January 26 – Letters to the editor

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

Understanding Christy Clark


Gordon Campbell’s Liberals came to power in 2001 with a promise of fair treatment of public sector unions.  With Christy Clark as his Minister of Education, in January 2002 the government stripped provisions from public sector unions.

In 2004 the B.C. Supreme Court found: “By passing this legislation without consulting with the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF), the government did not preserve the essential underpinning of collective bargaining, namely good faith negotiation and consultation.”

The judge gave the government a year to rectify.  The Clark government imposed another contract, which the B.C. Supreme Court ruled on in 2014:  “The Liberals had no more bargained in good faith with the BCTF than in the first case.”

The Christy Clark government decided to appeal to the B.C. Court of Appeals, which overturned the two lower court decisions.  The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2016, where it took 20 minutes for the court to restore the finding of bargaining in bad faith.

Christy Clark says on the Supreme Court ruling:

1.    “The government anticipated the ruling.” (Nov. 11 Vancouver Sun)

2.    “If it costs more money, that’s a good thing in lots of ways because it’s a good investment to put money into classrooms and our kids.” (Nov. 11 Vancouver Sun)

3.    Christy Clark says teachers’ win is opportunity to invest in kids. (Nov. 13 CBC)

4.    “Kids are only going to do better when we put more resources in.” (Nov. 13 CBC)

Those who believe in collective bargaining and democracy can thank the teachers’ union.  Why did it take four courts over 15 years for Clark to do what’s right?

We have had terrible government, but they are blessed with a dysfunctional opposition who, by structure and operations, are poised to steel defeat from the jaws of victory.  The NDP leader says education will be the number one issue in the May election. Horgan will first face the self-inflicted hurdles of gender equity and grizzly bears.

The continuing problems of union money and parachute campaign managers appear insoluble.  Locals win elections when Soviet Central Planning gets out of the way.  How long does the party elite think they can continue running losing campaigns before an alternative overtakes them?


William G. Hills

Cranbrook, BC


Fernie City Operations – Thank you


As I look out my window, watching the snow removal crews, I consider my life in Fernie. Over many years of living here, the city has improved year by year until now it is a smooth running operation!

With the last city council and Mayor Giuliano in charge, I have not seen things in the city run so well. Over the years I have lived in many communities and I would like to issue a “job well done” to the community and especially to the engineering and public works departments for developing into a well oiled machine which takes care of the city residents year round.

To show my appreciation, I sincerely say thanks and please keep up the good work.


D.B. Roe

Fernie, BC


NDP ‘Equity Dogma’ revisited


When Columbia River Revelstoke NDP chose Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft as their man for 2017’s election a parallel universe arrived in the Kootenays.

The BC NDP’s gender equity policy stipulates that a male NDP MLA stepping down be replaced by an equity-seeking individual, i.e. a woman or a person with minority status.

This policy has given Vancouver Island NDP ‘equity woes’. Their candidate, Georgia Collins, for Cowichan Valley quit so the NDP held a contest to select her replacement.

Their long standing riding association president, Ian Morrison, was barred from running because he’s a man. He quit the party.

“In order to remove barriers for what they call the equity-seeking groups, they’ve raised barriers against heterosexual white males … and that’s the dictionary definition of discrimination,” said Morrison.

Morrison rejects the NDP headquarters “elitist” rules so he’s going to run as an independent.

In Kootenay Columbia we remember former Councilor Ms. Spring Hawes competed with Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft to become the next NDP candidate. She obviously met the NDP criteria.

Mr. Taft, however, had to belong to a minority group in order to be considered for the candidacy.

“The group that I identify with is bisexual,” Mr. Taft said, “It’s something I wanted to keep private. I’m in a heterosexual relationship (and have) a young child.

“An MLA should represent everyone, even those who didn’t vote for them,” Gerry Taft correctly said. “So that’s part of the reason as well that I didn’t think it was necessary to identify with one group and broadcast that out.”

Of course, Gerry’s right. NDP elitist policy forced him to tell the world he’s bi-sexual, which is grotesquely irrelevant to his nomination. His claim cannot be, and must not be, verifiable.

A quintessential social activism parallel universe has arrived in BC. The NDP dogma is unnecessary and wrong.


Jim Abbott

Wasa, BC


Happy country – world peace


In my mind, there has never been a more critical moment than now to act for our brothers and sisters in need. If the silly phrase “Happy Wife Happy Life” means anything, then on the grand scale of the planet, “Happy Country” should translate to “World Peace,” but there are countries or pockets within countries that simply need a leg up to escape the poverty trap, and they cannot do so without the support of those countries that are well established. With the rhetoric down south, “America First,” it is pretty clear that we need to set the example and truly live up to the phrase “We’re Back,” otherwise, that just becomes political dribble as well. We must encourage our leaders to follow in the footsteps of Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg and England, to name a few, who have reached or even surpassed the goal of dedicating 0.7% of gross national product to Overseas Development Aid. We need a clearly marked schedule for achieving that goal. What are we waiting for?  Does the Trudeau government really want to end up with the worst commitment to development of any Canadian government in the last half-century?


Connie Lebeau

Victoria, BC