John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Last week when George Lucas and Disney announced the sale of Lucas Films to Mickey Mouse for $4 billion it brought back memories of a book I read many years ago written by Walt’s brother Roy. Walt was a hero of mine all through my business career. 

Roy wrote in the book that one day he walked into Walt’s office and said to him, "We owe the Bank of America $2 million.”

Walt replied, “Who would have ever thought that two boys from Kansas could owe the Bank of America $2 million? Don’t worry about it.”


I have been writing the Rumours and Things column for twenty-five years and my record is pretty good when it comes to picking the right rumour and trusting my sources. But sometime you win and sometimes you lose.

I stated last week that I thought the MichaelBrook Ranch property had been sold. I believe it is still for sale and no deal was made - my sources were wrong. It shouldn’t happen this way and my record is good over the years but not this time. I apologize for that.


I still get these emails asking about the Lowes store for Kelowna and I keep telling readers that at the moment Lowes and Rona are very quiet about the offer that Lowes made of $1.8 billion for the Rona chain and then withdrew.  I don’t think the deal is over although it’s hard to say with the new political climate in the province. In the Lowes chain there is a lot of smaller hardware stores and that would be a difficult move for Lowes, although not impossible.

Lowes has over thirty stores in Canada at the present time and wants more across the country to compete in the marketplace. The Kelowna location and the local people that are involved sit and wait as well.


There is word from City Hall that a number of changes have been made by City Manager Ron Mattiussi involving senior management posts within the city hall. Most notable is the moving of Jim Paterson from Manager of Community Sustainability to a new position as Business Development Manager. There are about four changes, some temporary in the internal memo. The changes at City Hall are immediate.


The property at the corner of Old Meadows Road and Gordon Drive has been sold to the Mission Group for $3.25 million. Mission Group are one of our more prominent builders and developers. I understand from the street talk that this is land that will be developed. It is one of the last locations on Gordon Drive for a proposed project like this. 


Be careful, the phones are ringing and the scammers are working as the robo dial machines are calling anybody who will listen to donate money to the people in the storm zone in the U.S.

These are pressure packed agents who want your donation but none of the money will ever see the people who need the help and according to the report I received they don’t stop there because they are using the names of some of the major charities in this situation.     


There was a good piece on CBC The National this week about the charges Budget Rent-A-Car laid on their customers after they have been signed off and everything appeared good.

It seems a lady had signed off after a complete inspection and when she got here credit card statement she had been charged $300 for a dent that nobody could see. Remember, they do have a copy of your credit card. This so called dent was looked at by insurance adjusters who work for Budget Vancouver and a body shop that also is owned by the Vancouver company.

That has always bothered me when I turn a car in south of the border even though I have inspected it, the clerk at the gate did the same and signed me off, they still had my credit card and who knows how long they keep it. If business is bad let's find some dents.

The supposed owner of the B.C. franchise handled the media very poorly and almost threw the reporter out on her backside.

Be careful when you rent a car and return it.  Take some pictures with your camera.


Good Morning John,

For clarity, west of the bridge we have 4 distinct areas. The largest being the District of West Kelowna, with sub taxation areas of Westbank Irrigation District and Lakeview Heights Irrigation District. Next is the Westbank First Nations Land comprised of IR#9 and IR#10 and is registered as "Westbank" Federal Crown Land, and I do not think you will ever hear the description of District of West Kelowna First Nations! And all located within the CORD Sewer Service area.

Plus, in this area there is all the high profile neighborhoods; Westbank, Lakeview Heights, West Kelowna, Sunnyside, Shannon Lake, Glenrosa, Gellatly, Smith Creek etc. Then we have Peachland, from the lake up to Pincushion Mountain
and finally CORD land straddling Peachland on both sides.  Then going down the lake, it is mostly Provincial Crown Land and Greata Ranch until you come to Summerland. It is perfectly clear to me, but you can see where some residents are
just a tad confused as to where they are.

Okanagan City (my choice of names for Westbank).


The Retail Council of Canada and PricewaterhouseCoopers did a study  to find out who is pilfering goods for the retail stores across the country and they came up with an astonishing figure that thirty percent of the goods that go missing have been taken by staff members. The report says a dishonest employee with inside knowledge of the retail operations has an edge.


What can I tell you?  There is a message on the phone telling me that I might qualify for a 6.9 per cent rate on my credit card.  The woman’s voice on the call said that from the information they have I would qualify for this new rate. What information?

My goodness people, no one can offer such a deal, they just don’t exist. The scammer is saying the credit card company is willing to give up their profit so you can have a better rate. Get serious.

You know better and don’t get sucked into their web because they are going to charge you a fee for this so called advice and you know this group just wants to use your credit card. They will charge you a fee which could go on for months.

These scammers just don’t stop and they know that people are struggling out there to make it these days and that people are vulnerable and accept this kind of stuff because they believe it can relieve the situation they’re in. It doesn’t work that way folks and it cost could you big time.

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