canadians deserve answers to Chuckygate questions
By Alistair Waters - Kelowna Capital News - March 05, 2008
In life, Chuck Cadman made news. Now, in death, the former Surrey-North MP is continuing to do so. And that—as if any excuse was needed—has our federal politicians in an uproar.
The former independent MP, who started his political life with a group he formed to fight against youth violence and for victims’ rights following the murder of his 16-year-old son, is at the centre of a claim by his widow that the Conservative Party offered him a $1 million life insurance policy to help bring down the Liberal minority government of Paul Martin in 2005.
The offer, according to Donna Cadman, her daughter and her son-in-law, was made when Chuck Cadman was dying of cancer. The revelation is included in a yet-to-be published book about Cadman and, as expected, has caught the attention of Opposition MPs in the House of Commons and the RCMP.
The police force said last week it will investigate the matter.
In Canada, it is an offence to offer inducements to an elected officials to give up office or to influence votes.
Our own Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Stockwell Day found out about that after he won the seat vacated by former Reform and Canadian Alliance MP Jim Hart. Hart claimed the CA reneged on a offer of cash it made to him to step aside for Day, then leader of the Canadian Alliance. The police investigated that case and found no criminal offence was committed.
But it lifted the lid slightly on the age-old maneuver of sitting politicians giving up their seats in order for their party leaders to get elected. Normally, an MP or MLA that steps aside is rewarded down the road with some form of political appointment.
But in the Cadman case, we have an allegation of a direct offer to buy a vote in the House of Commons. And that, whether it turns out to be true or not, needs to be investigated.
This case, however, is anything but straight forward.
We have Prime Minister Stephen Harper denying any knowledge, but he’s heard clearly in a tape recorded interview with the book’s author saying he was aware an offer was made to Cadman. We have Cadman saying at the time of the vote no inducement was offered.
Then we have Harper launching legal action against Liberal Opposition MPs for articles on their party’s website questioning what he does or doesn’t know.
On top of that, we have Donna Cadman, ironically running for the same Conservative Party she says made the offer that so angered her late husband (and which he left the year before to run as an independent) now saying she doesn’t believe Harper knew about the offer. Her proof, she saw it in his eyes when she asked him directly about the offer.
If that’s not weird enough, why would an insurance company allow a $1 million policy for man with just weeks to live?
So Harper can huff and puff with legal threats all he wants but Canadians deserve to know what really happened with Chuckygate—who knew what and when.
Alistair Waters is the assistant editor of the Capital News
Waters right to call for Cadman answers
Kelowna Capital News - March 09, 2008
To the editor
Alistair Waters was right on the money with his column Canadians deserve answers to Chuckygate questions. (Capital News, March 7)
It strains our capability to accept anything the Harper government will attempt to make us believe in future when it suggests that either: (The later Surrey MP Chuck) Cadman’s wife, daughter and son-in-law are liars, the voice on the tape stating that financial considerations were discussed between Conservative representatives and Mr. Cadman was not Stephen Harper’s, that the tape was doctored, or, most incredible of all, the offer was of support for Cadman’s re-election campaign.
This borders on the grotesque.
Mr. Cadman was known to be in the final and lethal stages of cancer and the Conservatives had already nominated their candidate in his riding.
Mr. Waters did not, maybe for lack of space, note that the Harper government appears to be showing its hidden agenda.
There is claim by some evangelist named Charles McVety that he caused legislation to be tabled by the government which would allow the government to censor TV, video and film production.
There is also legislation before parliament which might impact on a woman’s right to an abortion.
Worst of all, the Harper government appears to have leaked confidential information and diplomatic correspondence concerning the United States. This is reported to have had a negative impact on one of the candidates running for the Democratic Party nomination.
This kind of activity, coupled with the naive approach to the problems in the Middle East, will make other governments wonder how far they can co-operate with Canada in the future.
The government has removed the United States and Israel from the list of countries which use torture.
It will ask for clemency for a Canadian sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia but not for one sentenced to death in the United States. What gives?
On top of everything else, there is the danger the government will end up with a deficit in the near future, undoing everything positive achieved by previous governments.
Right now, it appears that the vaunted control by Mr. Harper is falling apart and that his government is disintegrating.
Conservatives showing their true colours
By Adrian Nieoczym - Kelowna Capital News - March 02, 2008
My guess is Stephen Harper, Stockwell Day and I would disagree about the kinds of films we find worthwhile. Which is totally fine. If they think a movie’s subject matter is offensive, they don’t have to watch it.
But I don’t want anyone in
government deciding what is appropriate for me to see.
That is why I find it disturbing to hear that a bill has quietly
made its way through Parliament which will essentially give the
government the power to censor Canadian-made films.
All I have to do is look at my pocketbook to see government mismanagement of funds.
If government treated its citizens as the adults that they are instead of the children government have some of us believing we are, and let citizens make decisions then maybe government wouldn't be the bad guys and maybe people would want to volunteer for government instead of us having to pay government big dollars and pensions.
Rural directors pursue re-election
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - March 07, 2008
The North Okanagan’s five rural politicians will present a united front at the polls this November.
Rick Fairbairn, rural Lumby; Eugene Foisy, Cherryville; Herman Halvorson, rural Enderby; Cliff Kanester, BX-Swan Lake; and Stan Field, BX-Silver Star, are all leaning towards seeking another term in their jurisdictions.
“In light of the valley-wide governance process, we felt there’s a need for consistency,” said Fairbairn, who is in the midst of his second term in office.
“The valley-wide process is at the heart of the survival of the electoral areas.”
Cherryville residents have made it clear that they don’t want any change in governance structure.
“If there’s going to be changes, it should be coming from the people and not dictators in Victoria,” said Foisy, who has been a director for 13 years.
Halvorson also wants to protect the rural values in his area.
“It’s good to have a strong, consistent voice from rural Enderby,” he said.
A committee looking at valley-wide governance options must submit a report to the provincial government by the end of March.
Halvorson, who is in his first term, admits that the process could lead to electoral areas being disbanded by November.
“If that happens, we will have to re-evaluate our position,” he said of seeking re-election.
Beyond valley-wide governance, the other factor fuelling the director running again is the strained relationship between the North Okanagan Regional District and the City of Vernon.
“They are the biggest problem right now. We must try and keep the city off our backs,” said Kanester, who is in his second term and was director for 10 years in the 1980s.
By seeking office again, Kanester believes the five directors can provide some stability for the rural areas.
“There are so many things going on that a new person won’t be able to handle them,” he said.
That is also the view of Field, who has been a director for 14 years.
“If he can, a person should look to stay on to help. It may take some experience,” said Field.
Multiplex becomes Wesbild Centre
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - March 12, 2008
PHOTO - GARY CORNER (right), Greater Vernon Services Committee chairman, discusses the new name of the former Multiplex as Wayne Lippert, GVSC director, and James Cronk, Wesbild Holdings vice-president of marketing, look on. lisa vandervelde/morning star
Wesbild announcement surprises
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - March 14, 2008
Some Greater Vernon politicians are being accused of keeping their colleagues in the dark.
Director Pat Cochrane is concerned that the Greater Vernon Services Committee didn’t ratify the naming rights agreement for the former Multiplex and that some board members weren’t part of the press conference Tuesday that unveiled the new name — Wesbild Centre.
“No where was there a motion to bring this item out of in-camera and my impression was it would come back for approval,” said Cochrane at Thursday’s GVSC meeting.
“So I was surprised that the deal was complete by hearing it on the radio.”
Discussions over the naming rights agreement with Wesbild Holdings were held in-camera because they were legal in nature.
Cochrane believes the entire situation shows “a lack of courtesy.”
The minutes from an in-camera GVSC meeting went before the North Okanagan Regional District board March 5, where the agreement was ratified. It was then decided to embargo the decision until the press conference.
Gary Corner, GVSC chairman, apologized to Cochrane.
“We were trying to put this (agreement) together quickly and we errored,” he said.
Despite the explanation, Cochrane still has concerns.
“Technically it has to go to NORD but this committee should have been notified that the agreement had been ratified and there was a media event to announce the name,” he said.
Corner, who is Coldstream mayor, notified his council Monday night about the press conference Tuesday. But, such a situation did not occur at Vernon city hall.
“It was a big secret at our meeting. We were not informed,” said Cochrane, who is a city councillor.
Director Wayne Lippert, who is Vernon’s mayor, says details of the press conference were established while city council met Monday afternoon.
“I didn’t know the status of it late Monday but it was an error,” he said of not informing council.
Cliff Kanester, BX-Swan Lake director, also says he didn’t become aware of the announcement until he heard it on the radio.
Attending the press conference Tuesday were Corner, Lippert, BX-Silver Star director Stan Field and Jack Gilroy, a city councillor and NORD director.
Dictatorship or Not. What do you think?
If you have comments good or bad, solutions, concerns or complaints regarding Dictatorship disguised as a Democracy, please make a comment to the community by filling out the form below and/or comment directly to the Regional District of Central Okanagan, North Okanagan Regional District, Jim Edgson Central Okanagan West Director, or to whomever your local representation is. Maybe you want to let your local communities association know what you think too. North Westside Communities Association
Maybe government needs to provide information to the people so government can feel more comfortable handing over the decision making to the people?
Maybe government needs to be held more accountable, if they are the ones insisting on the decision making?
"The dumbest people I know are those who Know It All."
If this form does not work please,
View resident's comments here.
Gossip for All
Make a Comment
Gossip for All
Read others Comments
In Other Towns
for Direct Democracy
the right of citizens to hold referenda on any issue
How Direct Democracy could look & work
THAT COUNCIL DRAFT A DIRECT DEMOCRACY BYLAW
ENABLING CITIZEN-INITIATED REFERENDA, COVERING ALL
REGULAR DISTRICT AFFAIRS.
That the bylaw enable citizens to initiate a referendum by a
petition supported by 5% of eligible voters
HOW TO PROCEED
You will find local North Westside Road businesses, services, classifieds, local arts and crafts, vacation waterfront rentals, plus much more located near and around Okanagan Lake. We will be adding to this site, so come back and check it often.