January 19 – Letters to the editor

Opinions and ideas from around the area, emailed to us and shared with you.

Climate change

Climate science makes rapid advancements while many national policies move backwards. Tragically, we have already entered the rapidly increasing phase of climate change, in which impacts increase nonlinearly. Until recently, we have been protected by the inherent strength of the environment: it can withstand a lot of punishment before it begins to degrade. Now, impacts are happening faster than projected. A clear indication of this underestimation is that Antarctica has begun to lose ice a hundred years ahead of schedule.

So why do many doubt the science of climate change?

Stanford University researchers have discovered $900 million has been spent annually in identifiable documented funding, for conservative policy institutes that support right-wing climate science denial. This unimaginable amount of money supports the political machine that elects our leaders.

A well-organized Climate Change Counter Movement by vested interests, has not only played a major role in confusing public understanding of climate science, but also delayed meaningful government policy actions to address this looming crisis.

We must take off our blinders and see the wolf beneath the sheep’s clothing.  It is time to demand governmental action to stop funding the fossil fuel industry and support clean energy.


Carole Summer

Kaslo, BC


Interconnected World

As someone who advocates for ODA (official development assistance), I often hear protest about helping ours before helping others. What most don’t seem to realize is that foreign aid pays huge net returns for Canada.

Our foreign assistance increases peace and political stability in poor nations:  Desperate people are ripe for exploitation by extremists and it’s a lot cheaper preventing extremism than fighting it.

Supporting healthcare in other countries slows the spread of increasingly drug resistant diseases that know no borders. Recall that the worst epidemics in our history started in other nations, and there are strains of TB emerging that have no effective treatment.

Lastly, the battle against climate change is supported by Canada’s foreign aid, as economic development can reverse decertification and deforestation, and encourage sustainability.

Underdevelopment, inequality, poverty, political instability, human rights violations, and environmental degradation are all interconnected, and impact Canada in many subtle and not so subtle ways. Security, economic growth and trade, climate change and public health are impacted. This is well known and long researched, yet our aid commitment is far less than most developed nations.  It’s a long neglected government file that gets little thanks or public praise, and that needs to change. When we take care of others in this interconnected world we take care of ourselves.


Nathaniel Poole

Victoria, BC


Application of sand to prevent broken windshields

There are some important issues to be considered with distribution of sand onto highways and streets to lower the risk of broken windshields, headlamps and damage to paint on vehicles. All sander units have a spinner that spins the sand or salt out on the roadway to better control the sand materials. The spinner unit needs to be encased in an adjustable shield from the top of the spinner. This needs to be adjusted so the sand or salt is spread to cover the lane the vehicle is working in and the spinner’s speed must be adjustable and set so the materials cover the lane the vehicle is operating in.

If this is not done properly and if the plan is to cover both lanes at once there will be expensive damage created to windshields, headlamps and paint on approaching and passing vehicles. If done properly sanding at approximately 45km with the spinner shielded and the spinner speeds set properly the materials can be easily laid on the road without causing damage to the approaching or passing vehicles because the adjustment and operator training are set up to respect the traveling public.

On another note, a meeting was held recently with M.L.A. Bill Bennett, along with the Ministry of Highways (MOT) Cranbrook and the chairperson from the Facebook group Keep the contractor Mainroads accountable, due to the non-conformance issues and poor road conditions from the last storm From 35 years of experience in highways administration the problem with compacted snow on the roadway can be attributable to the fact that many snow plow units operating in this contract area are not fully equipped with cutting edge underbody snow plow blades that have a downward pressure of nearly 1800 lbs., which is a terrific tool for any snow plow fleet. It was built by the ministry in 1955 and was used from that date forward by the Ministry and after privatization by Trendline Industries and Bel Maintenance, two previous contractors in area 11 with great results.

The ministry is at fault for not making a contract article requiring fully equipped snow plow units operating within the contract area to maximize productivity and enhance public safety, all winter maintenance trucks must be equipped fully with an underbody snow plow, front snow plow and salt and or sand distribution capability.

The sad part is operators have requested the underbody blades, but the requests have fallen on deaf ears and we have now lost a required, very useful tool because of a lack of recognition by the Ministry and the Contractor who is pocketing the taxpayers supplied dollars in the contract that is required to fully equip units to perform a better job in keeping the highways to a higher standard of safety.


R.E. Johnson, Retired Services Superintendent, 1988, Ministry of Transportation and Highways, Nelson, BC


Horgan does not  approve of the Kinder Morgan pipeline

The Kinder Morgan pipeline has been in operation since 1953.

There have been zero incidents on both the land and water in regards to transportation.

Kinder Morgan has stated that when additional tanker traffic begins, each oil tanker will have four tugboats escorting the tankers to open ocean waters.

As former prime minister, Jean Chretien said, that if the natural resources are there, then start the creation of jobs.

This pipeline construction will create good paying jobs.

Also, nearby towns, with hotels, restaurants, machine shops, equipment rental shops, etc. will have a boom in their business.

On Chek TV news on the island, everyday on the 5 pm news they have an item called checkpoint with a different topic.  Viewers then voice their opinions on the topic.

The question yesterday was, do you support the premier’s approval of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline project?

Note that Vancouver Island does support the NDP strongly, but 52 per cent of the viewers said yes to 48 per cent saying no.

This shows that these NDP supporters are in favour of the pipeline and not agreeing with their NDP leader, John Horgan.

In summary, an oil accident can still happen, but also a divorce from a marriage can happen too.

Chances have to be taken.

What is going on in John Horgan’s head?


Joe Sawchuk

Duncan, BC


Thank you Mainroad

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Mainroad for such a great job with snow removal in West Fernie so far this winter.  We are on the corner of Hand Avenue and Riverside Drive.  We really appreciate how the road has been kept clear and very wide and thanks to everyone on Hand Avenue that has been parking in his or her driveway so the loader can get through.  Keep up the great teamwork everyone and Let it Snow!


Kathy Murray

West Fernie, BC