Monday, October 5th2.9°C

World Teachers' Day

In honour of World Teachers’ Day, the Central Okanagan Board of Education is pleased to recognize the contributions of the 1500 teachers within the Central Okanagan School District. This dedicated group of professionals provides invaluable training, mentorship, and encouragement to nearly 22,000 students each day.

Since UNESCO launched World Teachers’ Day in 1993, October 5th provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the work of teachers. Worldwide, there are more than 60 million teachers, the majority of them working in developing countries with limited resources. As such, this day is also a reminder that the great strides in Canadian education are a result of the hard work of countless people working together over many years to create a brighter future for children.

We encourage everyone in the community to recognize the indispensable, often challenging, task of teachers on World Teachers’ Day and everyday.

Moyra Baxter, Chairperson of the Board of Education
Hugh Gloster, Superintendent of Schools


Taxing the rich

“Taxing the rich/corporations will hurt the economy”. This was a headline in the Courier this morning (Oct.1st). This is what the Tory’s always say because they look after the rich and whoever donates to the Party, which are the people and corporations that can afford to do so. 

We don’t make enough money to do that. 

The country is surviving on the backs of the middle class and even the poor. We keep getting taxed more and more with each passing year and our pensions are stagnant as with a lot of the wages of the working people. But, we leave the rich alone. 

If the government got the taxes from all the “hidden” money in off shore accounts, it would make a huge difference. The government created all these loopholes to appease the rich and corporations and have done nothing to close them even though they know they are losing out on millions or even billions of tax dollars for God knows how long. Also, it’s nice to help out 3rd world countries, but what about the people in our own country. It’s a known fact that there are countless parents that aren’t able to provide enough food for themselves and their children. Kids are going to school hungry but the government keeps sending money abroad. Many seniors are eating pet food. Let’s get our own people looked after and then worry about the rest of the world. 

And, if you think that all this money sent abroad is reaching the right people, you’re living in a dream world.

The politicians having the election debates are not being asked the right questions. Its all scripted. When they are asked the tough questions, they ignore it and walk away. Amazing how that works after we elect them.

Bob Harris

Niqab issue

As the issue of the Niqab has seemingly become a major election issue, I felt the need to step back and look at what’s really going on here. I’ll preface my following comments by saying that I do understand where people against the Niqab are coming from. At what point do immigrants to Canada have to adopt Canadian values? But that’s not what this is really about and I’ll get to that in a moment. What this is really about is a government worried about losing absolute power and stoking fears of a specific group of people to garner votes, nothing more. I could go on about all the real issues facing Canada and its people until I’m blue in the face, but let’s look at the facts.

Fact #1: In 2014 Canada had 240,000 new Canadians take the oath of citizenship. Let’s assume 2015 will have the same number of new Canadians. Of those 240,000 new Canadians we have exactly two women who would like to wear their Niqab (and I stress they are fighting to be able to wear it). That would be approximately 0.000008% of new Canadians. I would argue this is a minuscule issue in our democracy being battered repeatedly by much larger issues (see bill C-51). Further, if these women are being forced to wear the Niqab against their will, let’s address the larger issue of oppression as these women would be the victims, not the perpetrators.

Now some readers of this letter will argue the sheer numbers aren’t the point, it’s the Canadian values thing. Okay, fair enough, everyone is entitled to their opinion on that. So let’s really examine that.

Fact #2: The oath of citizenship contains exactly 41 words in the English version. Let’s be generous and suggest it would take 60 seconds to speak the words. What are we really talking about here? Even if we forced these two women to take off their Niqab for those 60 seconds or whatever it may be, after they’ve said the oath, they are free to continue living the rest of their days (50 plus years most likely) as Canadian citizens wearing their Niqab wherever they please and no one can stop them due to their religious freedoms. It starts to seem like a petty endeavour when we are talking about 60 seconds compared to the rest of their lives. If this was really about Canadian values as our government would like to act, the issue would be about more than 60 seconds. Oh and did I mention it’s the middle of an election campaign?

The thought that someone would vote based on this issue makes me cringe. In fact, it’s ludicrous. Please don’t be blinded by hate and fear when there are real issues facing this country in the coming years. The politics of fear are the last refuge of a leader that has nothing left to offer his or her people.

John West

Stop welfare abuse

I have known people in Kelowna who misuse welfare - the food bank and all other services available to the needy. WM is correct in saying that all of these resources should make it a little harder for people to get these services. 

I know of several people as I write this who have been misusing the system, and yes I have called in this info to welfare but to no avail. They talked their way out of it and even had the husband move out for awhile so as to make it appear that they were separated.

Why are people on welfare driving nice, flashy cars while real people can’t get help?

Maybe social service agents need to fight, to be able to look around the home, look for signs that a man lives there when there is only supposed to be women or a mother and her 3 daughters. In this case, daddy lives there only part of the time and the wife works under the table and uses social services as well as the food bank etc.

Lets do more to make it harder for the people misusing the system so they are unable to lie. Check bank statements for the past 3 months not just the month that we are in. Check out their SIN and find out if they have been working. I do work and have also seen several people apply for a job. Have their social worker call to be sure they are working and as soon as that is set up, they quit. It must be nice to be independently wealthy and not have to work and that is what I would call abuse of our system. 

Lets crack down on them and stop this from happening. 

Donald Smith

Alcohol sales

Why is BC so backward about alcohol sales? In Europe, every supermarket sells beer wine and spirits along with grocery items. They don’t seem to have any issues. I would suggest it’s just another government big brother scheme. It’s time they took their heads out of the sand and looked around.

John Woodmore

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