In your April 1 edition your feature story was the requirement for Vernon Search & Rescue to secure new premises at a cost of $3.5 million. I read their requirements for size and location of property and unless I’m missing something they are already in the perfect spot so why not just expand their building. When I wanted to shelter my car I built a garage, I didn’t look for a new house. Then I read a little deeper and it appears that expansion is not on because a family of toads lives nearby. Now I realize this was published on April Fools’ Day so surely they can’t be serious. When someone comes to their senses and decides to relocate the toads, I have a few toad stools in my backyard that they’re welcome to use
The BC Conservative Party “surge in the polls” to 8.9 per cent is trumpeted by Scott Anderson, the Interim Leader of the BC Conservative Party and Vernon City councillor as a prediction of Conservative MLA’s going to Victoria. Mr. Anderson adds that the party is a “…big tent conservative party…” I looked at the makeup of the directors of the BC Conservative Party. Not to my surprise, the directors are mostly white males, apart from the exception of one female and one East Indian. It’s a big tent alright – for white males. If the BC Conservatives want to send MLA’s to Victoria their future candidates need to reflect the diverse population of B.C., not just us white guys. And that will be a big hurdle for the BC Conservatives.
The “I” report. Has your child received one? Do you know what it means? I was in shock when I received the legal letter via email announcing an I report for my daughter. The letter explained that her course load was reduced and her final exam was excluded. The teacher had concluded that my child was not in a position to complete her studies. I was instructed to reply with an agreement to this report.
I did not consent. My daughter has an A average, and when I did the math, we are 60% through the course and she is only 16% behind. I called my friend and she told me about the “I”s on her sons report card. No explanation. No consent and no help is being offered. How many parents are looking at the I report card also?
I do know we have a teacher crisis going on in BC. And many factors are at play here. However, obstructing children’s educations is not the answer. Final exams are imperative, and what will happen to all of these incompletes when they graduate? A bad case of the flu, snow days, unexpected events can throw a child into an I report. Yet, what are the future implications of this? How are our children’s fates being shaped and what will those “I”s mean in the future?
March 19 was the vote in the House on the opposition amendment that would remove the requirement for people of private convictions to check the attestation box in the grant application form. The motion reads as follows: “That, in the opinion of the House, organizations that engage in non-political non-activist work, such as feeding the homeless, helping refugees, and giving kids an opportunity to go to camp, should be able to access Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of their private convictions and regardless of whether or not they choose to sign the application attestation.”
Please note that the motion does not press for the right to have summer jobs related to political and activist activities like support to Pro-Life campaigns or communicating an alternate traditional conservative perspective on sexuality. Basically the motion is a toned down, well reasoned challenge against the govt’s efforts to use public money to demand moral conformity to the value system of the Liberal party.
Who wouldn’t vote for a very reasonable motion like that? Why not let those “religious zealots” feed the homeless, help refugees and give kids an opportunity to go to camp? Why not cut them some slack and let them do their good deeds without having to “swear allegiance” to the policy of the Liberals? What could possibly be the harm in that? Apparently quite a bit when you consider the vote tally. The motion was soundly defeated by a tally of 207 to 93. Shame on you MP’s who blindly engaged in partisan politics while ignoring the greater common good.
Transparency in government
A year ago, Don Jefcoat, the Libertarian candidate in the provincial election, sent an email to Mayor Akbal Mund in reference to having a new videotaping system installed at City Hall, to be broadcast on the city website so everybody could see Council meetings.
This is a portion of the response he received from the Mayor:
“Thanks again Mr. Jefcoat for inquiring. The airing of Council meetings is not required under any legislation, nor does the City of Vernon (COV) have any interest in recording the Council meetings.
Shaw Cable chooses to provide coverage, if you have issues with their taped version, you should take it up with them, they are not controlled by the COV to provide the coverage.
This has nothing to do with Council, and again we have no intention to set up a taping of Council meetings.”
To the best of Don’s knowledge, and to the best of my knowledge, Mayor Mund took it upon himself to render a decision on behalf of all of Council without having a discussion with that Council.
Council has since unveiled the installation protocol for the new videotaping system which will finally allow anybody with an internet connection to watch Council proceedings for a month after the meetings are held.
That is what equates with civic transparency, and without the ongoing persistent efforts of Scott Anderson, this would not, in my opinion, be happening.