LETTERS: City responses to information requests are skimpy

As a citizen of British Columbia, are you not outraged by the current and ongoing revelations by our greedy and self righteous elected politicians in Victoria?

A reporter asked Speaker Linda Reid if more suspect expenditures would be disclosed in the near future. Reid replied she would not know until after the month end. She knows now if she will be cutting more cheques to B.C. taxpayers. Are honesty and integrity lacking in the politicians that we elect and send to Victoria?.

When Speaker Reid indicated first class travel and other expenditures for spouses have long been considered eligible and recoverable expenses in past administrations, did she not implicate the prior Speaker and all current and prior MLAs into the scandal? Will the prior Speaker and others be reviewing their moral conscience and cutting cheques back to taxpayers?

How many politicians will fall from grace in the eyes of the electorate in the next election? The Portland Hotel Society has probably claimed the political life of Jenny Kwan, and so it should put her in her political coffin. Many more politicians will probably be outed by the information commissioner in the near future. It would appear that the current commissioner is taking her job seriously in providing honest and meaningful information to the press and individuals that have taken the time to attempt to verify political wrong-doings in Victoria and hopefully municipalities.

More Penticton citizens need to send a message to our mayor, council and bureaucrats that the game has changed, if you want to play in the game, you had better review your moral conscience regarding honesty, transparency, accountability and openness to your electorate.

Why am I being forced by council and one bureaucrat to have the information commissioner become involved in what information council is obligated to provide to the Penticton electorate and citizens. The current responses to freedom of information requests are neither meaningful nor acceptable and should be co-signed by the mayor. The bureaucrat that writes the response should be the one signing the response. Council should tell that bureaucrat to get honest with the responses to FOI requests received from the public and issue an ultimatum to the bureaucrat that refuses to respect the rights of the citizens.

I was not aware that council does not receive copies of freedom of information requests; maybe if they did, a person would receive some meaningful information. Nothing surprises me with the decision making process at city hall.

Ted Wiltse



B.C. Liberals disappointing

I would just like to extend congratulations to our MLA Dan Ashton as well the B.C. Liberals for the passage of Bill 4 also known as the Park Amendment Act which will open the door to pipelines, oil and gas drilling and industrial activities in provincial parks. Excellent environmental stewardship.

According to a freedom of information request your government is looking at boundary changes to over 30 parks to ram through LNG pipelines as well as the Kinder Morgan expansion, excellent governing.

Another feather in the cap for the B.C. Liberals along with dismantling sections of the ALR, structurally bankrupting BC Hydro and running BC Ferries into the ground. Good work guys.

Who voted for these people?

Cody Young



Harper’s comments ironic

Something is drastically wrong with this picture as I understood from the media that 95 per cent of  Crimeans voted to rejoin Russia ?

It becomes more difficult every day trying to understand the rhetoric of two-faced PM Stephen Harper who appears to be chained to U.S. President  Barack Obama who said, “Once again we are confronted with the belief among some that bigger nations can bully smaller ones to get their way.”

Mean time Harper is mimicking Obama’s words in Germany, reminding them, “they should know better than anyone about invading neighbours or carve off pieces.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin must be pulling petals off daisies while muttering, “He (Stephen) loves me — he loves me not?”

Turn the pages in the same newspaper and you will read that Canada, Russia talk about  the Arctic and Harper says Russia is co-operating

I  believe the meetings one day may determine how much of the resource’s trapped under the many northern ice cubes the eight member group can claim. How would Harper answer the question, “How are things going in Canada?”

Would he tell the truth?

Tom Isherwood



RCMP fixing what isn’t broken

Recently, the local RCMP detachment had a change in command.  Supt. Kevin Hewco took the helm of the RCMP ship. From his past record, he seems well qualified for the task at hand. I wish him well.

I was very interested in his take or adjudication of the Crime Stopper program here in the city. It would appear that he extolled its virtue and benefit to all of the communities it served.

When I read that he felt that the program could be better still if it were somehow streamlined or indirectly aligned with police services, I wondered as to how, in his short time here, he arrived at this conclusion. I am wondering as to what the evaluative process was. I hope the evaluation encompassed more than subjectivity and the volunteer board and staff of the program had input into the evaluation. If it was a subjective evaluation, the validity might come into question as I have found information that shows the Penticton unit is in the top 15-20 per cent success and efficacy rating of all 30 units in the province. Further to that, if it were to become an adjunct of the police services, how might anonymity be affected? So much for the old adage, “If it ain’t  broke don’t fix it!”

Ron Barillaro



New title for Harper

Throughout history, people who have made their mark on history have been given titles, eventually epitaphs. Mr. Harper has declared his desire to go down in history. Perhaps we should honour that request with a title. I suggest that, hence forth, Mr. Harper shall be known as Harper the Terrible.

Leo Young



Hotel tax not collected for taxpayers

(re: Row over tourism cash rests in hands of judge, Western News, March 26)

“The City of Penticton has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that taxpayer’s money is spent for which it was intended,” said Litke. Perhaps Litke needs to be reminded that it is not Penticton taxpayers money. Yes it is a 2 per cent tax collected by motels and hotels in Penticton. Guests pay the tax on top of their nightly rate. It is collected from everyone no matter if you are visiting from Vancouver or Frankfurt. Again, Mr. Litke, it is not taxpayers money. I for one think the PHA has done a terrific job so far despite the city’s interference. Have you seen the Peachfest float trailer? Kudos to the PHA for getting that done!!

Kim Mayo



Canadians need renewed Health Accord

Open letter to Hon. Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health:

My constituents are very concerned about the future of health care in our country.  They are asking the federal government to commit to a renewed Health Accord in 2014 and to work with the provinces and territories on health care innovation so Canadians can continue to receive the care they need.

Health care is a priority for Canadians. It is not acceptable the existing Health Accord is being allowed to expire.  Instead of negotiating a new agreement, the government is taking steps to undermine our healthcare system by unilaterally cutting $36 billion in federal health funding to the provinces.

Downloading health costs to the provinces will lead inevitably to disparity in care standards from province to province, including longer wait times, reduced services and limited access to long-term care.

All Canadians, wherever they live, deserve equal access to affordable medications; primary care clinics with doctors, nurses and allied health professionals; and continuing care across their lifespan.

To ensure that Canadians receive the quality of health care they deserve, I respectfully urge you to work with the Premiers to develop a 2014 Health Accord and invest for the long-term in an improved universal health care system.

Alex Atamanenko, MP

BC Southern Interior

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