Do you support Canada-as a Constitutional Monarchy?
Sorry wrapping presents or who cares? 12
Do you support Canada-as a Constitutional Monarchy?
Sorry wrapping presents or who cares? 12
Mature, articulate and cute guy on right – Jack at 29, Reporter CKNW
Photo by Sue Stern CBC
Nice guy in town to meet the press. He was totally in control and asked the majority of questions.
Yes he got older, married, had kids, had a military career,
Yes he is/was human…… as the rest of us are.
Columnists: Stuart Syme, Henry Wiebe, Michelle Weisheit, Joseph Seiler, Pat Whalley
Reporter: Roy Wood
Helpers: Mary Fry
Features: Sundance Video
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MLA, Linda Larson
MP, Dick Cannings
I will not fault your clarity, Roy, but I will first eliminate two red herrings before attempting to bring focus and trust that you will accept my attempt to narrow our discourse.
First, let’s set aside the matter of wick-dipping. I believe that were we to uncover the data, the Royals would be no more engaged than we commoners. We disagree that the misbehaviour of the Royals is statistically exceptional. Your focus on this is not germane.
Second, let’s set aside the evocative headline of divine right. The English Civil War settled that matter for me. The Royalists held that kings derived their authority from God, and the Parliamentarians that their authority was derived from a contract with the people. From others came de rege et regis institutione, the justification of tyrannicide, the severance of the church and state, the confirmation that the people could call the king to account. Divine right died 400 years ago. Therefore, we disagree that “the fatal flaw … in the monarchy is the fundamentally anti-democratic nature of hereditary entitlement.”
Your “republican mind” probably embraces ‘all men are created equal, … with certain unalienable [sic] Rights … Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’ which probably derives from the French who made the success of the American Revolution possible. In France, the three central features of the first version of the French Constitution (note that this was adopted in 1791 and was after the American Revolution and that there have been 15 versions of the French Constitution since.) were: France becomes a Constitutional Monarchy and the King comes under the supervision of the government, that nobility and clergy lose their exceptional privileges, and that the legislative authority resides in an elected assembly. The English have no written constitution so I cannot refer to that.
I do not believe that all men are created equal. I do believe that all have a right to life and liberty. I don’t believe that the nobility and the clergy have been stripped of their privileges. I do not accept that the fundamental legislative authority is within the halls of parliament. I do not accept that hereditary rights are suppressed in a republic.
The case has face validity. Look to the American example: All equal? Rights protected? Look to the Catholic church. Look to the power of money. Look to the hereditary power of the Rockefeller’s, Kennedy’s, Bush’s, Roosevelt’s, Trudeau’s. Look to the influence of lobbyists. Look further, the record is clear.
I absolutely believe that the monarchy continues at the pleasure of the people and that the Royal Family works diligently for the benefit of all in ways that no other institution can. I do not believe that the power of the people to remove an elected tyrant has teeth. Hitler, Putin, Trump.
For 30 years genealogy has been my hobby. The product satisfies for me a need to know, a need to understand, a need to have context, a need to define purpose. The process satisfies for me the need to be challenged in deciphering and proving and documenting. It provides me with an escape from the mundane and takes me to sacred from profane. Others build works of art and I admire them for that.
Our roots are probably in different soils given your recent arrival.
My son is the eighth generation to serve. Most were career soldiers – not all. We were on the Peninsula, we were at Waterloo, we held the line in 1812, we repulsed the Fenians, we went west with Middleton, we went to Europe twice in the 20th century. We came to this land 200 years ago. We served with the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment before there was a Canada. We were born here before Confederation. We settled on land granted for service. Along the way we served also in peace in the far-flung reaches of the Empire – peaceful by our presence.
At the critical moment, you are correct, soldiers fight for friends. Next level up, the soldier’s family is the Regiment – embodied in the Colours. Next level up, soldiers defend the realm. Perhaps, then, our perspectives derive more from a personal history than from an objective examination.
I agree to your proposal for a Christmas cease-fire.
Publisher’s Note – a time tested way to “weigh in” is an ODN poll. Once it gets to a hundred it is gone. Let’s see what it will see. And I will enforce the cease-fire.
Thanks to all above, the people of Osoyoos for their contributions and all commercial sponsors on the “cram the cruiser” campaign.
To send is to arrange to move something via other than myself. I send a letter to someone far away and trust the Post to get it there. I can also send thoughts to. Interesting though, the thought is not gone until I stop thinking about it. It is as if that thought is kicking around the mailroom and not loaded on the Mail-truck until I ‘let it go’. Hmmm, I wonder how many I have clogging things up, just hanging on to them?
The singer pines ‘you send me’ to express how completely invested they are in you. Where did I apparently send them? To a state of mind, one of absorption and a very desirable place as well. When I say you send me the shivers I mean that I feel that way when I think about you. I can send you, or you me, good vibes or bad vibes, just from the way we think about each other. What are you sending someone right now?
To send is to launch, release, give and trust. Yes, to send is to trust that that which is sent will arrive as intended and a greater leap of faith, that it will be well received, welcomed. Finally, we tend to trust that the intent of what is sent is interpreted as we want. The receiver has the option to reject our gift or take all wrong. Sending can therefore be a kind of precarious venture. Unless of course we send without expectation
To send down is to expel or remove rank, as in sending a Director back to the be among the membership, stripped of title, privilege and power. It is kind of a nasty adult version of being sent to your room. To send out is to radiate, to share to give. A great example is when we send out wishes such as Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. We don’t add, ‘except not to that so and so at work’.
Once I hit Send, my email is gone. Sometimes, not often, it is ‘oh drat’ I forgot a part of the message or didn’t ‘calm down’ before composing that message. Oops. If we are sending an email, it is instant. If we are sending mail in the Post, the moment we drop it in the box, gone. To ‘send’ is thus an action with responsibility. What would I be happy to send? What would I want to rethink for a moment?
Good morning, Stuart. Nicely written piece, but I’m afraid you rather missed the point, old chap. Maybe it’s my fault for not being clearer.
The fatal flaw — at least in this republican mind – in the monarchy is the fundamentally anti-democratic nature of hereditary entitlement. It goes against the notions of representative government and the sovereignty of the people, not to mention the basics of meritocracy.
Of course, the British Royal Family and its claim to rule by divine right is underpinned by the whole hereditary class system that has defined British society for centuries.
The founders’ decision to pluck the Royal flower from atop the fetid heap of the aristocracy and leave the rest in England was a wise move, but it didn’t eliminate the essential error of importing a foreign monarch into our system of government.
My own English roots run deep. Three of my grandparents emigrated here from England and the fourth was a colonial from New Zealand who fought for King and Empire in the Great War and found his way here after marrying his war bride.
They had a direct connection with England and its monarch. I don’t. And neither do my children or grandchildren. The disinterest of the current and soon-to-come generations is the key that will likely lead to the irrelevance of the Royals in the lives of Canadians and the decision to finally cut all colonial ties.
Your suggestion that I attempted to paint the whole family with the tarred bush of Andrew misses the mark. His is just the latest and most egregious example of Royal misbehavior and a newsy entry into the question of the monarchy.
I didn’t mention the serial philandering of Prince Philp, Charles’ all-but-public affair with Camilla Parker Bowles while still married to Diana, the bizarre indiscretions of his sister Anne with Camilla’s husband Andrew Parker Bowles, or the reportedly lusty oats sowing of William and Harry.
And that’s not to mention the wild-child younger sister of the Queen, Princess Margaret.
The fact that Elizabeth seems to rise above it all, as a dignified, discreet and decent example of English reserve and Royal solemnity likely has much to do with Canadians’ willingness to just ignore whole thing.
As for the military swearing an oath to the Queen, states have always used symbols – kings, flags, gods – to convince young men (and these days, young women) to take up arms and kill or be killed on various battlefields.
But I would venture that the cream of British and colonial youth who went over the top at the Somme did so for the lads beside them in the trench and not for some highfalutin notion of king and empire.
Soldiers indeed swear an oath to the head of state. But there are lots of ways to acquire one of those. Some are elected directly, like France. Some are elected by a parliament, like Germany and Italy. Some are appointed by the government, like Canada.
A head of state is a useful symbol for a nation, often ceremonial and symbolic. A dignified, non-political personification. But also, something of a check on potential abuses by the government in power.
When Canada eventually gets down to the complex and difficult work of amending the Constitution, it could do worse than keeping the current governor-general process and just eliminating reference to the British monarchy.
The GG already has a perfectly suitable seat of government at Rideau Hall.
I was there once, at a reception following a journalism award presentation. I clearly recall sitting with a colleague on a luxurious sofa, wearing a rented tuxedo, drinking $200 cognac and listening to an assistant deputy minister play Chopin on Glen Gould’s piano. “It doesn’t get much better than this for a working-class kid from Burnaby,” I remember thinking at the time.
Anyhow, that’s pretty much all I want to say on the topic of the Royals. I’m happy to just watch as they slip into irrelevance and we can observe their celebrity antics like so many Kardashians.
Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
by Roy Wood
Winter Solstice – longest night of the year begins about 8 pm Saturday.
In some countries and calendars, it is seen as the beginning of winter. In meteorology, winter is reckoned as beginning about three weeks before the winter solstice.
Since prehistory, the winter solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures, and has been marked by festivals and rituals.
It marked the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun.
The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days.
OHMS? – No, they serve us
It had not been my plan to write this last post before Christmas in defence of the monarchy, but the recent op-ed of Roy Wood demands a response. Meanwhile, to all, I send my best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year.
You ask, Mr. Wood, in your post of 18 December if the House of Windsor might fade to black – as you would prefer. My answer is, I hope not. I applaud your passion, but it is misplaced. Much would be lost.
You waste too many words, Sir, on the alleged behaviour of a single member of the royal family. You paint all with a single brush. Let’s agree that – as a family – the royal family is little different than any other family. Within their ranks, now and in the past, there exists the brilliant and the dull, the impaired and the perfect, the righteous and the rogue, those who stayed home and those who wandered. They are created as are we all, born as are we all, raised and educated as are we all, take careers as do we all, marry, procreate, perhaps divorce, and die as do we all. Within that family, one finds the trials, the tribulations, the joys, the despair, the successes and the failures, the courage and the cowardice as you find in any family. Surely you would not have us judge your kin by the reported actions of only one of them – I would not.
My own ancestors were Bretons who became the Stewards to the Kings of Scotland. My only claim to royalty is through the illegitimate daughter of King James IV Stewart, Janet la Belle Ecossaise, my 12th great grandmother, although I suppose I could also claim a seat at the table through Janet’s illegitimate son fathered by the King of France. My point being that if you are a royal, the records have been well maintained – for obvious reasons – but also that they reveal that most of us have some royal blood. More than has been recorded, probably.
In 1966, in the Officer’s Mess at Wolsely Barracks, London, Ontario, I stood with three other officers in training – wet behind the ears we were – discussing the new Canadian flag. We were all of the opinion that we could not see the reason behind the change and that it was “wrong”. A Captain – and at that time, Captains were gods – entered. The senior of our number explained our position and queried him for his. I shall never forget his response, “I swore my allegiance to the Queen, as did all of you. The flag is of no consequence.” Four young officers were immediately educated. His words were true. And to prevent digression, I assert that the Regimental Colours are not simply a flag.
It is so in all countries of the Commonwealth. The military is clearly separated from the political. The Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces is the Governor General who is the viceregal representative of the Monarch. There can be no military action that is not authorized by the GG – and therefore, the Queen. Politicians do not have the authority. That should be a comfort when you look at other countries and see those who gain power – by election, by coup, by any means – and possess the wherewithal to master or muster or vanquish the masses. Hence, the monarchy provides us with a protection from democracy gone wrong and guarantees the democratic process. There is value there. Far from being undemocratic, the monarchy is our guarantee of democracy.
I applaud you for not making the argument that so many do in ignorance that the monarchy is an economic drain. It is not. The Royal Family is a net economic benefit – particularly to the UK – but also throughout the Commonwealth.
Within the Commonwealth, while it is no longer the British Commonwealth but rather The Commonwealth of Nations, most of the fifty-plus nations are former British territories. Among them, Canada was the first independent member of the British Commonwealth and the first voluntary member of The Commonwealth of Nations. In my career, I have been blessed to have worked with a number of our Commonwealth allies including in particular through the Commonwealth Defence Science Organization (CDSO) at a meeting in New Zealand while the first Gulf War was in the early stages. What bound us was our common monarch, our common language, our common customs, and our common foes. What resulted is an apolitical organization of friends without mistrust, without hidden agenda, without power plays, willing to share our successes and failures unselfishly. This was unique among the international organizations with whom I was involved including the UN, NATO, TTCP, and the Five Eyes. Members came from the West Indies, Oceania, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Canada alone came from North America. Believe me, the Commonwealth organizations have a much different, much preferred, much more cooperative “air” than any other international organization. We are commonwealth under a common monarch.
Would I prefer to be a member of the Royal Family than a commoner? No. The job is far too demanding. Each of the male members has undertaken a military career and served in many cases in dangerous roles and in war. The Falklands, Afghanistan, and piloting a rescue helicopter are all recent. The Queen herself served during WWII. But upon return from uniformed service, each undertakes a service to country and humanity – a service that would not otherwise be performed.
Their leadership, their public position, their active involvement benefits many.
We are well-served by our royalty.
Oliver Community Arts Council presents donations of food goods and cash totalling $805 to the Oliver Food Bank, the results of the Holly Jolly Oliver! concert.
L – R: Brian Mapplebeck (OCAC member), and food bank volunteers Julie van Dusen, Marianne Hutterli, Merrill Bjerkan, and Jim Ouellette.
Thank you to our audience, participants, and volunteers who donated so generously of their time, talents, and goods to make this the highest donation tally for the annual concert.
Contributors towards ODN gift to the Oliver Food Bank
Oliver Community Arts Club
Knight of Columbus
Oliver Daily News
and those that supported the ODN Christmas Card Fund
Christmas Eve Marvel.
It was the year of 1862, during the Civil War. It was a bitter cold night, with bright moonlight that gave clear view to everything below. A Confederate Soldier was on picket duty, when across the field, a Union Soldier who was also on picket duty, came into full view. The Confederate Soldier got his musket and took aim, completely hidden in the shadows. Just as he did, the Union Soldier began to sing.
“Saviour, like a shepherd lead us, much we need thy tender care. In thy pleasant pastures feed us, for thy use our folds prepare. Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us thine we are. Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus. Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.”
This took the soldier with the musket by surprise. He thought to himself, “I’ll let him finish his song, then I’ll shoot him. I can’t miss him and he won’t be able to get away fast enough.” At that moment, the Singing Soldier started verse two:
“We are Thine, do Thou befriend us, BE THE GUARDIAN OF OUR WAY…”.
The music touched his heart as he heard it and he took his finger off the trigger. It brought back childhood memories of when his mother would sing that song to him, teaching him of the Lord. He listened until the end of the song, then dropped his musket. Without the Union soldier ever knowing he had been there, he turned and slipped away into the darkness.
Fourteen years passed, and it was now 1876. The Union soldier had since become a very well known hymn writer and song leader, traveling with Evangelist D.L. Moody. His name was Ira D. Sankey. He had written many hymns, including “The Ninety and Nine,” and also composed the music to many other famous hymns, including “A Shelter in the Time of Storm.” He was on his way home, on a steamboat on the Delaware River on Christmas Eve. Many passengers on board recognized Sankey and decided they would ask him to sing a song for everyone. On the deck, Sankey agreed and leaned against one of the big funnels. He paused for a moment, before he started. He wanted to sing a Christmas song, but the Lord seemed to lead in another direction. The words to “Saviour, Like A Shepherd Lead Us” came to his mind and he felt impressed to sing this song. So, he did. Everyone on deck listened intently to the singer, and the words of the song, in stillness. The Lord’s power was on him and his song.
As he finished, a bearded man approached Sankey from the other side of the deck.
He asked Sankey if he could speak with him for a moment. As the two men separated from the crowd, the bearded stranger asked Sankey if he had ever served in the Union Army. Sankey replied with the answer of yes. The stranger asked if he had picket duty, 14 yrs ago, on a clear cold night. Sankey said yes, and asked if the stranger had been there in service also. He told him yes, but had been a Confederate soldier. He went on to tell Sankey he had seen him in clear view, while hidden in the shadows across the enemy lines. He told him how he had raised his musket to fire, and at that same moment he had begun to sing. “It was the same song you sang tonight. When I heard your voice, I knew it was you.” He went on the tell Sankey how he planned on letting him finish his song, and then shoot him. “When you started to sing the part that said, ‘We are Thine, do thou befriend us, be the Guardian of our way…’ it touched my heart. It made me think of my dear mother that had passed, and how she loved the Lord, and would sing this same song to me as a child. I couldn’t shoot you. My heart was smitten. I didn’t know what to do, so I slipped off in the darkness. These fourteen years I have often thought of that night. Tonight, I know that the Lord that was able to save you from certain death, and was the Guardian of your way. He MUST SURELY be great and mighty. I have wandered these fourteen years since then, lost without that Shepherd. Will you please tell me how he can save me?”
And there, on board that steamboat, two soldiers, once enemies, now prayed together for that Great Shepherd to bring another lost sheep home.
(Check the internet to verify: Sankey Civil War)
An approaching frontal system will track inland today and stall across the southern interior tonight. Snow at times heavy will begin this evening and persist through Friday. Snowfall amounts of 30 to 60 cm can be expected by late Friday afternoon.
Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions
Osoyoos family makes major gift to SOGH
Herb and Pat Wycherley’s support for South Okanagan General Hospital is very much a family affair.
The Wycherleys, who both grew up on the Lower Mainland, moved to the South Okanagan from Coquitlam in 2007 after Herb had sold his contracting business. Pat’s parents, Jack and Bea Becker, had previously moved to Osoyoos in the 1980s.
Bea Becker was well known in the South Okanagan. She served for 10 years on the former SOGH hospital board, including seven years as its chair, prior to Interior Health taking over administration of hospitals across the Southern Interior in the 1990s.
Bea passed away on December 16th. The Wycherleys and their two children have pledged to donate $100,000 in her memory to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation to help provide medical equipment for SOGH.
Herb and Pat quickly settled into the community and became actively involved. Herb helped develop the Watermark Beach Resort and sat on the town’s design review board. Pat served on the board for the Desert Valley Hospice Society and is a current director with the Osoyoos Credit Union. They are both active curlers and golfers. “Being involved in so many things, we’ve met so many people by doing that,” she said.
Pat noted their donation to South Okanagan General Hospital recognizes the amount of time her parents worked and volunteered in healthcare. In addition to Bea’s years on the SOGH board, she was an active volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society. Jack, a former RCMP officer, served for a number of years as the area coroner.
“The need for the South Okanagan hospital is going to mean more and more to us – and our family and friends,” Pat said. “We’re lucky to have this opportunity to support keeping the hospital viable.”
Herb noted South Okanagan residents realize the value of SOGH and fully support its continued operation. The hospital is currently undergoing a $1.25-million upgrade to its Emergency Department and other areas.
“Because my mother-in-law put so much time and effort into the hospital, it feels good to follow that up with this donation,” Herb said. “It’s been downsized over the years, but the fact that they still have the Emergency, X-ray and Acute Care means a lot. The services are still very good here.”
Will the House of Windsor… fade to black?
As a life-long anti-monarchist, I must admit some delight in the recent discomfiture visited on Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, by his alleged trysts with a teenaged sex slave provided by billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
One of my earliest memories is standing on a suburban Vancouver street corner with my mother, an ardent monarchist, waving a tiny Red Ensign as a police-escorted caravan of limos sped past. The windows were darkened, but apparently it was the Queen’s more interesting sister, Margaret, in town to help BC celebrate its centennial in 1958.
I didn’t understand the excitement. And a few years later I began grappling with the contradiction between democratic ideals and the fact that I couldn’t grow up to be king because I wasn’t born into the right family.
This confusion led fairly quickly to a bedrock conviction that being subject to a gang of hereditarily entitled toffs from another country just wasn’t on.
More recently, however, it’s becoming clear that the monarchy really doesn’t matter very much and that within my children’s lifetimes it will probably be lost to the slagheap of history.
But back to Randy Andy.
Given that the Queen/King of England remains nominally the sovereign of our country, two questions arise: “Where does this reprobate fall in the line of Royal succession? Could he ever become King of Canada?”
Fortunately, it would take a Royal tragedy beyond Shakespearian proportions for Andrew to ascend to the throne.
When he was born, he was second in line, behind the Queen’s first born, Prince Charles. But through time and the arcane rules of succession, Andrew has dropped to eighth in the pecking order behind the progeny and grandchildren of Charles.
Next comes Prince William, the prematurely balding first-born son of Charles and the tragic Princess Diana, and husband of the vivacious Kate Middleton.
(There is a school of thought that Queen Elizabeth might abdicate in the next few years and appoint the popular William to replace her, bypassing the fusty and wildly unpopular Charles. The palace, of course, denies any such plot is in the works.)
Then come William and Kate’s three kids, George, 6, Charlotte, 4, and Louis, 1.
Coming it at number six is Elizabeth’s other grandson, Harry, the ginger-haired husband of toothsome American TV star Meagan Markle. Their son, Archie, is seventh in line.
Only then, way down at number eight, do we find Andrew. So, it seems a safe bet that he can continue to pursue his hobbies without fear of having to don the crown. And Canadians can breathe a sigh.
And it’s likely that a sigh or a yawn is all we’ll muster. Anti-monarchy ardour is at a low ebb these days. Even though most of us would just as soon see the monarchy stay in England and leave us alone, we really don’t care very much.
An Ispos poll at the end of 2016 found that more than half of Canadians think that when Elizabeth dies, the country should cut ties with the monarchy. About 61 per cent believe that the Queen and Royal Family should not have any formal role in Canadian society, as “the Royals are simply celebrities and nothing more.”
But, University of Waterloo poli-sci professor Emmett Macfarlane told Global News that even though Canadians aren’t crazy about the Royals, “I think if you ask people where this lines up on their list of priorities, or how important this is relative to things like our own domestic politics or issues such as health care or education, I suspect it’s really low on the list.”
The gradual waning of a Royal presence has been going on for decades.
One could argue it officially started with the replacement of the Red Ensign with Canada’s own Maple Leaf flag in 1965.
About a decade later then-PM Pierre Trudeau performed his purposefully disrespectful pirouette behind the back of the Queen, who was busily shaking hands in a receiving line.
Even the Royal face on our currency is slowly going away. She remains on our coins, but has been replaced by former prime ministers on all the folding money except the twenty.
There seems little reason to believe that the gradual erosion of Royal presence in Canada won’t continue, particularly after Elizabeth dies and passes the orb and sceptre to Charles or William or whomever.
(That could take a while, of course. The female Windsor’s are a hardy breed. The Queen Mother lived to 101 and, according to The Independent, Elizabeth, 94, follows the same daily regimen that begins with a stiff Dubonnet and gin in the late morning, wine with lunch, a martini before dinner and champagne with the evening meal.)
Once the succession occurs, let’s hope that governments at all levels simply take down the ubiquitous portraits of the Queen and not replace them. Or perhaps put up pictures of the Canadian Governor General.
Maybe her image on our coins can be replaced by profiles of Canadian artists or scientists or humanitarians.
And over a few decades perhaps a national consensus will emerge to allow a constitutional amendment to remove English royals completely from the fabric of the country.
Oliver-Osyoos Search and Rescue was awarded a grant of $100,000 to build a truck and trailer station in support of search and rescue efforts.
The funds are part of $5 million released province-wide through community gaming grants.
“We are excited to see these investments take shape as they will have a profoundly beneficial effect on people and communities throughout British Columbia,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson in a news release Friday.
May 13th on ODN
Oliver and Osoyoos Search and Rescue seeking support for a grant to erect a new building to store equipment. The group is seeking provincial grant monies. OOSR also seeking more land adjacent to the present location. Town staff are not recommending an expansion of land of 20 more metres in length.
The building would contain three drive through bays and be 48 by 60 feet in size.
Monday – council meeting as a committee agreed with the proposal over ruling a recommendation of staff.
Council will grant a 20 metre lot expansion to the north – contingent on a successful grant application for a new and large vehicle storage building.
I cuddle my blanket whenever she goes.
It’s lonely alone, as every dog knows.
I wait in the silence for her to come home,
for when she is here, I’m not alone.
I don’t drink very much so I won’t have to pee.
Peeing inside would humiliate me.
But holding it hours can be just the worst.
My bladder – it feels like it’s going to burst.
Sometimes I just lay there. Sometimes I sleep.
Occasionally, while waiting, I start to weep.
The hours are long as I stay home and I wait …
that’s part of being a dog that I hate.
I listen for footsteps or the sound of the car,
because when I hear them I know she’s not far.
And oh, when I hear them, I get so excited!
I know she is home and I am delighted.
I get to my feet and my blood starts to pump.
I rush to the door and get ready to jump.
I bark and I jump and I kiss my hello.
I love her so much, and I want her to know.
Now that she’s home, the long hours fade.
We rest by the fire after we’ve played.
I sleep on her bed right next to her,
and bask in the way she pets my fur.
All I know now is this moment of bliss.
When she’s ready to sleep she gives me a kiss.
My world now is good, everything right.
I burrow down in the blankets and sigh my goodnight.
Artwork by Lillian Sim
Tucked away in the pages of memory I recall how merchants went out of their way to decorate the stores for the Christmas Season. In recent years the tradition withdrew into a bit of a visual absence. At first many chalked it up to the cost of doing it. I spent the last several days in Calgary and it is nice to see the decorating spirit is returning to shop window, and the critical eye of shoppers is not focused on being critical these days but rather enjoyed.
Unfortunately for a long time it has become the brunt of undue criticism in many areas. In fact it became a no win for anyone as merchants were in some cases criticized if they did and chastised if they didn’t decorate.
A short term solution? The Happy Holiday debate that in some cases became worse. So how did we get here? Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday, who is right, and is anyone wrong?
We have to go to the well of history for an answer. To start with for those arguing you are all right. For those in the strictest tradition, Merry Christmas is fully acceptable. For those who are using Happy Holiday, believe it or not you are being just as respectful.
See the term Happy Holiday is not the creation of Walmart, or Coca-Cola or any other commercial enterprise. Oh for sure in the late eighteen hundreds advertising in major centers used the term to create more secular involvement, but that was not the origin of Happy Holiday. The craze did not start in the nineteen thirties either as scores of other believe. No it goes back much further than that.
When those who argue with their heart in the spiritual tradition
that Merry Christmas is the only response and the secular folks argue for Happy Holiday or Holidays, both sides miss the point.
The word Holiday actually comes from the Old English words Holy Day or Holy Days. And the terms origins begin around nine fifty AD,
I just thought it would be nice to know we’ve all been arguing for nothing and saying the same thing.
So Merry Christmas or if you like or Happy Holidays if you prefer.
Editor’s Note: some people ask me – who is this Fred Steele. Follow him on Facebook. A former broadcaster in the Okanagan, raised on a farm and when the microphone failed one day he returned to the land near Kelowna and was elected a number of times as the leader who could speak to government – President of the BC Fruit Growers. Merry Christmas Fred….
The Crime and Safety Committee decided to recommend – hiring a Traffic Engineering consultant that would look at various traffic calming & safety measures between the four way stop at McKinney/Park Dr, over the bridge, along Fairview Road up to Okanagan Avenue.
Public Works will set up the speed reader to collect data along Fairview Rd in various locations and remind people it is 50km/h for the next several weeks.
– Shawn Goodsell, Operations Manager
“The committee agreed with Michael Guthrie that there are several areas of concern related to pedestrian safety on Fairview Rd. between Okanagan Street and McKinney Rd. The areas of concern included the road section in front of the Post Office, the intersection at Station Street and the pedestrian crossing located on the West end of the bridge…..
The committee also felt that re-design of these road sections, intersections and pedestrian crossing would better serve to improve safety in these areas. As a result the committee recommendation to Council, is to engage a traffic consultant to review the section of Fairview Road from Okanagan St. to McKinney Rd., specifically from a pedestrian safety perspective. The expectation is to receive recommendations on re-design options that, once implemented, will provide long lasting and improved pedestrian safety. In addition, before starting, the consultant will meet with the committee in a workshop format to review all concerns related to this road section.”
Items heading to Council for budget deliberations in the new year…..
The committee recommends funding an (in-house) employee for Bylaw enforcement rather than a contractor
The impact of the revamped bylaw enforcement in-house would mean a budget increase of approximately $80,000 from last year, mainly due to the increase in wages and equipment. It is not appropriate to compare to last year however, because the Town did not receive proposals from contractors given the limited hours in a reactive based service.
An expanded bylaw enforcement service focused on a proactive approach would see approximately 2,660 hours devoted to bylaw enforcement and animal control services. With the proposed increase in hours, staff are in the process of receiving quotes from contractors to compare with the in-house cost of bylaw enforcement and animal control services. (report of Town Management)
The committee recommends that the present Victim Services Co-ordinator have her hours per week increased by 17 on top of the present 18. A Town report states that this increase could cost at least an additional $25 thousand dollars.
Capital Rebate program for those interested in security cameras
The committee recommends that the Town of Oliver institute a program of a $100 grant to any business or residence that can prove the purchase of acceptable security cameras as stated in the bylaw. No budget figure attached to the motion – so Town council would determine just how robust the programme would be in 2020.
Security Cameras for Town owned properties.
The committee recommends a go-slow policy on this subject. A one hundred thousand dollar project was rejected with members recommending more study and a pilot project in the near future
The committee was told of a recent incident of vandalism on a charging station near the old CPR station and not so recent situations at the airport, waste water treatment plant. The committee told that all doors of any structure owned by the Town is monitored with a staff member attending when any alarm goes off.
UBC and UBC Okanagan plans a new geology campus in the Okanagan south of Secrest on the Willowbrook Rd. ( story March 23, 2012 )
Picture right – the present
Picture left – the future
Not much info out there on this project but pictures taken this morning show demolition work to remove structures and to prepare the land for?
More on this project later.
Most people spend several decades slowly saving up enough to retire on. Once you get there, the focus shifts to ensuring that you won’t run out of money too soon, and maybe even leaving something behind for your family.
The key to ensuring your funds won’t run out is to have a solid financial plan that includes strategies to help make your money last longer. So, what kind of strategies should you be considering?
This year, most Canadians will spend more time planning their winter vacation than they will planning how to maximize their retirement savings. It is never too early or too late to build your own custom retirement plan but I can promise that doing so today will be better than waiting until tomorrow.
This column is written by Michelle Weisheit CFP, IG Wealth Management and presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Please contact your own advisor for specific advice about your situation.
No objections to town’s fourth pot store
The fourth active cannabis retail proposal for Osoyoos breezed through a public hearing Monday with no objections from the public.
The store is planned for an empty storefront in the Lakeview Plaza near City Furniture and the Red Apple.
Council approved third reading for the proposal from Budzilla Cannabis Inc., which will now seek so-called “fit and proper” approval from the province.
There is one cannabis outlet active in the town, on Main Street, just west of JoJo’s Café, and two others – at Gateway Plaza and in the old Osoyoos Signs building across from the recycle depot – are still in the provincial approval stage.
Public input portion completed in OCP review
Work continues apace on the $150,000 update to the Osoyoos Official Community Plan (OCP), with a 200-page progress report presented Monday to council by town planning staff and their consulting firm.
Daylin Mantyka and Brittany Tuttle from of Urban Systems outlined the work so far, which began in September gathering community input through an online survey, a dozen community engagement activities, three stakeholder workshops and large reporting back session.
Community participants offered input on myriad subjects, including: what is the best thing about living in Osoyoos; is more economic growth needed; what should be the town’s housing priorities; how is the retail landscape in the town; what would they change about Osoyoos; should there be better medical services; and lots more.
The consultants and the planning staff will continue sifting through the responses and bring more refined reports to council over the next few months. The process will lead eventually to a new OCP, which serves as a foundational document for growth and development of the town over the next decade or more.
OCPs are required by provincial legislation and are usually renewed every 10 years or so. The current Osoyoos plan was created in 2007.
Waterfront steering committee will continue
A proposal from town staff to disband the Waterfront Steering Committee was rejected by council after one of its members said there are still items on its plate.
A report from the corporate services department said that based on the 10-year-old terms of reference, “there are no pending issues for the committee to consider at this time.”
The report added that the public member of the committee, Terry Underwood, saw no further value in his continuing as a member.
However, Councillor CJ Rhodes, the town council representative on the committee, pointed out that the town’s wharf project – slated for the Giro Beach area – remains active even though it is currently hung up in legal issues around jurisdiction over the lake front.
The rest of council agreed with Rhodes and voted to retain the committee but hold off on making appointments to it until there is actually something for it to do.
By ROY WOOD
It’s clear that Osoyoos residents will be abandoning blue-bag recycling in favour of plastic bins come July.
The questions left to be decided are who will supply the bins and whether they will be the smaller, 121-litre containers or the 240-litre wheeled variety that lend themselves to automated collection technology.
After the July 1 deadline, any recycle bags left at the curbside will be left there along with a note to the homeowner about the requirement to use a bin.
In a report on Monday, operations director Jared Brounstein provided two options for town council to consider:
The report noted that under the second option, some homeowners might “seek to avoid this additional cost and no longer recycle and instead put recyclable items in their garbage container. The town should try to avoid that happening as it will impact landfill operations, life expectancy and costs.”
Councillor CJ Rhodes – who attended the meeting via teleconference from Yuma, Arizona – pointed out that the automated system of collection is the wave of the future and that going with the smaller, hand-emptied bins would be “investing in old technology.”
Councillor Brian Harvey said it’s hard for council to make an informed decision without a longer-term estimate of the impact on taxpayers for either of the options presented.
Councillor Jim King pointed out that an earlier survey of opinion showed nearly two-thirds of residents prefer the town-supplied option. However, he suggested the town might consider the 240-litre bins in order to avoid having to replace the smaller ones down the road when automated collection is inevitably introduced by WCC.
Brounstein conceded that in the long term it would be more expensive to purchase the small bins next year and then replace them later with the larger ones.
Mayor Sue McKortoff told Brounstein: “As you can see, we’re all a bit confused.”
He agreed to come back to council early in the new year with a 20-year projection of costs to the taxpayer for the various options, including the town supplying the larger bins.
Eventually, town residents will be faced with bringing their waste to the curbside in three separate bins: garbage; recycling; and yard and garden waste.
Thanks to Audrey MacNaughton for her context and close-up
The Osoyoos RCMP will be holding a cram the cruiser and fire truck event in support of local families.
On Friday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the local Mounties, in partnership with Osoyoos Fire-Rescue are inviting the public to help Cram the Cruiser and Fire Truck with non-perishable food donations at the Osoyoos Mall.
Cash donations and unwrapped children’s toys will also be gratefully accepted.
All donations go to support local families in need. Please help us help them over the holidays, said Sgt. Jason Bayda.
There is no News
Not much of a news day, today, in the middle of December – if you don’t count the outgoing Kentucky Governor who wrote 428 pardons and commutations before leaving.
In the USA, the impeachment articles are going to the House. They’ll pass. They’ll go to the Senate for trial. The Speaker is coordinating with the White House to defend the President. I suspect that Mitch is saying, ‘Just shut up and let us handle this’. The Senate will acquit.
Johnson got a Brexit mandate. Ho-hum. The UK will be out of the EU by the end of January. There was a crawler on CBC News that went like this, ‘a seaside village that voted overwhelmingly in the referendum to leave the EU, is now divided on the Johnson victory’. What?
Scheer will step aside. Yawn. Trudeau has given marching orders to his cabinet: reconciliation, gun control, universal drug plan, lower taxes, and a military that is 25% female. Good luck.
Independent MP Wilson-Raybould won’t move out of her old office. Speaker says she will. Another major parliamentary crisis in Canadian history.
North Korea tested another long-range missile. Surprise.
Nothing from Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Syria, France, Germany, or Greece.
There will be no news until next year. Everyone is taking time off.
This is fertile ground for a prediction. Ready?
Donald John Trump will face Michael Rubens Bloomberg in the 2020 US Presidential election and lose. Trump will lose on the popular vote – as he did in 2016 – and he will lose in the Electoral College – unlike last time.
Why will the Democrats put Bloomberg forward as their candidate? Because Biden has too much baggage, makes too many gaffes, and has no command experience. Because Bernie and Elizabeth are both too much, too far, and too soon. Because Buttigeig is too smart, too young, and can’t gain traction among Black American voters.
Bloomberg is a centrist, has a good track record, and is the self-made man that Trump wants to be. He’s smart enough, experienced enough, and rich enough. Statistically, there is a direct and probably causal relationship between money spent and success at the polls. Bloomberg has money. He will spend. He will win – first the nomination, then the Presidency.
And fertile ground for advice. Ready?
If you want my advice, Donald, you should start negotiating a plea bargain with the Southern District of New York and resign before the election. That would take you out of the White House, but it could also keep you out of jail.
Not your cup of tea, Donald?
OK. There is a Plan B option. Run as an Independent. Why not? You have a guaranteed 35% of the vote and the rest will be shared by the other two parties. You could win. Problem? Well, maybe. You will be alone. No party. No people. No platform.
But you can keep the office.
Following are some highlights from the Board of Education meeting held on December 11, 2019.
Staff reported on a Medicine Pouch Pilot Project that is being developed by the BC Sherriff’s Service. The project aims to develop educational, cultural and forward-thinking relationships with the Okanagan First Nations communities. The overarching goal of this program is to help the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation lead the BC Government to work collaboratively and respectfully with the First Nations and Indigenous peoples of BC. The primary goal of this project is to cleanse negative energy and thoughts of Indigenous peoples who come into contact with the court system. SOSS staff and students will be working in partnership with Roger Hall (Native Liaison at the Okanagan Correctional Centre, OIB elder and cultural teacher) to help make these pouches. Medicine pouches are currently not used throughout courthouses so our students will be involved in creating and introducing something brand new to provincial courthouses. In addition to making the pouches, there is an educational piece incorporated into this program. This will also be presented at the Education Committee in January.
7 Take-A-Risk grants have been approved for 2019/20. Take-A-Risk grants are provided to teams of teachers who are inquiring collaboratively to try new or innovative ways to address student success. Recipients will share their learning at the June Education Committee meeting. Projects this year range from Interschool Outdoor Learning to Social and Emotional Learning to CoTeaching in Math 8.
Sam Marsel is leading the Starfish program which is a new initiative offered in Oliver. The Starfish Pack includes 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and snacks for families that can use some extra support. A backpack is filled at Buy-Low Foods and returned to the school to go out to students on Fridays from September to June. Local business and private donations fund this program and 100% of the donations go to food. It was established so that children can come to school Monday morning, ready to learn, with having had the adequate food and nutrition over the weekend. It is through the generous support of many groups and individuals that this program can be offered. A big thank you to Sam for volunteering to lead this program and to the donors that are making it happen.
Superintendent Young reported on the Come Read with Me/Come Count with Me programs. These district-developed programs are workshops for Grade 1 parents to support them with reading and numeracy at home. They have been offered during the school day so that parents or caregivers can go into their children’s classroom to utilize what they have learned at the presentation. We have had very high attendance rates and positive feedback from parents who attended. Superintendent Young facilitated the Come Read with Me workshop and Melia Dirk, Early Learning Coordinator, facilitated the Come Count with Me workshop.
The Come Count with Me program is new this fall and the Board would like to recognize Melia Dirk, Roberta Snow and Amanda Stene who worked to develop the presentation and materials.
Director of Learning and Inquiry Toneatto gave a brief presentation on the completion rates in the district. A more fulsome discussion will be had in January as more information was to be received after the Board meeting. The information relayed was very encouraging.
Finally, the Board would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a successful 2020! Respectfully submitted, Rob Zandee, Chairperson School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)
Rob Zandee, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)