Letters to the Editor: Nov. 14

Ice Supporters Deserve Better

Yet another article out of Winnipeg regarding the relocation of the ice. Another week of fans waiting in limbo, as the two owners refuse comment, as does the league.

This was our team long before 24/7 came riding into town to “ save the day.” Losing this team will put a financial burden on the city, and devastate us long term fans that bled Kootenay Ice.

We are not numbers, we are passionate fans, who supported these new owners with open arms (and wallets). We deserve so much better than this.

David W Bumstead/Cranbrook

Consider Proportional Representation

I am writing to urge people to consider supporting proportional representation. While I recognize that PR seems more complicated that the current first-past-the-post system (FPTP), there is an overriding principle that makes it essential. Proportional representation makes every vote count…it makes YOUR vote count.

Under FPTP, the party with the most votes wins all of the riding, even if other parties collectively have far more votes. People who voted for anyone other than the winning party feel like their votes are wasted – because they are. In a democracy, every vote should count. The wasting of votes produces cynicism about elections, which explains why our voter participation rates are falling. When around half of eligible electors stay home, democracy is not healthy. And the newest voters, the youngest ones, have the least hope for our system. That compromises our democratic future.

The BC Liberals, many of whom are Federal Conservatives, are waging a campaign of fear against PR because they don’t want to make every vote count. It will reduce their chances of forming a majority government – that is their motivation and people need to recognize that.

That is also why the Federal Liberals dropped their support for PR after Mr. Trudeau’s 2015 election promise to implement PR in time for the 2019 election. They didn’t like the implications for their party, which would have to learn to share power in the future. Many of us felt betrayed, and rightfully so, when the Federal Liberals walked away from PR.

We can lead the rest of the country with democratic reform. Encourage everyone you know to vote for proportional representation and give democracy a better future in B.C.!

Wayne Stetski/Member of Parliament for Kootenay Columbia

The Month Of Movember

For several years now, November has been renamed “Movember” as we try to bring awareness about men’s health issues. The Movember movement started with a concentration on prostate cancer and has expanded to deal with testicular cancer and mental health issues.

Despite all the efforts to date, prostate cancer continues to be the number 1 diagnosed cancer among Canadian men. It is estimated that over 21,000 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and over 4,000 men will die from it this year as well. Symptoms are not always present especially in the early stages of prostate cancer. If detected and treated in its earliest stages (when cells are only in the prostate), your chances of survival are greatly increased. Early detection is key.

Although the death rate is declining over the past 15 years, we still need better testing and better treatment options. To this end, we have, in Canada, several research studies and ongoing trials with new drugs. Where we once rushed to treatment on an elevated PSA score, doctors are now moving forward with more caution, only doing invasive treatments when the cancer is more aggressive. Many of us can live a long time with a slowly progressing disease that will not impact our overall health.

But for those who need intervention for an aggressive cancer the treatment can be harsh. Surgery, radiation, hormone treatments and chemotherapy can take their toll on a person. The side effects of these treatments can be hard to handle.

In Cranbrook, we are fortunate to have a Prostate Cancer Support Group that meets regularly at the College of the Rockies. Our next meeting is Wednesday, November 21 at 7 pm. The group provides an opportunity to hear about the health issues surrounding this cancer, and to hear from other guys who have been through the process. It proves to be comforting to most of us to know that we are not alone in this struggle and to hear how each of us manages to cope with these side effects of treatment.

This month’s guest speaker will be Kate Chisholm. Ms. Chisolm is a hospital pharmacist at our local EKRH. She will address the drugs we are using in advanced prostate cancer cases, how to expect and prepare for the side effects of these hormone and other therapies, and how different drugs react with each other and with over-the-counter things we might also be taking

November is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and there are two businesses in our community who are doing their share to bring the issue to light. In conjunction with Prostate Cancer Foundation BC’s Pubs for Prostate campaign, Don Cherry’s and the Heid Out have stepped up to the challenge once again. Throughout November, The Heid Out will give a dollar for every Heid Out Burger sold. Also, throughout the entire month, Don Cherry’s Pub will donate $1 for every Kokanee sold on draft. When you support these pubs, you are supporting us in our efforts to assist prostate cancer patients in our area.

We recommend that every man over 40 should have a PSA test (a simple blood test) at least to have a benchmark to measure any future progress of this cancer. To learn more about the PSA test come out to our meeting – November 21 at 7 pm, Room 205 at College of the Rockies.

For more information, call Kevin at 250-427-3322 or Dennis at 250-489-5249.

Kevin Higgins, Chair/Prostate Cancer Support Group – Cranbrook

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