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Deterioration of services

Interior Health can find 15 million dollars for a building in downtown Kelowna. Yet, because of a lack of money, patients in Kelowna and the surrounding areas are losing the only endocrinologist.
Dr. H. H. Chirayath, announcing that his service would no longer be available as a result of a lack of resource for diagnosis and treatment from Interior Health, and commensurate with the increased demand. As a result, his patients would be transferred back to their family physician.

Dr. Chirayath is the only specialist for more than 1.1 million people who live in the vast area of British Columbia north of Chilliwack. It is ironic that B.C. Premium for MSP has increased on a regular basis in the past few years, and it is the only province in Canada to charge the equivalent of head-tax-like premium for health care coverage.  Yet, the province, through Interior Health, cannot afford vital patient care service.
Also, the Liberal government grabbed more than $1.7 billion in revenue from ICBC and BC Hydro on the heels of rate hikes at both Crown corporations. ICBC raised basic insurance rates by 4.9 per cent in November, and Hydro rates are set to go up 28 per cent over the next five years, adding hundreds of dollars to the annual bills of most British Columbians.
With the departure of Dr. Chirayath in June, family physicians would have to refer their patients with endocrine problems to a specialist located in Vancouver, Chilliwack, or Victoria. Waiting time in Kelowna for a patient to see Dr. Chirayath is almost 5 months. Can you imagine how much longer it would take for a family physician to refer patients to one endocrinologist in these three areas? Just think of the added cost to a patient for travel, accommodation, and time!

I have been in Kelowna for 40 years and, as a former Assistant-Director of Nursing and a retired professor of Nursing, I have a good idea of health care. Sadly, the more Kelowna General Hospital grows, with massive amount of money spent on building and middle-management, the worse health care services to the public gets in terms of waiting time for conditions like cataract, hip and knee replacement. Now the departure of a very rare specialist from Kelowna?
I have connections with numerous health service providers, from physicians and surgeons, to attendants. They lament the deterioration of services. There is a provincial election coming next year and I plan to publicly hold the government accountable, especially our Okanagan representatives and that includes the Premier.
My letter, ‘Is it Interior Health or exterior private health’ was published in the Okanagan Saturday of the Daily Courier (June 20, 2015) and I received personal calls from people, especially seniors, who have been waiting years for the above-mentioned conditions.

Needless to say there was no response from Interior Health or any M.L.A. However, if people are titillated for being milked to death, then voters know who and for what party to vote at next year’s provincial election.

Mo Rajabally


Offensive billboard

I was very disturbed by the latest advertisement by the Right to Life, Kelowna brigade, which is on the highway in West Kelowna. 

The add depicts a beautiful little dog on one side of the billboard and an unborn fetus on the other. It asks the question why killing an animal is considered cruelty but aborting a fetus is acceptable. 

Well, first of all, I don’t believe this type of advertising belongs on the side of a highway, or anywhere else for that matter. The whole thing is disturbing. The dog is alive and well, thank you. The fetus isn’t. It can’t function unaided. It isn’t breathing on its own. It is a fetus.

There are many people who probably feel the way I do about this, but putting your name out there may not considered “appropriate”.  Well, I am fed up with it.  I would be very grateful if the Right to Life, Kelowna, would remove this offensive garbage and find a more respectful and less intrusive way of expressing their views. 

Yvonne Callihan

Response to neglected flag

When I look at that flag, it's clear as day that it is a Canadian flag.  

Is it a little worse for wear? Yes. Would it be nice to have a brand new flag waving in the wind to represent our beautiful country? Absolutely. However, if buying a new flag comes out of the same budget that is stretched to the core to fight fires, serve rescue missions, and all of the other public service tasks that our fire team performs, I say let her fly, or do something about it.  In fact, let's buy the flag, and present it as a thank you for their service and effort in the past and what they are about to face with a hotter than ever recorded summer they are about to endure.  

Jesse Paul


Jurisdiction over Aboriginals

Re: Ottawa has jurisdiction over all indigenous people.
We are all equal under the law - except you, and you, and you, and you ...
The federal judiciary has been busy, exercising its colonial prerogatives, and has made a number of rulings over the years, creating several classes of citizens.
The most recent ruling extending the federal government's responsibilities to include approximately 200,000 Métis and 400,000 non-status aboriginal people who are not affiliated with specific reserves, created yet another class.
Determining whether particular individuals are non-status Indians or Métis — or exactly who this ruling now applies to — is a "fact-driven question, to be decided on a case-by-case basis in the future." 
That part of the ruling will translate into countless years of frustrating delays, while wasting billions of dollars in fees for lawyers and court costs.
While Indians/Métis/Eskimos/Indigenous/First Nation/Aboriginals/ etc., or whatever the politically correct term may be at the moment, have been busy filing claims for lands, resources and benefits, the remaining 34 million Canadians, and corporate Canada, has been put on hold wondering when this colonial gong show will stop.
When our Prime Minister in 1982 proposed to re-patriate the Constitution, he was referring to the BNA (British North America Act), an Act the British government used to control its many colonies.
Colonial rule is a thing of the past, and almost all of those colonies have become sovereign countries, and have written their own Constitution.
Canadian politicians are refusing to make the transition, and the government of the day continues to ‘colonize’ the country – without even ‘consulting’ with the Aboriginals.
This year alone, Liberal Immigration Minister John McCallum is proposing to accept 305,000 new ‘permanent residents’. What rights will those people have?
Over the last four centuries, millions of Europeans immigrated to Canada in good faith, and helped toil and build the Canada we have today. What rights to lands and resources will they ultimately have – if any?
According to Delgamuukw, at paragraph 190, Aboriginal title comes with an important restriction — it is collective title.
Without title ‘fee simple’ Indians will never be able to own property on Indian lands, let alone have the financial freedom to participate in and benefit from, the 21st century Canadian socio-economic future.
The ruling will only set the stage for another Attawapiskat.
To insist the Indians/Métis/Eskimos/Indigenous/First Nation/Aboriginals/etc. continue to live in the past, each with its own set of rules, is incomprehensible.

Andy Thomsen

What will it take?

Why is it that we have to wait until countless people lose their lives before we act? Is our government so self-involved that they can’t see past their fat salaries and healthy “stipends” (a new term for “you owe me a favour”)? 

Distracted driving is becoming an epidemic, and whether we want to admit it or not, is quickly passing impaired driving as the leading cause of motor vehicle fatalities. Yet our transportation minister would seemingly rather up speed limits and create laws that force people to get of the way so speeders can speed without impediment, rather than focus on a law that might actually do some good or “save” lives. 

Just today, a co-worker on the way to work barely missed being hit head on by a young lady who clipped her car in the lane beside her and then spun across oncoming traffic, apparently as a result of texting. 

How many of the string of fatal crashes we have seen in the Okanagan lately were also related to distracted drivers and we just don’t know about it? 

I see it almost daily now someone talking or texting while driving, and the $160 fine is no deterrent what-so-ever as enforcement is virtually nonexistent. They need to make the law so severe that people dare not take the chance. I mean isn’t your “life” worth that? Mine certainly is! 

Impound their vehicle, take away their license for a year, do something that will deter this incredibly selfish behaviour before someone else has to die.

Keith Quesnel

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