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Letters  

More than grumpy!

Actually, I'm more than grumpy about Greyhound. Over the last 9 years, I've used greyhound (at least four times  a year, often more). I often travel from my home and career in Seattle, to visit my significant other who now lives in Kelowna (formerly from farther North, near the Peace Valley).  Not only do I regret that the lack of transportation will make visiting (and spending money) harder and far more expensive, more than likely cancelling my Holiday plans this year (Christmas, I visit, and together we take Greyhound to Chase to spend holidays with elderly relatives). But I also think of all the friends I've made on the way - from people traveling on Greyhound for similar reasons, to college students returning to their small towns along the routes to visit, as well as many traveling to Whistler, and the many I've met (elderly and sick) who were traveling for advanced Medical Treatment in Vancouver. In all my trips, I have never been on an empty Bus (at most one or two empty seats), and according to the email I got from Greyhound.ca, they had two million Travelers annually in Western BC. 

If they were not able to make a profit off of two million travelers, adjusting the ticket prices would be more than permissible (and would still be cheaper than air travel). Already, the few flights that I might use are booked beyond capacity for the holidays. Personally, I don't drive, at 50 years of age, I choose to live as green as possible and for the last 10 years have shunned the expense of car ownership, and felt that using mass transportation was more environmentally and societally responsible.  

This move by Greyhound may just be to force the Governmental subsidization that they have repeatedly sought, through the Provincial and Federal Transportation Boards, but implying that they cannot make a profit off of two million travelers (and the millions of parcels they transport each year) falls flat.

I am nearing my retirement and the lack of environmentally sustainable transportation, will make me think long and hard about choosing Kelowna to spend my golden years. But even beyond that, I fear for the adverse economic effect on all of BC that the lack of affordable transportation and parcel transport will have on the small communities within BC, and the millions who will now find themselves stranded without options. This will certainly force more urbanization and change the character of BC, eventually destroying its beauty and affordability for millions more, and strangling a multitude of small towns throughout the Western Provinces.

Trevor Alleger



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RE: Trump getting it done

Well, you’re certainly right in your statement that “President Trump has accomplished more…” than any president in years. He has definitely “accomplished” more damage to the world’s opinion of the USA, he’s “accomplished” inciting a veritable trade war, and he’s “accomplished” coming across as one of the most sexist, racist, cruel, and intolerant leaders in modern history.

I’ll personally continue to avoid purchasing American made goods, as well as forgo any travel south of the border, lest anyone think that I support Trump’s “accomplishments” thus far.

Tess Rose



Becoming less livable

I have been living in Kelowna for over 20 years and have noticed over the last several years that Kelowna drivers are becoming a bunch of road raging, offensive and dangerous drivers, and people in general are unhelpful and on edge. 

Almost every day I either experience or witness tailgating drivers, drivers fingering and yelling at each other, running of red lights, people crawling along as they are on their cell phones, the list can go on and on. It is like taking your life in your own hands each and every time you go out in your vehicle. When did we all become so angry at the world? 

When I first moved here it was a pleasant town, with pleasant people and a good vibe, however, as of late this city is becoming less and less livable. I for one don't know how much longer I will put up with this city and the direction it is going. With all the anger out there, the homeless situation, the lack of a sense of security and most of the "old" summer amenities gone, what has Kelowna really got to offer? Surely we need more than the "three months" of summer we get and golfing at a $100 plus a round.

J. Anderson
 



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More than a kick in the bus

Greyhound decision more than just a kick in the Bus.

We were all shocked by the sudden announcement by Greyhound Canada that all western bus services would be cancelled in October. People are right to feel upset, particularly in rural communities where the Greyhound represents an essential service for those who are too young, or too old to drive, have medical conditions which prevent them from driving, or simply can't afford private cars or other forms of transportation to get from one place to another.

It is ironic that in giving an explanation about the cancellation, Senior Vice-President Stuart Kendrick said "simply put, the issue that we have seen is the routes in rural parts of Canada – specifically Western Canada – are just not sustainable anymore." Mr. Kendrick, unfortunately like many people, does not understand the concept of sustainability. What he meant was, there is no longer a viable business case to continue this service. In other words, no more profit for the corporation.

But sustainability is about meeting human needs in an equitable way, now and in the future. Unfortunately, the Greyhound cancellation is just the latest in a series of decisions which prioritize spending in urban centres, and marginalize people living in rural and remote communities. We remove health centres and government services in small towns, so residents are forced to travel long distances to have basic needs met. We take natural resources from the rural areas, food, forestry, mining, fishing, energy, and the profits go to corporate headquarters in Vancouver, while the natural resource rents go into the coffers in Victoria. What is the end-game of an increasingly urban society, where people don't have the services to live in rural areas, but they can't afford the housing in the urban centres?

More homeless, more at-risk youth, more impoverished seniors. Rural areas provide services that the urban population needs to survive, but we see urban centres as the drivers of the economy, because the extracted wealth from the countryside is not counted by our standard economic measures. Once all the small towns and farms are gone, who is going to be growing the food? We need to re-examine the relationship between a viable rural way of life, and a healthy, sustainable society. 

Whether the service is  by Greyhound, BC Transit, or another provider, a proper transportation service to our communities makes us more sustainable as a society. It increases economic activity by ensuring people can get to where the services are, it is better for the environment than hundreds of thousands of individual car trips, it increases public safety, both by reducing cars on the road, and also preventing hitchhiking and other dangerous arrangements, and it increases social equity by allowing everyone the chance to have their basic needs met, and to contribute to the economy. We need to forget about Greyhound, and decide what we want our province to look like, what it will cost, and what we will gain.

K.J. Littley
 



Be smart out there!

I was sitting at Sutherland beach this past weekend and was surprised by the lack of people wearing personal flotation devices when they are kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. I saw a family with 2 kids kayaking. Nobody had a PFD!

Accidents happen and every year we hear about a drowning in the lake. With all the boaters out there all it takes is a crash and you become unconscious, even if you don't. The distance some of these people were from the shoreline was insane. Very few people can swim huge distances without getting tired, the lake is known for ever changing conditions.

Gear up people. Be smart out there! 

Alicia Fer
 



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