I just got off the telephone with a gentleman of eighty years of age. He lives alone. He is due to have a hip replacement. This man has had a heart attack, a stroke, is diabetic and has severe arthritis, particularly in his hands. The man is in agony. Yet, because Interior Health has deemed this "elective" surgery, he is getting practically no help at all.
He is actually expected to inject himself with needles after the operation. A young nurse at Interior Health humiliated him in front of a crowded patient’s office by telling him that ninety-five year old women can do it themselves. They are going to throw this man out of hospital as soon as they can, and he has no place to go. Interior Health has apparently cancelled rehab at Cottonwoods. Maybe the new offices on Doyle have soaked up all their money. How is this man expected to take care of himself when he can hardly move? He’s had to buy many supplies and is expected to buy even more immediately when he is released. How can he do this when he cannot move? Is the Minister of Health, Terry Lake, asleep on the job? It seems that Interior Health does not care one jot about senior citizens, and Christy Clark doesn’t seem to care either. Seniors are only good for this government come voting time. It is high time things change.
Seniors have to take up the clarion call that we are not to be stepped on by a government that doesn’t care, that is deliberately trying to starve national health in favour of private American healthcare. God forbid if that happens. We will all be dropping dead on the streets. I’ve seen it happen in the USA, and, guess what? They will let you. Wake up, editor and tell the truth about what is happening. Help seniors and stop this rot that is destroying Interior Health and the Canadian health system right here in Kelowna.
Laurence D. M. Marshall
Congratulations to all involved at the City, and all members of Kelowna City Council, for their great foresight and vision in purchasing the land on Lakeshore Road to be used as a lakefront park.
This will be a priceless valuable asset for both residents and tourists for generations.
Regarding the major land purchase by the City for a waterfront park, it was reported, “The city has not made a purchase of land this significant in over 40 years,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “The $12 million, 2.9 acre land purchase is funded through the Development Cost Charges Program and land reserves.”
Perhaps they have conveniently and once again forgotten that during the nine years between 1989 and 1997 (18 years ago) they purchased eleven nearly identical properties for $3.9 million totalling 900 feet of sandy waterfront. I have 26 pages of the then confidential documents carefully detailing the acquisition of each property and the purpose. For example, in 1992 one paragraph of the 3096 Walnut Road purchase reads;
"Property acquisitions to the north of Cedar Avenue were initiated with the express purpose of expanding this beach end as a neighbourhood lake access park. The lake access in this area is fairly sandy with a gently sloping bottom suitable for swimming. The Leisure Services Department initially supported expansion of the Cedar Avenue beach end to the north for development of a neighbourhood lake access park. The Leisure Services Department also supports extension of this park down to Meikle Avenue beach access because of the ability to include the 66 foot road right-of-way and the large portion of Crown foreshore in the park development at no cost to the City. Staff's recommendation is to continue renting the existing residences until all properties have been acquired and then to develop the entire area as a neighbourhood beach front park similar to Kinsmen and Strathcona parks."
The area being referred to is at the foot of Cedar Avenue in the heart of the growing Pandosy Village. Many of you will recall the more recent public initiative to get the city to recognize what this purchase was for after the city attempted to have it sold for development. They have since designated the land for some loose form of "eventual" park use, but the current 2030 financial plan does not allocate any money to develop the beach and park until 2027; 30 years from when the land assembly was finished. Even 2027 is arbitrary because who knows what council 12 years from now will want.
Surely, a rapidly growing and affluent city could have afforded the little it would have taken to make the Cedar Avenue waterfront accessible to the public. After all, the city even admits that in its surveys increased public access to the waterfront remains among the highest priorities.
Rather, I believe that this latest and very expensive land purchase will eventually be treated similar to Cedar Avenue in that the ultimate goal is to sell the land for development but keep a sliver of the waterfront as a public boardwalk. As far as an actual park, we are likely again being sold a pipe dream.
I had occasion to go to the Kelowna Ministry of Social Services Nov. 17th only to see a line-up of 15-18 people standing soaking wet and very cold, huddled against freezing winds and rain, outside a closed Ministry door. I was a little shocked and immediately confused. It was 1:30 pm, the doors reopened at 1 pm – why on earth were all these people, half of whom were very elderly, being forced to stand outside in elements I wouldn't allow my dog to stand out in.
I asked the elderly gentleman standing in front of me at the end of the line, “Why are we standing out here – don't they open the doors at 1?” He shook his head, freezing rain dripping from his face. “They won't let us in.” That's all he would say and turned back to face forward.
I cupped my hands around my eyes and peered through the large windows that ran the front of the building. The entire length of the room inside was empty all the way across to a long counter which ran the width of a huge room, with cubicles on the other side for the workers. A small group of wet, cold people were sitting on the far side of the counter at the one open end in the 5 or 6 chairs that were available.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing. We didn't need chairs inside but we certainly needed to be inside. Standing in all that warm, dry, empty space.
I understand there can be and are problems with some individuals who come in there and safety is priority. But safety is priority for every single one of us and it goes hand in hand with basic human decency and respect. Most especially from our own, tax paid for by you and I, Ministry for Social Services. I wonder how many of those elderly people came down with pneumonia that day, how many of those arthritic limbs would ache cripplingly for days after their indecent and prolonged exposure to bad weather, for no reason whatsoever other than the perpetration of callous disrespect and selfish mindlessness of an agency “dedicated” to the exact opposite.
I'm starting with a letter to the editors of newspapers and sites, and most importantly I think, to our Premier of BC and our Mayor and City Council of Kelowna. They can and I hope will, rectify this abominable behaviour immediately to the basic self-respect, dignity and safety of all of us.
Would you like to be able to walk along more of Kelowna's lakeshore?
Many people don't know that Okanagan Lake collectively belongs to the citizens of BC.
The Province has long had laws that prohibit fences or other obstructions along most of the shoreline that's below the high-water line. It's up to the Province to enforce the laws that they made. To improve our access to our lake, they've introduced a web-site and toll-free number so that you can confidentially report specific blockages along the foreshore. You can also attach photos at their web-site.
This is the phone number: 1-844-676-8477
This is the web-site: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hen/nrv/report.htm
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