Letters To The Editor
KUDOS OFFERED TO COUNCIL
Osoyoos Now! spent a lot of time last year criticizing Council (and with good cause), so it's only fair that we should give credit when it's due and acknowledge the excellent work that they have been doing this year “ implementing our recommendations on improving communication with the community, taking action to assure public access to our lakeshore, requiring information signs to be posted on future development sites, and incorporating the Riparian Areas Regulations into our bylaws.
Robin GubbyrnSecretary-Treasurer, Osoyoos Now Society
[b]TIME CRITICAL FOR N.W. SEWERS[/b]
Last week's story about the Town's boundary expansion failure begs an explanation and update. The outcome was preordained with the way Town justified the referendum question and presented it to only those areas they were interested in. The message, loud and clear, was never in doubt – leave the rural areas alone.
Area 'A' Director Pendergraft was reported to have said there were not as many respondents as had been hoped for so he wasn't sure how to interpret the message. Oh really? All you had to do was read the first two notices sent by the Town. Rural residents affected were instructed that they only needed to reply if they were in favour of becoming part of the Town. Not responding at all was the only decisive option offered and rural property owners expressed their true feelings as originally requested. Overall about 65% turned down annexation and it would have been considerably higher if the rest of the rural residents had been given an equal say in the referendum debate. Sewer and a better water supply around the lake are the number one issues, and Town is not the only agency capable of achieving this goal.
It is time we stopped the protracted rural/town negotiations for sewers around the lake. The Rural Director must know that a new right of way agreement along the NW Corridor has been in place for two years, negotiated at great effort on behalf of the sustainable health of Osoyoos Lake and all of us that care. The RDOS, with all the cooperating landowners, signed a second contract to finally get sewers to Willow Beach. It is the Town's engineers that have done the planning and cost analysis.
Several times over the past fifteen years the Town, for political reasons only, agreed to a joint service sewer project with the rural area and then reneged at the last moment. Just before last spring's election, we were assured by the Provincial and Federal Governments that 2/3 funding was available for this high priority NW Sector sewer system. At the last moment our mayor scuttled the joint effort by telling our local MLA and then Cabinet Minister, in writing (I have a copy of the April 13 letter) that the Council of the time would only approve sewer connection to their system in the context of boundary expansion. I even went to a Council Meeting to try to get them to see the great opportunity available in 2005. They turned down the Regional District offer of a joint venture service agreement.
Now, after the embarrassing referendum defeat, the Town is once again going to appeal to the Province to study the sewer and water situation around our Lake. Do we really need to waste more tax dollars on yet another study? Could not those dollars be put to better use in actually getting work underway?rnThe Rural Director is now contemplating approaching the Town to negotiate a deal for sewers around our waterways, this for the umpteenth time. What hilarious but deadly serious comedy! We have an agreement in place, free of charge to the Town, signed by the affected land owners along the old CPALO lakeshore line, to allow sewers to economically reach the head of the Lake along the NW shore, as is so urgently needed. These individually registered easements run for only two more years, till late 2008. Let us not forget this needed right of way was muffed collectively once before by allowing the original ten-year deal to lapse. All political squabbling should stop now to effect a properly engineered and financed sewer line to Willow Beach before this latest agreement runs out for good.
Eike G. SchefflerrnOsoyoos
[b]POWER-LINE ISSUE NEEDS YOUR VOICES[/b]
Re: Fortis-Proposed Substation and Transmission Line:rnOn March 20, 21, 2006, the Town of Osoyoos, Osoyoos Now and Osoyoos intervenors, met with the BCUC Commission, and the Fortis Panel to give evidence and arguments in regards to the Options Fortis wanted. We all did not agree with it “ placing transmission lines along Kingfisher Street. This has now been changed.
We the tax payers of Osoyoos also want the old substation moved to the industrial site; Fortis has the land on 115th in the Industrial Park.
This substation was built in 1951 and upgraded in 1976. In 2006 they want to replace one transformer and refurbish another. A 2.5 million dollar bandage.
This substation is in the wrong place for a number of reasons in 2006. We should be concerned about health and safety for all of us, including at the school, the daycare centre, the beach and the park.
The writer also lives on the East Bench and now we are concerned as to how Fortis will put transmission lines and distribution Lines from the Nk'Mip substation, to connect to the west side.
This is very important. The rural area owners should give letters of comments to BCUC and RDOS. Voice your opinion. Do you want to see poles, etc. when you come down Anarchist Mountain? I don't think so.
It would restrict the beautiful view we have now!
Osoyoos, wake up. Only a handfull of people are volunteering to speak up on your behalf. We need support and your voice, your concerns, opinions or alternatives. Another application will take place sometime in the future. Let's be prepared, not 5 or 10 years behind. This is 2006. The town and rural area are growing. Let's get with the times.
I want to personally thank the Town of Osoyoos, Osoyoos Now and you intervenors who gave your time to put Osoyoos back on track. Thanks.
Barbara SmithrnOsoyoosrnIntervenor in thernFortisBC application
[b]KRUGER MTN. ANNEXATION WARRANTS STUDY[/b]
On general annexation “ it is a no-brainer to incorporate the five NE sector lots into Town.
The Kruger Mountain area annexation should, however, be stayed until such time as a proper environmental development area assessment is performed by non-biased reputable consultants. This area represents the largest remaining environmentally sensitive grassland, with extremely high community values, within sight of Town. What to do with it concerns all of us in the extended community.
It really does not matter which level of government owns these lands today. The fact remains that the Town craves this rural expansion area for its intrinsic assessment values.
My concern is, who speaks for this rural area? There is only one private property involved. Should we leave the pertinent decisions to the Town and/or the Province alone?rnThe RDOS needs to wake up soon. Today this area is protected in our Rural Area 'A' OCP as environmentally sensitive development permit area, as it should be.
Eike G. SchefflerrnOsoyoos
[b]APPLY AS REFUGEES, NOT PENSIONERS?[/b]
Do not apply for your old age pension. Apply to be a refugee.
It is interesting that the federal government provides a single refugee with a monthly allowance of $1,890 and each can get an additional $580 in social assistance for a total of $2,470.
This compares very well to a single pensioner who, after contributing to the growth and development of Canada for 40 or 50 years, can only receive a monthly maximum of $1,012 in old age pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement.
Maybe our pensioners should apply as refugees!rnLet's send this thought to as many Canadians as we can and maybe we can get the refugees cut back to $1,012 and the pensioners up to $2,470, so they can enjoy the money they were forced to submit to the Canadian government for those 40 to 50 years.
M. & M. CraftrnBurnaby
[b]PUBLISHING LETTERS PART OF DEMOCRACY[/b]
Re: Inclusion 0f Letter Critical Of Desert Valley Care 'Objectionable'rnI'm certain that after some time to consider his letter Mr. Millward realizes that it was inappropriate. In my humble opinion, an editor who permits any readers' letters to be published in his paper, should only refuse to publish another on the grounds that it is insulting, libelous, defamatory, totally irrelevant, or when there is no further space for such a letter. Perhaps an editor can add to the list.
But there are also legal resorts to any reader, who is the subject of such a letter, by which he/she can seek redress.
But to refuse to do so because it might be in disagreement with any of the paper's advertisers, an editor would simply be bowing to blackmail.
I suggest that in our democratic country such a policy would be a retreat to the early days when our democracy was not yet firmly established.
It would also be to follow the policies of the now-dead Soviet Union, of Ukraine before the Orange Revolution, of Belarus, of today, etc.. I would suggest that this would not be what Canadians wish to accept willingly.
I regret Mr. Millward's hasty decision to write such a letter, but I compliment the editor of the Osoyoos Times for publishing it in his paper.
[b]REGIONAL GROWTH STRATEGY CALLS FOR MORE INPUT[/b]
Re: Julie Turner's article “ March 15/06, Page 5 in the Osoyoos Times.
Regional Growth Strategy may be commendable, however 55 people, no matter how well-intended, do not consensus make.
'Open House coming' smacks of decisions already made for us to look at “ and agree with?rnDirector Pendergraft is on the right track saying he wishes attendance had been higher, but how to accomplish that is the mystery of the ages.
I would suggest that more time and more input be given before we end up with anything 'written in stone' taking the final step to be written in law.