Why not just leave?

Re Ricky Daytona's letter Reasons for leaving Kelowna (Castanet, May 6)

For two years now, I have seen Ricky Daytona constantly send letters to Castanet.

He has complained about being censored or "cancelled" notwithstanding the fact he is constantly posting. For someone who isn't allowed to speak, he talks an awful lot.

Most recently, he implored us to leave the (Kelowna), because this city and country are just generally negative and he listed several reasons why.

He said in his most recent letter "People should be in control of their lives and make their own decisions." Well, as I sit here by the water, sipping my delicious black Americano on this beautiful sunny Saturday, I personally feel pretty free at this moment. I will do what I want today, and I will feel good about it. So that begs the question, what does Ricky want to do that he feels he can't? As a law-abiding citizen, with a strong sense of patriotic and civic duty, I do not feel held down at all.

He said people can improve their lives by leaving Kelowna due to the cost of living and shelter price reductions, taxation benefits, better weather, access to fresh organic produce, more favourable political climates and better investment opportunities (that) exist in many other countries around the world.

Cost of living? Sure. Cost of living is based on supply and demand. If you want to live in a very “in demand” place like Kelowna, you are going to pay more. If you want to live somewhere cheap, it's going to be somewhere people don't want to go. It's probably more rural and regressive, which might be a better emotional fit to Ricky, as it seems he may fit in more.

Better weather in Canada? Yeah, good luck with that one. I don't think this one requires discussion. Outside Canada? Sure, there are places with better weather. He mentions Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a beautiful place but I am not sure I'd want to live my entire life in a third world country. Further, these "snow birds" often fly back to Canada when they need health care because it's just not high quality there.

Access to fresh organic produce? Has Ricky never visited a grocery store in Kelowna? My fridge is filled with organic produce.

More favourable political climates? I suppose this one is subjective. Canada is not the place for you if you don't value technological progress and associated economic evolution, a stable political climate and a secular state. If you value unregulated capitalism and religion, you are probably more comfortable in Russia or maybe the U.S. Ricky might fit in better in one of these more conservative cultures. Ricky also lists Costa Rica as a desirable place. It is common knowledge that most Latin American countries (including Costa Rica) are rife with political corruption. Canada is not perfect, but would any reasonable person suggest the political climate in Costa Rica is better than Canada?

Near the end of his letter, he states: "At this point those who bought their exit pass will feel a huge sense of relief." Then he notes "Yet still they came, in droves."

I have three points to address these assertions:

1. How is it possible people are dying to leave, yet (others are) coming in droves? This is clearly contradictory. I think it’s more likely Ricky feels subjective negative emotions about our beautiful home and country, and it is his belief most people share those beliefs. More likely, considering people are "coming in droves", the truth is Kelowna is a very desirable place to live and Ricky is on the periphery, constantly writing about his distaste for our home and country. Is Ricky a patriotic Canadian and British Columbian? I am sure he would say yes, but his language and actions suggest otherwise.

2. Could the market correct as Ricky suggests? Sure. We are seeing it now, after the most recent fever dream, but my above points still hold as Kelowna is still one of the most desirable places to live in North America. The market is cyclical. It will go up, correct and repeat. Ricky is a capitalist, and he should be aware that this is how markets work.

3. Will he put his money where his mouth is? He notes many of us (him included) have gained from real estate prices. It's peculiar he feels negative despite the fact he is profiting off this country and the city we live in. Would he have made similar gains if he lived in Costa Rica (very unlikely).

So, if this place is so bad, why doesn't he pack his bags and move to another more conservative area?

Kelowna is liberalizing fast, as young educated people move here, and I believe this will only add to his anxiety.

Ricky, this just might not be the right place for you.

Scott Barnes, Kelowna

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