John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Sometimes it is difficult to understand the workings of Interior Health and the way they answer to serious health situations that require the public's knowledge.  Of course I am writing about the weekend news that carried the story on the Novartis Agriflu serum that three provinces were using at their injection sites for this season's flu shots. I believe it was Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The information for the problem that has developed in that particular product was immediately sent to the media in Saskatchewan and Ontario and of course the pharmacists.

The pharmacists in this province were not told anything officially until late Saturday afternoon. Our local pharmacies picked up the TV news from the east and stopped using the product on Sunday morning at 11:48 AM when a fax arrived explaining the situation.

Here is the situation and it bothers me when organizations that have PR staff available don’t use the advice and create a news release immediately. Maybe in the case of B.C. health organizations they may not have those services available on Saturday and Sunday?  A crisis only becomes a crisis when the media decides to make it one. That is why getting a handle on this kind of information is so important.

This was a weekend for bad communications from the government as the earthquake and possible tsunami demanded immediate information releases. It took them over forty minutes to release anything although the U.S. got their first information out in 12 minutes. The minister in charge said that we just can’t send out information until we know what happened. How did they know south of the border in twelve minutes there was something happening that the public needed to know?

I did talk to a pharmacist today and he told me that people that have had their flu shot where this product was used shouldn’t be concerned and it can’t hurt you. The flu shot sites are waiting for a clearance from the government before proceeding with its use.

In the meantime, do get your flu shots as this is not the time to stop being immunized.


I made a mistake last week by including the Whole Foods Market in Penticton into my story on the expansion of Whole Foods into Canada next year. The Whole Foods Market in Penticton is not part of the Austin, Texas chain. It seems according to the management that Whole Foods Market is not registered as a company or can’t be would be more correct. It was a mistake that I regret.

I went back to the press information I hade received about the expansion of Whole Foods to 32 stores in Canada. Their VP of Whole Foods Market is quoted as saying the company in looking for real estate based on population and university educated people. I should have realized because where we stay in LaJolla, California there is a Whole Foods and the University of South Cal. It is a busy place. Maybe the real estate people looking at Canada could see some opportunities in the Kelowna market.


TD Bank Group have picked up the U.S. portfolio of Target credit cards as part of a bigger relationship with the giant retailer. TD Bank has become the issuer of Target credit cards south of the border.


Word came to my desk last Friday that a local resident is planning to build a winery second to none in this valley. This will be a legacy to the family name.

From what I can gather, and it is a rumour at the moment, (although these are very reliable sources) I don't think the entire proposal will surprise you.

Money is certainly no problem.

There is also a major rumour concerning one of the bigger wineries in the valley and that someone has offered a large sum of money to buy them out.

I understand the offer has been made and it is on the table.

We have seen smaller wineries change hands over the years but nothing this big.  We’ll have to wait and see although I have a feeling it won’t happen.


I heard today that MichaelBrooke Ranch golf course has been be sold. It doesn’t seem that it was on the market too long. When we moved here that was a sod farm and next door was an airfield. The first time I drove down Swamp Road I thought a plane was crashing.

This is a very popular golf course and has developed into a meeting place over the years. There are lots of lost balls in the ditches along Swamp Road.  At one time the owner of the course pulled an old tug out of the lake and moved it up to the course.  I don’t know what happened to that idea.


I received an email last week telling me it was people like me that won’t let the new name West Kelowna become real because we keep using the name Westside or Westbank.

Here are my findings:  From the new mall where the Landmark Theatres are, right up to Winners, the land is owned by the Westbank First Nation. Do they still use Westbank as an address?  Then old downtown Westbank does refer to them as Westbank in the district of West Kelowna.

We took a ride over there on the weekend and counted four signs with Westbank printed on them.  One sign out by Gorman’s says Welcome to Westbank.


The property at the corner of Old Meadows Road and Gordon Drive in the North West corner has been sold. The development group that bought the site have plans for that corner that you might not believe. It is about the last piece of Gordon Drive left for construction.


Costco earnings have beat expectations with more customers coming through the doors and more people becoming members.

Costco shares went up to $102.54.

They are the 21st largest company operating in B.C.


Enderby and District Credit Union is in formal discussions with First West Credit Union, the third largest credit union in the province. The approval of this merger will give the Enderby branch new products for their clients.

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