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Kelowna News

iN RESPONSE: Readers have their say

Following are emailed reader responses to stories or letters to the editor for the first week of May 2024. They have been edited slightly for readability. 

Got something you want to add? Send an email to editor Marshall Jones at

Farmers planning protest at Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail

"I think the farmers have a hard enough time now and of course they should be granted an easement." — Marti Giroux


Kamloops community pioneers rural wildfire fighting model by cooperating with authorities

Good article, well written, good info. Didn't care for some of the commentary on the North Shore folks and they could have been included in the part about setting up a 'society' and preparing as they are in the process. I was one of the folks that took the S100 class with them.

But the part regarding the Knutsford folks was very good.

One thing driven home by the North Shore and Monte Lake fires is that the government cannot be relied on or trusted to work for the best interest of the locals. I have been to a couple of meetings regarding the North Shore fires, and was past Westwold the day before Monte Lake was burned out. The school yard in Westwold was full of shining pretty fire vehicles, all with lights flashing, lots of pretty uniforms walking around. Came around the corner by the lake, there was a big diesel pump supplying a couple of hydrants in the pull out. It all looked good.

I was through just after the fire where there was no assistance from any of the pretty vehicles nor uniformed folks, and it turned out that the big diesel pump/hydrants were only for railroad usage to protect the rail ties! I talked to some people that lost everything in Monte Lake, as they were fighting to protect their possessions, they saw some fire fighting equipped vehicles just sitting watching. They went to ask for help, it turned out those folks were there to only protect the power poles! Hired by BC Hydro!

As it appears from ground level, the only result from the mess in the North Shore last summer was that the government has increased the potential fines for anyone not obeying an evacuation order.
Any trust is long gone.

Tom Reay - Salmon Arm

Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinion to the wildfire preparedness discussion.

Not aging myself but must comment on the lack of local consultation with land owners and area residents. They live there and can, in many cases, advise on the wind changes and predictabilities of these winds at different times of day. These people are a valuable resource and need to be sourced to assist where and when available.

Many of the firefighters are not from the areas that they are fighting fires in. Knowledge, as we have been advised, is imperative to fighting these atrocious fires of late.

Don't even get me started on the loggers that are in the bush, they have all of the training, mandatory fire training from the mills as well as the Ministry of Forests to be in the bush. Loggers have knowledge of the areas and trails for accessibility and are always the first sent home. They not only have the equipment and knowledge to back it up, they are there and want to save their lively hoods, but alas are sent home to watch these fires be "managed" by many people that have never even been in the bush.

So very sad to miss out on their very knowledgeable and lost value.

Colleen Reynolds

I will start with a little background information. I was employed as a fire suppression crew foreman in 1975 at Fauquier BC Ranger Station by the BCFS. I retired from the BCFS in 1967. All those years were mainly in the summer season involved in fire control/suppression until 1980 when the Government dismantled the Ranger Stations across the Province when there were summer crews in most of the small towns in BC and the citizens would fight the fires in their community if possible.

Now we have professional fire fighting crews from all over the world that are suppose to be the answer to "Wild Fires". Well in my opinion it is not working.

First, there is the priority fires where property/lives are at risk, second, having all the people evacuate then depend on the "outside" fighters to save our forests. Yes there are people that are not physically, mentally, or trained to deal with the situation and they should leave as quickly as possible plus if there is a strong wind driving the flames, every one must "RUN". Only in hindsight if there is no one left to put out the smallest of sparks the forest/towns will burn.

In 2023 there where two deaths on the fire line, to my knowledge these are the first in BC since the province started forest fire control. If we do not change our attitude they won't be the last. My solution is to return to the tried and true way we dealt with forest fires in the past. With more people moving into forest areas and not being "fire smart", it comes to mind, what you reap is what you sow. 

End of rant.

George Miller


Another homeless drop in centre to close in Kamloops

"Well maybe without all these handouts one might be motivated to be a productive member of society. I think less resources to enable the continuation of such and more resources to move forward in one's life is what's needed." — Justin Schweitzer


Former Penticton woman gets $1.8M for accident before ICBC's no fault insurance

I read the article on ICBC no fault insurance. I can relate to the article immensely.

On July 6, 2021, I was walking to my vehicle in the Safeway parking lot in Penticton. As I approached my vehicle, I was struck by another vehicle. I believe the driver intended to go forward but instead put the vehicle in reverse and step on the gas pedal. I was knocked about 7 meters with my groceries scattered everywhere. The driver explained in the accident report that the vehicle's impact warning system failed. Regardless, I was hit and knocked quite severely.

I was assisted by a passerby and helped to my vehicle. My initial assessment was that I was okay but in shock. I exchanged information with the driverI that hit me. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I wasn't okay. I was hit on my right side where I had bruising and my lower back was in pain.

Prior to the accident, I was a very healthy 62 year old male. I was an accomplished endurance athlete since 2005. In 2019, prior to Covid, I had accomplished the Cascade Crest 100 Mile trail race in Washington and the year before, Broken Goat 50K and The Mighty Quail 100K here in Penticton. In 2021, I had plans to run The Fat Dog 100 in Manning Park which I had done in 2010. I did the Sahara Race in Egypt in 2009, The Canadian Death Race in 2011 and many other races and marathons.

Since the accident, I have been unable to run. My lower back has severe herniation in my L3, L4, L5, and SI joint on my left side and severe disk degeneration. I have sciatica down my left leg along with piriformis in my left glute. My recent MRI has confirmed the immense damage in my back. My treatment plan with ICBC has been physiotherapy, kinesiology and chiropractic care. BC medical pays for cortisone injections that I receive from the Bill Neelam Pain Clinic in Kelowna that give temporary relief. I have been depressed and can no longer enjoy the quality of life I once had. I have been told that running is out of the question for me. Running is/has been a big part of my life and my future ambitions. That has been taken away from me.

I have contacted a couple of injury lawyers, but because of the No Fault insurance policy adopted by the BC Government, I have no hope for any litigation.

This Thursday, May 9th, I will receive my last appointment with a kinesiologist. I have been cut off from both Chiropractic and Physiotherapy.

I'm expecting to be cut off of any future assistance and do not know what is going to happen in my future.

Just thought I'd share my story.

Marc Bremner


JONESIE: Kamloops mayor could learn from Kelowna's mayor about wielding power

Well there he goes again, Kelowna mayor Dyas addressing us like we are the dullest stars in the sky, telling us that it is a coincidence that the 3 councillors he dismissed from the regional board just happen to be the same ones who voted against the 35% salary increase for mayor and councillors which Dyas approved. Dyas has told them since they don’t need that increase he is taking away the $17,000 they make as board members. This is real schoolyard stuff.

Dyas, the small business owner with the “my way or the highway” attitude is clearly out of his depth, is rattled about events occurring around him, and feeling challenged by councillors who do not fall in line with his thinking. His apparently vindictive behaviour is an indication he cannot handle the job. This is always a sign of weakness.

He doesn’t stand up for us. I have listed how he caves to staff and developers, and then issues some incredible explanation. Tiresome and damaging.

After 18 months his leadership is proving calamitous, so thankfully for us there is a member of council who will be a very capable successor to one-and-done Dyas, if he so desires.

Don Henderson - Kelowna

Kamloops city council calls for mayor to resign

Yes please remove the mayor!!!!

He has cost us the taxpayers tons of money, and done nothing but fight with the city officials that are willing to work for the City of Kamloops. 

He obviously is not mayor material-council has spoken! — Linda Love

I think the mayor should stay and get rid of the trouble making councillors.

They have done nothing but fight with him from the very beginning.

Just my opinion. — Ladele Minifie

The facilitators report is very telling. It goes to show that voters are electing some people with no background in the political process or even any desire to learn and grow in the position, and things can go very wrong and fast.

The mayor apparently owned and ran his small business. Calling all the shots on a daily basis. That is what it appears to be from the report he tried to do as soon as he took office. So many examples of narcissism it appears.

Four years with this obviously dysfunctional person as the city council leader will just be a disaster for the majority of voters. And the costs appear to just mount up.

I say change the code of conduct and introduce financial penalties for infractions.

— Ralph Higgs


Kelowna council finalizes budget with nearly 5% tax increase

The problem seems to lie with the councils elected by taxpayers. Every council should have a qualified accountant on the board, a planner, and someone who can think past I want the prestige. 
Councils need to think ahead, come up with plans, present to the public, get input and then proceed.

Procrastination costs money as everything goes up every year.

A city council needs to run like a well oiled machine, a progressive business and not worry about whether they are liked or not. They are there to run the town for the town’s best interest. — Sabina Notz

"You ask a reasonable question. I think a better question should be, “should administrators be required to spend on the infrastructure?” How often are taxes collected for a specific purpose, read carbon tax, then said taxes disappear into the abyss of 'general revenue.'

I feel the American system of a spending referendum for a specific purpose is superior. But this holds its own challenges with contractors submitting wildly unrealistic bids and then reneging to obtain more funds from the public trough. But that’s a discussion for another day." — Jim Guillaume

Advisor wary of recall legislation as Kamloops councillors call for mayor's resignation

I think he should resign as he is not the type of mayor that is working for our city. He is not doing enough vocally and does not make good decisions for the people of the city people. He is also to argumentative with his councillors and I am not sure if this helps our city and it’s future growth and improving what the future holds for Kamloops area. — Maureen Rhonda Whalley

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