Friday, February 27th5.9°C
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Citizens not cash cows

I have to wonder where West Kelowna's council's brains were when they signed this deal. I have seen 4 firefighters take their fire truck to go shopping for groceries. I have seen 4 firefighters take their fire truck and go get coffee at Starbucks. I have spoken to business owners that have firefighters wander around their store doing absolutely nothing (yes the owner of the store asked if he could help them) and now they are going to get a 2.5%  raise per year for 5 years when the majority of citizens in West Kelowna probably haven't had a raise in 5-10 years.

We the citizens are not cash cows for you to take advantage of when ever you feel the need. In the future when the other employees of the taxpayers of West Kelowna want a raise where do you think they will point their finger and say "they got that much so we deserve that much as well”?

I voted for some of you who promised fiscal responsibility and the first thing you do is break your promise. Why oh why do I ever believe a politician

James Fenton 



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Trail doesn’t help Lake Country

Re: Corridor must be saved

It is not a measly 27 dollars, it is over 100 dollars when our roads, sewer, and water systems are poor. Not to mention the paying Kelowna back for that borrowed money. As a lake country tax payer from Carrs Landing, this trail would be of no assistance to us. It is life or death to pick up our mail on Carrs Landing Rd., so a hiking trail for a few people does not help the residents of lake country. 

Kathy Smith



Gasoline price gouging in Kelowna

As the Crude Oil price continues to fall on the world markets, the gasoline service station’s cartel in the Kelowna area decide it’s time to increase the price of their gasoline. We recently saw the price charged by all stations in Kelowna and district jump from 99.9 cents a litre to 109.9 cents per litre overnight. 

Kelowna motorists who plan on driving north to Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Salmon Arm and Kamloops should not fill up if they have sufficient fuel to get to any of these locations.  Those going south can fill up in Summerland for 101.9 cents per litre and Penticton for 99.9 cents per litre. 

If you are heading north as of Monday morning (February 23rd), prices are 103.9 in Vernon and Armstrong, 103.9 in Enderby, 97.0 in Salmon Arm, Sorrento 97.9 and 96.9 in Kamloops. This could save you up to 10 cents a litre or 45 cents per gallon. With an average fill up of 60 litres, the savings can be significant. 

Why support service stations who seem to increase their price when the cost of the crude oil goes down. The summer months are coming and most likely here in Kelowna we will see prices increase again each weekend on a Thursday or Friday as in the past. We need fuel, but at what price should we have to pay?

G. Taylor





It’s up to you in the end

Re: Degrees vs Trades

Mr.Boyd, I think you are very inaccurate in your assumption that degrees out weight trades. I think either is a great option period, you can never go wrong with education. What I do disagree with is your slander against the trades. I started my trade without any education besides high school, which means I also started my career with zero debt. The longest I have been laid off was the ten weeks I attended school, even during the tough times of 2008-2009 I still found employment. The company I have been working for matches my RRSPs up to $11,000 a year, has outstanding benefits, 90/100 and gives me as much holiday time as I would like, mostly unpaid but I doubt you can find a career besides teaching that lets you take off the entire summer and return in September. 

As for not getting ahead in a trade, well I have one four year old vehicle paid off just bought a second, my mortgage has been suffering from the extra payments I make on it but its getting down there. Besides that I have zero debt, I cant wait to feel what its like to get ahead. Making over two hundred thousand last year was a bit of a struggle, but you will be hard pressed to find a four year degree that pays more than that. Whether you have a degree or trade certificate, hard work pays off and if you're not willing to work hard you're not going to get anywhere. 

In the end, neither path is better or worse, it’s what you do with the education you receive that matters.

Mike Mussell
Red Seal Electrician



BC Resident Hunters - Guardians of Our Most Precious Resource

I urge all BC residents to seek out and understand the real issues facing our great province and the privatization of our wildlife and the lands they live on.  This is not the rant of a hunter, this is a plea to all those who care about our most precious resource to make a stand against the Liberal Government and the Guide Outfitters of BC (GOABC) and tell them that our wildlife is not for sale and never will be.  Here are a few things you should know and I urge Castanet and all who doubt it to do their own research.

  • Why is it that Mr. Thompson and Mr. Ellis time and time again state that these allocations are only a very small percentage of the “animals we currently hunt” or “total hunting opportunities”.  Sure that’s fine if we all want to simply hunt deer, black bear and grouse.  What they are leaving out is that it has large impacts to our opportunities to hunt other species such as moose, elk, sheep, goat, etc., where available opportunities are very limited and are only by lottery or a very expensive trip to the far north.  Thompson and Ellis do this purposefully to dilute the issue…to give us the impression that the change is so minute it shouldn’t even be an issue.
         
  • Thompson states that BC residents are still getting the priority.  This is true and holds true even if the allocations were 51% resident to 49% non-resident.  The use of the word “priority” in this case is grossly misused.  In all of North America, the allocation to non-resident hunters is between 5%-10% maximum and yet, this latest policy change (and even the 2007 one referred) sees a proportionate for non-residents from 25-40% for many of these species noted. So in reality, we are fighting for much more than the 2007 allocations…we should be overhauling the whole system. 
         
  • There are over 100,000 resident hunters in BC (over 20% increase in the last decade) vs. 4,500 non-resident hunters (steadily declining over the last decade).  Why then would be increase opportunities for non-residents and reduce them for residents…this logic is flawed on its most basic level.  Furthermore, I think someone needs to take a closer look at the revenue projections identified for resident hunters vs. non-residents.  To suggest that we only produce 2x that of non-residents is ludicrous and I suspect we are not comparing apples to apples.  The article suggests that and I quote Mr. Ellis "They use airlines, buy food, buy supplies, bullets, eat in restaurants, stay in hotels. Outfitters employ staff, buy quads, pay taxes – these are local guys, and the money stays in the community."  Are we applying the same expenses to residents who pay for flights, food, fuel, hotels, quads, trucks, travel trailers, boats, etc?  If we are comparing like for like, I suspect that much like the 100,000 vs. 4,500 ratio (20x) I suspect the revenue introduced into the economy is 20 fold as well.  Further, I’d like to know how many of the 230 guide outfitters are actually full-time residents of BC.  I know the general BC public would be quite surprised.
         
  • The BCWF and its members contribute over 300,000 volunteer hours to support our wildlife and the environments in which we live.  I’d like to know how much the GOABC gives back and what value the government places on this.  Additionally, a percentage of every licence and tag purchased goes directly towards wildlife management.  100,000 resident hunters contribute far more dollars to the cause then that 4,500 non-residents.
         
  • Perhaps this is simply a change in the times.  Guide Outfitters that understand their business and are outstanding at their craft will continue to survive.  They will be innovators and be creative with opportunities to draw in business.  Handouts are not the answer and never have been…especially when it is at the expense of the other.  Mr. Ellis argues that guide outfitting has a long-standing tradition in our history but I can assure you…hunting for oneself and his/her family is as old as our time on this planet.
     
  • Lastly, political campaign contributions are public record.  I'd like Castanet to publish the contributions that GOABC, Mr. Ellis and other representatives of the GOABC provided to the Liberal Party during the last election.  It is hundreds of thousands of dollars and all of it is public information if a reporter were so inclined to find the TRUTH.  This from the same group who advocated that their members are going broke across the province.

The GOABC is also lobbying government to restrict access to resident hunters in certain areas but these same areas are allowed access by outfitters.  There is far more to this story than the government wants you to know about and they trivialize it and us with their statements.

Money talks and I think you will see that GOABC and the Liberal Government have spoken loud and clear that our province's resources ARE for sale.

Wade Llugs - Resident BC Hunter



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