March 2 – Letters to the editor

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

Rebuttal to Bill Bennett

Oh dear. It must have been something I wrote.

MLA Bennett’s response  (‘Alternate facts’, The Free Press, Feb. 23) to my letter (‘Tainting BC’s name’, The Free Press, Feb. 16) was, unsurprisingly, a welter of Trumpish bombast.

What was surprising was that, in his customary disparagement of 3,790,694-plus urban British Columbians, he managed to badmouth them without applying his usual derogatory descriptors: ‘Gucci-wearing’, ‘condo-dwelling’, ‘latte sipping’.

His disparagement of B.C. hunters, which he denies, is much more serious and requires an extended context.

In January 2015, the following Bennett email appeared in the Vancouver Province concerning hunting allocation policy: “Frankly, Steve (Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources) doesn’t need their votes to get elected, and I’m not running again, so all their threats don’t mean sh** to us.”

The ‘threats’ to which he referred were representations made by BC Rod and Gun Clubs and the BC Wildlife Federation to the government on the allocation issue, and the ‘sh**’ was the contempt with which he dismissed their efforts.

He insisted in his letter of Feb.23 that this was not disparaging, or ‘sneering’ at, hunters but his definition of either ‘disparaging’ or ‘sneering’ is not one you’ll find in any reputable dictionary.

What is really dangerous, however, is his remarkably narrow view on the necessary characteristics for any Kootenay East political candidate.

According to Mr. Bennett, your life experience must include the ability to hunt, sled, quad or work with your hands if you wish to be an MLA for Kootenay East.

Naturally, he ignores the fact that these criteria would disqualify Premier Clark, Attorney-General Anton, the vast majority of women in politics and those of the BC Liberal caucus who have never managed to hunt, sled, quad or work with their hands.

At this juncture Mr. Bennett should note that NDP MLAs Katrine Conroy and Michelle Mungall represent their constituents in rural Kootenay West and rural Nelson-Creston very well indeed, without having had to pull a trigger, twist a throttle or swing a sledgehammer.

He should also note that the ability to pack so much ill-considered absurdity into 316 words is a gift granted to very few people.

Mr. Bennett is one of the few.


JC Vallance

Fernie BC


Thank you

I would like to thank all the kind folks of Elko for their thoughtfulness to travellers during a Febuary 5, 6 road closure two km southwest of town due to a snow avalanche that closed the highway between Elko and Fernie.

Benevolence was demonstrated shortly after I pulled up to the roadblock around midnight at the junction of Highway 3 and 93.  It was 15 below with maybe a 35 kilometre wind so I thought I would seek shelter from the wind where there was more trees and drive up Baynes Lake road.  I pulled over to the side of the road not realizing about 60 centimetres of snow was there and got stuck up to my doors and could not get out. I then hiked a kilometre back to the highway and flagged down a truck driven  by Shane Wilkinson who was driving his 4×4 back home after he couldn’t get to work logging also because of the roadblock.

He took a look at my vehicle and soon ascertained the situation and we headed to his home to get a tow chain travelling over a snowed up side road.  His 4x4ing and towing skills to be commended getting me out of my predicament skillfully and quickly, Thanks again Shane.  After sleeping off and on back at the roadblock in my van (thank God for my mummy bags) until late morning we were told the  the community hall would be welcoming us. There we found a hospitable lady named Lorna with her wonderful people from the firehall offering up goodwill and a veritable feast of delights. The good town folk stocked up continually with two to three types of soup, chili, veggie and cheese plates, wraps, sandwiches, cookies, coffee and pie etc.  Many community members  kept  bringing in nutriments.

I ate and drank coffee all through the day ‘til we could finally get through around 5 p.m. to Fernie .  I have been trying to gain a few pounds lately and I think I did and to use a pun, with all the great treats and the goodness of the Elko community, the 17-hour wait was worth the weight.

Thanks very much!


Mathew Duffus,

Penticton, BC


The truth about politics

John Horgan asked Christy Clark for a apology on claims that the NDP hacked the B.C. Liberal website.  Apology has been made, and now it is time for John Horgan to make a apology to the people of B.C.  He states that Christy Clark,  “the most powerful person in the province thinks that it’s okay to just make stuff up”.  John himself makes stuff up too.  In the legislature, on TV news, and in the newspapers, he says that the B.C. Liberals gave a 2 per cent tax discount to the top wealthy 2 per cent of the population of B.C.  That is a LIE.  The truth is that the 2 per cent discount was to any B.C. resident who earns $106,543 plus per year.  That includes John Horgan himself and many other residents such as construction workers.  In B.C., $106,543 plus per year in wages is not considered top wealthy.  This accusation is very scary to the taxpayers of B.C. , if Horgan ever  became premier.  Just imagine the damaging effect on the province of B.C. to having Horgan as premier, a man that does no research on a topic before  blowing off steam.  Horgan needs to apologize immediately for thinking that it is okay to just make stuff up.


Joe Sawchuk

Duncan, BC